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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

stressful crazy

i have been MIA as of late....i am so thankful to be on Xmas break- but it got off to a pretty tragic start. John got off work early on Thursday, picked up Sam and came home to find our house broken into and not only that, our beloved 12 year old Malamute, Scully, was dead. I was devestated. The burglars mainly took the game systems, games and a few presents, plus broke two windows. I am hoping Scully's death was just a horrific coincedence, and hoping she wasnt poisoned or tazzed....i just hope and pray she wasn't in pain. We couldnt afford the $800 autopsy, and have since buried our wonderful doggy. Shde was so gentle and sweet, yet a firecracker- always trying to dig out and run the neighborhood, see her friends and make mischief.

We will miss you so much

Saturday, December 3, 2011

3 months home!

I am not, slack- Just SUPER busy, mom came into town on Thursday night- the same night I had a presentation for a grad school class, the same night John had to get both boys over to see my mom, then Friday was swimming at the indorr pool, 3 month post placement visit from social worker AND a dinner party for 4 couples, and kids for my sons's b-day i have had little time to reflect and write a suitable post for Sams 3 months home....4 months in my custody. It seems like its been a year, how well we click. More to come.......

Friday, November 25, 2011

mind swimming

i am trying to keep my head above water- we have been so busy and stressed- work, school, reading/research for final projects, john starting a new job (yay!)- Sam and his treatments, holidays, family visiting, Gabe and his upcoming birthday (the big 08!)
I am also exploring options for next year already, as far as what i need to/want to do workwise since i need to start my research and get more involved with the academic side of my degree. We are so lucky to have john be offered a new job - which he will be able to be more creative with and challenged.
Sam is doing very good at school- he loves his teacher and really seem so happy there. Gabe has been facing some issues, but they are nothing major...he is just needing to be more responsible for getting his homework done and being upfront with me about whats been going on with classwork while at school. Work has been taking its toll on me. Its not anythign specific at work, my school is experiencing some growing pains and issues with achievement- and i so want whats best for my students. I just dont feel i can be there 100% with so many other duties and responsibilities- for grad school, for my family ....its just stressful. Our upstairs home rennovations/repairs are finally 99% done. They are reglazing my 100 year old clawfoot tub (metal tools chipped it all to hell, I just had it reglazed like 2 years ago)....the paint, trim, molding, ceiling, insullation and plaster repairs have all been just new toilet and reglazing the tub. It feels like new ! I am still having to get used to the paint, its a real change.
Our thanksgiving was good- Johns family came to visit- which was great. Sam was not a Thanksgiving cuisine fan, but he really had a great time with the visiting family. I enjoyed cooking a big meal for 8 people- it was lots of fun, but something i only need to do once or twice a year :) How do these super sized families do it? Part of me really wants two more children, but then part of me feels stressed out and overwhelmed with the two full time kids i have and the two "part time" children we get to see every other weekend....maybe if i didnt need to work so much...i would love to be able to stay home with several children and not be stressed about $$, but that just isnt in our cards....i can afford to take a year "off " (just work part time or focus 15 hours on research) but couldnt do it for moree than a year or so....oh how i wish money wasn;t such an issue when it comes to raising our family and focusing on what we have the passion to do.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

photo upload Halloween and family fun time pictures

Halloween fun Sam and Gabe

The Kids at 5 points- too cute

Our family Christmas card picture


Gabe and Ross eating sour sour candy "toxics"

I played it safe with Jelly Bellies

Comparing candy from TIC TOC Candy Shop

I grow suspicious that most candy is gone

"vomit" Harry Potter Jelly Bean

Lets see if John will eat one

He fell for it

Sam- taking it all in

loot from TIC TOC- we had a $20 gift cert

They laugh way too much!

beautiful boys

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday home

"Zimbay! Too Loud!" That is what Sam is yelling at the carpenters and contractors who are inhabiting our upstairs. He is also doing his word puzzles which he loves. I am staying home today and john is staying home the rest of the week b/c of the construction (last week the crew brokje something of ours bascially every day) and to get some one-on-one time with Sam. He has been throwing and spitting and we are trying to really see how these behaviors are playing out. He does not do them with us so much....we are thinking that he is doing it to garner individual attention from teachers at his school and at the gym childcare center. We value the one on one attention we can give him, but realistically he needs to be able to accomodate learning in a  group will happen, but i want us to really evaluate his problem behaviors (we need to evaluate ours as well, heheh). I have been obsessed with job dreaming....i need to get out of the classroom and possibly just focus on grad school and research....but woud like to do something part time in the i am really contimplating getting certified to teach yoga or go back to working with ABA training for autistic children- there is also a position as the school program coordinator at the zoo but the pay is pretty weak.....hmmmm can't i just transition right now? I love being home!! Even though right now Sam is yelling at workers up in the frontof the house while i am online back in the kitch...hehehe tisk tisk

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Renovations suck

well this is week three or four that part of our ceiling upstairs has been missing....there is weird black soot like dust every where, one of the crew men broke our toilet as well as our master bedroom ceiling fan/ progress towards actual repair. We have been told that it took so long because we requested our ceilings to be done in the historic fashion of our house...and the wood had to be milled by hand, yadda yadda. Well the wood should start to be put in place this coming week, then plaster repair, modling replacement , sealing , new insullation in attuc and better be complete by Thanksgiving. John will be home a good part of next week because he is in job transition- maybe with him here the workcrew wont continue to be careless and break things. One can only hope.
In family news: Gabe and Ross and i all went to the fall festivbal today- held at Gabes school. Trick or treating was awesome last Monday in Elmwood Park, a beautiful historic neighborhood, in which 85% of the houses went ALL OUT and really made the area a Halloween was beautiful, scarey and exciting all at once. Gabe lost two teeth this week- which he promtly explained that he had to because he wanted money for the bookfair. He previously asked me for money for the book fair but i declined since he has several books recntly purchased from the bookstore which have yet to be read. It seems that he felt he should take matters into his own hands, or mouth, rather. So, this creative child has managed to pull out two teeth and now is the gleeful owner of a new book Ninjago.
Sam is doing wonderfully- he is speaking in three/four word sentences and has mastered the word "No" and "no way"- haha. He was confused about the act of giving candy away to trick or treaters, since he spent many evenigns at Halloween carnivals requesting candy. The poor, confused, toddler. As of next week we are taking longer breaks between castings. I am trying to finish some end of semester papers, which will be the end of my mental stability. I should get some pictures up in this piece

Thursday, October 27, 2011

great news - at a good time

John had good news to share with me this morning, and called me early- right after we both got to work. He wanted to share with me that he got a job offer and it includes a pretty good raise:) Not only that, he willbe doing more creative design work with research and development elements. So we are pretty happy....although we are so super broke right now b/c my pay has not resumed, even though I have been back to work for a we are going to have to wait a week or two to celebrate...he starts November 14 :) I am really excited for him....and am happy to see him excited about work again.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

i freaked my son out today

i have missed my usual Friday writing- I actually stayed out of work because I had to go with Sam to get his casts changed. He ended up getting a break from the casts because of some water spots on his heels and some really raw spots under his knees. His feet are looking much better though- and hes been loving being out of confinement. Hes been able to take baths, and play in his car and go swimming with me this morning. It has been great!!!
So how i freaked him out, hence the title, is this: We were home yesterday morning and Sam loves music. I saw that Coldplay was on the Today (i think ) Show as I was flipping channels so i stopped. Well they ended up playing "Fix you"- which was so ironic because that is the one song i would just hear over and over in my head when i thought about Samm all those many months, over a year, as we waited to bring him home. Needless to say, I ended up bawling my eyes out- just listening and watching Sam stumble around, trying to walk better....then he saw me crying and got this worried, solemn look on his face...and stared at me, puzzled. He then started whimpering and laid down next to me on the was so surreal for that moment to actually be here....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

