Sunday, May 18, 2008


I just returned from a much needed family bonding weekend. I got to kiss and cuddle and squeeze my favorite little ones AND spend some wonderful quality time with my sisters AND go to Becky's baby shower (so happy for her and Brian) AND spend time with Lexi. ***Dosage Administered***
I had some 1 on 1 time talking to Ava, Landon and Stone about their new cousin and prepare them for Liv's arrival. Ava (6yrs) asked me if Liv would speak English or French. I explained to her that Liv would learn to speak English but that she was from Africa and she said "wow" I don't even know what that sounds like, is it "go goo, ga gaaa?" I smiled and said, "yeah Liv is going to get to teach both of us a lot of new things." I feel so lucky to have these little ones in our life.
Liv's precious cousins - Landon, Ava and Stone

And we can't forget cute cousin Sydney:Tina & Suzanne, I also want to say thanks to the greatest sisters in the universe. This is for you:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us;it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (Marianne Williamson as quoted by Nelson Mandela in is '94 Inaugural Speech). I love you both.

P.S. You are NEVER, EVER...EVER allowed to take me to the Syndicate Lounge again! xoox.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Congrats! and paperwork update

I'm so happy for my NBM/PF (new baby mamma/pappa friends)!!! Today they are officially on the wait list. This means that all of their paperwork is finished and they will be waiting for a child. This is an extraordinarily big moment because all of you who understand, the level of paperwork coordination and what it takes to get everything done perfectly--understand that it's a minor miracle to complete. There's also the factor of feeling like you are releasing it from your control and now surrendering to the universe.

Today was a smaller paperwork milestone for me, I dropped off my homestudy report at CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) for approval. Thanks to KC for going with me. This can take a week or eight weeks, as the secretary reminded me. Once I receive approval, I will then take my homestudy documents to be authenticated by the state department and then my dossier is assembled together and sent to the Ethiopian Government. This is when I will join them on the wait list. I guess that while timing can be so open-ended I really believe that everything will unfold exactly as it should.

When I reflect about the amount of forms I filled out and the level of what I'll call an "inventory check" in every part of my life - I feel both grateful as well as "inside-out". I'm absolutely willing and supportive of the level of checks and balances that occur during the adoption process but to be truthful, it was more than I ever thought. I read a blog where a woman said she averaged "20 hrs/wk for 6 months" on paperwork and I thought wow - it's can't be that much and now the jokes on me. The good news is............................I'm almost done :)

Info on ADDIS ABABA - capital of Ethiopia (pic above)
With over 4 million people, the city is located in the geographic center of the country. It is a diverse and riotous capital city of nearly three million souls, with roughly 80 different nationalities, and a multitude of religious and language groups making up its colorful population. Nestled at the foot of Mount Entoto, the city was founded in the late 1800s by Ethiopian emperor Menelik II and was later occupied by the Italians during the second Italo-Abyssinian War. When Ethiopians regained control, Emperor Haile Selassie immediately set about rebuilding the capital and formed the Organization of African Unity, replaced by today's African Union, which has its headquarters in the city. Addis Ababa is also home to the world-renown early hominid Lucy - her fossilised skeleton, as well as a replica, are housed in the Ethiopian National Museum. The city also boasts the largest open market in Africa (in the Merkato district), several interesting mosques and cathedrals, as well as the world's largest prefabricated building, Shengo Hall, and Menelik's old Imperial Palace, which is the official seat of the Ethiopian government.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

In the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by the British (Mother's) day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. However, it was intended as a call to unite women against war. In 1870, she wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament......Written in 1870, Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe's feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.

Mother's Day in Ethiopia occurs in mid-fall when the rainy season ends. Called “Antrosht,” Ethiopians celebrate by making their way home when the weather clears for a large family meal and a three day long celebration. For the feast the children bring ingredients for a traditional hash recipe. The ingredients are divided along gender lines, with girls bringing butter, cheese, vegetables and spices while the boys bring a bull or lamb. The mother prepares the hash and hands it out to the family. After the meal a celebration takes place. The mothers and daughters ritually anoint themselves with butter on their faces and chests. They dance while the men sing songs in honor of family and heroes. This cycle of feasting and celebration lasts two or three days. The picture to the right represents a traditional Ethiopian depiction of Jesus and Mary with distinctively "Ethiopian" features.

Here's a shout out to the wonderful mothers in my life who deserve honoring: mummy, grams, melinda, tina, alexis, kristin, yumi, miwa, wendy, natalie, becky, diane & katelyn. It is with great honor that I look towards the future of motherhood and thank all the mothers in my life - god bless you.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

With Love, From Africa

As I was sitting at my desk tonight I had a lovely realization, one that is rather simple and obvious, but nonetheless touched my heart in a way that prompted me to share. All of you know that my brother, Andy, lived in Ghana for several years while in the Peace Corps and he had an amazing experience. He loved the culture and artifacts and brought back the family a wide array of clothing, hats, fabrics and jewelry but the one thing that he brought back to me... The only thing I have from his trip. That's been sitting next to my desk for probably over seven years at this point -- is this African Fertility Goddess.

I always loved the hand carved figure but never realized what symbolism it would embody. Tonight I did a little research and learned the following:
"Asante doll of Ghana known as Akua'ba has entered the Western imagination. With a large moon-shaped head and skinny stick figure, this doll represents a life form yet to have arrived -- the child one hopes to have. As legend has it, a woman named Akua was barren until a healer instructed her to carry and care for a doll as if it were a child. Villagers jeered, but her faith was rewarded with the birth of a daughter -- the "ba," or child, in the doll's name. Now recognized all over Africa as a symbol of political empowerment and intellectual freedom as well as fertility, the doll is mass-manufactured for export and domestic use (both play and ritual)."

I just love that this purposeful & knowing wood carving has been starring me in the eyes, next to my desk, for years, as a symbol of the African child that I am so honored to mother. And a special shout out to Bro for bringing Africa to me with love.