Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween fun

Last year the twins were a little baffled by the whole concept of Halloween. The closest they could get to understanding it was the Disney Channel movie "Halloweentown". Which isn't very close at all. So a lot of the festivities were confusing and not up to par with the magic of Halloweentown.

This year, they not only remembered what we did last year, they looked forward to it! We had a great time at the local pumpkin patch a few weeks ago. Here they are happily posing with Anna and a "scary" witch:

They were enthusiastic pumpkin carvers, and had fun imitating their pumpkin's facial expression:

And trick or treating was met with anticipation and realistic expectations, which did not include a visit to Halloweentown:

A little fairy and a little mermaid had so much fun!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Notice of Favorable Determination"

Translation from the government speak: we have received approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to bring our foreign-born adopted child into the country. This document, the I-171H, is the last piece of paperwork we needed for our adoption to proceed. The time from our submission to USCIS to final approval was just six weeks! Our fingerprint appointment was just ten days ago...that is amazingly fast! Here's a big "huzzah!" to the feds for doing something in a timely and efficient manner!

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

Smiles "worth sharing"...

... at least that's what Lifetouch School Portraits says.
I am inclined to agree.

Here is my middle, Anna, in her junior class photo.

And here are the littles in their kindergarten photos:



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Self portraits

Candace Selam

Sarah Fikir

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bring Sveta home

This little girl needs to come home.
Please click here to find out how you can help.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm going to Ethiopia

BEMM is going to Ethiopia with Doma International! Click here or on the picture to read all about it. I'm very excited to be going on this trip with my friend Steffany. I have sent the check to Doma, sent in the visa application to the Ethiopian embassy... I'm really going!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Everlasting Spring" provides hope for children

50 sponsors in 5o days... will you be one?

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


Finally, the foolproof method people have been asking for to tell the twins apart:

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.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Back to the drawing board

Within the last week, both of the twins have been back to visit with Cathy, our attachment and trauma therapist. Have I mentioned how much I love her? I don't know why I didn't take them sooner. It's so easy to get caught up in everyday life and not notice all the little things that could use some work until they are great big things slapping you in the face. Starting school and the stress that brought with it was a wake-up call that our attachment and trauma issues are a work in progress. It's amazing to Tom and me how immediate the improvement is after an hour with Cathy. Not totally "fixed", but improvement you can definitely see. Also, we can definitely use a refresher on our attachment and trauma parenting from time to time. So here's to paying attention and going back to the drawing board.