Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nothing happens, and nothing happens, and then everything happens~fay weldon

We just received an email from Susan Holmgren, our caseworker at Adoption Advocates International. We have a court date and a tentative travel time to pick up our girls. The Ethiopian courts are scheduled to review our file on December 21. That means that a tentative travel time will be mid to late January. There is a possibility that we might not pass court on that day. It has happened that there were papers missing, or a relative did not show up. Most cases go through with no problems...but there is always that chance.

I can’t explain how exciting and stressful is to get an update like this, even if the time seems far away. Yikes! On one hand, we’d love to get past the waiting stage and get our daughters into our home. On the other hand, we’re happy Genet (the six-year-old) and Bizayehu (who is eight) don’t have to come over here during the craziness of Christmas.

Susan also met our girls during a recent trip to Layla House. She said: “I met them both when I was at Layla House. Absolutely beautiful! Genet was a charmer and definitely a favorite at Wanna. Bizayehu was more reserved, but did want to know if I knew her mother! Her English was not advanced enough to have an in-depth conversation about her new family, so she had an older child ask the questions for her. I explained that I knew her parents and brothers and had been to their home. She was excited!”

Please keep us all in your prayers, especially these girls.


Genet and Bizayehu celebrated Thanksgiving!

In Africa, one of the adoptive parents, along with several others put together a special treat for the caregivers and children at Layla House. What an incredible thing to do. Thank you for making a memory for our children!

They loaded 259 people onto 2 buses and traveled to the Sheraton. Here is a snipet of the evening.

"We had the foreign adults sitting with the KG kids, other kids sitting with each other and staff sitting together. We had different groups at the buffet at the same time so that the little ones would be helped. Sometimes that worked fine, sometimes not. We had one little guy at my table who came back with 5 kinds of cakes and nothing else, so Randi went back and got him a proper dinner! Some of the kids went back many times, some ate too many sweets or drank too much pop, but they had a good time!

Circus Ethiopia performed throughout the dinner and the kids and many of the staff were mesmerized. That was a great thing too have, though the music was too loud.
It was a great evening."

Be afraid.....very afraid...

For most of you who know our family....this is a scary photo.
Can you see the detail? This house has it all. There is also a van chock-full o' children and it talks! The dining room table has a special candle, that when you attach special features, such as a cake, or a wreath, will play music appropriate to that season. Such a warm cozy little home right next to the horse stable!
Can you believe that we have girly stuff in our home?
The Walle family gave this and another whole city of buildings to our girls. Thank you-Thank you-Thank you!


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving....18+ friends and family eating around 2 tables filled with all the trimmings. It was a great time. There were at one time 10 children eating, playing and being kids...The older adults loved it. It was nice to hear stories, eat incredible food, and just "be" with family. It is fun thinking that next year there will be two other children around the table.

For a special little treat, I made a traditional African stew called Dinich-Wat. We served it right before the meal, just as a little celebration for the girls. It was completely different than any of the other foods, so I was a little nervous. But I think most everyone enjoyed it. It was the first African recipe that I have attempted. I am a little intimidated by these foods as I don't know what they are supposed to taste like!
Here is the recipe-it is an adaption by my favorite blog mom at Owlhaven

Dinich Wat (Potato Stew)

3 large onions3 large carrots4 potatoes
1/4 of one white cabbage
1/4 cup oil2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
4 cups water

Peel onions and carrots and puree in food processor(or dice very fine). Chop cabbage into fine shreds. Peel and mash garlic. Chop potatoes into 1 inch cubes.
Heat oil in a large pan and add vegetables. Cover and saute 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger, turmeric, pepper and salt and mix well. Add the water. Stir and cook over very low heat for 30-40 minutes.
Serve hot over injera. Traditionally this would be served on injera with several other dishes.
Yield: 8 servings

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Worth the wait, for them AND us!

Well, things are moving, we know that. Families have been passing court in the V groups. X is scheduled for November 30th.We are in Y group and our case was put before court to GET a court date last week. We have not heard yet what our court date will be. I have been told we should hear soon. Maybe even today?!

I sort of freaked out yesterday when realizing that I should have already started the process of immunization. I am not looking forward to shots. I typically do not do anything that I don't absolutely need to, regarding medication. I have scheduled some vacinations today. It is hard to get information about what you actually NEED. The cost is HUGE too. Luckily, I have people who have just been there and I am going to piggy-back on their information. Because of where I will be going, and how long I will be staying, I don't have to get very many, most of them are vacinations I should have anyway. So, the cost went from over 500.00 to about 200.00. Much better!

We are anxiously awaitng news from a family that went to pick up their 7-month old this week. She was going to connect with the girls and see how they are.

We continure to not get ready for their arrival. I think that it seems soooo not a reality. I see their picture with their T-Town shirts on, I believe and feel that they are ours, but it doesn't really register yet. They have a cute room with beds, and I have bought socks and undies, what more could they need? (joke there...) It is slightly overwhelming to think about what will be needed. When you have a child, or even adopting a younger child, you kind of have some time to catch up. These girls will be plopped right into LIFE--big life. Things will work out though. I do have to say, buying girl socks is much more exciting than buying boy's socks! Such pretty colors!

