In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Attracting Attention and Circus Budgets

 We have had a fun on-the-go weekend. On Friday, the boys and I, along with the new neighbors, headed to Amish country. One of our stops was the play-ground crafter, as our plan for the last two years has been to purchase a new swing-set this spring. Now that spring is upon us, I'm agonizing about all the necessary purchases and it's rather painful to sink that much into a swing-set (especially since Elijah has his heart set on one with a tree-house and a swinging bridge)!  I left without an order in, so I'll be going back...unless I can find something on Craigslist in the meantime. We got home in time to get everyone ready and head to our home group that meets every other Friday - the kids love going. Although it was rather late when we left, we had Krispy Kreme coupons that were expiring, so we headed over for some free donuts.

We were sitting in Krispy Kreme, licking chocolate off our fingers, when the Girl Scout troop shown behind us approached us. I recognized one of the little girls from Tori's class. She was telling the leaders that we were Tori's family. The leaders, thinking she may be confused, approached us with the whole troop, to ask us lots of questions. Apparently, people don't naturally assume when they see us that we are just a family. It ended with the lady saying, "I can't wait to get in the car and call my mother!" Since we had a whole crowd gathered for a while, I asked Alyssa on the way out if she minded that much attention. She is pretty going and said, "I'm getting kind of used to it." Overall, my teens have not enjoyed the attention and questions we get in public, but that is pretty typical of teens in general I think.

 Anyone else have a whole row of pink car-seats in the van? Here are three of our five!

Saturday we headed to the small circus that set up by us. It was a bit of a disappointment to the older children that remember the circus that we went to about five years ago in the same spot - it was a three ring while this was only a one. It was great, however, for the kids that had never attended a circus at all.

Elijah was beyond excited and had been counting down the days for the last few weeks.

Moriah pointed out that this sign appears differently without the ZE visible.

The contrast of Selah and Bella's life now compared to the orphanage in Ethiopia is mind boggling. To think of all the other children like them sitting there day after day, without a family, and without any of the fun that a family offers, is heart-breaking. They are so excited about every activity that we do and it seems to me that we have crammed a lot in since they came home in November.

This is how we started out sitting, with JD sitting on the end where the camera bag is. Once the lights dimmed, a mom came in and sat behind Selah and I with her two little girls and big bag of pop-corn. It took me a few minutes before I realized that Selah was helping herself to their pop-corn. The girls were being sweet and sharing, but I corrected Selah, who obviously has to learn that she can't dig in to any one's food anytime. Once I told her no, she started pouting. After a bit, we moved her down to the other end by JD, which worked well until a couple sat behind her with cotton candy. Apparently, she was showing them a pitiful look, because they asked JD if they could share with her. We told them thank you, but no, because we had to teach her about eating other's food. Understandably, telling people that seems to confuse them, but it's hard to lauch into a speel about international adoption and attachment parenting during a circus.

Which brings me to my topic of circus budgets and any other entertainment of it's sort. Although we have a large family, we try to affordably take the kids to events that wouldn't be such a big deal to a smaller family. Watching people at the circus, however, made me able to consider how we do it. We watched almost everyone around us pay $8 for pop-corn and $6 for snow-cones. On top of the $20 plush zebras and $10 blow-up plastic animals (that they carry at the dollar store), I realized that we probably actually spent less going to the circus that most of the four member families that were around us.

Because we have always done it that way, my children do not expect the food or prizes that are offered at these events. We often leave the event and get donuts or ice-cream, but we don't ever pay the inflated prices at the event. We did season passes to amusement parks several years in a row and never ate in the park. We packed a lunch in a cooler and then ate at Wendy's at night after leaving. This simple habit has allowed us to do a lot of things that would not be affordable otherwise. Besides, when the kids talk about the circus six months from now, it will be that actual event, not the long-eaten treat or the long-broken toy.

1 comment:

  1. My teens never liked the attention either.
    It is unfathomable to us, the kind of money people spend on their kids! Not just the circus, but clothes, eating out, etc. My kids have only had 2 happy meals in the past 15 months. They don't feel "lacking", they are excited, and it is a real treat when we DO get something like that.
    DH's company puts on a big carnival type thing every year for employee families only. Catered meal, all the carnival games are free, free snacks all day...my kids love it---we love it!, and are so thankful for it.