Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ethiopia or Bust...

Although we promise not to list every book that we read about adoption or Ethiopia, we had to mention one of the recent books that we have finished. "Ashes to Africa", a memoir from an adoptive couple that touched our hearts. Although the beginning of our adoption stories are the same we completely identify with some of their adoption desires, process and experiences. That deep connection they felt to Africa and their child before even meeting him, the amazement and gratitude of the adoption community, and taking that leap of faith in an unpredictable journey. Throughout this blog we have talked about our affinity with the Ethiopian culture and our eagerness to absorb as many facets of this incredible culture as we possibly can. However we don't know if we have mentioned the adoptive community enough. We feel so thankful to live in a diverse community with a very large adoption network. The memoir talks about establishing instant, deep and lifelong friendships within the adoption community. Not only is this an amazing support network for the parents but also to the children, having regular play dates and planning cultural activities. These families understand your heart and your desires. We feel so lucky to have met and become friends with some incredible adoptive families and we look forward to meeting more.

During this process we find ourselves looking at YouTube adoption videos and blog surfing:
Here is Amy and Josh's Blog, the authors of Ashes to Africa  if you are interested in learning more about their story!

“Adoption is not about finding children for families, it's about finding families for children”
~ Joyce Maguire Pavao

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Harvest

It is that time of year again, the fall season. When we think of fall we think about watching the leaves change colors, reluctantly accepting the shorter days, watching Sunday football, drinking hot chocolate, and going to the pumpkin patch. We love fall, even on the days where the rain and fog fill the air! In Oregon the rainy season has just begun and will last until after April. In Ethiopia the long rainy season, which starts in June, is just ending. Although in both Oregon and Ethiopia this time of year is considered the season of harvest, in Oregon we call it the "fall season" while in Ethiopia it is considered the spring season, "Tseday."

Curious as to what Ethiopia identifies as their rainy and dry seasons? 
~ The western half of Ethiopia has two distinct seasons. From June-September it is considerably wet and then dry from November-February. The peak time for rainfall occurs from July to August.  
~ The central and most of the eastern part of the country have two rainy periods and one dry period.  The rainy seasons are know as Kiremt (heavy rains) from June –September, and Belg (light rains) from February-May. The dry season, known as the Bega season, lasts form October-January. The Kirmet rains are essential because 90-95 percent of the food is produced during this main crop season. This is when most parts of the country receive 60-90 percent of their rainfall, so drought during the Kiremt season may lead to a shortage of food. Although the Belg harvest can provide up to 50 percent of the yearly food supply in the some highland areas, it typically accounts for only 5 to 10 percent of the total annual grain production of the country.
~ The south and southeastern parts of Ethiopia have two distinct dry periods, December-February and July-August, and two rain seasons March-June and September-November. The main rain season is referred to as the belg rains because it occurs from March-June.  

The rainy seasons in Ethiopia can not only impact their food production but also their daily living. In fact during the heavy rain season, which can cause flooding, the Ethiopian courts actually close for about seven weeks. We have learned to appreciate every season, rain or shine.  

“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”   ~ Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunrise to Sunset

“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness” ~Author Unknown

With the realization that we will soon become parents, we recognize the importance of enjoying the abundance of freedom we currently have. To be able to just pick up and go whenever and wherever we desire. So we decided to drive to Larch Mountain to watch the beautiful sunrise over Mt Hood. The air was crisp, and the colors were vibrant from the leaves to the sky. We couldn't help but appreciate the moment as we sat there sipping our hot coffee and enjoying the color display. We live in such a fast paced society that often overlooks the beautiful moments which quickly happen in life. Sunrises and sunsets are truly incredible, only lasting a few moments. 

Last night we had dinner with an amazing adoptive family and were discussing their trip to Ethiopia. There are so many things we are looking forward to in our travels to Ethiopia. Anticipating the every day moments like their sunsets or what it sounds like at the biggest moment of our life, meeting our daughter. 

“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator”
 ~Mahatma Gandhi 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless wednesday.....Why

Why?.... The question is why not!

"Every single child is a son or a daughter of the one Earth mama and the one Earth papa" 
~ Michael Franti

MSNBC wrote an interesting article about adoptions in Ethiopia being on the rise.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One month closer

As of today it has been one month since our Dossier was sent to Ethiopia. Therefore we are one month closer to receiving our referral; one month closer to seeing her beautiful face. We think of her everyday and pray for good health for both her and her birth mother. How are we celebrating this anniversary, by the family going out for Ethiopian food of course. 

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
 Ursula K. LeGuin 

“The love of a family is life's greatest blessing” 
~ Unknown Author

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Toukoul....a very special place

Although we hope that she doesn't have to spend too much time at Toukoul, we have the utmost confidence in Toukoul and how they care for their children. See you soon Baby DeTorres!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”    ~Thomas Merton 

Over the last year we have been reflecting on our lives and the direction it has taken. It never ceases to amaze us how life can change directions in an instant. Relationships change, jobs change, interests change, just to name a few...nothing in life ever seems constant. Since starting this Journey of Love we have experienced life in a new way, having a greater worldly mindset which provides an ever increasing cultural and social awareness. This journey has caused to us to truly reflect on what is important to us and in our lives: family, friends, enjoying/appreciating life to the fullest, and giving back in whatever capacity we can. Even though we have experienced a tremendous amount of support during our journey occasionally we run into someone who doesn't understand why we have chosen to take this path. Although we have many different reasons for why, really it can be summed up in one answer: "Because that is where our daughter is", sometimes you can't fully explain what your heart feels or knows. When we reflect on our life together we feel: a deep contentment for the growth we have experienced and how the past has contributed to who we are today, an appreciation for the current moment or experience, and tremendous excitement about the future. We are so thankful to be on this Journey of Love and feel/know one thing is constant in our lives...the deep love we have for each other and for our daughter.

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death."    ~Leonardo da Vinci