Some other VERY exciting news...a few blocks away is a family who has just come back from Eth in September...not the same agency, with 3 girls right smack in the middle of the ages of ours. I had heard rumblings about a family who had Eth kids. So, several days ago. I went right up to their door and knocked. When the dad came to do door I sheepishly introduced myself and he invited me in. Oh my goodness...I just want to cry. I can't believe that I am not going to be alone, and neither will they! What a happy day..and how often does this happen? I have gone from not knowing anyone in my city who has Eth kids to a family with 4 (they have a baby boy that they adopted last year) and another family on their block is in the process! She is a little overwhelmed as I expect that I will be, I am sooooo happy happy happy happy!!! It makes the wait a little better....well not much.....

Can you believe that next year at this time I will have 2 girls to dress up for Thanksgiving?

Please read on for several posts below. They don't have anything to do with us, but I thought it was some great information. Also, notice some new Places to Visit..Much love, DEB

They (don't) believe in adoption

Below is the link for another post that was striking to me. I agree with her completely. This is such a funny thing--adoption. Something encouraging, is that our girls will have a future. I don't know what lay ahead for girls who age-out of orphanages...Where do they go? What do they do?
The post is at..... February 08, 2007
You can view her blog at Growing Family

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Just in case you you wondering.....when in Ethiopia, children crowd and clammer at vehicles that American's (I would guess anyone white) are riding in. It seems very heart-wrenching. I will be a mess I am sure. I think it is scary too. I have heard that some could barely travel out, and just about fell apart when they the enormity of the poverty of the children who live there. There was a discussion about giving during outings. It is very complicated, but I really enjoyed this post, printed with permission.

"I know this is controversial. When we were in Ethiopia we found good people who thought the best thing to do was to give nothing. We had a driver,Gatu, who we liked very much. He ALWAYS gave just a little money and a smile to all who came up to the car and asked. He said that it wasn't going to help them out much - but it was like showing good will, good faith and compassion. We liked his philosophy and so followed it. We found people begging to be extremely polite and appreciative. Gatu even asked someone asking him for money if they had change and they happily gave it to him and them he gave them a bit back. I found it all very friendly and heart felt. While walking back to the Volunteer House from the store one afternoon a small group of children followed us and put their hands out. We visited with them a bit and then told them if they would carry our groceries we would pay them. They were so thrilled and happy and enthusiastic about their "job." They took it very seriously. Then we paid them more than enough and they felt so good. When you get there you will figure out what makes sense to you. It is such a difficult thing. I am not sure about toys. What they need most I think is food."

Bainbridge Island, WA mom to 5 including Yerus 7, home 1 year in Jan!

Things so sweet

Here are some comments that an AAI mom sent out to the group. They were so incredibly cute that I asked if I could share them with you. It really shows that these children think differently. Their reality is different.

1) Heard on a 50 degree evening while walking to the car, "Mom, have you ever felt so much cold before?"

2) "Mom, how do the blinkers know how to tell you where to go?" (She thought that I followed the little arrows that miraculously showed up on my dashboard when I got close to a corner where I should turn).

3) "What? A man walked on the moon?"

4) Heard on a 30 degree morning before school, "Mom, I don't need a coat. I look outside and see the sun shining so it will be hot."

5) "How can it be light on one side of the earth and dark on the other?"

6) Heard when I was explaining why I didn't want to drive 15 miles to the next town twice on one evening to accomodate everyone's extracurricular activity schedules (cost for one thing). "Why do you say it costs money to drive? Who do you pay? No one drive you. (I explain about paying for gas) "What, gas costs money?"

7) Heard when explaining that although it was nice weather that day, 2 days from then (Halloween) it would be very cold. "Mom, how do you know if 2 days from now the weather will be cold?" ("I listened to the weather man"), "What? How can that man know the weather in 2 days? does he go up in the sky?"

8) Heard from our daughter after she had been home with us at least 3 months. I was explaining to the girls that they might have to ride the bus home instead of me picking them up from school as I usually did that day of the week. I explained that I had a patient who was in labor and that she might deliver around the time school was getting out. "Mom, why you have to be there?" (I explain that I am this woman's doctor and that I have to be there in case the baby has any trouble coming out). "What? You a doctor??" (I have no idea what she thought I did/where I went all those days and nights when I went to work).

9) "Mom, I can't wait to see what the trees look like without their leaves"and finally....

10) Heard from our daughter as she was carrying her gifts up to her room after her birthday party, "America, America....( the song, evidently taught to her at AAI but I hadn't heard her sing it until that moment). (In other words..."I love this country!"

Marla in Kansas--Mother to 5 including 2 from Ethiopia, home 5 months

A challenge for us

I so easily fall into living and thinking selfishly. Daily I am struck that there is more going on in this world than just what happens in my home and in our schools and our families. I just don't know what to do sometimes, This prayer stirs me....

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war, So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what other claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

this benediction from Philip Yancey’s book Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference?: