Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Best Book Report in the World

As you may remember I received my referral right before Christmas. I decided to save my news and present LT as a present to my family. For my niece and nephews I knew that it's a rather big concept understanding that my daughter is already born and will come from a far away country. I decided that I would glue LT's pictures on the front of the famous Ethiopians children's book called "A Perfect Orange." That way they could pull is out in their own timing and look at LT if they wanted.

About the Book
This fable is common throughout Ethiopia, Eritrea and surrounding countries and the author choose this Ethiopian version to write. The wonderful images along with simple beautiful text which includes some Ethiopian words is just lovely.

It tells the story of a orphan girl Tshai, her selfless gift to the countries ruler and the dastardly thinking of the wicked Jib. The telling is enhanced by the legend of Ethiopian pronunciations and all round is a lovely addition your library if like me you have an Ethiopian child in your home.

Pan to already a very special -  Inauguration Day, and as I was leaving my friend J-Lo's neighborhood party. I checked my messages to hear my niece saying the following in her sweet voice:

"Aunt Amy I talked about LT and the book and Africa and my teacher asked when is she coming and I don't know so can you call me and tell me."

Ava did a book report in class on The Perfect Orange and talked about LT and also talked about her own experience and she is adopted as well. I can't tell you how proud I am to have LT welcomed into this environment where she can connect with the other important children in my life and I am so happy that Ava and her can have a positive dialogue about adoption and they can share about their cultures and Ava will be a big sister to her in so many ways. Ava continues to steal my heart with how special she is. Here's a pic that my special sister Kristeen sent me showing Ava with her book project. She drew a picture of the main character Tshai that she's holding with my cute nephew Stone.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Heart Support (EDITED) Yippee

To the waiting families this week whose cases have been delayed please know that we are here to offer:

We are all in this together and send support. 

And to my dear friend Julie O.  (INSERT NEW IMAGE, ENTITLED CELEBRATION)
CONGRATS MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And to your daughter, we can't wait for precious, wise, beautiful, sweet, sweet Sentayehu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(whose name means, I've seen many things - could you just melt)

Original Image

What a Roller Coaster of a week.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

LT's footprint

I haven't been feeling too swift the last few days and I can't tell you how happy I was to open this little package.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to Natanya and Gabi!  Gabi took this precious footprint of LT (dated 1/9/09) when he was in Ethiopia picking up their beautiful daughter Sarah.  Don't be fooled the picture is misleading, it's actually quite a petite little stamp. Such a thoughtful gesture that means so much to me and brings a tear of thanks and love.

 I have been praying so hard for all of the waiting families with court dates this week.  I can't imagine how you all must be feeling.  Special love to my dear friend Julie O.  I'm here for you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beautiful, Like a Rainbow

I received a nice surprise today - pictures of LT with the care package I sent to her through a traveling family. Thank you so much to Britlee and Christy for sending me pics while they traveled to pick up their loves. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the updates. And speaking of updates, let me review...

-Got the CALL right before Christmas

-Got her first update on Ethiopian Christmas

-Received word about her court date on MLK weekend

-Got pics of her with her first care package on Inauguration Day

-Her Bday is the day before St. Patricks Day

-Her Court Date, March 31, is a day before my Bday April Fools Day

-And with fingers and toes crossed, I will be traveling to pick her up around Easter. Plus her name means to make clean and Easter is all about washing away sins.

OK, I'm just's all feeling so very special.

I'm not allowed to post her pics or name until I pass court but I can offer you this song lyric, which has been in mind all day as I view her beautiful little face.

I see your true colors 
and that's why I love you 
so don't be afraid to let them show 
your true colors 
true colors are beautiful 
like a rainbow

Friday, January 16, 2009


3/31 is our magical day. Send good energy.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why Art?

Tonight I had a realization.  I am waiting to be assigned a court date in which LT will become my legal family.  Now judging from families before me, I'm thinking this is still several months away.  And while it's right around the corner, it seems like a long time.  Especially when you know your little one has been sick and you just want to take care of her.  I balance the wait with the idea of logistics that dances in and out of my mind.  What are my to do lists and how fast can I check it all away.  But instead of reviewing what I can control, I find myself searching for Ethiopian art.  And I just realized tonight why.

In the midst of this process there's a lot of eduction & emotion that come from friends, classes, books, blogs and more books.  I find myself feeling like I'm back in college as I study such a broad scope of topics in hope to better my parenting abilities.  And while I originally started researching art from a cultural standpoint, what I am so clearly understanding is that it has provided  me  a doorway into the country's soul.

I seem to learn more about the spirit of the people so much better than any book could share with me.  The personal expression relayed in these pieces makes me feel like my education finally has a pulse and that makes me feel closer to LT and her ancestors.

In today's artist spotlight, I'm showcasing Ethiopian artist Fikru Gebre Mariam

There is an emotional intensity to these paintings that speaks of struggle yet strength. They feel undeniably African in both color hue a well as the images feel somewhat inspired by traditional Ethiopian art. There is a sadness, beauty and mystery of the hope that lies within the people. There is also an intention to reveal pride - personal, community and cultural.

These painting offer a complexity in their abstract nature that speaks to me in a soul to soul way - during a time where I am wanting to feel closer to LT, I go to Ethiopian art to connect me to the source. Thank you to all the artists and stay tuned as I was so lucky to be able to purchase one of my favorite paintings (that I've featured earlier) as a symbol of my union with LT.  I will reveal it soon...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Merry Christmas Ethiopia

In Amharic (Ethiopia) Melkam Yelidet Beaal = Merry Christmas

While excitement over Christmas festivities dies down in the other parts of the world, it marks the beginning for many Christian Ethiopians.  The Ethiopian Christmas known as Ganna is celebrated on January 7th. This celebration takes place in ancient churches carved from solid volcanic rock and also in modern churches that are designed in three concentric circles. Men and boys sit separately from girls and women. Also the choir sings from the outside circle.

People receive candles as they enter the church. After lighting the candles everyone walks around the church three times, then stands throughout the mass, which may last up to three hours.

Food served at Christmas usually includes injera, a sourdough pancake like bread. Injera serves as both plate and fork. Doro wat, a spicy chicken stew might be the main meal. A piece of the injera is used to scoop up the wat. Baskets decorated beautifully are used to serve the wat.

Gift giving is a very small part of Christmas celebration. Children usually receive very simple presents such as clothing.

In Ethiopia Christmas day is January 7, so on Christmas Eve the city is crowded with pilgrims from all parts of the country. They remain outdoors all night, praying and chanting. In the morning, a colorful procession makes its way to a nearby hilltop where a service is held. Three young men march at the head of the crowd, lashing whips from left to right to keep the people in line. Those who worship are fed with bread and wine that has been blessed by priests. After the service is over the rest of the day is spent dancing, playing sport and feasting.