Wednesday, December 24, 2008
This Christmas season has made my youngest sister Ciahnna especially attentive to the Christmas story from Mary's point of view as Ciahnna is 15, the same age that Mary was believed to have been when she gave birth to Jesus. Cici and I have spent considerable time discussing Mary's complete humanity, complete faith in God, and complete blessedness. Ciahnna and I both would like to be more like Mary and proclaim that we are servants of the Lord and desire to have everything befall us as the Lord wills.
46 And Mary said, My soul does magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from now on all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty has done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He has showed strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he has sent empty away.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
“Ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry ‘Abba, Father.’” I’ve had this verse on my sidebar for quite some time now. However, this verse is more pertinent now than ever before.
For the past three weeks our family has been celebrating and adjusting to the arrival of two new family members. As planned, all finalities were completed for our pending adoption by the day after Thanksgiving. The following Monday, Karmello and Kaydence came home. I honestly feel like I forget what our lives were like before the arrival of these two precious blessings. What a reason to be thankful during that Thanksgiving season!
Both Karmello and Kaydence have been adjusting very well and are reaching attachment/bonding milestones right on time.
Kimora and Kariah have also adjusted amazingly well and have shown themselves to be flexible, easy-going little girls. Karmello and Kimora are attached at the hip now; sometimes they include Kariah, and sometimes they choose not to. That proves to be a challenge.
Before coming to us, Kaydence had not learned to walk. She was simply content to crawl about on all fours. Kimora and Kariah both walked before they were a year old, so I was a little shocked that Kaydence at 15 months had not yet begun. During these past three weeks I’ve worked with her a little bit, walking around the penthouse helping her walk (you know, with me standing behind her and her little hands curled around my pointer fingers). I know she’ll take off on her own when she’s ready, but she’s already shown substantial progress….she just needed a little individual attention, which was something that could be rarely given her at the foster home.
Kaydence continues to call me “MOOOMeeeeeeee.” Karmello prefers “Lia.” Hmmmm..ok. For now. I don’t blame the poor kid. He’s almost four years old and has never had a mother figure in his life. Why would he be expected to come into our home and instantly dub me “mommy.” How is he to know that’s what my title is in relation to him?
Some of you may be thinking, “Well, what about the baby? What about Kajanae?” Well….as always, Kajanae has been an amazing source of joy in my life. That little pumpkin is my “ride or die” chick (don’t know what that means?...look it up on urbandictionary.com). Kaji is always with me; she’s my constant companion. If there’s going to be a late walker in our family, it’s probably going to be Kajanae. I NEVER put that baby down!! People have jokingly asked me if she’s cemented to my hip. Yep. I believe she is. Actually we’ve scheduled a surgery to do just that. She won’t ever have to be without me; I won’t ever have to be without her!!
One other thing that I want to be sure I mention so as to not confuse my readers is that my sister Jaslene comes over every weekday to help out with the kids. She’s not really a nanny because I’m not off on my own jaunts, but of course we pay her generously. It’s been so fun to be able to spend my days with Jaslene. I freakin’ love that woman, and so do her nieces and nephew. Before “employing” her, she would come by and hang out with us just about every evening anyway. We’re tight (crossing middle and pointer fingers). Thank you for being such a blessing Jassi!!
