Note from Kevin Williams, Amish Cook Editor: It is with great sadness and shock that I announce to readers that Gloria’s husband, Daniel, died in a logging accident on April 4. . As this column goes out, I have little additional information to share. I will have more information next week. I know readers will want to help, will want to know more, but, for this week, Gloria’s request is for prayers, many of them.
It’s been a whole year since that most incredible day. Next to the remarkable day I married my best friend, the birth of our biological children and the adoption of Hosanna and Jesse are the most special days of my life. Is it true that it’s been a year since the adoption dream came true?
We’ll never forget the roller coaster when we were told adoption was only weeks away, only to have it pushed back a year and a half. Last week, when my brother asked me if I wanted to relive all that uncertainty, my mind took so many directions.
No, I certainly wouldn’t choose it, and I certainly wouldn’t choose it any other way. You know, we would never be stronger in life if God sent us all down the gentle slopes of ease!
Hosanna, 5, and Jesse, 4, can’t get enough of the story of how they came to us through the foster system when Jesse was just a tiny baby. Then there are the intense moments when we didn’t know where their permanent home would be, and the joy of birth parents asking if we’d be willing to adopt them as part of the forever family.
Never before had my heart leapt with such intense happiness mixed with such agonizing sympathy for the dear mother who gave birth to “my” children.
So much has happened since that one and only moment.
Now, a year after the adoption, we were ready to celebrate.
Our ideas of tent camping or going to the park on a year’s day fell flat when the forecast called for a cold, overcast day.
We opted for plan B. Early in the morning, I would write little notes, such as “Bake cupcakes and share, Play bubbles and count by tens, or mark the wall with measurements for each child.”
When the seven notes were written, I folded them up and slipped them into pink, blue and gray balloons that we had saved from the adoption party a year ago. Thanks to my early bird, Austin, for inflating the balloons for me. After tying them, we attached them to the gas lamp above the kitchen table.
Soon blinking eyes circled the corner of the kitchen, wondering what the balloons were for. At the breakfast table, I told them that they would each take turns popping a balloon, and then we would do what is written on the paper.
It didn’t take long for curious Julia to hold the balloons up to the light in an attempt to read the slips of paper. I told them with a laugh that they could go ahead if they could figure it out.
As soon as the morning chores were over, six children gathered around the balloons. There were cheers as the first balloon burst as Elijah pinched his own in the doorway.
Little Joshua was as proud as can be when his turn came. He followed his brother’s lead by using the door to open his own. It was surely more than wonderful to see the children playing together, knowing that God used adoption to seal us together as a family forever.
How much more is God also pleased to call us his own children and give us everything we need?
Julia’s feminine nature was not convinced to pop a balloon, creating such a loud pop. Using a pin, she braved it, then read her note to all of us: “Everyone’s going to the store to give Daddy a hug.” A quick scuffle followed, and we drove off.
We took the last balloon with us to the store, where we asked Uncle Micah to pop it for us. Picking up a long plank, he gave it a thump. Screaming with joy, the children sprinted to the newspaper and followed the suggestion to play “Frogs in the Pond”.
Soon it was time for lunch. Austin, my little chef in the making, chose to make stacks for lunch. (Yes, he asked if he could be put in charge of cooking lunch for the family daily, which I didn’t argue with for even a second.) I keep telling him that his desire to learn is what which will take him a long way to learn quickly.
So, while waiting for a perfect sunny day to celebrate one year since adoption, join 7-year-old Austin as he prepares Hot Dog & Noodle Casserole. He’ll use homemade hot dogs for his, although store-bought ones are also fine.
Hot dog and noodle casserole
8 ounces of noodles
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cup cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 pound hot dogs, sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard
1/4 cup salad dressing
In a large pot, cook the noodles and drain. In a saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour.
While stirring, gradually add the milk.
Boil for a few minutes to thicken.
Remove from heat, add cheese and salt, stir until cheese is melted.
Add this sauce and the cooked noodles to a baking dish. Add salt to taste.
Mix the topping ingredients together, then add the hot dogs and stir.
Spread hot dog mixture over noodles or stir into noodles.
Gloria Yoder is a young Amish mother, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders mostly travel by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room schoolhouse. Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories to share can write to Gloria directly at: Gloria Yoder, 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.