It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter Hosting Day 19

Road Trip to Michigan
Day 3

Our friend, Heidie, did a small family photo shoot in her living room for us! Please oohh and ahh over the wall her husband just finished for her. :) 

So many good ones but I know you don't want to see their faces blacked out. Soon enough we will be able to share! 

Dr. Eric donated the girls dental work. It was so funny because we have been hanging out at their house for days...we get to the office and all the girls, not just N1 and N2 were so shy. Nan kept saying, so Eric works here? I was like, "ummm, it is his dental practice. He is a dentist. He was your dentist. You know this." I think she was just excited about the free snacks in the waiting room. :) 

The girls had seen Dr. Eric this past summer so there were no major surprises. They did great and were excited about their new toothbrushes and toothpaste. Later the girls would share with us that there is often not enough toothpaste at their orphanage so they sometimes go without for months. We made sure to send back several extra tubes for them to share. Hopefully they are all using them! 

After this we didn't take many pictures because Nadia the weather was terrible and it took us several extra hours to get home. We made it home safely and exhausted...well, Michael and I were. The girls were thrilled they had just got to sit around watching movies for several hours.

Want to talk about parenting failures? You know how I just shared that we were exhausted so we should have just gone to bed.  Instead, we try to have a conversation. Well, the next day was Christmas Eve...AGAIN. This is how tricky being a multicultural family can be. They girls expected to celebrate what is traditionally Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in their country (1/6 and 1/7  in our country). They had invited our Russian friends over to celebrate with us. Every time we asked them about it, N2 would do her signature more: shrugging her shoulders and saying, "I don't know." (Seriously, she can pretty much say that without any hint of an accent she does it so often.) It was the night before and I needed to take food out of the freezer to defrost for the meal so we pushed a little harder to get an answer. There was a complete emotional shut down. (yes, we are going into this exhausted and at bedtime). I show them traditional Christmas Eve menus, which I have researched previously. There are 12 meatless dishes that are served. (I know our girls...and they don't like pretty much anything on this list.) They point to 10 to make. Remember how I said bad weather? I really don't want to try and track down all these ingredients in this weather. Plus one of the dishes, the most traditional one takes 2 days to make and involves sitting overnight. When I asked them about it earlier, they weren't interested. Tonight it was a deal breaker and tears ensued when I said, I couldn't make it because we didn't have some of the ingredients.  Pretty much I give up. Michael keeps trying to coax something out of them because it is obviously somewhat important to them....finally I translate to them. "Are you from (insert country name)?" They look at me like I am crazy and say, "Yes". I say, "I am not from (insert country name). I do not know how Christmas looks in (insert country name). I shared our traditions with you. You need to share your traditions with me." It was like a lightbulb moment! They even laughed and said, "YOU NOT from (insert country name!) They finally understood that I did not have any idea what they expected. We talked about expectations and again reiterated, "Talk to us. Use your words." We all hugged and worked out a plan to try one recipe in the morning. This is going to be a process: training someone to share their feelings after an entire lifetime of keeping it to yourself. 

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