7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 41)

July 10, 2009 | 31 comments

* Kidsave edition! *

WHAT a WEEK. I have so much to say I don’t even know where to begin. Things have been so intense over here (in a good way) that if I just had the time I could probably write about three posts a day about what God is revealing to me through Rita’s presence in our house. Since, unfortunately, my time is very limited, here are some quick thoughts about our experiences so far…

— 1 —

Some of you have left wonderfully kind comments saying that I must be some kind of supermom to host a Kidsave child when I have so many little ones already. After I picked myself up off the floor from the shock of someone perceiving me as one of those moms who has it all together (my real-life friends just laughed out loud at that one), I felt like I should remind everyone that I have a lot of help:

As I said in this post, we’ve worked hard to set up our lives so that we have an extensive support network. My mom lives less than two miles away and is here almost every day; my mother-in-law comes for a week every couple of months, and during those times I don’t have to lift a finger in terms of house work; we have a friend from church as a regular babysitter who helps me out in the mornings two or three days a week; we have wonderful friends who are always ready to lend a hand in a pinch; and my husband is extremely supportive and helpful around the house.

So please don’t perceive me as some superwoman! Without all these wonderful people in my life, it would very difficult for me to take on something like this in this phase of life.

— 2 —

Some things I found interesting about our local Kidave group:

  • All of the other families have two parents working; we are the only family with an at-home parent.
  • One is a single parent.
  • Two of the host families are people who adopted through Kidsave in previous years and had such good experiences that they’re now hosting.
  • The families are all getting to know each other well since we’re all at the same weekend activities, help each other out with events during the week, etc. Having these new friends has been an unexpected bonus!
  • These kids are so great. I knew that Kidsave tends to look for kids who are generally well behaved and well adjusted, but they’ve surpassed my expectations. These are some of the most friendly, gregarious, polite children I’ve ever encountered.
— 3 —

One of the more interesting developments has been that the children’s chaperone, a psychologist/social worker from Colombia, has been staying with us a lot. (I’ll call her “Maria” here on the blog.) Typically the chaperone stays with each family for one week, but since I’m the only at-home parent in our Kidsave community, she’s been spending a lot of time at our house during the days as well.

As I said on Twitter, if the homestudy was an exercise in humility, having a social worker living with us has been a Ph.D. course. Although I admit that the fact that not only has she not contacted the local authorities but even seems to enjoy our company has given me some confidence in the parenting department.

One of the most pleasant surprises of the Kidsave experience is how well I get along with Maria. She’s about my age and is a ton of fun, and we’ve become good friends. I expect that we’ll keep in touch long after she returns to Colombia.

— 4 —

Wednesday I had a taste of the community life I’ve always longed for, and it was just as great as I thought it would be. Maria (the chaperone) spend hours in the kitchen cooking up a Colombian feast to have for dinner, while Rita, our babysitter friend and I all helped out as the kids ran around underfoot. There were eight people in the house all chatting and laughing, and the smells of rich Colombian food mingled in the air with the sound of a Gipsy Kings album playing on my laptop.

Carne Guisado simmering on the stove

Fried plantains, tomatoes with onions, and Spanish-style deviled eggs using red wine vinegar instead of mayonnaise

Grilled corn (from this weekend)

— 5 —

I mentioned back here that I’ve heard that it’s a good idea to set a book aside for a while after you finish it; the goal is to forget about it as much as possible so that when you revise it a final time you’ll have a fresh set of eyes. It’s funny that I was worried about being able to do that. I finished the first draft right after the baby was born and right before Rita arrived, and ever since then I have been so focused on other things that I almost never think about it. In fact, someone asked me how the book was going last week, and my first reaction was, “What book?” For a moment I seriously had no idea what she was talking about. Mission accomplished.

— 6 —

Yesterday I was going to drop Rita off to hang out at another host family’s house with some of the other girls from Kidsave, and as an afterthought I grabbed a few extra party favors I had leftover from the baby’s baptism (provided by her very generous godparents). They were little packages containing a children’s picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and an inexpensive but pretty rosary. When I got there and started handing them out, I felt like Oprah in that episode where she gave away the cars — they were all so thrilled, bombarding me with big hugs and kisses on the cheek. I was blown away by how excited and grateful they were.

— 7 —

As I said above, this past week has been one of the most intense weeks of my life, and not just because of all the running around we’ve been doing; I have been challenged spiritually as much as I have been physically. Hosting a Kidsave child has been harder than I thought it would be, but it’s also been better than I thought it would be. There’s a lot going on around here right now. Please keep us in your prayers.

