Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7th

It was two years ago today that we returned to the United States as a family, with Mawerdi gaining US citizenship the moment our feet touch soil. It seems like just yesterday we were waiting in the long line of immigration with huge (exhausted) smiles with knowing that we were one step closer to coming home. Without a doubt Mawerdi knew something was different the moment we got off the plane, maybe it was the new smells, the new sights...it almost seemed as if a part of her spirit was awakened. She was already a happy and content child, however she started becoming more interactive and observant of her surroundings. This is also when Mawerdi starting giving hugs...and she hasn't stopped hugging ever since!

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” 
~ T.S. Eliot

Monday, April 29, 2013

Our Ethiopian Dance Class made CNN

CNN recently came to our Ethiopia Dance Class as part of their program spotlighting Sonya and all the amazing things she does for the Ethiopian adoptive and Refugee community. Her niece, Habi, and friend Brook teach the Saturday dance class. We love this Saturday routine, both Mawerdi and us, it provides us endless joy to watch Mawerdi practice these traditional dances, interact with her other Ethiopian friends, learn the Amharic language. This class also provides us with the opportunity as parents to learn the Amharic alphabet and dances ourselves.

We can't say it enough, we are so blessed to have these opportunities to connect with other adoptive and Ethiopian families. From the start we valued the importance and priority of keeping the Ethiopian culture alive in our home and family, however we never envisioned how lucky we truly would be!
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Watch and Enjoy! Our girl is wearing the pink/purple leggings under her dress.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Family Day

Today is Family Day, the day we were granted guardianship from the orphanage, finally became a Forever Family!

“Race, blood, lineage, and nationality don't matter; they're just the way that small minds keep score. All that matters about blood is that it's warm and that it beats through a loving heart.” 
― Scott Simon, Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Court Anniversary

St Patrick's Day is a lucky day in our family, it is the day we went in front of the Ethiopian court to profess our love and devotation for our daughter. We are so lucky to be the parents to this amazing girl!
"Go and wake up your luck."
~Persian Proverb

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Celebrating Mawerdi!

It has been two years since we looked into those Big Brown Beautiful eyes for the first time! We can't imagine our lives without her and will always remember this day as Mawerdi Day, since it is truly all about her...waiting to see her smile and precious face for the first time, waiting to hold her tiny hands and kissing her soft forehead....it was and is a day for Celebrating Mawerdi! So how did we celebrate? By going to one of our favorite places for a burger and fries and then ending the day at home, just enjoying our time together as a family in the backyard by the creek. We are so blessed, and truly a happy family!

“I sustain myself with the love of family.” 
~ Maya Angelou

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordless....well Speechless Really

We can't believe that it has been two years that we first set foot on Ethiopian Soil, our lives have been forever changed from that point on. Not only did the experience of adoption change our lives, but so did our two month stay to this incredible country. The first two days in Addis was just the start of an amazing journey!

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler
only who is foreign.” 
~Robert Louis Stevenson 

Our thoughtful friend visited the Orphanage in Dire Dawa, where Mawerdi lived the first few months of her life, and brought back soil which she gathered there for Mawerdi. This precious soil and the Oromo flag sit in Mawerdi's room, along with her other treasures from Ethiopia. It leaves us speechless to think about what an impact one place or experience can have on your life. We can truly say we have love for Ethiopia and can't wait for our feet to touch the soil again!

“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” 
– Moorish proverb 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Met by chance, friends by choice...Thanks Adoption!


“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
~ C.S. Lewis
We are thankful to adoption for many reasons, one of those reasons being for the true friendships that we have developed with other adoptive families. I have met so many amazing mothers and yes we have the common factor of adoption that might have brought us together, but it is the common views on life, children and the world that keep our friendships alive and strong.

We find it kinda funny when we hear statements like "oh are you going to hang out with your Ethiopian friends again, or you place more importance on the Ethiopian community than your other relationships." It is unfortunate when we hear these statements because people just focus on our common factor of adoption, not recognizing the fact that we would be friends even if adoption wasn't a factor. Yes we feel its important for our children to have friends who are also from Ethiopia, however they don't realize that our relationships (the children and mamas) now goes way beyond adoption, adoption is now only a factor in these amazing and genuine friendships.

“There is nothing I would not do for those
who are really my friends.
I have no notion of loving people by halves,
it is not my nature.”  
~ Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain.
t's not something you learn in school.
But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship,
you really haven't learned anything.” 
~Muhammad Ali

I am so thankful for these beautiful and amazing women, for their love, support and friendship. I am also very thankful for the lifelong friendships that our daughter is developing, with the children and their mothers.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A visit from MOWA...no seriously!

Adoptive parents are very familiar with the word MOWA, which stands for Ministry of Women's Affairs, they are responsible for overseeing adoptions in Ethiopia. Therefore MOWA has played a significant role in our adoption process, in our family. To my surprise we got a call a couple days ago stating that MOWA and a member of the Ethiopian Parliament were visiting adoption agencies and families across the United States, and that our family had been chosen to be a potential family! My heart was racing...what an incredible opportunity! We accepted this possibility with joy and awaited the next few days. Fast Forward to last night, we got a call from our agency confirming that MOWA would be at our house the next morning at 9:30! Let the excitement begin!

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy;
 they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 
~Marcel Proust

As I drifted off to sleep that night my mind was racing...this was such an amazing opportunity, truly a once in a lifetime experience. Yes, we had written letters to the Ethiopian government during the adoption process of our desire and promise to our future daughter, we had sent updates on her progress, however now they would SEE the love and commitment to our daughter. I wondered how would we ever be able to express our GRATITUDE, APPRECIATION and LOVE for Mawerdi and Ethiopia! Words can't adequately express how this amazing little girl has touched our lives forever, how each morning SHE is the sunshine that starts our day, how proud we are of her, and of course how much we love Ethiopia and that Ethiopia is truly a part of our family and home. As I finally fell asleep my mind was at peace knowing they would see the natural integration and love of Ethiopia in our home, they would feel the abundance of love that we had for our daughter as well as feel the happiness in Mawerdi's heart, and they would hear the outpouring of words from our soul expressing our appreciation (as much as time would allow).

“Hospitality should have no other nature than love.” 
~Henrietta Mears

My grandmother always said clean your house as if you were expecting royalty...well I thought of her as I finished picking up before their arrival, knowing she was looking down on us smiling. The fruit was cut and coffee was ready to be brewed...now we were just eagerly anticipating the arrival of our friends. All morning we were talking about how are friends from Ethiopia were going to visit and Mawerdi was very excited "just like me" she said, "yes just like you babe, they are our special friends."

Such beautiful, sweet, compassionate women and the man was so caring towards Mawerdi! Once Mawerdi got over being shy she enjoyed spending time with each of her new friends. She showed off her dancing, basketball and soccer skills, and a bit of her large vocabulary. We sat back with pride as we watched her interact with these very important people! Amongst our conversation the delegates were very happy to hear about the large network of adoptive families and connection to the Ethiopian community for events, education and support. We wish we had all day to tell them about our time in Ethiopia, Mawerdi's incredible adjustment, and the complete happiness that fills all of our lives...however time only allowed for a morning visit...which was deeply cherished by all. 

We are so thankful for this opportunity and hope that the delegates walked away feeling the love in our hearts and dedication in our souls to Mawerdi and Ethiopia. 

We can't say in enough, Thank you!

Betam Amesegenallo!

On the road we're somebody else's guests - and we play in a way that they're not going to forget we visited them. 
~Knute Rockne

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thank You

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 
~Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream Speech