Friday, January 30, 2009

A little chuckle

I needed this today. **Editted to add I only watched the first video... not sure how long this will run, so not making any promises for later content...**

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bad Luck Continues...

We were really hoping for good court news today.  We could've really used the good news.

But still, no such luck.  

All we know is that our case was fully approved, except the MOWA letter was missing.  MOWA is the Ministry for Women's Affairs and this Ethiopian government office is in charge of reviewing each prospective family and sending a letter indicating its approval to the court, seperate from the rest of our (and *S*'s) file.  So our agency has no way of knowing ahead of time if the letter is in the file and ready for court or not.

So, even though our first court date was nearly 2 months ago, still no approval letter.  Sigh.

I started preparing for this yesterday when Mark saw some email traffic on our agency yahoo group (which I have been avoiding for the past 2 months since it tends to just depress me as we wait...) that the MOWA office was moving locations this week and many court dates were failing, or otherwise delayed, as a result.  I had hoped that wouldn't affect us, but it seems we hit every snag possible.

Other families are in our same boat (unfortunately).  The weird thing is that some families were given a new court date.  We were not.  I don't know if this was just a mistake and we'll find out our new court date soon, or if we just simply "pass" as soon as this letter shows up (a week? two?)

Back in limbo.  And *S* continues to wait.  :(

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I've started and erased this post six times already. I don't know how to write it.

My dad was killed in a car accident last Sunday. I don't know what else to say. I just feel so incredibly broken inside and don't know where or how to begin healing. Please pray for my family. He was a great man and I don't know what we'll do without him.

For those of you who have already sent flowers, cards and prayers of support - thank you all of you. It means more than you could ever know.

The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
I am here still waiting though I still have my doubts
I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

The broken locks were a warning you got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded, I'm an open book instead
And I still see your reflection inside of my eyes
That are looking for purpose, they're still looking for life

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain is the healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin')
I'm barely holdin' on to you

I'm hangin' on another day
Just to see what you will throw my way
And I'm hangin' on to the words you say
You said that I will, will be ok

The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone
I may have lost my way now, having forgot my way home

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain, there is healing
In your name, I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin')
I'm barely holdin' on to you
I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm holdin' on (I'm still holdin'), I'm barely holdin' on to you

Monday, January 12, 2009

Aching for a Past

(My little Christmas angel - self-decorated of course!)

For some time now, Abi  has been telling  us lots of stories about when he "was a little baby in Ethiopia".  Sometimes these stories are triggered by Hana's - Hana will occasionally tell us stories of her mother and *S* and her oldest sister.  Her favorite one to tell involves puking all over the bed her family shared.  Ah, kids.  Abi often follows this up by trying to take her story and make it his own.  But he knows it doesn't quite work...I know he is jealous of Hana's stories, her memories.  These stories really picked up after his little cousin was born in September.  Something about seeing a newborn baby really sparked his interest in baby stories (Abi also loves babies as a general matter).  Usually his stories are quite entertaining.  Sometimes a bit irritating - they often involve giving a reason why he should not have to do/eat something... (he's very creative)

But these stories always make me sad.

The truth is, he  has no memories of when he was a little baby.  Actually, I'm not sure he has any active memories of Ethiopia at all.  Most of them seem to come from photos or stories we tell.  Mark has noted more than once that it is like his mind was wiped clean when we stepped off that plane - a blank slate here in America.

(Our first 2 photos of Abi - taken when about 2 1/2?)

Sometimes I can't help but be just a bit thankful for this- he hasn't experienced the terrible grieving that some kids must go through.  He's spared some of the pain.  But yet, I am concerned he is missing that step - how terrible that he can't even properly grieve such a loss in his life?   

Mostly, I am sad. And helpless.  I don't have stories to tell him.  I am thankful that Hana has some stories of her own - few though they are.  But Abi?  Abi's past is a relative mystery, a treasure that was stolen from him.  We know so very little about his life before the orphanage.  And even during his [nearly] two years at the orphanage, we have only a handful of pictures and scattered stories to tell his tale.  Mostly tiny morsels from prior traveling parents about how cute and charming he was (is).  How he loved dogs (still does!) and cars.

It's not good enough.

How do I make that up to him?  How do I give him access to a past that may be lost forever?  How do I help him grieve this loss?

I thank God every day for international adoption.  I thank God every day for the chance it brought me to parent my wonderful, loving children.  But so often I can't help but follow such thanks with a question - WHY.  Why do such terrible things exist (disease, famine, poverty) that steal the very lives and histories from so many, while others have so much? 

Why was my little boy robbed of his past?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Welcome 2009! (sniffle sniffle cough cough) and Melkam Genna!

The new year didn't exactly start out with a bang... more like a sneeze. We have all be fighting off various ailments for the last few weeks - no one has remained completely unscathed. As a result, plenty of things have fallen by the wayside, blogging included!

I was actually feeling somewhat ambitious last weekend and was going to load some of my favorite pics of 2008, but I blogger wouldn't take them! I took that as a sign to give up and go to bed. :) I'm easily dissuaded I guess.

So, rather than going over all the happenings of the last few weeks, we might as well just move forward. Oh, and before I forget:

Melkam Genna!!!

Today is Christmas in Ethiopia! We had planned on doing something to celebrate today and things sort of fell apart. :( I think we are going to "celebrate" on Friday instead. Not exactly the same thing... but better than nothing. And I am reasonably confident that the ET restaurant and/or grocery store will be open so we can get some injera! I'm not sure they would be open today and we didn't plan ahead! So, doro and tibbs await on Friday. Yum. I would like to make plans for a better "annual" celebration from here on out though. We don't do well with last minute - things tend to fall apart. :(

So why is Christmas today? Ethiopians use the Julian Calendar, which is different than the calendar we recognize in the U.S. As such, "new year" takes place on September 11 rather than January 1. Genna/Christmas falls on January 7. Ethiopians that do practice the Christan faith (50%+?) are Orthodox Christan and Jan 7 is the day of celebration for Orthodox Christians. I honestly do not know if this is simply because of the different calendar or I have also heard it is because Orthodox Christians celebrate the visit of the Three Wise Men, rather than the "birth" of Jesus. I should really probably figure this out using a source that is not Wikipedia ...

As a side note, legend has it that the king bearing frankincense was King Balthazar of Ethiopia. So that's cool.

For more information on Genna (Christmas), see here, here, and here (also info on other holidays). And see here for some great photos.