group play

So Sam has been in preschool for three weeks and we have heard great things. There is a very low student-teacher ration at his pre-school b/c its a lab school with interns, student teachers, master classroom teachers and even professors in and out. I have nt heard anything about him throwing or spitting from them ....BUT- the gym child-care and our church child care are two different things. I am not sure if Sam is spitting/throwing b/c there arent teachers right on his butt or he wants attention from some one or what it may be. Yesterday a worker from the gym day-care had to come up to my class and get me to come speak with him....when i got to the child care room (super nice, lots of toys and play equipment, even for a boy with casts)- there were like 5 or 6 employees sitting all around the front...except for one with the babies....i am wondering if Sam isnt trying to give them something to do, since texting and chatting arent really what they are expected to waste their time doing....ugh
Afterwards, we went to the mall to get Gabe some pants....and Sam was just so giggly and happy- he always is...he is always happy/excited to be some where and on the move. Its adorable the glee he has walking through the mall to go home, yelling "good night" to everyone...then telling me "Momma, say good night!" I guess i will take his throwing and spitting if he can be this joyful at other times.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Post Placement Photos

well i figured i would add some photos and really should redesign my blog soon.... these were the photos included in our post-placement report

Friday, October 14, 2011

Its Fair Time!

WHY YES YES, Its the magical time of the year when the air gets a chill, we begin Halloween decorating and pumpkin hunting and FAIR RIDE-riding! I am taking Gabe solo this year....Sam is going with his preschool group (i think, we may back out) I am not sure what he will think about it. Today has been an eventful day- I got to sleep in until 830! Its a teachers planning day, and I didnt need to be at school until 1230. John was so sweet and took Sam to get his casts off....we hung out. John also took the day off, but for other reason (to be discussed nex week sometime or in the next few days). Sam, John and I got to hang out until 10am. We gave Sam a bath and he played and ate breakfast. Then i took him to play a bit at the Chick Fil-A inside playground ...then back to the doctors for some PT and recasting :(
His feet are really changing- thats the great news....and we will have some breaks ahead, with some days off (thank you Jesus)....but our shoulders and backs are just torn up....we have to carry him and pick him up not fun. At least hes super cute, super sweet and gives us kisses and hugs non-stop....he also has a cute little walker he uses at school....we are getting there.
I will be so thankful once these casts are off for good. ...or he can at least walk with them. His legs are bent, so he can not stand up.
Anyhoo...this is one of Gabes most favorite times of the year....he loves the fair and halloween- we have decorated in splendid fashion...i will need to do a big photo dump to get it all out there. Sam is not a monster/halloween fan- but he shall be converted!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

TGIF again

back to the land and lives of work. I returned to teaching yesterday. This week has been busy- with a day at preschool for Sam on Monday for a test run, while I got grading and school ready. Then i was at a school leadership conference for Tuesday and Wednesday. I went back to work full time Th and Friday- i am sososo tired, i have been swamped with school work, work for the school i teach at and yoga classes, plus being a mom and wife....i think i am spreding myself too thin but theres no room to gives me sanity and i am pretty much committed to the other things (work, school.  mom and wife) by some pretty heavy emotional, legal and financial i just have to wait it out. Next week i am only teaching three days anyway - so i cant complain b/c its not like i am even back to work full time. But what has changed is the greater feeling of me wanting to be working outside the class room- well at least the secondary classroom. I want to do more research towards my doctorate, and do lots more yoga- maybe even get certified to teach yoga. The end result of my doctorate would be teaching my whole teaching focus is shifting- and i feel it in me that its right. I just have to continue working towards it.
SAM.GABE/CHILDfront- all is well, Sam is adjusting nicely to his preschool- although he doesnt like to nap there and doesnt always like the food . Gabe is adjusting as well too, he is having to go out of his way to be nicer to Sam and play with him more.
The one suffering is my wonderful husband who is probably doing more of his share of the housework b/c this week i have been gone three evenings for school and or yoga....he needs an outlet. He may have some news to share in the coming weeks of his own. At least i am hoping he will...more on that later

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sam the Student

Its official- Sam is a pre-schooler. He started school today at the Benedict Child Devlopment Center which is a NAECYC (?) accredited lab school for the local HBC Benedict College and other local child centers for continuing education. The ratio is low and it has great teachers/professors that help steer the curriculum and progress of each student. This is the place for structure, which Sam needs! He also got a new walker! One of the aids had a pediatric walker that she brought us today. Sam is mobile again- and the dogs are pretty freaked out! Sam did great at school, didnt freak out being dropped off or anything. He ate lunmch and snack with out being picky- but did not nap. He will crash any moment now......I will get some pictures up soon


Sunday, September 25, 2011

amazed- so many firsts

WOW- in the last month, Sam has had so many firsts! We have been home one month and have completed our one month post-placement visit. Although i have had Sam for nearly two feels like I have alwasy had him. He has become such an amazing, loving part of our family. His firsts for the last month:
first airplane trip, first night with his family, first trip to the zoo, first trip to the childrens museum, first jump/bouncey-house experience, first eating macaronni and cheese, first time eating a slushy, first time swimming, first ride on a carosel and childrens train, first visit to preschool and church, first trip to a mall and to Target, first pinic and trip to the park. Sam is wonderful and amazing and AFFECTIONATE....its so wonderful being home. We areamazingly lucky to have such an loving and wonderful little boy in our lives.,...i am just in awe that we have bonded so well and so quickly. Yes there are behavior issues, because he is going through many toddler phases- but there is such joy, love and fun to be had!!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pre school visit

Hi all- Sam, John and I went to visit his new pre school yesterday and had a good time. They are affliated with an area HBC and is a "teaching" Child Development Center- where college students come to do their internships and observations for specific courses under the guidance of experienced preschool teachers with actual degrees in Early Ed. A friend of mine is their director of curriculum (Hi Jennifer) and fellow doctoral student with me, and just all around great teacher and mom. She is already putting me in touch with organizations that provide assisted devices, to try an dget Sam a little walker. He is being seen for a speech/lanaguage evaluation next week. I am happy with my choice :). She and the enrollment director spent over an hour with us in Sams actual class, had him do snack time, story time and some puzzles. He seemed excited but still pretty apprehensive when John or I would stray from his side. He liked the puzzles alot (which i have none of- for his age, so add that to my shopping list) His appetite has come back full force , so his tempermental eating must have been a fluke. Sam has been such a good sport about going into work with me to catch up with my sub and students. He loves being out and about and is always asking for the "beep beep". He has also been staying at the gym child care center (whose staff is great too) for some play time- they have much bigger space, play mats and such that are actually easier to play with than things at home. I really do not think leaving him at preschool will be too problematic or traumatic (i hope). He starts Oct 3rd!!! Where has this time gone? I havent taught since last May, so i really need to get back inot the swing of things....but oh how i woudl love to be a stay at home mom while i did my doctoral year (i said the same thing last year). Gabe has come around and been better with him, and I even had a former student come spend the afternoon with us. Sam grew fond of her (she gave him gummy worms , so of course he will love her! grrrr)
Today is casting day....not fun. I am going to try and squeez in a bath and such. I live less than 2 miles from the i hope we can run home and then back :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Photo Extravaganza!!!!


