My Etsy Shop!


Saturday, January 31, 2009

On the Road

Hi all-we are currently in Pittsburgh visiting family in STEELER COUNTRY!! I come from a long line of Steeler fans-when I was a kid, my dad dyed our black and white dog's white fur yellow so she was black and gold for that year's superbowl, I kid you not-if I can find the pictures of it, I will scan them and post them. We are very excited to be up here surrounded by crazy fans to watch the Steelers stomp the Cardinals on Sunday. It would be nice to be watching it in person in warm Tampa , Florida, but seeing as the cheap nosebleed seats are going for around $1400 apiece (seriously people?? you can fly to Ethiopia for that kind of money-and come home with something much better than a sore throat and foam finger!!), we're just fine with being here. It is cold and snowy here and we went to Chuck E. Cheese for the afternoon on this cold, snowy, apparently birthday party-filled Saturday afternoon-no, I do NOT know what we were thinking. We had gift cards for that place that someone gave us for Christmas-and now we will never speak to that person again. Wow. Spending the afternoon there makes me look forward to our really long plane ride home from Ethiopia with a screaming baby is all I'm saying....

ETA: WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!! Go Steelers!!! You guys are da bomb!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Hair-Raising Experience

Long ago when we first started exploring adoption from Ethiopia, I had huge concerns about hair. I knew that my child's hair would most likely be very different from my other children-and I say MOST likely because I have very curly hair and so it is possible I could give birth to a child with similar hair to an Ethiopian child who has a little looser curls. I spent a lot of time freaking out, er, wondering how I would manage my child's hair and if I would be able to do a good job or not. I researched as much as I could about black hair care and styling and products and types and cornrows and twists and pony snaps and on and on-till I would literally dream about it sometimes. (Isn't that weird how we dream about random stuff that we do during our awake hours? I always dream about the everyday things in the weirdest ways-my family can vouch for that. Anyway, I digress...) I found some great articles in the archives here about black haircare and styles from an adoptive mom of 4 Ethiopian daughters (plus 6 other kids-whew!) so it was great to see another white momma who was not raised caring for black hair being successful, no, GOOD, at it. I put all this on the back burner for a good while during the dossier process and waiting for the referral when we watched our number on the boys list always be closer to the top than the girls list. I relaxed a little thinking I could handle a buzz cut and if I couldn't, I could always take him to a barber and get it done quite easily and inexpensively. Then we got the call and found out about our beautiful new baby...GIRL. Uh oh, the panic attacks about being a good hair momma began again. See, in the black community, hair is huge. No, not huge like an afro-although that is sometimes the case-but huge as in very important as to what it says about him or her as a person and in my case, what it says about the capabilities of the momma to properly care for her child. In transracial parenting situations, like ours, it is even more important because we will be judged by members of the black community as to our ability to understand our child's identity and our ability to care for her by how well her hair is taken care of. This is not to make it sound like the black community is only interested in appearance-far from it-but that haircare can be a challenge and well-cared for and groomed hair shows parents who care enough to take the time to understand their child's needs and make the effort that meeting those needs requires. So I found myself back on the internet this past weekend studying some more and soaking up as much info as I could about moisture needs for different hair types, amount of washing necessary, and watching lots of how to videos on YouTube. I am both a visual and kinesthetic learner, meaning I have to SEE it done and DO it myself to learn how to do something with my hands. My oldest agreed to be a guinea pig, uh, good sport and let me try out some basic corn rows on her hair. She has the thickest hair of my three but the least tolerance for her hair being tugged at-and by least I mean ZERO tolerance-so I thought it would be a good experiment to see 1. if I could do it at all and 2. if it would require me to pull too tightly and therby ruin my relationship with my daughter forever and plant a seed of bitterness that would one day grow into a giant therapy bill. I got my supplies-a fine toothed comb (but we couldn't find the very important rat-tail one that is most likely somewhere in the ballet recital paraphenalia-we made do), a spray bottle of water, and teeny tiny rubber bands that I already had for doing piggies in Thing 3's tiny baby hair. It took about 45 minutes I guess and I did half of her head because one, it is winter and I didn't want her to freeze and two, see number 2 above. Here are the results from Saturday-a little too loose I think and lots of "flyaways", and also I really needed the rat-tail comb as the parts weren't very clean. I did try to make them sort of "curvy" on purpose to follow the natural shape of her face/head. It is a good thing our little one will have some time before I need to have this mastered, but overall I guess it is not too terrible for my first ever attempt at cornrows done on slippery-ish white person hair:

