Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hope in the New Year!

2009 has stretched every emotional strand in my body. 2009 invigorated me in ways that only 1st year at University does. 2009 has tested my character, beliefs and faiths to limits I thought would never have been tested. 2009 has fostered amazing friendships - ones of power and conviction. 2009 has provided in a way never imagined mostly by taking away and then offering a better direction. 2009 has cemented my understanding of my role in life happening to me. 2009 has joined me with my hero of a daughter & the possibility of my son.

2009 has led me more to myself.

And because I'm continuing on this journey of authenticity, I look to commit to self improvement and therefore find this photo and this quote particularly appropriate as I step into 2010.

"Whoever had the idea to cut time into the slices we call years, was a clever person. He industrialized hope, letting hope carry us even at the limit of exhaustion. Twelve months is enough for any human being to be worn down and start to give up. But here comes the miracle of renovation when everything starts afresh, with a new number and renewed belief that from now on everything will be different." Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902 - 1987).


We are One

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Please welcome all the possibility and joy that is Yared!

I've decided to grow our family by adopting a toddler boy from Ethiopia. I must start the process over so this will probably be another year and a half before we meet him but I'm thrilled and can't contain myself any longer. MUCH MORE TO COME.

One of his names will be Yared.

Yared (amharic meaning "sent from heaven" since my dad will be a main factor in this ;)

and to the right is St. Yared

Saint Yared (April 25, 505 – May 20, 571) was a semi-legendary Ethiopian musician credited with inventing the sacred music tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Ethiopia's system of musical notation. Yared is thought to be the first to write musical notes centuries before Westerners did. His father died when he was seven, and his mother sent him to be raised by his uncle Gidewon, a priest who taught religious studies. A legend describes Yared gaining musical insight through interaction with three birds (birds are good luck - right mom ;)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009 - Photo Gallery

Don't you hate when your camera breaks right before your first Christmas with your child? Thank you friends and mom who captured some wonderful memories for us. Presenting Christmas 2009.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Reflection

It's true, kids change everything about the holidays. Everything is better, sweeter, funnier and worth all the fuss. I also realize traditions matter and I think I will make a promise for 2010 and beyond to better integrate Ethiopian culture & community.

I do have many books. I hang beautiful maps and Ethiopian art. We pray about Ethiopia every night... but it's not enough. I need to figure out the difference between learning/appreciating AND feeling/being. I need to immerse her in the Ethiopian community more.

Maybe because my referral anniversary is so close to xmas. Or maybe because I just can't get Ethiopia out of my head. I sit here tonight feeling like it is my goal for holidays to connect the wonder of xmas here with the soul & ritual of the celebrating, Ethiopian style. I'm actually very happy that this xmas - our first together-was almost like a test run because she's still too young to understand what it all meant. Because I want us to be connected to her roots in a significant way. I still am trying to figure out what that means. And how she can feel not just hear or see cultural elements but feel the pride. Any one who follows my blog knows that when I need to feel connected to Ethiopia, I search for art. I imagine what the artist was feeling when they created it and what they wanted to leave for the consumer to feel. This makes me feel profoundly connected to the culture. I loved this Christmas for reminding me that Ethiopia always will share a seat at our table as well as our hearts.

The 3 paintings say Christmas to me.

Yadesa Bojia (my friend ;)

Wosene Worke Kosrof

Mezgebu Tessema

I'd love to hear how other parents included Ethio culture in their celebrations.

p.s. Heather, church is a good idea Sunday

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Referral Anniversary

It was just 1 year ago today that I got the life changing call at 12:20pm in my office. Coincidentally I was wearing my Africa T-Shirt.

Would you have ever guess it would have been so close to Christmas. I looked into this tiny babes eyes and saw my daughter. Immediately felt peace and familiarity. Needless to say, I'll never get a better xmas present.

What a difference a year makes!!! I had to post this photo cause it makes me smile. She blows be away everyday. I never dreamed it would be so powerful and rewarding.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

21 Months (tomorrow)

I love this picture. It's from several months back (thanks Chris) but it captures everything beautiful about Liv Tunsitu. We're approaching 8 months together which is HUGE for a child who's been in the care of 4 different people/situations the first year of her life. She's a special one and I feel incredibly blessed that we're family.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Our 1st Holiday party together

Yesterday we celebrated the Holidays at Jlo's House and had a blast. LT got to wear one of my outfits that my grandma made for me to wear as a babe (nice for my mom to save for us) and we got the good fortune of capturing most of the kids together. Aren't they a handsome bunch!?!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Perfect Parent Moment

Today while Tuns was at the park I went out and got a xmas tree and put it up and hung up stockings. For those of you who know me well - you know it's probably the same result of a third graders work but Tunsi walked in the door and immediatedly grew bright eyed and opened mouthed and looked in awe and meowed the sweetest high pitched "woooooooooooowwwwww".