So……..Kx5……Karmello, Kimora, Kariah, Kaydence, and Kajanae’s Mommy. Being a mother of five children three and under has already proven to have its challenges, and surely there are more posts to follow on such incidents. But my heart is so FULL of JOY that I simply can’t focus on those challenges. The overwhelming focus is how in love I am with my kids. Normally I apologize if my blog undergoes a hiatus…but this time I just can’t bring myself to feel sorry. No worries, you all know me….I’m documenting every little “jot and tittle” in journals, scrapbooks, and baby books, so nothing is going unrecognized or forgotten. The fact is that I love my life and I’m living it, and if it happens to not show up online for everyone to read about, that’s okay!! I love my five K’s, and I’m so honored that God has chosen me to be their mommy, that He has entrusted them to my care for this short segment of eternity.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Jamal and I took all three girls trick-or-treating through several neighborhoods Friday evening. Jamal, Princess Kimora, and Pippi Kariah Longstocking ran ahead a bit, and I was left just slightly behind with little Kaji. Hanging back with my baby gave me a bit of peace and some time to think....I thought about our family of five. I thought about last Halloween when we had just two kids- Kimora and Kariah. I thought about next Halloween when we go trick-or-treating, we'll have two additional little ones running/toddling ahead with daddy. How my life has changed in the past few years, and what a blessing that I wouldn't change a single thing! Taking a deep breath of the clear night air, I could smell familiarity mingled with exciting change. Looking around me, dear Atlanta looked to me how it always has, yet there was something new and intangible ready to burst from its fringes. Well, one change since last year was indeed very tangible; I looked down at the baby in my arms and thanked the Lord for Kajanae for probably the millionth time these past 9 months. I was jarred back to reality with the voice of Kariah calling me from ahead; she had become concerned that I would get lost if I didn't keep up with them. LOL! :) I looked up at Jamal, Kimora, and Kariah and said to Kajanae, "C'mon, Baby Girl, let's go get 'em," and cuddled my chili pepper close. :)
Monday, October 27, 2008
1) I did not cry on Saturday when I realized Kariah is finally done nursing after 26 months of life. Nope, not me. Didn't do it!
2) I absolutely did not make a mess of my new, magazine-ready kitchen making caramel apples with Kimora and Kariah...complete with sprinkles...and lots of stickiness. I did not attempt this without the help of another adult, as that would be foolish. No, not me.
3) I did not blow a gasket when a stranger commented on Kimora and Kariah's "good hair" and about how it doesn't look like Kajanae is going to have "good hair." I did not feel like spewing poison from between my teeth or shrieking in her face, "Leave my baby the heck alone!" I did not feel like using more severe language than "heck." Nope, certainly not me. Huh-uh!!
4) I did not feel like fainting when I saw FIVE carseats in the back of my vehicle after installing Karmello and Kaydence's carseats. I didn't pause for a moment to contemplate how I managed to accumulate five children over the course of 3.5 years.
5) I did not finally relent to Jamal's request to keep the pole in our bedroom that came with the highrise, and I was not amused by his joke that couple pole dancing lessons would be fun. A wholesome prude like me, I should think not!
6) I have not recently felt the strong, insatiable desire to be pregnant again. Nope. Not me!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Would you believe that I’m actually out at Starbucks, BY MYSELF with my computer, drinking a Frappuccino, finally updating this poor neglected blog? I can’t believe it either. Jamal pushed me out the front door (more like into the elevator), insisting I take a "me time" evening. How amazing is he? ;)
Before I begin, I’d like to issue an official apology to my regular readers! Those of you who I see on a weekly, if not daily, basis have naturally remained updated on the goings-on in our family. However, if we rely on this online venue to keep connected, then I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. I have, however, been regularly checking my personal and online emails in case someone was REALLY trying to contact me. Some of you have asked for my email, but I get my email through my husband’s practice; for this reason, I don’t give out my personal email as it would be too exposing. However, if you make an account on hellorazzi.com I can email you through that site, or if you have a blog of your own, just leave the address in a comment to me (I won’t post it if you’d rather I not). I’ll be sure to come by and visit!
I would put high on the list an adoption update, but there’s not really an update to give. Everything is still going as planned as far as that goes, and we plan to welcome Karmello and Kaydence by Thanksgiving. I suppose I may have a few stories to share from our visits, though. I'm also in the process of planning a homecoming party for them, which I suppose could be thought of as the parallel to a baby shower. However, I'd like them to be here for the celebration, of course, since they are the reason we'd be celebrating anyway! Kimora and Kariah are already so tight with Karmello; it's very exciting to see their relationships develop. Little baby Kaydence already calls me mommy....except it's more like "MO..meeeeeee" with the first syllable very loud and high-pitched and the second syllable lower and strung out. She shrieks and claps when she sees our family coming to visit her and her brother. Unbelievably cute!!
