Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Five Years!

This Sunday marks five years since the day that Ethan was officially declared to be a Tapper. If you divide up his life into thirds, one-third was spent before we knew him. The other two-thirds have been with us! He brings a certain wonderful kindness, a quiet thoughtfulness, a wild giggle, and some serious muscle for outdoor work to our family. He was the first child in our hearts and will always hold that special place.

Happy Ethan's Adoption Day!

February 2006 (in Ukraine)





Friday, February 25, 2011

Family Night

Tonight, we enjoyed a special wintertime treat in Ottawa: skating on the canal. This gal had to work to keep up with all those Canadians :) Yes, even Jadon can fly pretty quickly on those skates! (But, as you see from the pic, he also likes to have a little rest here and there...)

Lots of fun!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Overheard Today

-----I was downstairs making supper and could hear all four children playing in the upstairs hallway. It was high-energy, make-believe, adventure play. Maybe you remember playing "Cowboys and Indians" or "Cops and Robbers."

But that's not the ultimate adventure for my kids. As I listened to their racing cars and demands for proper paperwork, I realized they were playing "Border Crossing."

-----Since Ethan had an afternoon doctor appointment, there were three kids walking with me to pick up Andrew after school today. Ethan and Jadon discovered that the snowbanks are all frozen solid. They enjoyed climbing atop the roadside heaps and balancing their way along. At one point, Jadon called out, "Hey, Mom! Look! I'm walking on water!"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Slick Kick

A day a little too warm for good skating makes for an interesting challenge to the soccer game...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Family Talk

I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer at the boys’ school a few times. Today, for example, all the Grade 1 and 2 students had an hour in the afternoon for skating at the local arena which is just two streets over from the elementary school. Imagine 100+ six to eight-year-olds with untied skates and unbuckled helmets. And you can easily see why parent volunteers are needed.

We (Abby and Jadon were quite excited to be coming along, too!) joined up with Ethan’s class just before the walk to the arena. Immediately, of course, Ethan’s classmates noticed the two extra children with me. The questions began. There were the spoken ones: “Ethan, is that your brother/sister? What’s his/her name?” And then there were the unspoken ones: “Why does your family look so different? How did you get to be family?” You could just see their little minds working.

And I love those times.

I love the chance to talk about how our family came together. Especially in the simple terminology that kids appreciate. And I love how easily most kids accept it all. “Hey, that’s really cool,” they say.

The experience of positive exposure to adoption is key to removing some of the stigma associated with adoption—the fear that stems from the unfamiliar. So I have a challenge for families that have not been formed through adoption: take a little time to talk to your kids about adoption. There are lots of ways that this might happen. If you know an adoptive family, you could point out the way that family came together. You could get a book about adoption from your local library. If you look carefully, you might even find multiracial families in some of your favorite children’s books (Canadian illustrator Michael Martchenko—of Robert Munsch books fame—often includes multiracial families in his books) and can point these out and discuss.

Last week, a friend told me about a conversation with her daughter. This woman is expecting a child (by birth) in June. As she snuggled with her 5-year-old (who is fervently hoping for a little sister), they discussed the new baby and talked about how the little girl was her mommy’s first baby and would always be her first baby. For whatever reason, the girl thought of our family. “Just like Andrew was Kristy’s first baby, right?” she asked. Caught a bit off guard, my friend had to pause. “Well, it’s a bit different with Andrew and Kristy.” She continued to describe the unique way our family came to be…and a little bit more about adoption, how sometimes parents die and can’t take care of their children or how sometimes parents have to give their children away because they really cannot care for them.

That was the point in the conversation that the little girl looked up at her mommy and asked if it was possible for their family to give away her three-year-old brother. Of course, that proposal was swiftly denied.

But, I’m thankful for my friend who took the time to have a conversation, however simple and small, to reinforce to her child that adoption is a legitimate way that families come together. Such talk blesses my family.

Speaking of families, I have to share Andrew’s comments after supper tonight. As he headed for the broom closet in order to begin his evening chores, he said, “I really don’t like chores, but I do like my family.” :)

I'm glad, buddy. I like our family, too.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


For several months, Andrew, Ethan, and Abby have been collecting allowance weekly. We hope that this will help them to develop and practice good habits in relation to money. Our "Tapper Family Allowance Contract" reads:

Beginning in the summer of 2010, it is decided that any child in the Tapper
family, age 5 or older, is entitled to a weekly allowance. An allowance is a set
amount of money, given weekly, to enable a child to pay for things that are
important to him or her.

The Tapper parents must promise two things.
1) Allowances will be given at the rate of .50 x AGE. (For example, a 5-year-old
will receive $2.50 and an 8-year-old will receive $4.00.)
2) Allowances will be given each Monday.

A Tapper child must promise two things.
1) Allowances will be a way to learn about using money wisely. Part of wise money
usage is tithing. At least 10% of the weekly allowance will be given to God.
Also, at least 10% of the weekly allowance will be put aside in personal savings
for four months.
2) The rest of the allowance money will be used as desired, and there will be no begging for more.

As in all things, we remember our values: In our family, we work hard together, we play hard together, and we share. In our family, we LOVE.
By signing this contract, we agree to the terms above.

This week, each child counted up the money they had been saving and made a purchase. Andrew selected a digital video camera, Ethan brought home a snowboard, and Abby picked out a small fish aquarium (includes Celesse, the beautiful blue beta).

The handling of finances is such an important matter, yet one that seems to be so easily set askew in our society. I hope and pray that our children will continue to learn how to handle money in a way that honors God.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tapper Geography: It's a Bit of a Guessing Game Sometimes

Andrew: Mom, if we move, can we go to Majayka?
Mom: Where?
Andrew: Majayka? It’s really great there.
Mom: Um, I don’t know what you mean. Can you tell me what you know about it?
Andrew: Well, it’s really warm there—you would like it. It's like an island. And my friend who went there said there are beaches and all kinds of cool stuff…
Mom: Ah, maybe ______________.

Ethan: (praying) Dear God, please help…Mom, what’s the country? Is it Chicken?
Mom: I think you mean __________________.