Back to Seattle we shall go…

April 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

Pier_66-147 copyYou may have noticed that I have been absent for a bit on this space. We are in the middle of a busy few weeks and months before our transition back to life in Seattle. We are selling, packing, preparing, and saying goodbyes.

We are taking Higgins, our beloved German Shepherd, with us as well. I am thankful to have our little Zambian family of 4 around me as we move back. I am very sad to leave as I love Zambia so much. We will arrive back to Seattle in the middle of June. Our family is anxiously awaiting our arrival and we will be happy to greet them as well.

I know that Zambia will always live in our hearts and if God would allow it we pray that we can return soon.


Menenberg Family Walks

April 4, 2013 § 2 Comments

We go for a family walk almost every evening these days now that rainy season has finished and the dirt roads are dry. Ben and I need the exercise and enjoy the time we get to talk. Nathaniel loves seeing the ‘motocars’ and greeting everyone we pass. Higgins is excited about the new smells and loves to be with us.

Long Weekend

March 28, 2013 § Leave a comment


Twin Palm Road, Lusaka

It is the beginning of a four-day weekend here in Zambia. Yes, you read that right. Four. day. weekend. Good Friday and Easter Mondays are national holidays in this Christian nation. Adding to that joy is that my husband has returned from the Great Blue Yonder of the Luapula province of Zambia and has been returned to the loving arms of his family. We are taking some time off this weekend to be together and enjoy the Easter celebration as a family. Wishing you a lovely holiday and restful weekend.

One of those days…

March 27, 2013 § 2 Comments


Today was one of those days. You know, the type where you can’t wait for them to be over??

Nathaniel was sick with a bad cold virus this morning and didn’t wake up until 8am. I call him my human alarm clock because I never have to set my phone to wake up. I am typically greeted around 0600 with, “Mama, Nathaniel wake up! And then manzi [water] please??” This unusual behavior of sleeping in then made me late in getting out the door because I woke up late also. I also needed to get a sick, tired, cranky Nathaniel settled before leaving.

Then this afternoon I broke down in tears at our office over the realization that the Menenbergs will soon be leaving Zambia.

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The Adoption Transition to Parenting: Bed Sharing

March 19, 2013 § 4 Comments

Our first kid was 5 years old when we became parents. Obviously, this isn’t typical and so we had to do some not-so-typical parenting. Here is one of our experiences from transitioning to being parents:

Ben and I had initially talked about whether we would want to share our bed with our future child. Initially, we had the image of a baby. This then implies that you need to do night feedings, sleep training, worry about the safety of sharing bed together, and get the child used to sleeping in their own bed. Adoption an older child with special needs turned that idea upside down. « Read the rest of this entry »

Brokenness Behind the “Perfect” Life

March 18, 2013 § 7 Comments

Growing up, I was often told what a great “perfect” life I had. I had parents who were married and loved each other. My brother and I got along. I was told I was pretty and I did well in school. I completed my “dream” of being a nurse and married a great guy. We adopted a wonderful son who we adore. I am literally living my dream of working in Africa.

You may have concluded some of these thoughts by reading this blog for any amount of time. As with any outside view, you are only seeing one perspective. You don’t know the private pains or the hidden secrets of the heart. My life is far from perfect. You don’t know the argument I had with my husband or the way I was impatient with my son. You were not around when I was unkind to my friend and was selfish about something else.

The truth is that even as you’re reading about our “perfect” life there is pain, hurt, sin, and grief that only God knows.

Our journey of infertility has shaped me more than anything else in my adult life. « Read the rest of this entry »

This is Zambia: How to Wear a Baby in a Chitenge

March 13, 2013 § 7 Comments

Last week, I posted on Instagram (follow me @lauramenenberg) about how Nathaniel needed to be close so I put him on my back with the chitenge. We did this a lot when he first came home, as well as with our ERGO baby carrier. Due to popular request (specifically my high school friend Lucy), I have done a tutorial on how to wear your baby in a chitenge.

Chitenges (2 meter pieces of colorful African fabric) are used for almost everything in a Zambian woman’s life. Most commonly, they are used as a skirt wrap to protect clothing when working or traveling, to carry a baby, as a cushion to carry goods on the head, or to make a dress suit.

Wearing your baby on your back in a chitenge is an easy, inexpensive, and intimate way to wear your baby. You can also easily shift the baby to the front for being seated or breastfeeding. Women usually start wearing a baby in a chitenge when the baby is around a few months old. Initially, a grandmother or auntie will help the mother to hold the baby on the back while the chitenge is tied. Eventually as the baby grows, the baby “gets used” (used to it) and will hold on while the mother ties the chitenge.

I borrowed our maid’s son Elijah for this exercise, as it’s a bit easier to demonstrate with him than with my almost 40lb son!

 Step 1: Bend over and place the baby on your back with the legs and arms facing towards your front.


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