Saturday, September 27, 2008

Peace protest for Indian Christians

I found an article today about a peace event in Chicago on behalf of persecuted Christians in the Indian state of Orissa:
People have been attacked, as have buildings and institutions, including churches, convents, and Christian-run orphanages. It chills me to think of someone bombing or burning an orphanage -- how desensitized do you have to be to destroy a building that houses innocent children?

We know a couple who runs a Christian humanitarian aid organization in Ooty, as well as a Bible college and a home for abandoned baby girls. I am in awe of Usha and Murli Menon and their worthwhile, heart-breaking work . . . they pour out their lives and their love each day. They are the reason we adopted from India. They spoke at our church about the baby girls they are raising, all of whom were rescued after being left to die at birth. We felt an instant connection and calling, as though God was showing us how our next child should join our family. We have been immeasurably blessed by them -- they set in motion the process that led to our dear Anya Rashi.

I met an Indian pastor at a conference two weeks ago. His name is Sunny Abraham, and part of his work is reaching out to trafficked women in Chennai. He asked to see a photo of Anya Rashi, and then thanked me for adopting her so she would not end up living on the streets. I didn't know what to say -- we feel that we are the ones who should be thankful, especially to her birth parents. Truthfully, I don't like to think about what her future might have been, had she not been placed with a forever family . . . and it makes me think of the millions of kids in India who don't have anyone to care for them. Sunny also told me a little bit about his life. His wife is a "tribal," a designation within India's caste system. Sunny's parents have accepted her, but his siblings no longer speak to him because of his marriage to her.

Would you please join me in praying for these three -- for their safety and their ongoing work? There are so many others, of course, but sometimes it helps to know a few names and a little of their stories. Thanks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A slice of normal life

So . . . the past two weeks have been full of lots of "normal." No big huge summer activities, but lots of details I don't want to forget. I want to remember what my kids were really doing at different ages, and I know from eight years of experience that the things you think you'll always recall -- well, let's just say that in the rush of life, they get lost more often than I want them to.

The pictures are of:
1.) & 2.) Anya Rashi climbing our playset and sliding down all by herself
3.) My amazing mother-in-law reading to Anya Rashi in the backyard
4.) Our kids playing with our neighbor Jadyn in a homemade porch fort (until their snack resulted in The Great Wasp Invasion of '08)
5.) Our two Spidermen taking on Daddy in a wrestling match
6.) A very chaotic -- but fun! -- dinner with our Indiana pal Jane, and our friend Kathy's kids. There were 6 kids ages 8 and under in our house from 3:30 on . . . yipes! Anya Rashi declined to sit still long enough to be photographed. :o)

A very sincere conversation heard before swimming lessons today:
Aaron: "Is it just me, or does something smell like camel poop?"
Nathan: "I think it's my feet."
'Nuff said!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


There are lots of reasons to celebrate this week! Many Dillon families recently received great news about moving up on the adoption waiting list, their legal proceedings in India -- and the best news of all: accepting the referral of a child into their family!

What is a celebration without some good food? I tried two Indian recipes last week, and thought this was a festive enough occasion to share them. These are easy recipes for newbies to Indian cooking like myself. Enjoy!

Aloo Gobi

1/4 cup canola oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. chili powder OR 1 small green chili, chopped into small pieces
1 large cauliflower, leaves removed and cut evenly into eighths
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into even pieces
2 cans diced tomatoes (I used 3 big ones from our garden)
fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or 1/2 tsp. powder -- to taste)
fresh garlic, chopped (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
1 tsp. cumin seed
2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garam masala

Heat oil in large saucepan, then add onion and cumin seeds. Stir and cook until onions become translucent. Add coriander, turmeric, salt and chili powder. Stir tomatoes into mixture. Add ginger and garlic; mix thoroughly. Add potatoes and cauliflower to the sauce, plus a few tablespoons of water so it doesn't stick to the saucepan. Make sure the potatoes and cauliflower are coated with the curry sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes and cauliflower are cooked. Add garam masala and stir. Serves 8.

Indian Spiced Salmon

4 salmon portions (any other fish would do)
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
1 Tbsp. ground coriander

Drizzle lime juice on fillets. In a small dish, combine spices, then sprinkle on top of salmon. Grill on a cedar plank until cooked through (flakes easily with a fork). If, like us, you don't have a cedar plank handy (!), an old cookie sheet (not teflon or airbake) lined with aluminum foil will also do nicely. :o)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Aaron turns 8 . . . and school starts!

We've been hoppin' here in our corner of the world! August is chock full o' birthdays in our family -- both of Peter's parents, me, and Aaron all celebrate birthdays. The birthday cake photo in Peter's previous post was taken at a combined family celebration for Grandpa, Aaron and me.

Sunday was Aaron's official birthday. It's hard to believe he is eight years old. When he was an infant, so many people told us to cherish every minute because it would go by quickly -- and they were right.

He has grown into such a mature, kind, thoughtful, funny boy. He has always been one of those kids who is wise beyond his years, and we can't wait to see what the next eight years hold in store for him . . . besides his newly-minted driver's license -- yipes! Aaron, we love you so very much, and are so grateful that God placed you in our family.

In addition to our party with the grandparents, Aaron also went to an indoor amusement park with Dad, Nathan, and his Uncle Mark. Later that weekend, my sister drove into town for the afternoon -- which included a fun present: ladder ball, a game Aaron loves!

Today was our first official day back to school! For the first time in two years, I do not have a kindergartener: Aaron entered second grade, and Nathan started first grade. They were very excited, and ready to leave 10 minutes early! This mama, however, was a little teary-eyed. I was more aware than ever that another year has gone by . . . and I was so very proud of my two little men as they set off on a new year of adventures.

Anya Rashi really enjoyed our morning together, but asked for her brothers after her nap. After having them home for three months, I think she thought it was just too quiet here without them. She is so smart -- I was folding laundry today, and she took pieces of clothing from the basket and told me who they belonged to. (I'm not always sure Peter knows whose clothes are whose!) In other adventures, she climbed up the slide on our backyard play set. Clearly, this girl has athletics in her future.

She has also been having fun after bedtime removing various parts of her pajamas. Last night it was her socks and shirt, and previously it was her pants. Next stop, diaper?! Horrors! I can't wait for footie pajama weather -- although, I think I'll have to be one of those sneaky mamas who puts 'em on backwards so Anya Rashi can't take them off!