ZOO TIME- My three boys

Apparently i am afraid for my life

Gabe took this Sam-cry-baby picture, John is antagonizing

Sam and his new casts- he is not pleased

Thursday, September 15, 2011

busy, fun times and stress

hi all- i need to add some pictures soon...i have been slack. We are going to visit a developmental pediatrician and then back to the orthos tomorrow for casting. Sam is doing well, for the most part, and has really fallen in love wioth his brother Gabriel. However, Gabe is not returning the affection and basically finds Sam to be the "devil"- as he put it in his diary, but a "little boy who is also funny and does funny things"- so we have some reltaionship building to do. Sam is a rough-houser, he wants Gabe to run and be rough and tumble with him, and wrestle....Gabe is the quiet book reader and video it has been quite a game of opposites. They both love the water, but no swimming due to Sams casts- so the one thing they have had in common will be out on hold until after Jan. Our gym has an inside pool, so it would have been great to go swimming any time....this also discounts the Great Wolf Lodge trip we wanted to do in December...ho-hum, unless the doctors can let us go cast-free for a will still happen in January I hope. I had hoped for it to be sooner, like next we can get this all over and done with. He has done the casting on and off for over a year or more in Ethiopia,(yet these were kind of ineffective b/c they didnt have adequate braces)....i just am not seeing the relavence in it now. Sam is also not eating as well as he was....he doesnt seem to have an appetite at all and will nto try many new things, that is very unlike him. He will eat the things he has come to love but not much else- so i cant complain too much. We are going to eat Ethiopian food this Saturday- just John, Sam and I- a late "happyEthiopian new year" dinner in Charlotte- so we will see how he reacts to that, since its been over 3 weeks since he has had Ethiopian food. I am having a hard time, internally, having to say No and limit him when he starts to do something that he shouldnt. He has gotten quite cocky and will just give you a look then doo it anyway (like try and pull the cords on the blind, or lick the tv or hit the dog ) His tantrums areon a super short fuse and even the slightest No or redirection sets him off...but they arent screaming and loud, and they are super short lived- so they are like "mini-tantrums"- but they are frequent, and i believe much of the "crying" is the fake type, for attention. I have seen his real fear/crying and it is nothing like this toddler-mini-tantrum crying he pulls out all the time. So it just seems his reaction to redirection. However, I am worried about how he will bein preschool next month . I wanna have a strategy beforehand.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sams legs

Well we visitied with a doctor who is part of the Moore Pediatric Orthopaedic team yesterday for a consultation. Sam did great, despite the flurry it took to get there on time. The doctor performed a pretty detailed observation and spoke with us at length about what he feels is the best option. He would like to have Sam complete some more serial casting with better fitted/fiber-glass covered casts. His casts in Ethiopia were old school plaster and broke/cracked within days. We were possibly going to have them put on today (each Friday they have a club-foot team casting session)- but he thought about it and felt that he woudl like like the other two pediatric ortho specialists to see him as well. So we are going in at 10am next Friday for the whole team to evaluate him and to start the casting. He said that the casting will enable to stretch the tendons under his feet and also make surgery alot easier, with less scar tissue and tightness after healing. Surgery will probably happen right after the first of the year. That means we will be dealing with these casts on and off until then- Sept, Oct, November and December. I am not too happy about that but its for the best. After surgery he will be in casts for 3 weeks then in fitted braces, possibly for up to two years, Yowzers.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

where is the off switch?!?!?!

Sam came with us to the wing night we attend each month with several other families. He played with the big kids andn ot so big kids (my friends grand daughter was there who is 2 and adorable)- he was wound up- but not in a bad mood, just hyper. He didnt fall asleep until nearly 945....i expected him to be asleep until nearly 8am. Then what to my surprise did i hear at 3:14am?! Little Sam feet pounding on the floors...roaming the top floor...just running around...not screaming and sad, not confused- on a mission. He was up and needed us to know he felt he should stay up. I tried to get him back to sleep- gave up after 45 min, left him in the big bed with John, and came down stairs....he slept maybe an hour more, then came trotting down the stairs. I tried to lay down with him from 6:15am until after 700am avail. I even drove him around a bit after we dropped off gabe...let him run around the house and have an early lunch...tried for a nap at 1030- he slept like 45 minutes and was up again....he is still awake...would not take a later nap at 4pm either- we tried to fall asleep for over half an hour. I have no clue what is going on, but he has had less than 6 hours of sleep in the last day and he usually has 10 or 11.....yikes
Tomorrow we go to see a peds ortho specialist for his legs!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

UUCC Nursery date

Today we went to our Unitarian Universalist congregation and decided to see if Sam would like to stay in the nursery. He was concerned a bit when we came in. Earlier this week we did a trial run just me, him and Gabe before Gabes akido class (also at the UUCC)- so this wasnt entirely new. Sam's concern was with the many other children there. I sat with him for a while, he started playing with different toys and his distance from me grew a little...i out his bag on the counter, his back was to me, and I slipped out. Over an hour later, no one had yet to come get me :) When we returned he was elated to see us, but also chatty with his teachers. He really does not have a clue as to how a class dynamic works, so even though there is a preschool Sunday school "Religious Ed" class that starts at 3 years old, we will probably keep him in the nursery for a while. I am so glad it went well. We came hoe, had lunch and ran around some,....then nap time. His schedule has become very routine. This Thursday, however, we have a doctors visit during nap time. Oh well, we shall recover, I am sure.
Tomorrow we may go up to Charlotte and get Ethiopian food :) I am excited. I even miss it alittle bit

Friday, September 2, 2011

kissing can be a hobby right?

Kissing and hugging, even after being upset with me or even a tantrum is something Sam loves.....he also loves flirting with my friend Amanda and trying to kiss her a few times before our evening was over. He was a riot tonight at dinner and the bookstore. I hope we can sleep in tomorrow....i am still concerned about his lack of sleep

Thursday, September 1, 2011

toddler tantrums and kisses

well i have passed midway of the first week of my 6 weeks as a SAHM. Sam and I have been doing super- although he has had some major meltdowns with being told NO about something, or redirected to do something else. He doesn't stay mad long, but will scream and flail for a few minutes. I think he has a little cold or possible allergies- i will be keeping an eye on this, since he had a horrible early afternoon yesterday that ended in taking an early nap that lasted over 2.5 hours. He is not sleeping as much as he should- he goes to bed very easy but wakes up super early- this also plays a factor on his shorter fuse. He loves being held, so i am breaking out the Ergo afterall. Even after his short meltdowns, when he seems so pissed at me, he holds up his little arms for me to pick him up. If he has been especially upset he hugs me SO TIGHT, which is just adorable....he always wants to give kisses and hugs, and its just been to us. He likes to shake hands or give high-fives to people he meets. He loves the water table and loves the playground at Chick Fil A- he does not like to play at home alone, so if i am not right near him then he gets antsy. He also is not fond of kids rushing down the slide behind him and piling up at the bottom....that has lead to him trying to push them at the bottomof the slide....which has ended in me coming over to let him know its OK and to wait a few minutes and go after the kids....which results in his further antsy/whiney behavior , thinking he is being held back from playing. He just needs to learn boundaries, what can be played with and what can't and we must learn better ways to communicate with him....these arent major problems...i am delighted he wants me right with him to play- but he seems so hurt when i have to set boundaries....we will get our system together better :) He is still really scared of big "potties" - so we have to work on that here. His potty training is pretty good here at home with his little potty. I am having to work more with Gabe - teaching him how to play with Sam and help him communicate with Sam. Gabe likes to "make Sam come and sit"- which lead us into a big conversation about Sam not being a new puppy. We are starting several medical consultations on Sept 12 and 13th - wish us luck. Here are some cute pictures