The item next on the list for updating is Kimora's preschool experience.
2- This day was described in my first post about Kimora and her preschool. Blah...'nuf said.
4- This day was described as a "Tuesday repeat"
9- This was the first day that Kimora went to school armed with the "Mommy Comes Back" song and photo of our family. These things seemed to increase her security...she seemed less anxious. Before leaving this day, I stayed a little bit again to help her get accustomed. Another tearful goodbye, but the teachers report was promising: she calmed down after about 45 minutes. I saw that Kimora had been kissing the family photo I gave her because it had a bunch of little lip prints on it.
11- It was suggested that I spray some of my perfume on Kimora's wrist so that she could smell it and feel close to me during her school day. On this day I tried that; I could tell she felt very special wearing mommy's special Baby Phat perfume.
16- Kimora continued to take the photo with her to school and wear some of my perfume. I never asked her if she sang the song I taught her, but her teachers said that they indeed heard her singing a song about Mommy, whether or not it was the exact one I intended :). Today she cried for about 45 minutes to an hour after I left (not ideal, but hey, we have to take the small victories).
18- This day we were swarmed at the door by a bunch of preschoolers, all anxious to get Kimora's attention and play with her. "Wow, my baby's popular," I couldn't help but think. Kimora seemed happy to see her little buddies, but that didn't quite override her desire to cling tightly to my leg. The teachers said that today she cried about a half our after I left.
23- I don't remember much distinct about this day....much the same as the last day, I think.
25- This day the teachers gave me a report saying that they are very impressed with Kimora's knowledge of numbers and the alphabet. Apparently they had no idea of Kimora's capabilities because she hadn't said much to them until today. They were also teaching the class numbers 1-10 in Spanish, and Kimora corrected them on their pronounciation. LOL! I can just see her doing that. "No, not 'trace'...it's 'tres!'" You know, with the tongue-rolling "r" and no dipthong on the vowel ;).
30- Kimora's teacher's rave reviews on her academic abilities seemed to coincide with Kimora's excitement about learning at school. Today she took me by her desk to show me (once again!) her nametag where she "sits and does her homeworks." How adorable is that??!!
2- Today was the day that Kimora hit the only-crying-for-fifteen-minutes-after-mommy-leaves benchmark. She also came home from school excited about their upcoming fieldtrip to the pumpkin patch. She also begins talking to me about specific friends by name: Amani, Kaneisha, and Isaiah.
7- Kimora continues to spend a lot of time at the art station. It never fails, there's always at least one picture of she and I together...everyday. Her teachers say that Kimora is always saying "My Mommy...." this and "My Mommy...." that. "My Mommy is coming to get me after snack." "My Mommy's favorite color is pink." They ask her, "What's YOUR favorite color, Kimora?" She says, "I like ALL the colors, but my Mommy....."
9- And...this was yesterday. It was another typically tearful goodbye, but she calmed down very shortly after I left. I'm so proud of her! Her teachers continue to be floored by her literary abilities. She did her little, "Cap. C-A-P spells Cap" thing today while writing the letters as she spells. Yes, my little 3.5 year-old...that floors us all!
So there you go! Kimora preschool update! She's come leaps and bounds if you ask me. It still is difficult to leave her as she's tearful, but I find relief in the fact that she's no longer sad the whole morning. This coming Tuesday is the field trip to the pumpkin patch, and I'm going with! :)
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Some update topics coming up:
-Kimora's Preschool Progress
-Out of the mouth of Kariah
-Kajanae- What's new with the baby!
