Saturday, December 31, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The private blog. It is temporary, I think. I needed a place that was safe for just a while. Kevin and I have been under attack recently, unfortunately by members of our own family who have feigned support for over a year now. About six months ago I was blindsided by one brother and two weeks ago, blindsided by another. Much to our surprise, they do not agree with our adoption processes. One equated letting his children play with ours to letting "his kids play outside in a lighting storm." The other said that "we are adopting our children to gain attention for ourselves." We were also told that we are doing a disservice to Esen and Marissa by adding more children to our family. This coming from people who have never taken a moment to get to know them, who have found Marissa to be too overwhelming and too difficult - not worth their time. They have passed judgement, blame, charged us with tearing our family apart when it is actually they who have opted out. It is my job to advocate and educate, but I cannot cure ignorance. I am at a place where I need to surround myself with people who can provide genuine love and support for us and for our children.
We have a motto in our home - "Families are Forever" - It's a book we read often and anytime anyone's sad or worried, Esen repeats this mantra. I intend to keep this motto going and I won't subject my children to the negativity and ignorance of others. If people choose to isolate themselves, it is they who will miss out!
So, I needed to limit access to our family's story, to our childrens' stories, but I didn't want to stop sharing and I didn't want to stop chronicling our journey. I feel like I have an important story to tell. This blog isn't written for entertainment purposes. It is first and foremost a journal for my kids. It has also morphed into a support system and educational forum. I have never forced anyone to read it, but I guess they couldn't help themselves and were frequently offended by the content. In an effort to spare them, it'll be private for just a while. For those who have stuck with us, Thank You!
Our time in Ethiopia was totally amazing. I can't convey what it was like to be there, to experience the country, the culture; to see and meet and touch the people. Simply telling you about it doesn't really mean much - you have to experience it. I was talking with a friend about our experiences today and what I said to her was that we were long overdue for a life-changing trip. We had one in Kyrgyzstan nearly 5 years ago and I didn't fully realize the backslide that had occurred in our lives until we went to Ethiopia. Again, we have been reminded what life is truly about. Our tiny, overpriviledged, little corner of the world is so insignificant in the whole scheme of things. We met some amazing people, held some amazing children, and a piece of my heart will forever stay in Addis Ababa. You will hear more in the coming weeks about some of the children we met there. I have committed to doing more for them.
This Holiday Season, we have been unbelievably blessed by the generosity of some very kind-hearted souls who have supported our adoption through financial gift and prayer. We are grateful beyond words. There are times when "Thank You" seems so inadequate and we have had several of those moments lately. I am continually amazed by the selflessness I see in others. You know who you are - you have to know that you have changed the course of our lives and of our childrens' lives and we are and will always be eternally grateful!
I think that's it in a nutshell. Merry Christmas to each of you. I hope the Holidays bring you peace and love, happiness and strength. I hope you all have good health and take the time to remember what is truly important.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
We currently have a need to build a 12-room expansion to our existing school, in order to reach more children like Beza. We have been blessed, by the generosity of a donor, to be able to MATCH all donations to the Ziway and Adami Tulu Schools between now and December 31st... up to $130,000!!!
mug, Gobena t-shirt, andGobena tote bag. This basket is worth over $250!
*To commit via check, please send an email to email@example.com. Make check payable to Lifesong for Orphans, indicate 'preference Hope Ethiopia: 100' in the memo.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Without further adeu, we're so proud to introduce the two coolest kids
in Addis Ababa: Bamlak & Hiwot!
Today was a very emotional day to top off what has been a roller
coaster ride of a past week and a half. I'm going to keep this post
strictly adoption related, although I will say there's been a ton of
really heavy stuff going on that has just compounded our stress
Last Wednesday, we received a call from our agency coordinator.
Actually, I got an email and a message on my cell - both stating that
she wanted me to call her as there had been an "interesting
development" in H's case. I don't have to tell anyone experienced
with adoption that this is NOT something you want to hear, especially
4 days before boarding a plane for your children's court hearing.
My stomach turning, I called her and got some pretty shocking news. I
won't share it here as it is H's story to keep for herself, but it was
very difficult to get on the plane and go through the first couple of
days here not knowing what was going to happen. Needless to say,
things have worked out the way they were intended and here we are,
parents to two more amazing, beautiful little miracles!
Our court hearing today was less than five minutes, our coveted MOWA
comment was there and the hearing concluded with those four glorious
words: "Congratulations, they are yours!."
The highlight of our day was definitely our visit with the kids. They
sang "Mommy...Daddy...Mommy...Daddy..." for the entire three hours we
were there. They rarely wanted to be put down. We're starting to see
their personalities a little more and it's interesting to imagine how
they're going to fit into our family. We can see that food will be an
issue, as will sharing toys and attention - those things all to be
expected. They are both incredibly smart and pick up on things very
quickly. We're still pretty surprised at how tiny they actually are.
The measurements they give us each month correlate to Esen and
Marissa, but in person, they definitely don't match up. H is wearing
a 2T and B is wearing a 3T. Guess I should've held onto some smaller
There's another very sweet family here from Tennessee who are adopting
a sibling group of three from the same orphanage, H's best friend and
B's best friend among them; so we've enjoyed spending time with them.
We're enjoying the restaraunts, shops and went to the National Museum
this afternoon. The only thing we're not enjoying is the pollution -
my sinuses and lungs are truly hurting.
Tomorrow is a light day as all the "business" is done. We see the
kids, have lunch, visit another orphanage and probably do a little
more shopping. I love it here, I can't imagine leaving B & H
behind. I can't imagine that final goodbye, but at the same time, I
miss Esen and Marissa so much. We Skyped last night and it was so
hard not to just scoop them up and hold them. Soon, very soon, I
hope, we will all be together.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
I hope that I'll be able to update from Addis, but I'm told the internet connection is sketchy at best, so I'll try. I think I'll at least be able to email some posts in and hopeful I'll even be able to include a picture or two!