Thursday, December 30, 2010
I have to admit, it was funny watching them run their fingers through their hair and toss their adorable little heads around. I will be ready for my little curly heads to reappear though.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
- Behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage."
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Although it hasn't been long by international adoption standards, it seems like we have been waiting forever for Thomas. It's really only been five months, but for that entire five months we have known who our little boy is; we have seen his face in two blurry photos. Only two photos... we had dozens of the twins after five months and we brought them home six months after referral.
I know this is perhaps the one pitfall of adopting a child from the "waiting child list". Almost everyone agrees that the wait is harder after you have a referral, and with a waiting child, you have that referral from day one.
Today is our new son's birthday. He is four years old. I know that the birthday is just a guess, and I also suspect that Thomas is perhaps older than four. But this is the day we will celebrate his birth, and right now we think he's four. And we're missing it.
What would really make me happy would be to receive word that we have a court date. I'm praying for that this week.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Here is a close-up of my new favorite. I bought it in Addis Ababa on my recent trip to Ethiopia.
These are my favorite decorations for the Christmas season, and it makes me happy to place them out each year. Some of them have special sentimental value, some don't; some came from far away and some came from around the corner. Some can be played with... but most can't!
I love them all. :)
Sunday, December 5, 2010
It was very nice that our bank hosted Santa today, so we didn't have to wait in a long line, there were delicious free cookies and hot cider and a generally relaxed atmosphere. The girls thoroughly enjoyed their visit, although you might not think so based on Sarah's expression in the next photo:
She looks like she's trying to escape, doesn't she?
Friday, December 3, 2010
That would be me laying in bed...yep, that pretty much sums it up.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
We use labels everyday, for all kinds of reasons. Labels make it easier to find things... like the correct spice for a recipe. Labels make it easier to organize things and easier to understand things.
Then why is it so scary when someone puts a label on your child?
This happened to me many years ago, when my oldest was just a preschooler. I started hearing the acronym ADHD quite a lot; and indeed, in kindergarten that label was applied to my son. There was a sense of relief that there was a name to his difficulties, and also a sense of panic that this was going to affect him for the rest of his life. Well, it has. Some of the effects were from the ADHD itself, and some were from the label that he carried with him through school.
The other day, our therapist referred to my daughter as an "attachment disordered" kid. Obviously this is no surprise since we have been going to therapy for months. But somehow, hearing it out loud like that really shook me and brought back those same feelings about my child being labeled. That horrible feeling of not knowing if everything will be alright.
I don't know if it will be alright or not. I don't know that many people with adopted children at all, much less internationally adopted attachment disordered ones. I do know that ADHD was hard, and it's still hard... but my son is wonderful and I love him very much. I don't fear ADHD anymore, it's just part of my son's make-up and something we have to work around sometimes. "Attachment disorder" sounds very scary to me right now... but I love my daughter and I hope that we can work as a family to give her the security she needs to open up to us and love us back just as much.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
BEMM partnered with Doma to help fund a clinic for women and children that will be located in Bora. There are about 7,000 people in the Bora area who have no easy access to medical care. The closest clinic, in Chencha, is a six mile hike down the mountain. The town elders estimate that about 1 in 4 women in their village dies from childbirth related causes... so the clinic will be a tremendous benefit to the people.
We also participated in a clinic in the nearby town of Chencha. We saw women and children come in with all kinds of illnesses, from the mundane to the serious. Two notable cases included a severely malnourished one year old baby who was the size of a three month old and an old woman with malaria. Many women complained of back pain, which is not surprising when you see the loads they carry on their backs.
We were also able to relax with a tour of the lake at Arba Minch, where we saw crocodiles, hippos, pelicans and baboons. This was followed by a visit to the cultural village of Dorze, where we enjoyed some traditional dancing and a delicious meal that included many of the local favorite dishes. Some of our group members tried their hand at fire-jumping, but I was not one of them. :)
I feel like I really got to see and know Ethiopia on this trip. It is so much more beautiful than pictures can show. I feel profoundly grateful to have had this opportunity.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Our dossier has been in Ethiopia for a couple of weeks. Now we are just waiting for a court date. One step closer to meeting our son and bringing him home. :)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Yezelalem Minch is a grass roots organization in Ethiopia devoted to helping children stay in their families when faced with the prospect of becoming an orphan on the street due to the death of one or both parents. Yezelalem Minch helps provide children with food, clothing and education. YM helps to keep families together by providing support to caregivers. For the children who sadly have no one, they provide a home in addition.
You can give all this to a child for just $30 a month. $1 a day.
For me, that's less than my daily "good morning Diet Coke" at the drive-through.
Click here to see my friend Kara's Smilebox slideshow of YM. You can get the contact information at the end of the slideshow (slide 40). You can also ask Kara how you can receive a wonderful free DVD about Yezelalem Minch... how it came into being and stories about some of the children it is assisting. It is profoundly moving and I highly recommend it. Just in time for Orphan Sunday on November 7!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Candace was visited by the tooth fairy last night. So until Sarah becomes inspired to wiggle her tooth loose and pull it out (as Candace did), the gap-toothed one is Candace and the one with all of her teeth is Sarah.
About their shirts: Sarah Fikir's Ethiopian name means love in Amharic; and Candace Selam's means peace. Hence the heart and peace sign on their shirts. Yeah, I'm pretty clever like that.