-Our new home
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I thought this was immensely cute and decided to make one of what our family will look like come November. I haven't been on my computer other than to occasionally check emails and inbox messages, and I'm sorry for my regular readers who are probably feeling neglected. My blog hiatus should be over soon (possibly even today if I can carve out some time later after Kimora, Kariah, and Kajanae are asleep). I have so much to share!
Monday, September 8, 2008
I was puzzled. Kimora had been SOOO excited to attend preschool in the months leading up to her first day. We talked excitedly together about the friends she would make and the fascinating stuff that she would learn! We talked about how Mommy would drop her off at school and come back home, and then come back to pick her up later. She mused about taking Karmello with her to preschool when he comes to live with us. We even went by to visit the school and have orientation; her little face lit up when she saw her classroom and was so happy to see "Kimora" on one of the nametags on the table. However, last Tuesday, the tables turned. When it came time for me to leave, she WOULD NOT let me put her down!! I stayed for a little while, talking quietly to her and pointing out the other children playing around the room. I reminded her that I'd be back before lunch to pick her up. Kimora still not convinced, I went over to the dress-up station with her and helped her put on a fairy costume I knew she'd like. I put on one of the hats and got a giggle out of her. One of her teachers came over, and I could tell she was hinting that it was high time for me to leave. Oh great, I thought. I guess I'm the proverbial overbearingly protective mother. I introduced Kimora to one of the other little girls playing dress-up, and told Kimora that she can play with (little girl's name) because Mommy has to leave, will be back, blah blah blah, I love you, *kisses*....and then began the waterworks. The teachers swooped in to try and distract her, but I know my Kimora....she won't have the wool pulled over HER eyes!!
I came to pick her up, then, before lunch. The teachers gave me a report saying that she didn't really say anything all morning, cried aloud for about an hour after I left, and then cried silently in the corner for another hour and a half. :-( I suppose some of the time she was crying was also spent at the table when they were doing their academic activities. They said that after she finished crying, she walked over to the art station and drew pictures until snack. Hearing this was unimaginably difficult. I felt so bad for my poor, poor little Kimora Pie. I felt bad that I couldn't make the transition smoother for her.
When she saw me, she was almost done with her snack and came running, barreling actually, toward me, knocking her chair over in the process. I was so happy to be reunited with Kimora; I had missed her so much that day, but I was really sad for her that she had such a rough time. :-( Before driving home I admired the pictures that she had drawn. I asked her if she played dress-up a lot, and she said she hadn't. I didn't bother asking her if she liked school; I knew the answer to that one.
Since the 3-year-olds in this program go two days a week, her next school day was Thursday. Tuesday repeat. Enough said. I'll spare you the details.
Tomorrow is Tuesday again. I'm dreading it. I hate seeing my baby cry, crying out for me, her mommy. I taught her a song this weekend that has the lyrics, "My mommy comes back, she always comes back, she never will forget me!!" I told Kimora she could sing that to herself if she gets sad at school. I also gave her a miniature family photo of us to put in her pocket so she can find comfort in looking at us. I hope these little "diddies" help ease her separation anxiety. I'll let you know....For now, Kajanae calls; she's hungry.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Lord willing, this November we will welcome TWO new K's into our family:
Karmello and Kaydence are biological half-siblings; they have the same biological mother; their father's identities are unknown. Karmello is 3; his birthday is in February, so he's one month older than Kimora. Kaydence just turned 1 last week. She's just about exactly one year younger than Kariah and five months older than Kajanae. We are BEYOND excited to welcome these little people into our home. I know people roll their eyes when celebrities say they are "over the moon," but I truly feel over the moon right now as the legalities are finalized, there's an end in sight to this whole process, and our family will soon be together. While my own impatience and rousing anticipation are very real to me, viewing this adoption from an outsider's perspective, this has gone amazingly quickly for several reasons:
1) We're adopting from foster care
2) We're adopting toddlers, not infants
3) Karmello and Kaydence are non-white; their mother is Puerto Rican, and by appearances, we believe their fathers to be black (we'll never be sure, though, as appearance aren't reliable in themselves)
4) Their social workers wanted to keep them together as a brother-sister pair, which also made them less "desirable" for many families
5) Both were substance-exposed prenatally and born prematurely
We've met several times already with these amazing little people, and when I first saw them, I felt instantly that they were MINE. Kaydence crawled up to me and reached her little arms up at me, wanting to be picked up...it felt almost as if we had met before. You know, that inexplicable feeling when you instantly connect with someone? I recall a similar feeling when I first met Jamal. Karmello was a little bit more inhibited, but he and Kimora hit it off right away; Kimora says that when she begins preschool next week that she wants to take Karmello with her. I keep telling her that he won't live with us until a few months later, but she insists on taking him to show him off!!