Monday, August 29, 2011


i think we really got our pay off at the end of  such a long process....Sam is so wonderful- he really love for him feels so genuine and real and authentic like i have known him forever. I DID NOT EXPECT THIS....i expected hard, and it coud get harder,- i expected trauma and fear and him to at least be scared of someone- not so...i expected "parent shopping" but he wants to be with us and interact with others with us holding him at our side....i expected dog fear- OK thats still going on until today, when he decided it was time to go outside and see these wooshas up close.....still scared but better sitting on our laps. I am amazed at this amazed at how he fits in so well, and it has blown me away. I feel like all of these trials and tribulations are so worth it to have such a wonderful bond with one of the most delightful little boys i have ever known (and he is mine!!) I know Gabe is the one who is probably having more issues than Sam - so we will work on things together- he is a very sensitive boy (Gabe)- and doesnt go with the flow well when the flow gets crazy we have work to do...and lord knows we will have lots of work to do once the surgeries start. But for now my heart couldnt get much bigger

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

the embassy puzzle

We were so fortunate to be cleared this last friday and offered to come in on Monday. The crazy thing was we weren't given a time to come in (9am was the usual time , but we were not part of an agency group- so Holt asked for a specific time) We were emailed on Monday at like 930 to be there at 11am (yikes!)- Initially the first email we got on Monday said to come in Tuesday the 23rd with the big HOLT group- then it was followed up by "come in at 11am")....scramble scramble, get ready, get driver, get over there. We arrive and they took us right away. The agent we worked with, a tall American woman with dark hair and glasses reviewed our materials. She reviewed the power of attorney John created with the template we were was missing a very specific phrase....ugh- she asked us to have him re-do one right away and scan it and come back either that afternoon or tomorrow morning at 9. She also said that the embassy physicial for Sam had no mention of his special needs. WHAT?!!>! ARE YOU KIDDING?>!!#@?!@# I have been emailing and calling and sending information about Sams health and their own physician didn't review it when she performed his physicial in July? So guess what?~ We got to go back and visit the embassy physician for her to correct her form and review his special needs. ....geez
So....on to this morning.... we go in and to our delight we just wait like 15 minutes. Again, we are going in at an opposite time of the other adoption groups, so we are called right up. The POA was emailed by John and myself and they have it, they are ready to go...i swear in- discuss his history and the investigation, discuss the finallity of adoption and the need to have these materials with me until we reach immigration at our first point of entry to the US.....they tell us the visa will be ready at 10 am the next day.
We return to guest lame tv...the phone rings. I tense up b/c i just feel something is off. I am told we need to return to the embassy for a THIRD TIME to sign off on the new physical report, but we can just pick up his visa this afternoon at 4pm...... if i never see the US Embassy again it will be too soon (unless some how i adopt again hahaha)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

winding down and gearing up

hello hello. Our time here in Ethiopia is winding down. There is end in sight. Ironically it was at my lowest moment, at a point when i felt like this process may very well defeat me , that we got the good news of our clearance. Having been told the police dept in Sams region was not willing to change/amend thier reports- i once again pleaded with embassy to help us find a sollution. Have our agency create an edited report detailing new information and have it notarized, or have the embassy do it. Heck, I can come down and type up the new information and detail that the police were not compliant in issuing this new letter. I sent this pleading email at 1056 am , knowing that since they do not do any appointments on Friday and are only there half the day, that they may not get back to me with any sollutions. Much to my astonishment at 1224 pm they emailed me back to inform me our case was cleared and we could come in as soon as Monday morning. I was just astonished that we were finally cleared....finally done with this uphill battle; uphill all the way. I did not get a confirmation that Monday was ok, but we are showing up!!!
I was able to , fortunatley, get a return ticket leaving late late Wednesday (really Th at 1am) on Turikish Air. This was not my intended flight- i had hoped for the Ethiopian Air- direct, but all coach seats were full until 9/1 so i was unable to switch my original ticket. We will make it work; I am not looking forward to the layovers (Istanbul and Chicago- immigration) but we will make it will be the last trying test of this uphill journey.
I have enjoyed meeting so many families, such diverese groups of people adopting beautiful children. Some with attachment issues that can most likley be linked to trauma and grief, some babies who seemed to click with thier parents/parent from day one....its pretty amazing. Sam and I are one of the "click"ed pairs. I hope it stays that way. He has a certain level of confidence that he will go and play with others but always seeks me out and comes back to be held and hugged. We have some behavior challenges but they are main stream toddler stuff- "don't play in the toilet, you can not eat chalk, toys are not to be thrown, bananas are for eating; not smooshing on the carpet"- He did have a hint of wanting to eat and eat eat and always have food in his hands....that went on for about a week but now we have a good routine, he knows food is coming and he has let that "security cookie" go. I think our biggest challenge will be him having to share my attention. I think, however, that having a good tradoff- having his dad around to give attention will help. He already gets a bit protective when i hold, talk with or play with other kids exclusivley- he wants to come sit on my lop and says "mama" kind of loud, as if to let those kids know who I really belong too. He is also a big time hugger.....even after he throws a little fit about being told now i wall say "up please" and he will reach even when hes mad at me, he can take comfort from me- thats a biggie, something Gabe has issues with at times.
Things i wish i had planned for/brought
More diapers/pull ups (he is about 85% trained)
BIBS! he inists on feeding himself but is messy
More American comfort food snacks- i seriously want a hershey's bar and some skittles!
Toys for a younger age
More clothes for him (he is in 2 and 3t, all the 4ts were too big but he has actually gained weight, so the 3ts are pretty right on)
More socks for him- and ones that fit his feet (club feet distorts the widness of the feet :( )

Overall i think i packed well.....i am trying to wrap my mind around repacking this all up and actually heading out of the door. I have purchased lots and lots of stuff, for my family and friends.
We haven't gotten too stir crazy- we have been able to go to the Hilton and play on the playground and get great food. Sam loves being in the car and looking out the window, meeting new people and playing!!! I can not wait to get this boy in the pool! He looks longingly at the many pools by the Hilton  playground (soon little man, your brothers love to swim). I have also been lucky to have the internet on my laptop (yay wireless) and stay in communication with everyone. The one thing i am "stir crazy" about is the food...its pretty good but i am just tired of the menu.....I WANT MEXICAN FOOD!!!
I am concerned with transitioning Sams very good diet to the American - lots of processed food diet- not that i intend to seek out processed food, its just inevitable that Gabe will want to take him to McDonalds and or Chik-Fil-A and i am not sure what our food will do to his system.....i hope the G.I. gods can treat us well.
ok some pictures to top off this post

Friday, August 19, 2011


HOORAH!!!! we finally have embassy clearance!!! they are willing to take us on Monday at 9am....but i am having issues with finding returns to the states on Ethiopia Air mid week for next week....we could be stuck here until August 30th, but it would save us like $2,500! We will work it out...and the important thing is all his paper work will be done and official!!
TGIF!!! Lets celebrate.

autumn and sam

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

big step backwards

So now the head of the police dept. of Jima refuses to revise the original police report like requested by the US embassy. She said it was entered into court as official evidence and can not legally be changed without court approval (courts do not reopen until the first week of October due to the rainy season) The investigator said the embassy needs to accept the police report as it is and then can add an ammendment documeny of their own referencing the errors and the interview findings. I must admit, she has a point. There should not be a need for a court accepted/evidence document to be recreated if we are supposed to focus on *transparency* in international adoptions. The embassy or even Holt can create an ammendment detailing the issues/errors and attach it to the original. Since the original police reports were court ordered and accepted - the investigator does not feel it is legally ethical for her to have to reissue a whole new police report. So at this point have contacted our Senators, yet againWe must appeal to the US Embassy to accept the report as is/making notes about this issue or accept and ammendment to be added to the police file.  Our agency rep said she pleaded with the investigator from Jima, as did the nuns from  the Mission of Charity- but the Jima investigator was not keen on recreating/reissuing a new report. At this point the US Embassy can document all of this in thier file and move forward and they need to be requested to do so.   This report was accpted by MOWCYA and the Ethiopian High Court and was a requested item of evidence for his case.- there is one date descrepancy of two months that got overlooked by the court/MOWCYA.....but the embassy must nit-pick it seems and then pretty hardline about a whole new report being created when we can make an ammendment statementand be done with it,.....please pray for a resollution!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

today has been hard....

