The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


This March is the one year anniversary since Mary and Wokelle arrived from Liberia, Africa. I can hardly imagine our family without them now. The other kids will be telling family stories and can not believe that they weren't here yet -- they are so much a part of us now.

Racing to Chicago to pick them up after spending months working out paperwork issues and waiting was quite an adventure. They were supposed to arrive a couple of days earlier. I had stood up in church excited to tell everyone that my children were coming home. That Sunday evening I went back to church in tears to say that an airport official had pulled all the children and their escorts off the plane and wouldn't allow them to leave. A few days and frantic paperwork later, they were off the ground. However, we were close to Easter and Chicago was as close as they could get them. We took the 5 hour drive to meet our children for the first time.

The first morning home I was really worried about Wokelle. He had a huge belly and not much else. He was unable to stand for long. We figured he was traumatized and dehydrated. We fed and loved and he came along just fine.

Mary was a puzzle for awhile, so quiet. Now she talks so much I can't get her to be quiet. I asked her to be quiet the other day and she said "I can't."

"Yes, you can Mary you hardly spoke at all at the AFAA house you can be quiet for a minute now."

"I don't know Mom, here I just can't quit talking."

That made me smile. She is coming into her own. Today, I gave her a hug and told her I loved her and asked her if she knew that. She said "Yes, but I didn't used to." We are arriving.

The road has been rocky and at times frustrating, but we are meshing.

This month also marks the 7th anniversary since Adela and Ricky arrived in our house. They were an emergency foster placement. I was homeschooling Riane and Braydon, took a phone call and presto! We were a family of 6! They were two scared toddlers who screamed incessantly. We made a lot of mistakes and learned a whole lot about attachment disorder and 16 months later in July of 2003 we had the privilege of finalizing their adoption.

I am still awed that God would find me worthy of SIX children. I hardly know what I am doing most of the time, but what an awesome family he has built.

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book Notes

I have added a list to the side bar of our blog called "What I Have Been Reading". I am a reader by nature. I am always reading. A good cup of coffee and a good book are two of my favorite things. Take a minute to click any of the books I have listed. It should take you to a website about the book. I get almost all of my books from the library, so these should be easy to find if you would like to read them.

I am really not a fiction reader. Once in awhile a really good story will carry me away, but at heart I am a non-fiction reader. I love to read about people's lives and how they have managed to get through.

If you are a reader too, join me, and leave a comment with a book recommendation -- I am always looking for the next good thing to read.

Friday is a comin'

These are things I have actually said during a typical day of homeschooling. I am not giving any context -- but don't let your imagination get too wild.

"Son, put the gun down."

"Are there non-food items in your mouth?"

"I know you can still hear me, but I really need to see your face to feel like I am teaching someone."

"Yes, I suppose it is OK for you to sit upside down."

"It's time for math; don't forget to bring the jump rope."

"You got that answer right you can run around the table."

Some days are definitely more fun than others. We usually enjoy our time together, but when Braydon begins to think about shooting me with the toy gun -- I am glad that tomorrow is Friday.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Last night we took the family to Fort Wayne, Indiana to watch the Winter Jam concert. This is a contemporary Christian concert that always charges $10 at the door to watch. Riane went on the teen bus from our church. We dropped her off and headed in ourselves. It took about an hour and 1/2 to drive to Fort Wayne. By the time we arrived, an hour before the doors opened, and the line was winding around the parking lot.

We did get in and found a few friends of ours sprinkled around the arena. We headed up to the top section -- no real seats -- I mean there are 7 of us! They had chairs that they put up on the side. However, our seats we right behind a piece of glass and it distorted the sound. If you stood up and moved over to the railing you could hear better. I stood most of the concert with Wokelle on my hip.

Don't feel sorry for me - I love a good rockin' concert and I was having fun! Adela, Ricky and Mary were a bit scared by the loud chaos. Ricky fell asleep on Dad's lap. Mary got so tired she was slumping in the chair. Both girls were asking me how long we were going to stay. I thought it was so funny. This morning everyone was up bright eyed and singing last night's songs.

Next year, I would definitely spring the extra couple bucks for the few seats you can buy the advanced tickets for. Standing in line was not the most fun.

Jerome is not a concert guy. This was his sacrifice because he thought the family would love it. It is, however, my thing and I had the most fun. The kids really had a blast -- they had just never seen anything like 11,000 screaming people and first times are always scary for them.

Everyone was in bed before 1:00am. Sometimes we have to break the routine and do something totally unexpected by the kids. A good time for all.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Finally Some Pictures

Today was our zone Bible quiz at the church and the kids did great. Ricky quizzes on a younger level, but earned a fourth place. Braydon and Mary's team made first place and individually Mary received a fourth and Braydon second. They are all going on to the District Quiz in two weeks. Here are some miscellaneous pictures I found on my camera.
This is just cute. They didn't want to wash those tattoos off, but we finally got them.

When Wokelle first arrived at our house, he was terrified of the dog. Not anymore -- a boy and his dog.

In so many pictures Mary has a rather serious face, but she is not that way at all. This is a great picture showing Mary's fun and bright side.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another Busy Week

I hate saying that all time. "How are you doing?"

"Busy." It is my standard answer and here's another week run down. I haven't taken any pictures -- you know because I am B***.

Tuesday I started hosting a seminar at my house. Basic is a course given by Bill Gothard. It used to be called Basic Youth Conflicts. It is awesome, this is my 3rd time through since 2003. We home school with curriculum from ATI which is under the same organization called Institute in Basic Life Principles. There are some programs that I would like the kids to get involved in, and the Basic seminar is a pre-requisite for entering. It is recommend for kids 13 and over (or adults, of course). There was no seminar being offered anywhere near my home, so I had to host it. I don't really have many people attending, and I know them all from my church, so it is really not so bad. We will do this every Tuesday night until the middle of May. During the seminar time, I let the four younger kids watch a movie in my bedroom and then they can come downstairs and eat snacks and draw quietly while we finish up.

Wednesday is church night -- the kids love the kids program. We usually leave early and spend an hour or so at the library in that town before church. Wednesday night has now become known as "Discipline Night" for me. Someone always has to do something crazy during the day and my discipline is to say "no Wednesday night church." One week Wokelle wet his pants right before church, so I spent the time taking him home to clean up. This week Adela and Ricky refused to work during school time and used church time to finish up -- every week it is something.

Thursday was our last visit with the Social Worker for Mary and Wokelle. She is filing our annual report. I was so happy that this is our last worker report. We must file annual reports until the kids are 18, but we can prepare them ourselves. I got in a grocery shopping trip and the evening was Wokelle's story time at our little local library.

That brings us to Friday. Our quiz team at church as a zone quiz on Saturday so we had a review part tonight. I was in charge of food. Also, my niece Joanne is spending the weekend with us. Having two four year olds is actually a lot of fun.

Tomorrow morning we have the zone quiz and then we shall see if next week's schedule will promise to slow down at all.