Wednesday, July 30, 2008

is a website focusing of Ethio-American culture - check it out.  Such a great site for stories like:

  • A special visitor from Ethiopia discovers Harlem in 1931
  • Ethiopian Monks maintain the only presence by black people in Jerusalem
  • Obama Team Hires Ethiopian-American Congressional Staffer
  • New Generation of Adopted Ethiopian-Americans
  • NYC art show for female Ethiopian runners
  • The Colors of Ethiopians: Where are you from?

The word Tadias is a popular casual greeting among Ethiopians. It means “hi,” “what’s up?” or “how are you?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hide and Seek...

sums up how I feel right now.

I had a great time at the John Mayer concert on Sunday, 7/27 (poppy's bday).  It was just perfect.  Also thank you to Lexi and Rain for the thoughtful "Luvbug" T-shirt and jacket.  It was really special to get baby ladybug clothes and on dad's bday.  Forever - Lexi is the most thoughtful person .  I am also so happy for the close friends in my life that have children and getting to share experiences with them.  Congrats to KB and the twins, LA and the twins, Yumi and her boys, Wendy and her boys, Becky and Jillibean and the Roy girls - it's just nice to be a part of it all.

I focus on the the goodness right now because this week has been one of those weeks where life feels like a lot, border line too much, mostly because I feel like I can't attack it how I want to or how I think I need to.  Because we all know that we can't control anything but our reaction, I continue to to consider ways to make things more bite size, sighhhhhh.  

It's a good thing that mom and manuel are coming this Thurs.  Not only will this make me feel like I'm managing better but I'm excited for an "Ethiopian adoption social" held near me at the beach.  I'm really excited to share and see the reality of so many families with their children.  It's easy to feel a little detached or in your own head about International Adoption because so few people understand the process and roller coaster of emotions that come with the territory.  So I'm grateful that this social is set up and it's basically in my backyard.  Will give you an update on this later.

Outside of getting my house ready (note - getting more quotes on central air and heat).  I have to start travel vaccinations as there are tons as well as continuing my education......

Ethiopian Language - Amharic:
Amharic is the national language of Ethiopia. It belongs to the Afro-Asiatic language family which includes Arabic, Hebrew and Assyrian. Although other languages are spoken in Ethiopia Amharic is the most widely used and understood.

Pronunciation -
Most of the transliteration has been kept as close to English as possible. A few letters will differ:

e': as in the 'a' in ago
ai: like bait
ie: like pie
o': cross between the 'oa' in coat and 'au' in haul.
g: like the 'g' in Gweneth
kw: like 'q' in quick
ny: like the 'ni' in onion


Hello / Bye: teanaste'lle'n
Hello: tadiyass (informal)
How are you?: dehna neh? (m) / nesh (f) / nachu (pl)
I'm fine: dehna
See you: chow
Yes: awo
OK: e'shi
No (not true): ie
No (not there): yellem
Please: e'bake'h (m) / e'bake'sh (f) / e'bakachu (pl)
Thank you: amesege'nallo'
Excuse me: yike'rta
Sorry: aznallo'
My name is.: se''
I don't understand: algebanye'm

Friday, July 11, 2008

Good News!

We are thrilled to share that MOWA has officially started processing cases again!

This is the email that many families have been waiting for for some time. I'm so happy that the process is back on track and congrats to all my friends who have been waiting. In the midst of this, I've been assigned a new caseworker and the agency has told us they are starting referrals today again. I'm expecting lots of families to get matches over the next week. But from what I can understand the Ethiopian courts can handle 10 cases per agency each week so there may been a little bit of a delay in this regard but still there is much to celebrate.

I am still 2 months away from entering my window so in the meantime I'm getting some tasks done around the house. It's all about preparing my house in the next couple months. Today I'm getting a new washer/dyer (yes get excited mom). I'm floored that there's a "baby wear" cycle on it. And a new dishwasher (so I don't have to wash 3 times before things are clean . And new laptop (and going wireless whopee). And I got blue tooth to follow the new cell phone/driving laws. Soon I'll be tackling a much needed electrical upgrade and central air/heat.

Just call me New and Improved

................................................................and broke (sigh).

But it's TGIF - One of my BFF's Sandro has been here the last week as he's helping at the LA office and as a fun treat we're going to Laguna tomorrow for the night to get some beach quality time. Life is really good.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wait Update (1 month)

It's been officially 1 month since I have been on the wait list (for those who haven't noticed I added a "ticker" to the left nav bar that keeps track). What typically happens is after 3-5 months of being on the wait list you move into the "window" which means at any time you could receive a call from your case worker sharing your baby's picture and information. This is called a referral or match. At that point, once you agree, they proceed with setting up a court date which can take up to 2 months. The agency represents you in court and if your case passes you typically schedule travel to pick up within the month. Of course this timeline is flexible and many things can impact extending it. For instance, there's the rainy season in Addis Ababa where the courts close from August to mid Sept. so no cases can happen during that time period. You may also be in a situation where the courts require multiple hearings based on your unique situation. The other factor that is coming into play is that my agency currently has a "freeze" placed on it because the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA - governing force over adoptions in Ethiopia) has ordered an investigation to look into improving the paperwork at one of the local orphanages. My agency is not under investigation but as a result referrals are not being given out until this is resolved. I have no doubt that this will end soon and that the process will resume as usual. This has been hard on many families especially some of those who are farther along than me. I just continue to believe it will work itself out and give prayer and celebrate 1 month down.

In honor or month 1, I am sharing info on the One Campaign -

ONE is Americans of all beliefs and every walk of life - united as ONE - to help make poverty history. We are a campaign of over 2.4 million people and growing from all 50 states and over 100 of America's most well-known and respected non-profit, advocacy and humanitarian organizations. As ONE, we are raising public awareness about the issues of global poverty, hunger, disease and efforts to fight such problems in the world's poorest countries. As ONE, we are asking our leaders to do more to fight the emergency of global AIDS and extreme poverty. ONE believes that allocating more of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs like health, education, clean water and food would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation in the world's poorest countries.