Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Welcome to Oregon Mawerdi


Although Oregon and Ethiopia both have waterfalls, many months of rain, lots of good places to eat, and other things in common...they are two very different places. We wondered how Mawerdi would like her new environment...

She loved her first Tram Ride at OHSU. We had to go for a medical check up and she thought the ride was pretty great!

She has fun in her crib, she enjoys looking at the mobile and all the animals in the pattern. She thinks it is a great place to play peek-a-boo!

She is a happy little girl!

We know that the adjustment has just started to happen, but everyone is happy and doing fantastic. We feel like a complete family, a very HAPPY and complete family. We look forward to watching her grow over the years!

Now it is time to enter the next phase in the journey, raising Mawerdi. This blog will now be complete, if you are interested in hearing about more Adventures with Mawerdi (our new family blog) feel free, otherwise we wish you all the best! This blog was meant for our daughter, to document our journey to her, however we know that some of you have enjoyed reading along the way. Everyone has a different journey, but the reward is just as great! Thank you for your support, love and interest. Adoption is truly an amazing journey, not without an emotional rollercoaster at times. For us we have been blessed with a generally smooth process and an amazing daughter who we can't stop smiling at, Miss Mawerdi. We are so grateful for every moment of the process and for all the future memories to come!


“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.”

Monday, May 30, 2011

What a BLESSING!

We started this journey of love in our hearts, one that would take 434 days. 434 days until the moment we were waiting for..the day we would hold our daughter for the first time. She was precious from the first moment we held her. It was wonderful to be in Ethiopia and to start raising our daughter in her birth country. When we left Ethiopia she had already been in our care for 7 weeks! During that time we tried to absorb as much of Ethiopia as we could, experiencing Ethiopia with all of our senses. We will always have these memories close to our heart. We look forward to her opening her 18 little gifts over the years, and wedding gifts that we discovered at various markets. We respect her country and tried to capture as much as possible in the time we were there with her, in video, pictures and stories to tell.

Where Mawerdi's room was located


At the gates of the orphanage on our first visit

The day we received guardianship of Mawerdi

Pete signing the papers

Brining our precious daughter home to the guest house,
the moment we had been waiting for so long.

Her first nap after coming home with us, You can see her first
toy close by in the distance.

Always kiss your children goodnight - even if they're already asleep.  
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


FOREVER FAMILY


“A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for”


“For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude.” ~ Unknown Author


video

Friday, May 13, 2011

Things we'll miss...Things we're happy to see

So we are back home and thinking about our amazing time in Ethiopia! We are so lucky to have been able to experience this incredible culture for two months. At times yes we missed home, but we knew that this was an important opportunity, and tried to take full advantage of the time there.

THINGS that we will MISS:

THE PEOPLE: The genuine attitudes of the Ethiopians, yes life is often hard and it is a struggle for them, but they are real and appreciate what they DO have in life. We enjoyed watching friends hold hands and looking out for each other when crossing the street. The true sense of community around every corner. We could learn from their positive attitude and ability to focus on what is truly important in life. We will miss the beautiful people of this country who welcomed us with open arms.

A man at Korah who made these beautiful rugs

The beautiful people of Korah

People walking down from Entoto Mountain


THE COFFEE: The smell, the ambiance, the taste, the conversation....everything


Each coffee ceremony was special and delicious in its own way,
we cherished each one!

Kaldi's was the best coffee shop we've ever been too, we never knew what "our regular" drink was
because Baby would order it "Ethiopian Style" and in Amharic...but it was yummy!!!

A coffee ceremony amongst the staff, they are so wonderful and often invited us to join.


THE FOOD: Not just the fabulous Ethiopian food, but also the organic vegetables and fruits, the Italian and Indian food, there are so many wonderful places to eat there!

Delicious fruits and vegetables, all organic!


Serenade, an amazing mediterranean restaurant

Sangum, Fabulous Indian Food

Yod Abyssinia, Traditional Ethiopian Food

Of course homemade dinners are food for the tummy and an experience for the heart and sould


THE HISTORY: There is history everywhere you turn. Ethiopia was the birth place of civilization and so the history is truly incredible and extensive. We enjoyed visiting the churches, museums, and more! We look forward to continuing our education about Ethiopia's history and current events.


Menelik's First Palace on Entoto Mountain

Outside Selassie's first Palace, now Addis Ababa University. The Italians built this stairway while they occupied Selassie's palace to represent each year of Mussolini's rein. However when Selassie returned, instead of tearing down the statue, he just place the Lion of Judah on top.

During the rein of Selassie, at the Red Terror Museum


In memory of all the innocent ones who lost their lives at the hand of the Derg. At first I had a problem with taking pictures here but the man came up and said, "Please take more pictures, our history and story must be told."


THE LIVESTOCK: Although at times it was hard to see some animals living in such harsh conditions, it was interesting to see goats, donkeys and horses walking around freely. On a couple of occasions there were two horses in the middle of the road who just wouldn't budge, so everyone just drove around them.

One of the many neighborhood donkeys, this one came around the guest house quite alot.

Camels, Donkeys, whatever you need!

Everyone and everything shares the road

This was a bit odd, this is at a round-about




AHHHH.....A sight for sore eyes.....HOME



OUR HOME: To be able to sleep in our own bed and with our own pillow is so inviting and comforting. There is truly no bed better than your own.


LOTS OF GREEN & OUR GARDEN: The green landscape in Oregon and the beautiful colors in our garden (which has been neglected), Mawerdi loves all the vibrant colors in Oregon. Not only does her name mean "flower", but she truly loves flowers and nature.





OUR FAMILY: We love being able to call our family at anytime, and within around the same TIMEZONE! Of course it is always nice to be able to see all the people you love.

Our first family photo home, Mawerdi's big night out

Her debut was at Kelly's graduation, our best friend and cousin

Mawerdi's Auntie has been waiting to see her!

Three generations, Grandma was happy to see her girl again

Mawerdi and her cousin are already good friends


REFLECTIONS

We had an amazing two months in Ethiopia as a family. We would be fibbing to say that everyday was perfect or easy, but the majority of the days were simply incredible. Remember, this is a developing nation half way across the world, so sometimes there aren't those usual conveniences for first time parents. Even the days that were challenging ended with a smile, and a family of three. We really enjoyed traveling around to see as much of Ethiopia as possible, while still being with our girl. So many  places, filled with history and meaning. Each day brought a new experience and unforgettable memory. For us it was important to experience her culture this long to truly try to get an authentic feeling or understanding, and education of Ethiopia. There were certain days and experiences that have truly changed our lives forever. One thing is certain, not only did we return with our daughter but we returned with precious experiences, some that have changed our lives forever.

One day we took the Post Office kids to lunch at Sishu, they have best burgers EVER! These kids have tried to turned their lives around through attending school and setting goals in life. They were excited, and we were honored to meet these boys.

On the balcony at our guest home, an early morning. Everyday was another incredible adventure.

We will never forget the opportunity the time this allowed us to get to know Mawerdi, the things that make her happy...among the list...dancing to Bob Marley

 We visited a real Tukul near Sodere, it was amazing craftsmanship.

As we told our friends in Ethiopia, Ethiopia will always have a special place in our heart and home.

"Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”
 Mark Victor Hansen"