This update has been a long time in coming, and I apologize to those of you who had to wait so long to hear the details. This has just been an understandably busy time in our family as we move to a new home, prepare our girls for change, prepare to welcome Karmello and Kaydence, deal with the legalities of the adoption, prepare to send Kimora to preschool for the first time, and sell our old home. To those of you who have known about our decision to adopt Karmello and Kaydence for practically as long as we have and have supported us through it all, thank you so much for your continuous love and support. Karmello and Kaydence will be blessed to have you in their lives as Jamal, Kimora, Kariah, Kajanae and I have been blessed. And thanks babe for being my lover, my best friend, and my partner in crime through this whole adventure.
Signing off for now,
Karmello, Kimora, Kariah, Kaydence, and Kajanae's Mommy....aka Kx5
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
1) Peace of mind
2) Peace of heart
3) Peace of soul
Plant four rows of squash:
1) Squash indifference
2) Squash selfishness
3) Squash grumbling
4) Squash gossip
Plant four rows of lettuce:
1) Lettuce be faithful
2) Lettuce be kind
3) Lettuce be patient
4) Lettuce really love one another
No garden is without turnips:
1) Turnip for meetings
2) Turnip for service
3) Turnip to help one another
Maintenance requires thyme:
1) Thyme for each other
2) Thyme for family
3) Thyme for God
Water freely with patience and cultivate with love!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
None other than the rhyming genius and engineer of a reality of strange shaped objects and obscure characters himself! This was a far cry from the Princess Tea Party that I threw for Kimora’s third birthday last March, but Kariah’s request made me appreciate the unique individuality of each of my precious children for probably the one millionth time this year! Speaking of a rhyming genius, Ciahnna found that she could make Dr. Seuss’ rhymes sound like raps if she read them in just the right way. In her words, they were still a little “dopey sounding” and a bit “wack”, but her performance was quite entertaining to us nonetheless, particularly to the birthday girl and the younger party guests! While Ciahnna was showing off her rapping skills, Acaijah was dressed up as the Cat in the Hat, which was also a party hit, as you can imagine. We had a photo area set up where the kids could get their picture taken with the Cat in front of a Dr. Seussy-looking background (you know, we drew some Whos and a makeshift Whoville with those buildings and stairs that would be impossible to actually construct three-dimensionally!).
Everything from the invitations to the food to the games to the craft fell in line with the Dr. Seuss theme. We played a partnered relay that we called “Thing 1 and Thing 2 Relay” and also pin the tail on the elephant (the elephant from Horton Hears a Who). We had a station set up where kids could go fishing for paper fish with paper clips on them that they caught using fishing rods with magnets on the ends (from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish). Our dining room was decked out with a banner that read, “Kariah I Am” instead of “Sam I Am”. “Kariah I Am” doesn’t rhyme, of course…but we thought it was cute anyway! Kimora and Kariah had their hair fixed like Cindy Loo Who for the party, which was absolutely adorable. For the craft, the children (and some adults ;) ) made crazy hats with party hats, feathers, sequins, etc., reminiscent of The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.