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Venite
2. Genny @ MyCup2Yours
3. Lindsay
4. Kathryn @ The Bookworm
5. Blair’s Blessings
6. Missus Wookie
7. Trena @ The Third Prayer
8. Kathreja @ Vocation Quest
9. Debbie
10. Katherine @ The Domestic Church
11. Pharmgirl @ Adventures in Pharm Land
12. Laura
13. Erin@Seven Little Australians Plus One
14. It Feels Like Chaos (wrong link before)
15. Gill-Life of a Photographer
16. Kristyn at The Hall Cottage
17. Linda-One Voice
18. Elena
19. Erin @ Coming Out Catholic
20. Peony Moss
21. Nadja
22. Happy Geek
23. Steph @ My Country Haven
24. Megan@Blueberry Scones
25. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
26. violingirl
27. Janet in Toronto
28. Mary@HopeEchoes
29. :Lenae
30. MamaT @ The Summa Mamas
31. Elena @My Domestic church
32. Brandilicious
33. Kacie @ PapuaGirl inDallas
34. Roxane @ Peace Garden Mama
35. Amanda @ The Mom Job
36. Lisa @ The Berry Patch
37. Joy @ joy in the morining
38. Deanna@Notlukewarm
39. Em @ Gratitude. Simplicity. Frugality.
40. mom.huebert
41. Virginia Mom
42. Rebecca@still nameless blog
43. Christine@Good Company
44. Sing Me the Old Songs
45. Theresa @ Off Topic
46. Enbrethiliel
47. Pam at BeyondJustMom
48. Amanda
49. NCSue
50. Dawn @ Sufficient for Today
51. majellamom
52. Sarah Reinhard
53. Emily
54. Elise@Anything Goes
55. Jen @ The Short Years
56. Colleen
57. Tami @ The Next Step
58. Mozi Esme
59. sarah@ fumbling toward grace
60. Carly at the Tree
61. Kathy @ The Political Housewyf
62. Monnie @ Fashioning a Fabric
63. Manda @ inside dog
64. Lindsey
65. Mindy
66. Dymphna
67. Emerging Mummy

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  1. It Feels Like Chaos

    I love hearing your Kidsave experiences! I do work locally with kids in state custody for abuse, but I feel compelled to reach out to kids internationally as well. We have considered adopting, but are still praying about where God wants us to go with it, especially considering we already have 3 young kids. By the way, those plantains looked amazing!

  2. Genny

    Sending prayers your way. You've had quite a week! I think what you are doing is great.

  3. Lindsay

    That food looks delicious…and reminds me of when we hosted a lady from Ecuador when I was a kid.

  4. Laura

    It sounds like a wonderful experience and just because you care so much about how Rita is doing, I am sure you are giving her all that she needs. I will pray for you all.
    God Bless.

  5. Starrball

    I long to experience that sort of community life too. I love big get togethers.

    I linked up.

  6. Elena

    Jen, Thanks again. By the way, ever since you began writing about Kidsave, I have wanted to do the same. Unfortunately, I don't know of any such program in rural Ontario.

  7. Peony Moss

    The rosaries are adorable! What a great thought.

  8. Rachel Gray

    Thanks so much for posting about the Kidsave experience! I hope at some point you'll have time to share all those intense things you've been learning. 🙂

    When I was Protestant, the praying-to-Mary thing horrified me and I wouldn't have been thrilled if any kid of mine had been given a pretty Rosary promoting just that. Just a heads up in case any of the other Kidsave parents happen to feel that way. These days, I'd love those party favors. 🙂

  9. bearing

    Recipe for the deviled eggs please.

  10. Jennifer @ Conversion Diary

    Thanks for all the comments!

    Rachel –

    The praying-to-Mary thing horrified me and I wouldn't have been thrilled if any kid of mine had been given a pretty Rosary promoting just that.

    That reminds me of another interesting point I noticed about our local Kidsave group: even though Kidsave is a secular organization with no religious affiliation, it happens that all of the host families here are either Catholic or Orthodox. Also, I'm pretty sure all the kids are Catholic too, although the package did include a little booklet that explained the rosary and I think it addressed the misconceptions about praying "to" Mary. Thanks for the heads up though!

    Bearing –

    I'm not sure, but I think she just mashed up the egg yolks with a little salt and red wine vinegar. I'll check.

    Have a great day, all!