today is Saturday- a weekend day revered by many because of loungey afternoons spent with family or friends, shopping or home projects, watching aimless amounts of tv. Saturdays kinda suck here in Ethiopia because I know that for today and tomorrow i will not have any updates about embassy. The sticky part of the embassy requests are over and now we just wait for o.n.e. l.o.n.e d.o.c.u.m.e.n.t    ugh- . Yesterday we went to the Sheraton, which i found much too fancy for kids, as did many b/c no kids were there...none at all..the playground was closed. So i took a car to the Hilton where there were tons of kids and a full playground,but we didnt have a lot of time....i hope to go back next week. The weather has been kinda cool, heavy rains in the afternoons and evenings. Sam and I have a pretty good routine down. We wake up about 730, down to breakfast by 745 or so (he stays in his pjs b/c of frequent breakfast food messes), then play until 9 or 930, get dressed, brush teeth, straighten room, more playing while i check email, maybe venture outside to play with the guard, lunch at 12, then clean up, watch a little tv /Elmo - nap at 130, 3/330 wake up, shake off the crankies and have a snack (attachment rocking time, Sam loves it), play in or out again, dinner at 530- at 615, back in playroom area, mom on internet, Sam in and out of the balcony to yell at the guesthouse driver and guard. 730ish bath (unless it was completed earlier int he day due to boredom), play around til 830, lay down/watch tv- Sam falls asleep by 9pm. I then have more time to try and read, shower or surf internet. If we venture out to the store or to the larger hotels it happens between 11 and 2ish, we have lunch out :) Wash, rinse, repeat each day. Sam has been battling a runny nose, he is also wanting to stubbornly do everything himself- such as eating spaghetti, running the bath water and tying his shoes....he does not always favor my assistance until he realizes he is not getting it done. Tis the way of the toddler

Monday, August 8, 2011

The last phase of a long journey

Super excited to see me- Samuel was squealing- it was so adorable!

On August 1st we met again after over two months! We played in a good sized ball pit, in the new play/PT room on the first day- Monday afternoon Aug 1- during an hour of visiting time. He was pretty distraught when I had to go. I got to help him eat his last dinner in the orphanage.

Took custody August 2nd- was given two handmade sweaters and a pair of shoes by the MOC, Allasalem (his main nanny) took him around to different people to say bye, and stayed in a classroom until I came to get him. She seemed really sad- he has been in care for over three years! She visited with me for a while when we changed his clothes, looked at many of his pictures. I gave her a collection of pictures and a card. She looked at a book I made for Sam and asked to have a picture of me and him together (my favorite picture of us, and the very first one we took after I had him in my arms less than 5 minutes). That was very touching and I immediately took it out of his book and gave it to her. I am so glad they were “loose “ pictures and not printed by Shutterfly, or I wouldn’t have been able to do that for her. Sister Jennifer helped me put on the new shoes I brought him- and that was just a great moment.

I am very very grateful to the other families here, because they had to wait for me to visit Sam at his care center, while they lost time to spend with their children since the Holt care center 3 was so far away and we were crunched. These families, knowing that I am here for an indefinite amount of time, were so willing to help me, give me items that I could use- propel water, bibs, medications, nice Kleenexes for Sam’s very runny nose, musical toys, leftovers, wet-wipes etc…it was so sweet how this group was very much a team. Those initial 4 families have all gotten their visas, and have made their way back homw.We have two new families here now, and somehow that initial “team” feeling isn’t the same. Or maybe i am already too familiar with life here, after a week, and dont seem so frazzled.

Things I realized in the first day or two: He loves to eat, had mangos, banana, lentils, injera, cake all on the first day. He will try any food once, and likes 95% of it. He finds security in always carrying a cracker or cookie. He also finds security in being with me- and is always calling me to his side with endless “nay”s. He really wants to be right with me and will sit on the bathroom step to wait for me – its adorable. He cuddles next to me in bed to sleep even though he has always slept alone. Although he takes a long time to settle in to sleep, wants to play, cuddle, sing and then fidget/squirm his way to la-la land. We play this game, that I saw with his nannies, where he yells or even whispers “eep” and I repeat it then he kinda play slaps my leg or runs to give me a kiss…so awesome.

He was given honey-nut cheerios on August 5th (Friday) and loves them. He is super happy and easy to please, even during his grumpy times. He does not like to be told NO- but is easily appeased

He has become very attached to me, and when someone asks him who is ema-ye is he points to me but just calls me “allo”- which I believe he got from the French nuns. He would say that to them, b/c he would hear them say that to him when they greeted him. I wonder if he thinks I am French (my husband would love that to be true). On the first day he began giving me spontaneous hugs and kisses, looks me right in the eye, always telling me to “Nay”- or “come with me/come here”. The shoes I brought him are working out very well. Although there is something rubbing the outside toes, where they meet his feet. I am so looking forward to getting him home and more comfortable. He was/is scared of the big potty but we got him a “po-po” on Thursday (August 5th) and he has started using that. He is small for his age, fits in 2t well, and 3t is a bit big. 4t clothes are very big on him. His shoe size is an 8.5

He speaks A LOT of Amharic, and I wish I knew all his phrases and songs. I have learned important communication words for “eat” “open the door” “its ok” “beautiful/wonderful” “good job/clever” “cookie”, “shoes” “water” “drink”, “no/yes” “stop” “hot” “thank you”, “slow down” “dog” , “diaper”and three different potty terms- those I can manage without looking at my list. I use many other phrases from my list for longer statements.

He is very playful and even likes to clean up. He loves musical toys! His walking is quite cumbersome and at times he often asks to be carried, especially up the stairs- although he does crawl on them. I have heard him complain about his feet twice since we have been together and it breaks my heart. He is so eager to be fast and quick, but then falls and stumbles- but gets back up with a smile. He throws the cutest and funniest “fits” which are very different from when he is truly sad/scared. His bottom lip pouts out in a major way and he falls to the floor, sometimes forward and sometimes backwards. He is usually silent and just pouty, rolls over and covers his face like he is asleep. Sometimes if I exacerbate the situation, without giving in, he will whine. He looks like a 2 year old doing this. Most of the time he is much more of a two year old. He is wearing 2T and some 3T clothing, He is kind of a tiny guy, but chunky. An Ethiopian Danny Diveto, if you will.

