Monday, February 28, 2011

Are you Ready?

The beginning of our packing process
We have been asked this question frequently over the last several weeks. We usually respond with the blanket answer of..."of course, we can't wait!" You may ask why the blanket answer? Because....this is a very loaded question. If you were to take the time to look deeper into this might begin to think...ready for which part?

Let's start with the simple implication....Are you ready?
~ Are you done packing? Almost...with four 50 pd bags, two carry on items and our personal items (purse/laptop)...we are about 95% done.
~ To take three months off work? Hmmm...let us think...YES!
~ To fly 20+ hours to Ethiopia? Of course!

Now let's look deeper into the question....Are you ready?
~ To stay in Ethiopia for 2+ months? Yes in deed!
~ To meet our daughter for the first time? Absolutely!
~ To deal with unpredictability? Yes, this is a must!
~ To be parents? Without a doubt!

So are we ready? We feel ready in every sense of the word. We know that we will leave things behind and forget something on our to-do list, but that won't change the fact that we are ready to bring our daughter into our family with open arms! We have been preparing for this journey for over a year, with specific travel preparations taking place over the last three months. We really tried to tackle our "to-do" lists over time to minimize our feelings of being overwhelmed. Our goal was to get everything in place a week prior to our departure, and right now it looks like we might meet that goal!

“Who travels for love finds a thousand miles not longer than one.” ~ Japanese Proverb

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Showers of love

We have been so lucky to have such an incredible support system on this journey from the very beginning! Since getting our referral, we only continue to be showered with love for Baby M! We had two showers, one hosted by Vivi's sisters and one  hosted by Vivi's best friend and sister in law. Both showers were amazing and a wonderful way to celebrate this beautiful child, her life and her addition to our family.

Shower hosted by best friend, Kelly, and and sister in law, Ang
A chair for Baby "M"

A day to celebrate the journey to Baby M 

Talented friends!

Some of the very thoughtful gifts 
(I couldn't post them all but)...

Homemade gifts are the best...especially from an excited grandma!

This book holds several drawings of Baby "M" participating in activities with various family members

A very special group of friends.

“Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.” ~Unknown Author

Shower hosted by my wonderful Sisters!

“A sister is one who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.” ~Unknown Author

We must also recognize how deeply touched we were by the people who weren't able to make it to the showers, but let it be known that they are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Baby M! (Wouldn't you rather wait to attend the party when Baby M will be there...we understand). Thank you to everyone for your love and support!

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  Howard Thurman

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


"All of life is a journey which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there.” ~Unknown author

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coffee Ceremony

What a wonderful afternoon, enjoying delicious coffee and talking about Ethiopia for over two hours. Sonja, at E'Njoni cafe has been very active in trying to connect the Ethiopian community with the Adoption community. Throughout the adoption process our paths have crossed a few times... attending the Day of an African child event, enjoying delicious food at her amazing restaurant, and most recently attending the Ethiopian Christmas party (which she hosted). Sonja was so excited to hear about our upcoming trip with three other adoptive families, that she wanted the mothers to come in for a formal coffee ceremony to celebrate and talk about our upcoming trip. We felt very honored to be there and enjoyed every minute!

Coffee originated in Ethiopia, in the region of Kaffee. There are several versions of the story but my favorite is about Kaldi, the goat-herder, who stumbled across the beans. In Ethiopia their are a couple of purposes of the Coffee Ceremony. First, this provided time for the women to get together and talk about the current events in their neighborhood as well as their country. Second, the ceremony is provided to welcome visitors into your home. It is not uncommon for an Ethiopian to share their most valued items with guests, even strangers. Sonja mentioned that some people might be saving sugar for an entire year for a special occasion, and if a stranger came to their home they would gladly share their sugar to give their new friend a delicious cup of coffee.

First the host takes the green coffee beans and slowly roasts them over the fire (or burner) until they become dark brown, but not burnt!

Once the beans have been roasted they are crushed into grounds (traditionally in a stone mortar).
Then the grounds are placed in a Jebena (a boiling pot) followed by water.
We continued chatting while the coffee was boiling.....

Now, it was time to enjoy the coffee...with or without sugar, ginger or no ginger, or just plain black coffee...anyway we tried it, this coffee was delicious (yes, I tried all three versions)! We also had the traditional "popcorn" as part of the ceremony, which was also tasty!

What an amazing afternoon! Delicious coffee, wonderful chats and amazing people! We are all so very thankful to be on this Journey!

Once you wake up and smell the coffee, it's hard to go back to sleep.
~ Fran Drescher

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Since we have been so busy with work and the adoption, we decided to take some time out for ourselves. We had our first S-T-A-Y-C-A-T-I-O-N! It was a perfect week...we relaxed and enjoyed some quality time together, while still being productive with crossing several items off on our to-do lists. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our journey so far! We reflected on the amazing life we have had together over the last 16 years (just us two), but also acknowledged how much we are looking forward to having Baby "M" in our lives. We know in our hearts that our lives will be forever enriched, they already have. It is a truly wonderful feeling to anticipate the next step of this journey!

The stay-cation included a few days at the beach, a few days at the mountain...with various to-do lists weaved in throughout the week.

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”
 ~ Ryunosuke Satoro

From the Sea to the Mountains

 “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
~ Chinese Proverbs 

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

We can't wait to see the beautiful land of Ethiopia...and to show Baby "M" the beauty of Oregon! It won't be long ( :

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Adoption Bug

Some people don't understand adoption, others understand and support adoption, and then there are some people who get touched by the adoption bug...and start their own journey. We definitely caught the adoption bug! Working in adoption and attending various adoption events opened our eyes to this amazing journey and opportunity. When you meet someone who has been touched by the desire to adopt themselves you instantly feel a connection.

We have a friend from high school who recently got touched by the adoption bug and we are thrilled! We remember those first few months in the process....anxiously awaiting for our application to be processed so we could get started, then spending your time gathering homestudy documents and preparing the dossier. It seems so long ago, and yet this all happened within the last year. Time is interesting in adoption, sometimes it flies by and you don't know where the days have gone, with others drag on for what seems like a lifetime. We are so thrilled to see this family start their own journey. We have been so amazed at their motivation to take that leap of faith to get their journey started. They have been deeply motivated to start fundraising and to keep pushing forward despite their limited financial resources. We know they will complete this journey because they have the support, drive, motivation and desire in their heart. They will make their dreams a reality. People like this are not only remarkable for their faith, but really show their deep desire to adopt...showing where their heart lies, with their family.  

Beware...adoption is contiguous and your life will be forever the people you meet, the experiences you have...and you will marvel over the newest addition to your family!

Faith is a process of leaping into the abyss not on the basis of any certainty about where we shall land, but rather on the belief that we shall land.” Carter Heyward

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Yellow fever, Thyphoid, and Malaria... Oh My!

We just completed our second round of shots! We are officially done being a pin cushion. We prepared ourselves that it would be expensive, but we were still shocked to see the total price tag! Thankfully 95% of our shots were available at our family doctor's office, so we only had to go to a travel clinic for the remaining one shot and for the pills. How many shots in all? 6 in the first round plus Typhoid pills, 5 in the second round plus Malaria a total of 11 SHOTS and 2 SETS OF PILLS!!!! But we will be a pin cushion anytime if it means we are getting closer to seeing our daughter. At least this part of the travel preparation is complete. Baby "M" we are on our way girl!

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”   
~Mother Teresa