  11. monica_divineoffice.org

    I believe is great that things are so intense around you these days. You are getting richer every day, you have more love, more friends, many new experiences. Keep it up and share with us.

    Pray with us!

  12. MamaT

    Oh, it sounds so fun! What a wonderful thing you are doing!

    I will ask the dear Lord to bless you more and more in this endeavor!!!

    (And now I've run out of exclamation points…..)

  13. Kelly @ Love Well

    I'm so glad to hear things are going well! It's a strange thing about the blog world, that you can consider people friends even though you've never met. (It helps when you are connected by the same Spirit, too.) So I've been thinking about you this week, and each time, lifting you to God.

    I'll keep praying that His peace and His wisdom will sustain you, and that His blessings will overflow your cup.

  14. Tres Angelas

    Those baptismal party favors are charming. Can they be ordered online? Our due date is November 20th, and according to last Monday's ultrasound it's a girl!

    (That means, by the way, that I will be outnumbered six females to one dude — my wife, 3 daughters, Mavis the saintly beagle-mix, and Lola the demon-possessed Chihuahua.)

    Mi marida es Mexicana, y fuimos (toda la familia) a la Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe el año pasado para venerar a Nuestra Señora. ¡Qué bendición!

  15. Trena

    I'm glad the week went well for your family. It sounds like you were a very nice host family to Rita.

  16. Amanda

    I'm sorry, but I think I just salivated all over your blog.


  17. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jennifer, guilty as charged of being in awe of you but I know well, as a mother of five, that the person appears to be "doing it all" either has major help or has had to surrender in certain areas of her life. I would fall more into the latter of those two, and that's okay, too. I'll take my life where it is. That said, you are indeed blessed by your wonderful support, and I'm truly happy for you. As for the book thing and the memory laps, hurray! That's definitely an essential step. The same thing has happened to me, but I'll be spending a week on retreat doing revision, and I have a feeling it will all come back very quickly. I'm looking forward to returning to that special place without distraction. Also looking forward to maybe meeting you in September. Have a wonderful weekend!

  18. Anonymous

    Sounds awesome. I'm so happy for you. Kidsave doesn't seem to be in the Chicago area. Does anyone know of a similar program here in the midwest. Thanks!


  19. Rebecca

    well i for one think you are amazing for hosting Rita, especially with such little ones. I couldn't (at least not at this point in my life).

    Also, mmmm yum that food looks so good.

  20. Anne Marie

    So glad things are going so well with Rita and the extended Kidsave family. Your description of the goings on remind me of how much I RECEIVE as the adoptive parent of an older child.

    Many tend to look on and comment with great fanfare about what a great thing we’ve done by adopting an older child, but my experience is exactly the opposite. What a great gift we’ve been given, what great blessings God has bestowed upon us.

    This Kidsave edition reflects so clearly the promises in St. Luke’s gospel. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

    Any nibbles on finding Rita a forever family?

  21. Theresa

    I'm glad you've still been able to post just a little in spite of all the busy-ness (of a good kind). Maybe you're better at time management than you think? 🙂

  22. Dawn Farias

    That point about community sounds lovely. Thank you for hosting! Enjoy your weekend.


    7 Quick Takes Friday – Contentment

  23. NC Sue

    I think I have to be losing it. From one week to the next, I forget how to do "7 Quick Takes" easily & right. Isn't there a way to get the "7 Quick Takes" link back to Conversion Diary to show on my blog in a somewhat one-step fashion?


  24. Pharmgirl

    #7: I will definitely pray for you! You're doing such a great thing by hosting Rita!

  25. Kathy

    On #2, I was surprised at our adoption group in China. Everyone except us was two-income families. All those little girls, so uprooted, going around the world to… daycare. Ironically, the same agency required domestic adoptive parents to have one parent staying home with the new adoptee for at least the first six months.

    It's becoming so odd to have a stay at home mom…

  26. Manda

    Just made it in under the wire (I'm on PST time!) … have had these tossing around in my head all week and I needed to tie them up!
    That grilled corn looks AMAZING!

  27. Mindyleigh

    Hi there! Yummy. Roasted corn! Everybody else has said what I think so I'm just going to pray now. 🙂 God bless you and your beautiful family.

  28. Dymphna

    I just *love* the idea of the baptismal party favors! What a way to evangelize!

  29. aquinasadmirer

    If you find out where those party favors came from, please post it. They're really cute.


  30. Maurice Band

    Yet another interesting post, I appreciate it. I have looked over your earlier posts around here and I you’ve got some nice content. Good show.


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