Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reflections from a new mama (2)

People choose to blog or not blog for different reasons.  My blog has served a variety of purposes.  At times it's a research tool, an information source, a scrapbook or a community outreach tool.  But over the course of my journey, it's main benefit has that it's served me in the space of reflection.  Even though I haven't shared these confessions,  I honor the time that I dedicate to this.

I've decided it is essential, to have a strong personal "point of view".  What do I believe in? What will be the core foundation to how I live and be and grow as a person and a mother?  

I am sure this seems obvious, especially for people of faith, but I think in the midst of all that life is...people react.  They search.  They hide.  They blame.  They neglect.  They compensate. They copy.  They compromise.  They let all very natural, human behaviors take over.  I have been guilty of this.  I know that I will be guilty of this for as long as I live.  I also know that "better" is always my goal.

So I've decided that I will continue to formalize my beliefs, let them evolve, let them live in my language so that they may extend into my behaviors and being.  My topic today:

Intentions are powerful 
Experts matter, but my instincts matter more
When you need help, get help
You teach people how to treat you
You must be confrontational with yourself and honest in all areas of life
Compartmentalizing is only left for desperate & temporary situations 
Image building is destructive if false
Constant evaluation and decisions are needed to keep your "circles" healthy
Motherhood is about your child, not you
When you really look at someone and they show you who they are - then believe them (from Ms. Maya)
At the end of the day - everything is about choice
Exploration is essential for growth
"No" can be as powerful and healthy as "Yes"
Fear should never stop you from "walking through"
Look for the "birds" (aha, inspirational moments from the Universe)
Don't be afraid to deconstruct and build
Live in Love

So, even though this may feel cheesy or too "Orpah,"  -- I will continue to reflect because this is all way bigger than me and I care too much about these kids and I'm excited by potential.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I never really wrote about my feelings surrounding my love towards Addis Ababa. I think it's because it's hard to share my experience of a place that offers such complexity in such simplicity.  What struck me most was the deep soul of the country.  There is a vibrational spirit of fellowship through the worship that came from despair and survival and faith. But more than anything, I felt tremendous pride from the people. Pride in their country and culture and their individual presence. Pride that an American was taking interest in their world and pride that they were able to share. Ethiopia is a place of extremes and with that comes heartache like I have never witnessed before BUT with that comes strength like I've never witnessed before as well.

I am haunted by images of helpless mothers with small children. By sickly orphans and by unimaginable living conditions. These imprints are overwhelming. It's more overwhelming to think of this being just one example of many places all over Africa and other parts of the world. I am thankful for these images however; I know they will keep me connected to the country that created my daughter and the philosophy that "we are one."

I think of Addis Ababa daily. I remember the chanting of the church that serenaded me every morning. The aromas of roasted coffee. The dry, fuel smelled air whipping across my face as we drove through the city. The high pitched hypnotic music. The beautiful faces. The gracious hosts. The street life camaraderie. The 3 kisses when greeting.  The livestock and fruit stands. The smiles on the children's faces and the best possible essence of human spirit.

As Becky, our driver, drove us from the guest house to the airport, I sobbed. I didn't want to leave. I was forever touched and forever grateful. The following pics were taken by my friend Kris.

This is from the 2nd story balcony of our guest house. This woman was next door.

This was driving through the Mercado. Men walking hand in hand is a common sight.

This was sitting in the living room of the Gladney house when I was with LT for the fist time and Kris snapped this looking out the window. There were rows of laundry for miles.

We are guests for a traditional coffee ceremony and she's pounding the coffee.

Some of you who follow the blog may remember a piece of art I bought from great Seattle Ethiopian artist Yaddi Bojia. When I chose this piece, what I saw in it was hope and prayer. Yaddi told me that once I traveled I would understand the painting more and he was right. I do. The painting is a perfect representation of all the complexity that lives in the simplicity of a beautiful, powerful place.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Aquarium Visit

This pisces LOVED visiting the fish. Although her favorite may have been the sea turtle.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009


Today was an important day for me & LT.  Today was my first time creating hair twists.  She was unusually patient and although I only got 70% of the way done (three Yo Gabba Gabba's) I watched my little girl grow up a little.  She seemed to have a girl swagger not a baby trot today at the playground.  She also seemed to understand that many many hours of our lives would be comprised of her sitting on my lap while I tried not to tug on her hair too hard. 

She's almost 18 months (home for 4 months) and we're both learning so much.

Her favorite things:
1.  Books
2.  Dogs
3.  Tomoko (nanny)

Her least favorite things:
1.  any sort of medicine
2.  having her hair brushed
3.  her face being cleaned

She's sweet, loving, cautious, strong willed, determined, independent & curious.  She's surprises me everyday with her understanding of conversation and her sense of humor.  

We continue to be so blessed by the many loving people in our lives.  Our path is pretty smooth and yet there are bumps along the way.  

It's only together with our loving family and friends that we stay on track and believe.  

Like our good friend Meazi says, "we keep on truckin" and now... TWISTIN.