She really liked them and is still wearing them because she desperately wanted to wear them to school to show her friends so I guess that is all that matters. Isn't she a good guinea pig, er, sport? Such a cutie!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Week of Blessings

Ok, if you didn't get to read the article in the last post, GO NOW and read it. Totally amazing. I'll wait.

One of the blessings I was part of this week was seeing the Mizero children perform at my daughters' school. They are a group of orphans from Rwanda, ages 11-18, doing a US tour and are awesome! "Mizero" means hope-and that hope for these kids who have suffered so much can only come from the Lord!! Here are a few pictures, sorry some are blurry but these kiddos could move! (If you want to watch a video of these awesome kids, go here)

At the end of their performance, they pulled a several of the school kids onto the floor with them and danced with them and then a bunch of students spontaneously jumped up and joined in-it was so great!!

Next up on the blessing list, the bag 'o love!! Here is the picture of the stuff we sent to our baby girl, unpacked obviously:
I do not have one of it in the ziploc bag b/c I sealed it up in the car in the parking lot of the post office b/c that is just how things go sometimes around this house :). Anyway, the photo album had her picture on the front, NOT the one in the above picture, and pictures of our family and pets inside. Plus I borrowed my friend's label maker so I could make nice neat clean labels to put on all the pictures-a fun indulgence for my obsessive-compulsive streak! It is just the little things sometimes, you know? :) So I sent it with many prayers that she was doing ok and got a little bit of an answer to that prayer today in an email from Kimmie:

"Your little girl is beautiful! She is so tiny and perfect. Each time we came though, she was sleeping in her tiny little bassinet. We prayed over her and told her you love her. Sorry we didn't get to hold her for you, but know that God is holding her until you get there.

One of the days she was taking a nap out in the fresh air. She is healthy...very tiny little pretty! You are a blessed mama ... know that she is receiving excellent care, lots of love, excellence all the way around in Hannah's Hope. The special mothers are very gentle and loving. They pray over the children and constantly speak to them. The kids are held loads throughout the day...we didn't see one unhappy kid there the whole time. The place just oozes contentment and joy...a place where the Father's love is felt."

Oh my goodness, it made my whole week!! All the craziness of this last week and a half just melted away. What a blessing the AGCI family is that people take the time to check on each other's children for them and pray over them!
I think that is quite a week filled with glimpses of the glory of God-I am off to re-read the email for the zillionth time and stare at pictures of my little one just a little bit more :).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quite Amazing Read

Here is an incredible article to keep you busy till I get my act together and make a real post. This is way more interesting than most of the things I was going to say anyway. Go read it.

I will get my pictures of our bag 'o love up ASAP and also some other fun pictures but I am really behind on life this week so the blog had to take a back seat. (Doesn't the rest of the world know I need to keep in touch with my peeps????)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Still Here....

Hi friends! I am still here, the doro wat did not do me in or anything, it has just been pretty busy around here. We got our referral packet and had to get all that paperwork completed-got it sent back to AGCI today and can cross that off the to do list-woohoo! Just have to get the "baggie 'o love" together to send our sweet baby girl. I have had horrible bronchitis all week and while I have felt fine otherwise, I have spent the majority of the last week barking and hacking like a dying dog. I am slowly getting back to normal with only minor spastic coughing outbreaks, usually at the worst possible times like when I am on the phone with Christy at AGCI :). Well, I don't have much to report because I am T-I-R-E-D from being under the weather and going 50 million miles an hour getting paperwork back in and taking care of other mom duties here and trying to keep warm from the FRIGID weather sooooooooo, I am going to plop on the couch with some chocolate chip cookie dough and think about my newest baby girl and what I am going to send her that will tell her WE LOVE YOU AND ARE COMING AS FAST AS THEY WILL LET US!!! Will post pictures of our package in the next day or so-are you all staying warm???

