Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here We Go!

So, I'm sitting at the airport in Houston, Texas waiting on our plane. I brought my daughter's laptop so I could play on the internet during our wait. I thought that airports had free Wi-Fi, but I was wrong-well, not technically! There is free internet access if you are an elite member of one of the airlines, but I'm just a peon... Thank goodness for my smooth husband because I just found something good about him-no matter what other people say! (I'm just joking!) He did sweet talk a lady in the airport lounge into giving us a password for the British Airways access. So, this is why I'm posting right now. I should be napping, instead of playing on the computer, since I was up packing until 1am! But I only had to rearrange stuff a couple of times, and I only have two regrets:

1. That I had to leave some donations home
2. I didn't get a package I was expecting, so I won't have the Ergo. (I should have just bought one.)

Anyway, I'll manage.... I can't wait to see my children! I also can't wait to travel to one of the newer orphanages. Kenneth said I'll be confined to the car if I dare start having thoughts of another child! lol! Not really! At least he hasn't said that anyway.

Another "must" is finding Sarsina for a fellow Hope family. This family has been through a lot, and I hope I can give them a much-needed lift... I'll post more later...

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Didn't Fall Into A Black Hole!

I really am alive! You just wouldn't believe how crazy it's been for the last two weeks! So leave me alone Miranda! lol! First, I get this email from our coordinator (Miranda's mother) that our court date has been moved up because of all the Ethiopian and American holidays, but she did say that we could put it off a couple of weeks if we neeeded too. Yeah right! Like I'm not going to hop on the next plane! So, I was then frantically searching for airline tickets where I didn't feel like I needed to rob a bank to pay for them. That's not easy to do! I had gotten a reservation with Tsegaye at Adam Travel, but our return flight was wait-listed. I have heard numerous good things about Tsegaye, but I just didn't want to take the chance of getting stuck in Ethiopia. We do have a business to run! So, we went with a KLM flight through Amsterdam with Golden Rule Travel. Tsegaye was more than willing to help me, but all of this was so last minute. I hated not using him, but if anyone needs his contact info, then email me!

I guess this doesn't sound so crazy, but then I needed to get our travel documents together:

1. I-600 for each child

2. I-864 for each child-notarized

3. DS-230 for each child

4. 3 years of taxes

5. Notarized home study

Then there is Christmas shopping to do! The only one that I hadn't shopped for was my 13 year-old. She said, "Momma, I have everything I need." True, but I had no time to be creative. I didn't want to use my brain! Did I mention I had a birthday too? I really do try to forget those, especially after turning 30!

Then, I had a death in my family... It's not that I was close to the person, but that it brought back memories of my grandparents that I dearly miss! It is still hard to go to my grandparents grave site and it's been 12 years. Lucky for me, I am blessed with a wonderful mother that routinely places flowers on their grave for me for special occasions. However, amidst all this sadness, I received the most wonderful update about Maritu and Mamush from Tammie, a fellow Hope parent:

Holly and Ken Wilgers - Mamush-shoe size between 4-5. Clothing - 12 months. Mamush is very calm and easy-going. He seems very easily entertained with himself....didn't require much, if any, soothing from others. He's got a charming smile and a soft spirit about him. Maritu wears size 6 shoes and size 12-18 months clothing. Maritu is an extremely outgoing child. She's not afraid to let you know with her facial expressions exactly what she's feeling. Her facial expressions are absolutely hilarious at times, while at others it's very, very clear that she's not a happy camper. You'll have no problems at all in telling what she's'll be written all over her face. Neither Mamush nor Maritu are walking. Mamush seems quite content to let things and/or people come to him, while Maritu is all about going to get what she wants when she wants it....and letting you know all about it. She's quite the character! :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come outof the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

This week, I found out. From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England werenot permitted to practice their faith openly. Someoneduring that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Eachelement in the carol has a code word for a religious realitywhich the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments. -The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas pass it on if you wish.'

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

But here are two of them!

Introducing Maritu and Mamush...

Twas the Night Before...

Twas the night before our court date,

when all through the abode,

only one creature was stirring,

and she was cleaning the commode!

The children were all sleepy,

all snug in their beds,

while visions of Wii and cell phones

danced in their heads.

Kenneth was snoring,

all cozy like lead.

Those sounds he was making,

shook the whole bed.

So only I heard

when the phone call came,

which made me sigh,

"I'll never be the same!"

With the toilet brush

still clutched in my hand,

I descended the stairs

and shook my old man.

He was covered in spit,

which fell with a shrug.

"Oh great," I muttered,

now I have to clean the rug!"

"Ho-ho-ho," cried Grace.

"I'm glad you're awake."

"What," I shouted,

and "for goodness sake."

I said, "Why are you calling

and at this time of day?"

