The Gift of a Child

Just over a year ago, I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like having a little one around.  I am a very independent person, and Cort and I just really enjoyed our “us” time together.

But now that we have one of these?

Oh, our life is so different and so wonderful!  Being parents has been the HARDEST adventure we have plunged into yet, but also the most rewarding.

Cortney’s little sis, MacKenzie, and her hubby Dave, are now wanting to get in on the gift of a child.  Yes, this is one fun couple, I tell you.

They got married last June, and have recently started the process to adopt a little one (or ones) from Ethiopia.

They even started a blog, Stepping Stones, devoted to the process.  Cort and I are learning so much from their journey.  It wasn’t that long ago that we had briefly looked into the possibility for ourselves after two miscarriages.  Thankfully we were blessed with Eddie.

But MacKenzie and Dave have it on their hearts that this is what they should be doing regardless of whether they can have biological children or not.  And because they feel it, they are acting on it.

All of their paperwork and background checks and what-have-you’s have gone without a hitch.  And they feel so blessed.  But a difficult task is now upon them.  They have found out that that laws have changed and instead of traveling ONCE to Ethiopia, they will have to travel twice.  The cost each time is up around $5000 or more.  So they are in a position where they are swallowing their pride and asking for some help.

They are currently planning and assembling an online auction that will run from July 29-August 1.  They are currently in need of donations to put up for auction.

It’s not a secret that Cort and I don’t have much extra, but we do feel it on our hearts to help our family.  One way I know I can reach out is through this blog.  I have been so fortunate to meet so many talented, wonderful people through here.  People who are GREAT at brainstorming, creating, writing, and comiserating.

~My Request~
If you have a talent or a craft and are willing to donate to the online auction that will help cover some of the adoption costs of Sluiter Nation’s future niece(s) or nephew(s), please let me know and I will put you into contact with MacKenzie as she plans the auction.

MacKenzie and Dave feel strongly that their family is not just confined to what they can create biologically.  Cortney and I fully support this and are looking to help bring part of the Nation home…so I can spoil them rotten…what? You KNOW I love being an auntie!

Seriously, I can totally understand the sense of urgency they must be feeling when they see how great it is to have this smiling up at them when they visit.

Won’t you please help if you can?

If you are unable to donate to the auction, you are more than welcome to check it out when it goes live on July 29.  I will be posting updates leading up to the fun.  They have more ways to help (buying Ethiopian coffee, etc) you can participate in or if you would rather make a monetary donation, you can do so via the “how can we help” section of their website, Stepping Stones.

What’s In a Name?

My over-quoted (and often times misunderstood) friend, Billy Shakespeare once wrote this line for a swoony 14-year old character named Juliet who was pining over a boy who happened to be from the rival family:

What is in a name?  That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

But it is the line that I think of whenever I talk about how Eddie got his name or when people ask me to pronounce my last name.

It’s true, Eddie would be the same little sweetie pants if his name was Banana Hammock, but really?

 Is this the face of someone named Banana Hammock?  I think not.  So I think Juliet is wrong.  I don’t think something called Stank Flower WOULD smell as sweet as a rose.  That is how things GET their names…by their characteristics.

So how did Eddie get his name?  My efriend, Sian told me she would LOVE to hear (er, read?) the story.  It’s not earth-shattering, but it’s how even before we met this chocolate-loving face, we knew his name.

Eddie’s full name is Edward Steven Sluiter.

This was the ONLY name we wanted for a boy.  We had girl names picked out too, you know, in case, but the ONE name that was completely solid was Edward Steven.

Eddie was supposed to have a grandpa named Steve.  Papa Steve died four years before Eddie was born.  This is Papa Steve:

Good looking guy, wasn’t he?  Yeah, don’t let that tie and jacket fool you either.  This guy?  He was a ball of fun and had a naughty little twinkle in his eye.  So this is where Eddie’s middle name came from.  His Papa.

On a side note, this picture sits on our bookcase and Eddie can reach it.  He took it down so many times and “kissed” it that I had to move it for fear that he would one day accidentally break the glass. We still take it down together though and I tell him how cool his Papa is.

Soo…his first name.  My husband had a Great Grandpa named Edward.  This Great Grandpa was Steve’s Grandpa.  Are you following?  Well, Papa Steve and Super Great Grandpa Edward shared not only a birthday (August 9), but they also had a special bond.  They were inseparable.  So Eddie got his name from Super Great Grandpa Edward.  Here is Super Great Grandpa:

I know, I know.  ALSO a great looking chap. You are probably seeing some family resemblance by now.

When we told Cort’s Grandma Sluiter Eddie’s name, she said, “my dad and my son.”  I never thought of it that way until right then.  It was so special.

We even had Eddie baptized on August 9 (his namesakes’ birthdays) in his Papa Steve’s baptismal outfit.

So like I said, we name things by their characteristics.  Something inside me (maybe even Eddie himself) had me CONVINCED this child was going to look like his daddy (and the men from that side of the family).  So his name?  Fit the characteristics I just KNEW he would have.  His Papa was funny and dazzlingly witty (so is his daddy, by the way). His Super Great Grandpa was strong and hard working.  And the chubby cheeks and curly hair?  It had to be.

BUT…really, I can’t end this post here, because Eddie’s WHOLE name is Edward Steven Sluiter.

Sluiter has it’s place at the top of this blog.  Sluiter is on my classroom door.  Sluiter is on all our mail.  Shoot there are even teenagers running around with Sluiter blazoned across their chests on T-shirts.  So SLUITER is a big part of Eddie’s name.

Sluiter is Dutch in origin.  In “The Old Country” it is pronounced SLOOTER (and if you are watching World Cup?  You might just see someone pronouncing it that way).

Here in the States?  We do NOT pronounce it that way.  I felt the need to clear this up recently because I got a comment that whenever this particular reader looks the blog she thinks in her head “Slut-y-ier Nation”.  Um.  no please.  NO.  No sluts here.

It’s pronounced “Sliter”.  Or “Sly-ter”  When we were in high school my husband told me, “it’s like your slider door to the backyard, but with a ‘t’.”  That “u”?  Totally U-seless.  Not doing a dang thing in there but being all Dutch.  But I like it.  Because when I look at our last name, I see “u” and “i”.  you and I.  A team.  A Nation.

So there you have it.

photo credit: mLphotography
Edward Steven Sluiter
OH!  And before I sign off…I was recently given yet another award (seriously?  you guys are generous and awesome and oh so kind to me).  Karen, one of my newest efriends, of the wonderful Completely Chaotic…And Loving It, gave me this sunny little guy!
I like to think I am sunny.  Sunny is good.  I do strive for sunny most days, so THANK YOU, Karen!  Warm sunny vibes right back at ya!
And now, to pass some sunny delight (he he) on to some others….
AND AND AND…Did I tell you that my sister-in-law and her hubs are adopting from Ethiopia?  Yes!  It is true!  I am going to be an auntie all over again!  It is SO exciting.  But holy COW is adoption expensive.  If you get a minute, could you bounce over to their blog, Stepping Stones?  They are doing great things over there…and some of it will be coming over HERE soon!
If you read their blog and want to participate in the online auction by donating something, PLEASE let me know!  Their financial burden is great, and all I have to give them is what i can do on this little blog…but YOU can do so much more.  Let me know.
And now? Now I need to end this Long Post.
But I will leave you one more picture of Edward Steven Sluiter.  Because an Eddie by any other name would NOT be as sweet…at least not to me!
Yeah, cruising the beach chicas…and eatin’ sand.  Word.