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Ethiopian Christmas!

For dinner tonite, we had Ethiopian food in honor of Christmas in Ethiopia. Here is a picture of my first attempt at doro wat, or chicken stew. It does not have all the authentic parts like whole hard boiled eggs (b/c we were trying to celebrate a holiday and mad squeals of horror and gagging noises from small children would have ruined it), chicken parts with bones still attached (again, gagging and such), or massive amounts of berbere, a super hot Ethiopian spice b/c, well, you know already.And here is the nice fresh injera that I whipped out. And by whipped out, I mean whipped out of the bag brought home from the nice Ethiopian lady who makes it at her little take out place. I was not feeling THAT adventurous to be willing to try this tonite, I had already semi-concocted a close approximation of Ethiopian spiced butter (niter kebbeh) and really thought that was an accomplishment enough.The girls thought it great fun that they had giant floppy pancakes that they could actually eat with their hands, and mom actually TOLD them to do it instead of using a fork!! Ethiopia rocks!

All in all it was pretty good and the kids ate it really well and my hubby added all the crazy hot red pepper he wanted to his serving and was probably much closer to the "real thing" than the rest of us weenies. But hey, they ate it and that was big-and they were also given applesauce to help sweeten the deal a bit, and so in case the meal was horrible, at least they'd have some food in them :).

Well, we met with our doctor last night and he gave us the thumbs up on our little lady so we are ready to fly through our paperwork, which came today-woohoo!!-and get this party started. Here are a few pictures of us seeing our sweet one for the first time. My sister and her family (6 kids, 1 hubby-which is good, I think) came over to see her and take pictures for us. That explains the crowd of kiddos so no, we don't live in a shoe.
(that is my sister holding that little guy) (this one just cracked us up with Thing 3's little expression)
Here is what Thing 3 thinks about her new baby sister:
Ok, that's really just what she thought about getting to run around shrieking with her sisters without anyone telling them to PLEASE BE QUIETER. And here is one more picture of 3 anxious sisters waiting for new pictures to come out so they could be shown to teachers and class at school :) They were VERY excited:

We are so happy to be adding one more girl to this fun bunch!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Whoop There It Is!

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We got our referral this afternoon around 4:45 ET. We have a tiny little girl, not quite 7 weeks old, waiting for us in Ethiopia!!! We got 34 pictures and she is so tiny and cute-and hairy!!! I was really not expecting to hear today and even when Christy called, I thought there was a good chance it would be with a number update. I have never been happier to be wrong!!!!

Off to celebrate!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Well, we had some funny pictures of our family New Year's Eve celebration with just our family (we let the older Things stay up to watch the ball drop-they get super weird by midnight) but somehow our fancy new camera ate them and they are gone into the photography abyss. Well, picture a supermodel and her 2 perfectly dressed and groomed children pleasantly singing Auld Lang Syne with her dashing husband gazing lovingly upon them and you will get a good feel for what it was like in our pictures. There was none of one hiding under a blanket screaming "Leave me alone! I don't WANT my picture taken!" or any of my oldest and I showing off our smokin' moves to the crazy rap music blaring on Rockin' Eve. Or drinking cheap faux champagne and acting like we were tipsy. Because that would be embarrassing and stupid. So we did not have ANY pictures like THAT. That would be ridiculous.

So I will leave you with a picture of the sweetest gift I received this Christmas. It is from my 9 year old nephew and it was the only gift we received for our baby:
It was a little ball he had sewn himself out of scraps of corduroy from his sister's sewing basket. And he does not sew. But he did, for our baby. That he has never even met. And he is only 9. He said he made it out of that fabric because it was soft and the baby could snuggle it against it's face. Yes, I cried.

God is GOOD.