Monday, December 12, 2011

Setting Some Goals

A couple of days ago, I wrote in my family blog about some goals I had written out for myself for 2012, for the next five years, and some lifetime goals. I just shared a handful there that I knew I would post about on that blog as I reached them, and so I figured I would share a couple here that were adoption/Rwanda focused.

So, of course I have "adopt again" on there, but it is on my five year list, not my list for 2012...sigh.

I also have on my five year list that I would like to travel back to Rwanda twice (I've been 3 times since the spring of 2008), taking at least one of the kiddos (most likely Adele) with me on one of the trips. And a life goal of taking all of the kids there.

The one that I really wanted to share here though, is my lifetime goal of being fluent in kinyarwanda. This is actually really important to me as I have felt the power of being able to know words in this amazing language and also to be able to share them with my son. It provides a connection to Nate's roots in a way that few things can. I just think that anyone who adopts internationally should know at least some of the language their child was born into. And I have to say, you can just tell when you are in-country how much the people enjoy your efforts to speak their language. While I was there this summer, there was a guy that would cook for us at the townhouse we stayed in and every morning I would come into the kitchen to fill my water glass and our conversation would go something like this...

Me: Mwaramutse. (Good morning.)
Stratone: Mwaramutse.
Me: Amakuru? (How are you?)
Stratone: Ni meza. (I'm fine.) Amakuru?
Me: Ni meza.
We would then just stare at each other and I would say...that's all I got!...and we would both burst out laughing. I LOVED those mornings.

Anyway, so I broke that goal down into a five year goal of being able to hold a conversation in kinyarwanda and a goal for 2012 of learning 100 words/phrases in kinyarwanda.

Here's how I plan on doing it:

I've made a list of what I already know.

On my first trip I walked away knowing these:
1. Hello: Muraho! (pro-nounced MooRahHoh)
2. How are you: Amakuru? (AhMahKooRoo)
3. Thank you: Murakoze (MooRahKohZay)
4. White person/foreigner: Muzungu (MooZoonGoo)
5. White people: Abazungu (AhBahZoonGoo)
6. Hope: Kwizera (KweeZerAh)

Trip 2:
7. Mom: Mama (yeah for easy ones!)
8. Dad: Data (DahTah)

Chantal's visit here:
9. I love you: Ndagukunda (NDahGooKoonDah) LEARN HOW TO SAY THIS IN THE LANGUAGE OF YOUR CHILD'S COUNTRY AND SAY IT TO HIM/HER EVERY DAY!!!!!!!

Trip 3:
10. God: Imana (EeMahNah)
11. Milk: Amata (AhMahTah)
12. My name is: Nitwa (NeeTwah) UPDATE: to clarify (in case you get confused like my mom), nitwa means "my name is", not my name is Nitwa...hahahaha...at least she tries. Love you Mom!
13. Goodbye: Murabeho (MooRahBayHo)
14. I'm fine: Ni meza (Nee MayZa)
15. Good morning: Mwaramutse (MwahRahMootZay)

Since I have always kinda wanted to do this, while on this last trip I bought myself a phrase book, dictionary, and bible in kinyarwanda to help me along. I have also found a list online that has been really helpful with pronunciation on this blog and also coughed up a bit of cash for these lessons that you can download here.

My hope is to share each month what I have learned and to also try and introduce as much of what I'm learning at home so that everyone is learning along with me. I assure you that they all know what "ndagukunda" means, even if they have trouble saying it. And you should also know that one of my favorite moments of the day is when Nate and I say good night to each other and that sweet little voice says "ndagukunda" to me...

So, care to join along with me? I dare you!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Better Late Than Never!

So, I went to Rwanda this summer...remember? And I never posted any pictures...remember? Well, I finally have them organized on my computer, so here FINALLY are some pics for your enjoyment!! (Brace yourself, I'm posting a bunch!)

Our amazing hosts the Mbandas...aka Nate's other grandparents = )


The preschool we visited (mentioned towards the end of this post).




Sonrise boarding school (also mentioned at the end of that post)






The Mbandas' church and the work they do.





Compassion International





The land





The people




and our beloved New Hope Homes













Oh my...how I love this place.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A New Little Friend!

So it has been a bit since I have posted on this blog. I guess that there just hasn't been anything to post...a painful nothing. No word on Rwanda's reopening and so many families that got in before the close that are still waiting for their children. Truth is that there are a lot of questions in my heart as to whether this is ever going to happen and I ache. Deeply.

Some days I don't think about it at all or at least my emotions and faith seem to be all peaceful. Other days I hurt so much that I feel as though I have experienced a great loss...even though it is something I have never had. And then there are days like today, bittersweet, hopeful and full of longing...

You may remember when I was in Rwanda, that I posted about one of the guys on our trip and our going to the ministry together where he found out that his family had been approved to adopt. Well, today is the day that I headed for the airport, my mom, Adele, and Nate in tow, and welcomed home their new son, David.


It's been a crazy few weeks for them and as I followed their blog my emotions have been all over the place. There is this club you join when you adopt, a smaller one when it is international, and an itty bitty one when it is from Rwanda. And as members we understand one another in a way that no one else does.


It was a sweet thing to be able to welcome them home. And it is even sweeter to know that there is another little Rwandese boy here. A little man that looks more like my son than any of us do. I hope we can help them foster a sweet little friendship. Two little four year olds with more in common than a love of cars. It's what we wish we had for him in our home, but for now...

Welcome home little David!