Of course, the food had to honor the chosen theme, too! We had little sandwiches cut in the shapes of letters for Dr. Seuss' ABCs. The highlight of lunch was the green eggs and ham! However, the ham was actually tofu ham, but the kids didn’t know the difference…they were too enthralled with the green color!! We polished off lunch with a cake that looked like the cake on a rake in The Cat in the Hat.
We stated on the invitations that gifts aren’t necessary but that we would appreciate a donation to help buy books for the Atlanta Children's Shelter "Read to Me" program. Many people made donations AND bought Kariah gifts, which wasn’t the idea!!!! But thank you all for coming and for your generosity. Your presence and your children’s presence at Kariah’s birthday party is what made the event a celebration! Special thanks to all of you who helped me pull off this special party for Kariah (*ahem, ahem* mom, Jamal, sissies, and Miss Kimora *wink, wink*). The day was an absolute HIT with the adults, the children, and most importantly, the birthday girl herself.
Happy Birthday Kariah Chanel, and many more!!! Perhaps Dr. Seuss said it best with, "Oh, the places you'll go!" Love you big much - Mommy
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Kariah,
Happy Birthday to you!
That's all for now; I'm off to spend more time with my birthday girl! I know it's been a while since I've posted (like, a seriously long, long, time!), but we've been very busy with recent developments. More to come....about Kariah's birthday and other updates..soon, I promise! :)
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I felt like I had seen the world, and more importantly, impacted it. In my mind, there was nothing I couldn't do. The world was at my fingertips, brimming with unknown possibilities...
Yet. What degree was I so diligently pursuing at this great university? A Masters degree in Education. Despite my performance talents, I felt God tugging me in a different direction, a different venue through which to impact the world- teaching children.
I had a job offer right away, so I was able to jump into teaching the subsequent year after graduation. I taught for a year and loved it. But God filled my womb with an unexpected miracle: Kimora. So, unable to commit my time and energy to teaching when I needed to dedicate my time energy to my baby, I became a stay at home mommy.
Fast forward 17 months.
*bam* Kariah enters the picture…this time a planned miracle.
Fast forward 17 months.
*bam* Kajanae enters the picture…she was also a planned miracle.
Fast forward 6 months.
*bam*….and we’re beginning the process of adding to our family for the fourth time, this time through adoption.
I will raise these children to the best of my ability…love them..cherish them. But, then when they’re all in school, I’ll pick up where I left off. Pursuing my dreams. Because really, this whole stay-at-home mommy thing is just a season. Nothing more, right?
Funny how my sphere of influence has drastically shrunk from thousands to four: Jamal. Kimora. Kariah. Kajanae.
As my world continues to function on a “smaller” scale, our hearts continue to grow for the "small" things that God has set before us. Because as we now prepare to bring our fourth Little Person into our family, I realize that my dreams have changed.
Maybe some would say that it's been a decrease in vision...a waste in talent....But I'd say it's become a more fine-tuned hope that Yes, there is most definitely something around the corner. Something bigger than I ever thought about before...
My children's unfolding destinies.
...their knowledge of a Kingdom and Creator yet unseen..their solid confidence that will continue to build them up when the world tears them down...their ability to truly love because they were loved.
While I have felt called to be a teacher, I now wonder about my interpretation of that vocation.
My interpretation was by the world's standards: A classroom...students...success. God would get the glory. I'd get the paycheck. Perfect. Thanks God.
But now I have to wonder as *revelation* hits my heart. I may very well be called in this season of my life to be my children’s teacher.
TD Jakes writes this of his sons, "...I know that they are manuscripts yet to be written and songs waiting to be sung. To the world I say get ready for them. They are being printed at this very moment and soon to be published. They will be well worth reading."
I know this is the case for my own little ones, as well.
I haven’t by any means forfeited the idea of teaching in a classroom again when my kids are older, which is what I still at this point intend to do...I just want to remain always open and ever-discerning of God’s will in my life...during EVERY season. This is the mindset I want to have, considering my life has so far been surprises galore. ;)