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I have tried over and over and over and over and over and over and over with no success.  LT does not take medicine well.  She also has a masterful detection system when slipped in food or drink.  She also has proved that she can make herself gag and throw up when even faced with the thought of medicine.  This has been impossible and really has taken a toll on me as I'm trying clear up several bugs of hers.

1 hour ago.  I felt on top of the world.  All seemed right because for the first time in 6 months my daughter had giardia meds in her belly.  I first tried in a milkshake and she refused.  Then I thought I'd play a game with the medicine dropper and she amazingly participated for the first time ever.  The meds went down and I felt relief.  Sigh.

Then several minutes later................................she walked towards me with a strained red face and then started to throw up.  It is not pleasant to see your little babe throw up.

Because my babe does not even take Motrin straight I've had to be very creative and have tried the following:
--the old fashion way (forcing it down)
--yogurt drinks
--espresso syrup
--chocolate milk
--grape juice
--apple/carrot juice

I'm tired, exhausted and frustrated.  Any ideas are welcome.  

Monday, November 16, 2009

My babe is 20 months today

This is one of my referral photos. She was 9 months and 14lbs.

Today at 20 months.
She's sweet sweet sweet with a strong tough spirit. Loves to learn and grow. Her determination and will is showing up in strong ways (nice way of saying approaching two). I feel like I need to make sure I am keeping up with her developmental growth as the change feels so fast. LT came to me at 13 months and just barely was sitting up by herself (not crawling). And now we've been home just under 7 months and she's progressed leaps and bounds. Children are amazing. I can't wait to see who she is at 2.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Is it wrong to put your wonderful angel of a daughter asleep 45 mins. early because you're exhausted. Well she must have been too because not a peep from her...just hit the bed and went asleep. I'll blame it on getting darker earlier not me needing a break.  Hoping this doesn't result in an early rise.....

more pics from the desert trip...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fun in Palm Springs

with Grandma and Uncle Kris (LT = 19months). We visited the Living Desert and Loved it. Giraffes, Zebras, East African animals and beautiful desert gardens.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Thanks M & T for a fabulous day.  Loving the summer weather and generous hospitality.  I feel so thankful that we have so many amazing families with Ethiopian children within a stones throw.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Woman of Honor

Thinking of my sister - Tunsitu's beautiful, courageous aunt, Worke Birhanu.

May the love we're sending across the seas and sky and through the earth reach your heart.

Here's 1 way to help

Gladney has been able to access free shipping of several crates to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Many of you may remember we did this back last spring. We have several infant incubators which our local Children’s Hospital donated that will be going in the crates, but we would like to fill the remainder of the crates with diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, and baby carriers from They deliver diapers, wipes, and other baby necessities at great prices with fast free shipping (if you order $49 or more).

If you would like to help by donating items, you can enter the Referral Code “Gladney” on the shopping cart screen at, and you'll get an extra $10 off your first order of diapers with a $49 minimum purchase. And Gladney gets a $1 credit each time you order. It's a great way we can both save!

Remember the Referral Code: Gladney

When ordering items, please have them shipped directly to Gladney at this
address by November 15th:

Gladney Center for Adoption
Attn: Scott Brown
6300 John Ryan Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76132

Here is a list of the products the children and in-country caregivers need which you can find by clicking on the links below:

Babyganics Germinator Hand Sanitizer - 250 ml - Product/ProductDetail.aspx?productId=16258

Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers - Extra Large Case - (sizes needed size 1 through size 3) -

Huggies Natural Care Fragrance Free Baby Wipes - 360 Count Refill - http://

Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Original - City Black - ProductDetail.aspx?productId=7710

Thank you for your generosity,

Gladney Ethiopia Program Team

I can do something

Thank you caring Mommy of wee to three.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not much is making me smile more right now...

I stumbled upon these as I was hunting for my new blog -- Shine On Mom

All feedback appreciated.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

3 little Pumpkins

More pumpkins and her first train ride. Leave it to LA to be burning hot during pumpkin pickin time. LT had a blast with her BFF's Simone and Mimi.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A moment

Just like the day I did LT's twists, there was something about her wearing a hat today that made her look older. We've been home 5 1/2 months and she's quickly approaching 19 months. It's photos like this that make me stop and examine how far we've both come.

I am so happy that I had an overwhelming feeling the Christmas of 2007 that I acted on.  I can't imagine my life without this special girl.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

CAKE Please

I stumbled across another blog mom who made this for her son's bday and NO CAKE HAS MADE ME HAPPIER. Recipe here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Show support

It's a special special day when someone materializes an idea that comes from a place of purity. Today, my friends, is one of those days where we get to witness true inspiration. Please take time to look at Danielle's site and support her wonderful gesture to the world. What a great gift this makes. We love you everyone at TesFesh.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


LT and I took a trip to the pumpkin patch with Julie, Sentayehu & Uncle Sandro.