Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Best Christmas Present

Our best Christmas present came early this year, 
December 6th 2010
(Since she couldn't be with us for her first Christmas we took a picture of us with her referral picture)

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's currently playing in our car?

Another great CD of Ethiopian music! We purchased it at our local music store, Music Millennium, but you can also find it on Amazon.

Ethiopian music has a rich and diverse musical tradition that stretches back thousands of years. Each of Ethiopia's ethnic groups have an identified and unique sound. If you are interested, PBS provides examples of some music across Ethiopia. From the 1950's to the 1970's emerged the Ethio-jazz period. NPR allows you to listen to some music that was a product of this period.

These are just SOME of the instruments that are used in tradition Ethiopian music:

Traditional string instruments include:
The Masengo: a one-string violin
The Krar: a six-string lyre
The Begena: a large ten-string lyre. 
The Dita: a five-string lyre

Traditional horn/flute instruments:
The Washint: a bamboo flute
Malakat: three to four meter long metal trumpet
Holdudwa: an animal horn
Embilta: a flute with no finger holes, producing two tones
Pan flutes: consisting of 5 or more pipes of increasing length

Traditional drum like instruments:
Kebero: double-headed hand drum
Atamo: a small hand drum sometimes made of clay

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. 
~Bob Marley

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ethiopia Guest home...not only a place to stay

When we saw this video posted by Ethiopia Guest House our hearts were filled with so many different emotions, too many emotions to list or address. Please take the time to watch this understand the need in Ethiopia, to see the efforts being made by amazing people in Ethiopia, to see an inviting guest home where adoptive families and to see the beautiful people of Ethiopia!

Ethiopia Guest Home - More Than a Place to Stay from Session 7 Media on Vimeo.

"The origin of Ethiopia is largely the origin of us all."  ~Javier Gozalbez 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Family Love

We have been so thankful for the support and love that we have received from our families and friends on this journey.

To celebrate seeing our daughter for the first time, "getting our referral", we tried another Ethiopian restaurant in Portland, Mudai. We can't wait to spend time in Ethiopia!

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained” ~Winston Churchill

Friday, December 10, 2010

3 months...and how many left?

We can't believe that, as of today, our dossier has been in Ethiopia three months....ONLY three months and we have already received our referral. We still find ourselves daydreaming of what the next few months will be like. To be honest, our heart aches for the families who are still waiting to see their child...families, who for whatever reason, have already passed their 3 month waiting mark. We have always believed that the timing on our journey would be perfect, no matter how long or how short, everything would fall into place the way it was meant to. Over the last week, the way our journey has unfolded has been better than we had ever hoped (not only because of the shorter wait). This has truly confirmed to us that everything truly does happen for a reason. Because when we saw and read our referral we immediately KNEW that we had been matched with OUR daughter.

Cause just like a tree planted - 
planted by the rivers of water 
That bringeth forth fruits - 
bringeth forth fruits in due season; 
Everything in life got its purpose,
Find its reason in every season, Forever, yeah! 
~Bob Marley

After we received our referral we had to submit our "ACCEPTANCE form" to complete the review process (as if it took us more than 1 second to say YES!!). We also provided one picture of us, to be shown to our daughter (we think its wonderful that the staff in Ethiopia truly believe in the importance of showing our picture to our daughter in preparation of our arrival).

So you may ask, what now? Well, as always, there are only ESTIMATED court and travel dates. Right now we are waiting for paperwork (both her complete paperwork as well as our Dossier being translated and submitted) to be sent to the Ethiopian courts, which usually takes about 6-8 weeks. Once everything is received, will be given our 1st court date and are finally able to make travel arrangements, with the anticipation of going to Ethiopia in 1-3 months. So ideally, we will travel around March but we are prepared to leave anytime from February to May. We have ALWAYS known that this would be the hardest part of the process, seeing our daughter's face and not being able to hold her and give her our love.

So now its time to put things in motion, time to further research everything TRAVEL related: vaccinations, lodging/transportation (our flight as well as traveling to different areas of Ethiopia), supplies to bring for her, and what we need to live for two months in Ethiopia! This week we also researched the area she is from, which we already knew some information about. We gained even further respect for not only the country of Ethiopia, but the region she was born in. It is also the time to start preparing for her arrival HOME, getting her room ready *finally*. So needless to say...we have alot to do in the next few months to prepare for the next step of our journey.

In an ideal world we would be receiving regular updates on our daughter around the 15th (or later) of each month. We are of course already greatly anticipating our daughter's next medical report and pictures. We have tried to take a PATIENT approach with this journey, knowing that it is truly not in our control, but we can't help but desire to hold her and give her the love that currently consumes our hearts as soon as possible.

“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.”
 St. Francis of Assisi

We love to say that...there are now THREE of us!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Still all SMILES & WORDLESS in delight

Yesterday is but today's memory, tomorrow is today's dream.”
 ~ Kahlil Gibran 

Monday, December 6, 2010


We can't believe that we are already posting "THE POST"..."THE CALL"..."THE REFERRAL"!!!! It still seems so surreal! We find ourselves just looking at each other with big smiles. Today were able to see OUR daughter for the first time, and we fell head over heels for this precious girl! We just have to acknowledge how lucky we are! The average referral wait for our agency right now is about 4-6 months, with most referrals occurring around the sixth month. In the beginning we had hoped for an early referral, but to ensure sanity, we just focused on the sixth month marker and agreed to not even become restless until the seven month mark. As of today we have waited just four days shy of 3 months.

First, we just have to say that no words can adequately describe our joy, the love that we have for this child already, and the deep sense that she was truly meant to find us.

The Call:
Since I (Viv) took the initial call I will provide the details. So Pete recently started his rotation of working graveyard, and today was his day off, so he was sleeping. I also had to work and noticed in the late morning that there was a missed call from the adoption agency, (Pete was also called but he was sleeping and never hears his phone when he is sleeping). After hearing the voicemail I immediately called the adoption director back, thinking there might be something wrong with our paperwork or there was a sudden change in the process that would directly affect us, truly the last thing on my mind was that we were getting our referral. After a good morning greeting I was a bit stunned to hear the director say "we need to conference Pete in before we can go any farther....." which ensued a response that is now a bit blurry, but something to the effect of "does that mean this is THE CALL." After that was clarified, and there were a few giggles and quiet screams, I informed the staff that I needed to leave work immediately for "good reason". The drive to the house seemed to take forever! Once at home I set up the camera(s), yes, there was more than one because there was no way we were going to miss capturing any of this excitement. Anyone who knows about adoption journeys knows how memorable this day is to the family. So I tried to wake Pete up gently, and at first he was really confused as to why I was home and even thought I was joking when I started to explain we got our referral this morning (still half asleep at this point). Once he realized I was serious he jumped out of bed and we immediately headed to the computer, where we talked to our agency on speaker phone and read the referral documents.

Because we won't legally become her parents until we testify at court in Ethiopia we aren't able to release any identifying information on our daughter such as her name, birthdate, the area she is from, or any pictures. However, we can say we fell in love instantly. She is 2 1/2 months old and absolutely precious in every way. Her smile melts our hearts..and we can't wait for the day WE make her smile! After looking over the information we were truly speechless and thankful. Not only is she healthy but the meaning of her name, the date of her birth...already have ties to our journey and family.

This was an amazing day, filled with so much love. We can't wait to see more pictures of our beautiful daughter...hopefully by Christmas or around the first of the year. Now the hard part truly begins...waiting these 3-4 months to hold her in our arms.

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”
 George Sand 

P.S. And we were wondering what to blog about since we just finished 30 topics in 30 days.... ( :