Monday, December 31, 2007

Washington D.C.

Much fun was had by all, aside from the 15 hour drive getting down there. For more pictures of our trip click here.

And now, after the 9 hour (much better!) trip home yesterday, we are gearing up for a New Year's Eve celebration here tonight with some fun local families.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Signing off...

We are headed to the Nation's capital tomorrow to play hard for a few days with Uncle Jim and Aunt Chris. I don't know if the kids were more excited for Christmas, or for this trip, as their Aunt and Uncle are some of there absolute favorite playmates. We'll be back in Fitzville before New Years with lots of fun stories and pictures I'm sure.

Off to Australia...

Not long ago, Charlie spent the night at a close friend's house. Afterwards, the mom told me that the boys had some post-graduation plans already. Big plans. They decided that when they turn 18, after they graduate, they are going on a big trip together. A great big adventure. They will travel to New Zealand, Africa, Australia....and... New Jersey! I have no idea how New Jersey made it's way into that line up, but these boys are excited about it!

Ever since making these plans, Charlie has become fairly obsessed with Australia. It might have something to do with one of his favorite summer camp counselors being Australian. It might be because of the really cool animals there. Whatever it is, Charlie has become quite the expert on the country and is glad to share all the little interesting facts he knows with anyone he meets. Anyone. Even the checker at the grocery store.

So it wasn't a huge surprise that Charlie's only request from Santa this year was an Australian bush hat. (And maybe a didgeridoo, but that's another story). He wanted this bush hat badly. Desperately. And he talked about it and wished about it constantly. Every. Single. Day. His last words before dropping off to sleep last night were "I hope, hope, hope Santa brings me an Australian bush hat!"

There are absolutely no words to describe the look on this boy's face this morning when he opened that hat. Absolutely priceless. Oh, to be 7 again.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Two Years ago...

Two years ago today, I let the kids stay up as we all waited anxiously. Two years ago today, Fitz sat in the airport at 11pm and watched a very sick little boy walk off the plane... cold, tired, hungry, and with a smile that lit up all of Boston.

We had never laid eyes on Pipo before, except for a few old pictures. It's amazing today to look back and see how bloated and sick he was. He was admitted to the hospital right away, where he and I stayed for a week. But not having seen him before, we were just mesmerized by that gorgeous smile. And we still are.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Getting it...

At the end of the summer. I set up a time to meet with Pipo's 4th grade teacher. She knows our family, as she had Kaleigh before, but I wanted to give her as much background as I could on Pipo. I spent nearly an hour telling her his history, and how things had gone so far school-wise. Throughout the conversation she kept commenting on how 'lucky' he is to have ended up in our family. I just kept quietly repeating that we are the lucky ones, that I can't even explain how much he has added to our lives. She smiled and nodded, but it was obvious she didn't really understand what I meant.

At our recent parent conference, I sat down with this teacher and got my first look at Pipo's 4th grade report card for the term. But she didn't start out about his grades, or about any academics at all. She started out with "I was wrong... I get it now... I so totally get it." She was almost teary as she told me how she couldn't imagine what I was talking about back in the fall, when I was saying 'we' were the lucky ones, but that now that she had spent these months with Pipo, she knew exactly what I had meant. She went on to tell me stories about how much my son has added to the class, the inspiration and enthusiasm he brings to each and every student there, and to herself as well. She talked about a recent field trip where Pipo was just bursting with excitement at every new thing, and how she realized they truly were new things to him, and he genuinely appreciated it all. So many times teachers take these kids on field trips and they get that 'been there done that' attitude. American kids can take so much for granted, but the class seeing everything fresh through Pipo's eyes was a whole new experience for this teacher. And she sees this every day in her class... she 'gets' it now.

Hands down, the best parent conference I have ever attended.

*PS... and mom brag here... my son, who was struggling with basic phonics last year, made honor roll this term doing the regular 4th grade curriculum... Go Pipo!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Special Day

On this day, 2 years ago, we received the news that Pipo was very sick, and the doctors in Haiti didn't know if he would make it the 2 more months or so it would take to get his passport. After making phone calls to every public official I thought could help us, I did the only other thing I could. I prayed. I drove over to our old church, where I knew the morning Mass was a little later, and where the priest is an old friend. On the way there, I had been saying the Hail Mary over and over, as I thought if anyone would know what I was going through it would be Mary. I slipped into the back of the church unnoticed by the priest and sat down silently. I was overwhelmed when he announced that it was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I had not been paying attention to the calendar, and here it was a day for Mary. I was overwhelmed a second time, and brought to tears when the priest began his sermon, and spoke of adoption... how we are all God's adopted children, how Mary never hesitated at God's word, and Joseph quietly became Jesus' adoptive father. This priest knew our situation, but had not seen me in the church. God was truly speaking through him to me. The real tears came the next day though when I received an email saying that Pipo had a passport and would be on a plane to America very soon.

So today, as I take Charlie to church for his First Penance, I will say thanks once more to Mary, who heard my cries as a mother and listened... as a mother herself.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


... in the car on the way home today... (Emma age 6)

"Oh, I get it "HAIL Mary"... like hail... like snow... because Jesus was born on Christmas... in the winter!"

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Tommy!

Forgive me while I sit and reminisce... my baby is 5 today!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Question of the day...

(posed by Tommy... who is 4 for another 24 hours.)

"Do aliens die if they fall out of space?"