The first two days my body was quite mad at the world. Mad at the lack of sleep, different food, tension of the stressful trip with all the luggage handling left up to me. Then compound that with a 30 pound chunk of toddler-love that insists on being carried up all 4 flights of stairs (5 of you count coming up from the dining area). We have since moved rooms and the sleeping issue and stair issue have been resolved. I have acclimated to the climate, food, embassy-wait stress and time change and to being mom of a little one again. I have also lost some of my “pregnancy” weight! Woohoo

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The last night....the last hour

Last night was the last night our Samuel will have spent in an orphanage. I was there to feed him dinner and play and then put him to bed for his last night in his little blue crib at the carecenter. This is the last hour he will live an hour he will be with me....i leave in 30 minutes. I left Sunday at 7am and arrived in Addis at 8am on Monday- and am surrounded by some great families. We have challenges with embassy, but nothing major and it will take a few days. Hopefully good news will come this week. Sam is walking, well kind of hobbling...but its a fast hobble! He is out of casts for now and some muscle tone is coming back to his legs. He is such a joyful boy....just giggles and smiles all the time. He is so excited about being able to wear shoes for now. "CHEMMAS!!!!" he yells . He is a short little three year old it seems, but he is a good eater! Its nice here, weather wise. Daily down pours make the air so much nicer than in May. The north is still battling drought conditions. Its such a nice break from 105 temps in SC. I am at such peace finally after so much chest and heart would hurt some days (or usually in the middle of the night at 3am) with worrt about what would happen with our case and if i will make it back. I have heard other very frustrating stories of adoption from some families here, and there has already been tears due to a scary court situation for some families who left yesterday. It is so difficult to be able to have grace and peace with this process....and this is just the beginning....after the heartbreaking hurdles of just getting through court and embassy, then you have the new life to create, often dealing with trauma and attachment building that is not always easy.... through this process i really have felt my heart has literally grown (maybe b/c of the anxiety palpatations hehe) i can breath

Friday, July 29, 2011

big bag of emotions

i have been feeling waves of overwhelm-ness....of knowing that these are the last few days of our sense of *normal* and that we will soon be evolving into a new normal with a beautiful little boy who will be full of wonder, his own sense of overwhelm-ness, with possible elements of fear, confusion but also hopefully with happiness, a sense of fun and adventure.....and , over time, a sense of security and family. Unlike many adoptive families, i have little to no history of S aside from his time in the care center. I am starting to have the feeling that i need to give him more of a history- even if its just with the care-center family. So i am printing many pictures of him and his nannies and will make sure to get thier names and spellings and hopefully find out some sweet stories they have of him. The story we were told about how a family from Italy came to see him and nearly adopted him when he was 1 1/2 but then got too worried about his health issues just isnt one of those sweet stories i need to include. (Thanks you Italian family that did not choose S, for buying me some time to get to my baby ) I can feel my heart growing and i literally feel different, physically, when the realization hits me about being sososos close to having S in our arms.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

big feet and little feet

today is shoe packing time :) yay for bigger donation bins and more donations to follow. I have some medical/clinic supplies coming for Misson of Charity from an AP in Oregon and needed to make more room. ALSO i was delighted yesterday when Martha Schroeder (an AP from my agency) emailed to tell me that her VBS has raised $1,500 for the well-project at Trees of Glory. Such great donation news this week- shoes, medical supplies and $$$ for the well. Lots to be happy about
Embassy news: Jenn from my agency emailed me yesterday to assure me that the ET staff had the documents ready to submit today with a new embassy coverletter and we will wait and see what happens.  I hope the most updated police statement is accepted!! PLEASE PLEASE ACCEPT THE POLICE LETTER EMBASSY FOLKS :)
Planning news: Today was my last day of planning at school. My substitute teacher, also a certified teacher himself, is ready to go. We arranged the classroom, got his teacher editions, and other resources, I was able to access most all my previous years' materials, resources and such saved on my FDrive (yaya technology)- so I think he will do great until mid October. This has been a crazy year- I missed many kids graduations and i will miss all the hoopla of the first day of school. I am confident in my sb and school to handle things and it has helped to de-stress my psyche :) Gabe was quite concerned with having to come to my school and help set up....he was asking "why is summer this year so much shorter than last year??" hehehe i think he belived he would be starting school next week or something . Nope- its just his opver planning mother who felt the need to do three days of planning and making sure all things were ready to go at her own school. Whew....more packing

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Well we have embassy news but its not the good news we hoped for. They, of course, are asking for yet another police statement. They specifically said they want a detailed statement of what was done to try and locate the family, not a statement that just says "we have exhausted the investigation". They also wanted a timeline of events of his care. Which i think Holt or MOC could put together easily. The police letter scares me- but i am sure it can be done. So that means no Aug 3rd date for me. I am fine with it- i pretty much expected it.Our case has been reviewed and investigated already. Having an abandonment case is already a "red flag" and I think one from Jima makes it more so.  
I have a list of phrases 5 pages long ready to go. The MOC seemed strict with behavior, actually. So i am thinking and hoping Samuel will be compliant :) I also found phrases such as "home, later" and "not now" and hope that he understands that the guesthouse is not "home" hehehe.

I know its not the embassy news I hoped for, but I am really glad to know whats going on and be included on the first emails for once!! ( I am privy to information about our case as soon as its given for the first time ever!) I dont have to wait and wait to hear it from someone else.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

waiting, nesting, packing and praying

This last week has been productive, busy and filled with moments of flurry. I have been able to speak with some people from school, find two cool strollers- one great for travel, wrap up the last week of UUCC camp, pool party with Gabe, John and folks from the congregation, and packing :) I have hit big nesting mode- and have been wanting to clean and organize and make a plethora of lists, email my AP friends several questions that seem "simple"- but really are far from it. I have had some flutters in my heart and just sense the beginning of our new family is right around the corner. I am waiting for our embassy date and praying for Aug 3rd or 8th (please please please). I was having anxiety issues (not anxiety per say, but more like fits of planning mania) of going it alone but have really gotten a handle on things and know i can do this! I have put together a little photo book for S of us and of ET Airline planes and the guesthouse - so I can kind of show him what will be happening. I am also making a photo book of ET, different parts of Addis, the country side, Trees of Glory, his nannies and such. That will be for him later when he is home. I have stocked up on baby-first aid gear, clothes, some shoes, travel toys and books,m dvds for the computer and such....i have managed to keep my packing to a large suitcase to check, a donations bin, a smaller suitcase that can be carry on and a large camping backpack - carry the stroller- which i hope to check at the to follow :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

waiting for embassy clearance....but there is light at the end

A family who as also submitted last week with us has gotten their clearance! So i hope we will hear something Monday or Tuesday. There is a possibility they need to have more documentation about something or corrections to documents already submitted. Both have happened to other families in the last couple of weeks, so its a crap-shoot with trying to estimate . But at this point i know they have probably began reviewing our stuff, and our file is kinda big. S was abandoned over three years ago, so trying to get an interview with someone would probably be impossible. Yet they may want to contact the police station there (thats what the judge and MOWCYA did)....whew.....soon, little man, soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Red Threads - busy time

Its Monday and I am actually getting ready for work. I am working at the summer camp for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation and its been lots of fun. I worked last week and this week willbe the final week. I have been able to take Gabe with me, which makes it perfect. We have had lots of fun.
Also a little over a week ago we started a website for fundraising  through the Red Threads Company.  They are a new company, created by an adoptive family, and allows for fundraising online, with out having to buy lots of shirts upfront.

I love the shirts- they are super cool


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Submitted to Embassy!!