Grace said, "I have news for you

that I can't keep at bay."

I learned very quickly

what this call was all about.

Now I can do nothing

but scream and shout!

"Dear Grace,

oh what do my tired ears hear?"

"You mean they're mine?

I started to cheer!

For you see...

Ethiopia blessed us today,

with two more beautiful children.

Now what else can I say?

Thank you Rahel...

Grace, Shim and all,

for these two precious children,

and the early phone call.

Hope, you are amazing,

and just plain outta sight!

Merry Chistmas to all,

and to all a great night!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let it Snow!

Today was the easiest day to get the kids out of bed because it snowed! The last time it snowed here was in February of 1988. All the neighborhood kids were outside enjoying themselves at 5 AM! Of course, we Southerners have no clue how to drive in this mess, so all area schools were delayed 2 hours to let the ice melt. As soon as the sun started rising, the snow started melting. My husband said, "Maybe I need to teach Skylar to write his name in the snow..." Just like a man! He got his chance to act manly not longer after that comment when we found a frozen water moccasin on our back porch. I thought, "Oh good. It's dead." But Kenneth told me that it would be revived as soon as the weather warmed up, so we smashed his head. Ewww!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ups and Downs

Adoption has many ups and downs. Take for instance, today one of my fellow "Hopesters" found out her new referral Meklit had passed away. How absolutely heart breaking! Kristine, we will lift you and little Zoe Meklit up in prayer...

Then on the flip side, another "Hopester" recently returned from Ethiopia and brought us all pictures of our soon-to-be children. Maritu was half-sleeping in one pic while eating what looked like FirFir which is eggs and injera. Yum! No wonder she is bigger than Mamush. She even eats sleeping! In another picture she's sitting on a potty chair. My favorite was one of her holding her name board. She has huge cheeks! Mamush looked great too. I almost didn't recognize him because he has a "high and tight" cut. Him and one of my fellow Texan's referral Theo were playing in a crib beside Maritu and Agnoti. Maritu was peeking at the boys through a hole in the crib. The look on her face made me think that she is going to be Ms. Personality. Well, all of these kids are gorgeous! I'd bring them all into my home if I could, but hopefully in 3 days, I'll be planning on bringing home two!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What Does This Mean?

"There is nothing like a dream to create the future." -Victor Hugo

I had a strange dream last night. I always wonder if the ones that seem real have some reason or meaning behind them. I dreamt that my husband and I were in another country visiting two girls about 6 years of age in an orphanage. They both spoke English and another language that I don't recall. I also dreamt that I had gotten attached to them, and they to me. They were expecting me to bring them into our family, but for some reason I only brought home one. I was disdraught wondering if the other child was going to be okay when she found out her friend left with us, but she didn't. I don't remember why the second girl didn't come home with us. This has been weighing hard on my heart all day. I guess I better stay away from orphanages!

Friday, December 5, 2008


My court date for Maritu and Mamush is a week from today! I'm excited and nervous all rolled up inside. Not just about passing court. I feel at peace about that, but I'm nervous about the long plane flight with two children that don't have the ability to communicate their feelings and understand what will be happening. I, a stranger, will be taking these two darling children away from everything they have known for the last year. How scary is that? Am I prepared for attachment issues? I think I am. Can I properly care for their hair/skin? I've studied this issue so much. I hope I won't have other AA parents chastising me. I always welcome helpful comments. Will I recognize and be able to advert potential racial problems? I sure hope I'm able to. My faith helps me, and I hope to instill that in these children. Will I be everything to my kids, as they will be to me? I guess time will tell...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Accessory Navicular Problems

Well, it looks like my children have inherited the genes I didn't want them to get. They could have inherited my brains or determination, but instead, Curran has foot issues. Throughout this soccer season she has complained about her foot hurting, so last week I took her to our podiatrist, and he said she has Accessory Navicular Syndrome. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it will definitely cause her some down time. All it is is an extra bone in the foot. Most people that have that problem never have any symptoms, but Curran does because of the sport she plays and the training involved. So, it looks like Curran's Christmas present will be surgery...

She's not happy because this week she started training with our high school soccer team. The coach wanted Curran to show her lazy girls what an 11 year-old can do, and she's been doing just that! This child has been out running over half the older girls during sprints. The Varsity girls asked that Curran practice with them, instead of the Junior Varsity. Does she feel important, or what?!!?

Okay, I did use the plural form of "child" at the beginning of the post, so now on to the other child. Cullen is having some knee issues. Again, it is just like her mother... Yikes! Sorry girls!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Charlie Schultz Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.

You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them.
Just read the e-mail straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies..
Awards tarnish.
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson:

The people who make a difference in your life, are not the ones with the most credentials...the most money...or the most awards.
They simply are the ones who care the most.