Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Rainbow Moment

"Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep believing, the dream that you wish will come true." ~ Dream is a wish in your heart 

I took this picture on the way appeared and then within a minute it disappeared. 

Yesterday we completed another step in our beautiful journey. The weather was continuously changing throughout the day from pouring rain to a clear blue sunny sky. It would only be fitting for our unforgettable day to end with a beautiful breathtaking rainbow. We completed our second homestudy visit at the agency. There was laughter, smiles and maybe even a few tears of joy in a room filled with excitement. It was a wonderful interview with our social worker. We can not wait to start the next step of the process.
After our homestudy appointment we picked up "Aunt Ang" and went back to the Horn of Africa. We loved the food last time and were looking forward to Ang trying this wonderful place. We are so lucky to have people like Ang in our lives who are so supportive of "Our Journey of Love". During our visit with the social worker I mentioned that we wanted to try the other eight Ethiopian restaurants that we have found so far. So she is now looking forward to reading our reviews. I know its just a step and a start to learning about the Ethiopian culture but we are certainly having fun doing it! We have also enjoyed reading about the Ethiopian culture and hope to be able to attend some Ethiopian festivities in the near future. While we were talking to our social worker about traveling in the country we both experienced butterflies of excitement. What an amazing opportunity to experience this incredible culture!  
Celebrating with an Ethiopian Beer

"Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be...Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before." ~Erich Fromm

Friday, April 23, 2010

A peaceful visit

I felt this picture described our day perfectly yesterday. Even though the night before our visit our minds were racing a bit with anticipation of our visit, we were still able to just sit back and relax. On the day of the visit we eagerly awaited for that "knock" on the door. Our social worker was very pleasant and our meeting couldn't have gone better! The dogs were nicely passed out in the back yard, we had all the safety requirements already put in place, and she even said that we had the "perfect neighborhood" to raise a child. At one point we were giddy with how well everything was going. With her leaving we not only felt that our interview went well but, more importantly, we felt supported by our social worker. After she left we proceeded to have a lazy day...a day of peace and feelings of contentment. Thank you for all of you for your support! We just have one more interview at the agency with our social worker and then the homestudy part of the process will be complete.

"Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~Buddha

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Preparing for our Homestudy visit

Well the day we have been working so hard for over the last couple of months has finally arrived...on thursday we will have our first homestudy appointment. Its funny, as a counselor, I have preformed over 50 homestudies however it is much different when you are on the other side of the coin.

Talk about a checklist....
Medications locked up  ✓
Child proof the cabinets, outlets and doors  ✓
Child proof the pellet stove  ✓
Clean every crook and cranny throughout the house ✓

Now we just hope that our dogs will behave themselves. Although we have been preparing ourselves for this day for several months and feel confident about this appointment, this day is a major part of our process and so we can't help but feel some anxiety. Now its just time to take a deep breath and move forward. Wish us luck!

"There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever" ~ Gandhi

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Green, Yellow, Red

The flag of Ethiopia consists of three equal horizontal stripes - the top stripe is green; the middle is yellow; and the bottom stripe is red. In the middle of the flag is the country's coat of arms on a blue circle. It is often seen without the blue circle and emblem.

Ethiopian Flag Meaning: The colored stripes on the Ethiopian flag are significant - the red stripe stands for power, faith and blood; the yellow symbolizes the church, peace, natural wealth and love; and the green represents the land and hope. The colors were also interpreted to have a connection to the Holy Trinity, and the three main provinces of Ethiopia. The star represents unity of the people and the races that make up Ethiopia. The five rays on the outside of the star represent prosperity and the blue disk represents peace.
Ethiopian Flag History: The Ethiopian flag was adopted on February 6, 1996, making it one of the world's newest flags. The Ethiopian colors date from the 1890s, when forces loyal to the emperor are believed to have flown pennants of green, yellow and red as they fought against Italian forces. The first Ethiopian flag using these same colors was adopted in 1897.
Interesting Estonian Flag Facts: Ethiopia is credited with establishing the green, yellow and red colors that have come to symbolize African independence and unity. Ethiopia is the oldest independent African state. The colors became known as Pan African colors. Sometimes black is added to these colors to represent the African people.

We went to the beach for a few days with our dear friends to get some R & R. Sitting on the kitchen table was a basket beautifully filled were shells and these vibrant glass floats. I instantly noticed the colors and smiled. These colors already have importance in our family. 

"We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color." ~ Maya Angelou

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring in Oregon & Autumn in Ethiopia

Despite getting several feet of snow in the mountains over the last few weeks, my garden is starting to bloom with lilacs, tulips and camilla's. I love spring and can't help but wonder if our daughter will enjoy playing in the garden as much as I do. Yesterday I spent many hours in the garden weeding, it was not a glamorous or beautiful gardening day but it was a necessary one. It was a gloomy rainy day but I knew that this work would provide beautiful garden beds all summer long.

"Do me a favor during the rainy season, and I shall do the same for you during the dry season" ☀
~African Proverb

Tulips that bloomed early in my garden (I spared you from all the pictures)

Thinking about the seasons, I have been wondering what is blooming in Ethiopia at this time and what their weather typically is during "our" spring months. While I was searching for answers I was surprised by what I learned.

Although I was expecting to come across some "exotic" flowers I was surprised to come across that their native plants also grow here including Primrose and Shrub roses. Throughout the gardens in various parts of Ethiopia they successfully grow Hibiscus, Hollyhocks, Cannas, just to name a few.

Native flowers blooming in Ethiopia:

Rosa abyssinica which is prevalent around the hillsides:

Primula Verticillata (primrose)
Interesting fact: Did you know that one of Ethiopia's main exports are roses! Ethiopia had obtained $138 million from the export of cut flowers in 2009, the Ethiopian Flower and Horticultural Products Association (EFHPA) said in August 2009.

So what does the weather look like in April in Ethiopia:
The months of March, April and May are considered to be the season of Autumn (Belg) which experiences occasional showers. Ethiopia has an ‘all year round’ temperature with Addis Ababa averaging 20°C. Although most mountain regions get the bulk of their rain between March and September, most days are still sunny.

We are excited to see the beauty and culture in matter what season it will be!