Yay- all S's documents : court decree, birth certificate, passport and his physical/medical check have been completed and his file was submitted to embassy yesterday!!! I am hoping for a mid August date- he could be home in a month!! He sooooo needs to be home and begin therapy, set up a course of action for his legs.
I am sososo thanksful and feeling very blessed because our agency has been dealing with a crisis in ET and i really thought that our submission could be delayed. Please pray no documents need corrections and no other materials are requested. Bascially pray that his file is complete and ready to go!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


There is, sadly, alot of uncertainty about Ethiopian adoption right now even with many larger, more reputable agencies. My heart goes out to the many families and children affected by the recent turn of events. I hope this nightmare gets straightened out soon. Luckily we got through court and all is official with us, so we are not affected. Our son was not from one of the orphanages that are affected, either- so we are fortunate. Many people choose my agency because it is large and in a way, protected, and seen as a "leader" with ET adoption. It even boasted about its reputable and admirable intake processes- yet there are still issues with these partner orphanages and it seems that problems are still occuring at a drastic rate. My heart hurts for these families and children....this better be resolved fast.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

more paper work needed??

hehe of course i am actually happy about this paper work...EMBASSY PAPER WORK- i am filling out more stuff, more stuff to be notarized and signed and copied and then overnighted to HOLT :)
whew....our official court decision was given June 29th, decree came on July 1st....- i just have to keep catching my breath- its happening!!
I kinda feel like i have gone into labor...lots of heavy breathing and pains in my chest

WE ARE COMING!!!! (well, i am coming-:)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Just Breath

Certain moments have been catching me off guard. For the past 5 weeks i have had this tension in my chest "will he finally be it ever going to be official?" and now it is....the same old thought will creep in my head and then i have to shake it out of my min "yes!  he is our finally ours!!" These last two days have had other occurances that have helped me..... my husband got cable back- we went for a year with out it, and in celebration of my first year of graduate work towards my doctorate, the finalization of our adoption (soon soon) he got Direct TV back...i have been watching tons of current TV- documnetaries on Cuba and Doctors without Boarders- wonderful!! My summer class is over (another reason to be able to breath easier), i have a part time job for july to raise $$ for my second trip, and i am doing well with planning for the fall (both for my research and teaching). As stated before i get a bit caught up with planning and anxiety about if things will get done on time. Its all starting to come together. Meditation and prayer have been a big part of it...
Other thoughts that catch me off guard is just imagining Sam home with us....and the nesting!!! I am getting my stroller and am excited about that - and i have started to think of taking him up to the mountains of PA in late October to see some best friends of mine from undergrad.....i hope attachment is going well at that point, it may be a risky move. I may just take Gabe with me, but my friends from Wilkes are planning a weekend together (actually my idea from last year) and even my half sister is up there and i really need to visit them....

Friday, July 1, 2011


We got our MOWCYA letter and court decision today!!! Sam is ours!!!
Heres to a speedy document/embassy process and travel during the rainy season

Profile of Rwandan Ed Standards

*** This is for a link to my Glogster for a USC Course*** A look into some of my work:0

Education, Recovery and Development: RWANDA AND UNICEF

Those that created the geography curriculum for Rwanda are focused on development-, industrialization, population issues/healthcare AIDS, urbanization and agriculture. It seems they are promoting that Rwanda is/should be on a path towards development and can begin to be compared to other nations within these same realms. Students are taught to evaluate other nations according to such levels of development, as well. Development theory, with the goal of being able to be compared to large, developed nations such as America, Brazil, China and Japan is central to this curriculum. Westernized education system/methods can also be identified in how the standards (years/chapters) and academic goals are laid out. It was surprising that environmental issues were not mentioned, and globalized communication was not identified within Rwanda’s geography curriculum. These two concepts would seemingly be important to a rising, developing nation looking to become engaged with other African nations and countries of North America, Asia and Europe.

Rwanda’s History Curriculum: The voice of the Other is somewhat focused on in an early traditional sense. In some of the historic pieces dealing with Belgium, resistance and rebellions are mentioned as well as ethnic divisions. Personal narratives, such as was used by Subreenduth would be powerful tools to use in teaching through the conflicts. The voice of the Other in regards to colonialism/imperialism is not clearly evident in regards to other African nations. Global systems of trade, imperialism and colonialism are addressed. The negatives or cultural affects are not mentioned as a topic of discourse, however. Those who made this curriculum requests that students do make traditional and cultural identifications with Rwanda and the African continent as the “cradle of humanity”. Yet with the introduction of Europe and America focused on the Enlightenment- it seems that this curriculum promotes them (America and Europe)- as the “enlightened” nations- that take control over Africa’s humanity. There is room for debating the pros/cons of imperialism and the ramifications there of, but that is not mentioned in these standards. Possibly those who made this curriculum do not wish for students to engage in that type of inquiry. The worldview of Africa being the heart of humanity but Europe and America being the “enlightened” ones is evident. Also a world view of evaluating history through war and rulers, as opposed to localized cultures, arts, and customs is evident.

Question? Is there a tie UNICEF’s MDG in this curriculum? At the beginning of the document it is mentioned that it was created for Vision 2020, as a Strategy of the Reduction of Poverty Strategic Plan o f Education 2015. This seems to tie into the MDG language and that of development theory.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Still no specific news for us

Well no news for us, which doesnt surprise me b/c we are never on the Tuesday grid our agency gets updating all the cases b/c a different center handles our case. Lets see our track record: We were submitted to court in early Jan- (not on Tuesday grid- we never even knew), sent back from court in late January- (not on Tuesday grid, never told), new documents requested by the court in Feb- (not on Tuesday grid- calledon Feb 14 to let us know), regional birth certificate recieved- (not on Tuesday grid, private email), Submited to Court March 7- ON THE GRID (only time), notified of court date April 29 (not on Tuesday grid- emailed/called on a Friday), results of second court date/ court letter recieved- June 1st- (not on Tuesday grid- we phoned MOC),... so we never really expect news on the head of the Africa program emailed me today and told me that she is requesting a personal update of our case- basically requesting HOLT ET to contact Mission of Charity for an update. Our letter should be there because word from two other large agency boards have said that MOWCYA is caught up on cases through June 3rd. So we are expecting that the letter and possibly a court decree has been obtained but have not made their way to HOLT Ethiopia staff. So we are really hopeful, even though there hasn't been concrete news today.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

puzzles in my head

i am an over planner....i tend to get myself in complex predicaments with several engagements and projects, usually over lapping. Currently i am planning for Sam to come home, researching/making contacts for his leg issues, taking an online class at USC, trying to get things organized for my "real" job this fall when i am on leave, researching for disertation topics, and entertaining a 7 1/2 year old little boy named Gabe (also my son)- ugh and this is my summer vacation?!!? I feel like i am always trying to figure out logistical tactics -  ENOUGH!! so i am trying to relax more...i took sometime for myself , reading yesterday, making dinner with my husband (he usually does all the cooking)- and bodyflow class today....i need to find some down time when my mind isn't racing and anxiety isn't high from all the unknowns. So what else am i doing right now- PLANNING FOR MY DOWN TIME I AM TAKING ....seriosuly its crazy...hmm? yoga classes, hmm meditation? ...hmmm a new book?...take Gabe to the movies....go to the pool, day with the doesnt end.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


still nothing news on the adoption front

Sunday, June 19, 2011

back to reality

I have a conference for the next two days and some small papers to write for my online course and some curriculum planning for when i am gone from teaching this fall (yay for FMLA)- so i will actually be busy this week with stuff!! I have come off of two weeks of post-Ethiopia-trip recovery and I am not so sure i wanna get back into work-stuff...but it must be done.  Ho will divert my obsessive mind from checking my email and phone 324871 times a day looking for adoption news

