Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


On some level. Kids are kids are kids. Here’s where my African black kids and my American white kids are the same.

  • FARTING: it’s funny no matter what continent you were raised on. You might say it’s gross and not funny, but it’s still funny. (Want clinical proof? The “ifart” app for the iphone was the number one most downloaded program a week ago. Yes, of course I already own it. There are like 20 other options to choose from too. Cuz farting is funny.)
  • TOUCH AND TICKLING: kids like to be touched and tickled. Because black skin does not hold oil like white skin, we have to put lotion on our kids from head to toe each night so their skin stays nices and doesn’t grey or crack. It is officially impossible to put on lotion without causing the giggles. Suntan lotion on our white boys produces similiar fun and funny moments if we do it ourselves verses them doing it.
  • ICE CREAM: they’d eat nothing but ice cream if you’d let them. My newest son is so skinny, we just might give it to him in an iv. He is 5 1/2 and wears “pants” as shorts that are designed for a 24 month old so the waist is the correct size. We’re feeding him fast and furious and praying he porks up. No more rib counting would be good. TJ, Tyler, and Jake all have a layer of ice cream nicely on them already 🙂
  • GIGGLES: sometimes kids get the giggles. when this train starts rolling, no amount of parental influence can stop it. Especially my boys Ty and B share the giggles factor. They are going to laugh a lot together.
  • COMPARISON: all kids see what other kids have and believe theirs should be the same. Teaching them that “fair and just” does not always mean “equal portions and privileges” is a parental uphill battle in both cultures.
  • IMITATION: It’s super scary, but all kids want to be like their Dad when they are young. They say you have attachment when kids start to imitate you. Well if that’s the case, we are attached. Whatever I do, my African children- especially my son- will imitate to a tee. My kids in the states have similar needs and desires to be “like their dad.” That’s a huge weight and a great privelege.
  • PICTURES: I love taking pictures of both sets.
  • BEDTIME CHIT CHAT: Try this: put any 2 kids in a bunk bed, tell them it’s time to go to sleep and stop talking, turn off the lights, close the door and walk away. I don’t care what part of the planet you are from, this will not result in silence and snoring. Giggles, laughter, whispers, and chit chat will commence the moment you leave. If you’re lucky, they might actually stay in bed.

Here’s a few places where their similarities stop:

  • SHOWER TIME: our African kids have never taken a bath with hot water. They have been bathed with a hose since day one. They prefer to shower in room temperature water (what comes from the hose here at the equator) in something like 60 seconds total. My American kids use hot water and have to be kicked out they want to take so long.
  • PATIENCE: at some level, kids are kids are kids. They all have short attention spans. However my daughter will sit for hours without moving while you braid her hair and today, both of them sat quitely through a 2 1/2 hour adult-focused service in a village church in the heat without one complaint. Yeah…. I’d have had to take my white kids out back and duct tape their limbs and mouth first.
  • SWIMMING AND BIKE RIDING: my kids could swim and ride a bike without aid or fear by this age. We took them swimming for the first time in Kampala the other day. These are creating great trust building excercises, but it is still a reality of the orphanage limitations. You just don’t have the time, space, resources, or opportunity to teach them to do either of these activities. You need a mom and a dad for that stuff.

WANT TO SEE THE PICTURES? be sure to hit up my facebook account link in my blog sidebar. There are something like 100 up there now. At this pace, there will be 400 by the time I’m home with our new additions. They are “friend only” viewable, so hit me up with a request if you’re out of the loop my friends 🙂

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