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just spectating

well well its my birthday! nothing bg planned...just went to the $ kids movies with Gabe this morning, came home and made lunch. I fear a dead bird or squirell is in my chimney that has a weird sealed iron gate/cover....ugh gross. Gabe is going to his best friends house to sleep over and I hope to make it to an art opening at the museum...just needing to find the free/cheap stuff to do. We usually go to Carowinds -
with all three kids and me and john...but this year the two oldest are at camp this John and I are taking Gabe to the smaller water park on base tomorrow. Yay- saves like $120 right there.
ADOPTION NEWS: There really is none...thi sis the wonderful grey area where paperwork is possibly/probably being completed and I wait to find out the status on the court decree, birth certificate and such to get submitted to embassy. It seems the Ethiopian court officials are a bit ticked off at the slow down that MOWYCA has instigated with these 5 cases a day pace. The federal courts ordered MOWYCA this week to pick it back up tot he pace it was before March 8 because there have just been too many delays. I hope these two agencies can play nice and get things picked back up...MOWCYA has to issue two or three letters for each adoption them working effeciently is essential.
I didn't want anything special more my b-day other than a court decree and that doesnt look like it will happen this week....oh well ...ho-hum :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

not religious- but it wears on me

so ...i am not an overly religious person. I meditate alot, go to yoga and tai chi classes and attend a Unitarian Universalist congregation...but i am not a typical traditional (and i mean Christian) religious person. In fact the act of prayer makes me feel odd...and its not a lack of belief in a higher power...its a feeling of selfishness. Let me explain,  i am a news junkie and a cultural junkie...i read and listen and watch the news and read, listen and watch media on other countries. I acknowledge that i am in a position of privilege compared to a great deal of the world. I have a stable house, good job, very good education, my health, the ability to choose how to live, a safe country....i have so much. When i try and pray for something, even if has to do with bringing home my beautiful little boy from Ethiopia, i tend to feel selfish and like i should not be asking for anything more. I have so much already.....i long for him to be home, totally believe that we are able to give him a life like he never would have been able to have...but its hard for me to pray for things for myself. I think it has helped that in my mind i can pray for S....i am praying for him to be united and taken home by his family (which just happens to be us)....after seeing the suffering in this world; and mind you, my view has been limited, i find it difficult to pray for anything. If anything were to be "given" to me as a result of a prayer, i would even feel a since of confusion; please award this "answer to a prayer" to someone who really is in need.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

stay mobile

So i am stroller shopping after all..i wasn't certain if i would need one since S just turned 3- but given his leg/surgery situation i am shopping and have found one that is adjustable, lightweight and accomodates up to 50 pounds!

And its cool looking :), has good reviews and wont cost an arm and a leg


i hope he knows we are coming back for him...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Trees of Glory Care Point Visit

Hi all- i emailed Karen, who keeps up a wonderful blog called Family from Afar, about our trip to Trees of Glory. She put my picctures and email together in a nice post over on her site. They are still in desperate need of a new well. Please come read about our visit

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sustaining words yesterday I posted a prayer I found while researching the patron saint of abandoned children/orphans. I forgot to share something I found last weekend, as I was up at midnight, waiting on our plane to leave Addis. This quote was in the Real Simple magazine I was reading about Mother's Day....and it struck a cord in me. The author being Agatha Christie is kind of odd, but when i think about this adoption is like solving a mystery for us....we have had so many odd twists and road blocks and have had to hunt down more information Any is the quote which encompasses my heart right now

"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."

— Agatha Christie

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Police Letter!

The police letter was finally obtained today, this afternoon in Ethiopia!! heart can for court tomorrow. I really was thinking that it would take weeks. This is a prayer i found while researching the patron saint of orphans (i am not Catholic but felt since the Catholic church has helped to save our son i needed to know which Saint to pray to.- totally not like me- but i just felt compelled to do it)
O God, Father of mercies, who sent Saint Jerome Emiliani as a helper and father to orphans, grant, through his intercession, that we may preserve faithfully the spirit of adoption, by which we are called, and truly are, your children.  Through our Lord.

Friday May 27th- Court

I was sick all night from 10pm until felt kind of like food poisoning but not as severe and was pretty much over by daybreak. I thought of this as a bad sign....nothing has come easy for us with this adoption and we continued to have hinderences and frustrations even on our court trip. By 745 am we  were picked up and taken to the Holt offices to review our children's binder. John and I knew to look for the police statement and the birthcertificate- the two main documents that were requested in March for court. We were very excited to see an actual birthdate, or a better approximation as it were. April 8th! This is my step-dad's birthday, so that was pretty cool. We went to court with one other family and began our wait. We were there pretty early, and watched as other families and birth-families came in. The other Holt family was called pretty early and passed! Yay! We went in about half an hour after they did and were pretty dumbfounded as the judge went through her regualr questioning routine and then explained that a new court date was set because our "childs history has not been documented". What?? We have waited and waited in a pool of red-tape paperwork to insure all documents were brought up from Jima. The judge was kinda of surprised we were not told this already by our lawyer and she even questioned him. After speaking with the Holt legal counsel he basically told us that the Mission of Charity was in charge of getting this statement, not him. This confuses me because it is basically a letter from the regional police stating that no one has been looking for S in the last 2 years. I do not beleive that it is only the MOC who can go and request this letter. I beleive that since Jima is 6 hours away and Holt is no longer working with the MOC that they are washing their hands of our case and not putting forth any leg work. This is a new requirement as of this January yet for some reason the document was not obtained for our family.....MOC says Holt should seek it, Holt says MOC should seek it. In the end it is a person from MOC who is helping us the most  and keeping us in the loop. They have phoned the MOC for the Jima region and have had thier sisters requesting the document from the police. However, i am not certain that this has been done many times or to the correct person....Sister Jennifer explained that the woman who is supposed to issue the letter has been hard to contact. Johna nd I feel that the MOC representative should drive down there in person at this point. This letter is needed for several other children as well, and it is holding up many court cases. We have another court date for 6/3/11- but we aren't expecting both items to get there in time.
What an emotional, physical and mental roller coaster the last week has been. We were able to spend so much time with our little boy who is in Addis at the Missions of Charity center (not a HOLT center)- he is special needs, and we needed to have his legs evaluated. We have had some serious concerns about his medical progress or lack there of. There seems to be quite a regression with his club feet :( But being that he is at a special center we got to see him a few hours every day and take him to two doctors and for xrays. Unfortunatley we did not pass court and it is not just because of the MOWA letter. We were half expecting to hear the judge say we did not have the MOWA letter but whe she asked us if we were aware our sons history documents were not recieved she stated that "his history is not documented". And we just kinda stared blankley like deer in headlights, not knowing what she was talking about....we have an abandonement decree, they required us to obtain a birth certificate and we did that too....and now this. All this red tape and my son is in an institution in need of surgery ASAP. Needless to say our hearts are breaking. Please send us good thoughts, positive vibes and prayers. Another court date is set for next week- Friday. We specifically need the police letter and the MOWYA letter. The main thing being the police letter, once that is issued we know MOWA will reissue a positive letter. We really aren't aware of the MOWA letter was there nor not...b/c the other letter just sent us reeling, and thats all we have focused on

After court we went back to the hotel and changed and then requested the driver to take us back to HOLT so that we can further discuss this issue and also have new xrays taken of S's legs. Miruk met us in the drive way and we went to pick up S at MOC- he was so excited to see us. We were given permission to take him to see the dr and get xrays. We spent some time in a beautiful little garden/yard at the xray clinic and S had so much fun sitting and playinjg in the grass. He seemed thrilled to actually be in the grass and not on concrete. We got his xrays and dropped him back was time for lunch and  nap. He was not happy to be taken from us. He loved riding in the van and trying to stick his head out of the window. What a funny baby! We then were able to meet up with several new families arriving for embassy and visit AHOPE and the Leprosy hospital. Everyone else then went to eat Italian food but John and I just wanted to decompress and stay in.....we just felt so hurt and confused. We felt as though significant issues were kept from us until we got in country. Miruk said it best, though, that this first trip is for us to spend time with our child and appear in court as part of the requirement.....but it felt as though we are just mired down with another long wait....after we are already 6 months behind a normal schedule....its really hurting our hearts.