Thursday, December 6, 2012


Has it really already been two years since we saw our girl's beautiful face for the first time?! Words can't articulate how deep our love is for this girl, how proud of her we are, and how much joy she brings to our lives each and every day!

It was the tiniest thing I ever decided to put my whole life into.
~Terri Guillemets

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Melkam Addis Amet (Happy New Year)

Enkutatash is the Ethiopian New Year, celebrated on September 11th, therefore it is a very important holiday for the Ethiopian people and to our family. To read more about the history of this holiday you can click here to read my first blog post.

Our family always looks forward to this celebration! It was a perfect day with traditional music & food, games for the kids, beautiful weather and visits with friends, other adoptive families and the Ethiopian community.

This year we were excited to see our friend Bisrat, who we met in Ethiopia and was currently visiting the US, attend the celebration. It was delightful for him to watch all the girls he knew as babies now playing together as friends.

Mawerdi's Sweet Dance Moves

Smiles All Around...

It is always wonderful to see these friends get together...although each of these children are unique and beautiful in their own way, they all have the common similarity and celebration of their Ethiopian Birth Heritage. 

Time for Buna, the Coffee Ceremony

Kiss & Hug from a Best Friend

Complete Joy

The celebration wouldn't be complete without Dancing! It was wonderful to see all the traditional dresses, smiles and laughter!

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul” 
~Martha Graham

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
 ~Oprah Winfrey

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever.” 
~Alfred Tennyson

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Love for Ethiopia

Since discovering EOR a few years ago we instantly fell in love with this organization! We were inspired by their mission, their determination and the impact they were already making in Ethiopia!

Lights of Hope is an annual auction, one of EOR's main events, with again 100% of the money being raised going directly to projects in Ethiopia. Viv has been honored to be on the Lights of Hope procurement team for the last two years and knows first hand how amazing these women are!

This year was another incredible night with EOR raising $143,000!!!

Lights of Hope raised over $143,000 to bring hope to the orphans and vulnerable children in Ethiopia. In just 15 short minutes quests gave $42,100 for Children's Heaven.

Great women, mothers and friends!

Another year in attendance to this wonderful event with my amazing mother!

Mawerdi's Auntie was so happy to be a part of the evening!

Our special "Dire Dawa" table, we love every one at this table, it was an unforgettable evening!

“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.”
 ~Tenzin Gyatso

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A year in the USA

May 7th, 2011: The day Mawerdi became a US Citizen
May 8th, 2011: Mawerdi arrived home in Oregon

May 8th, 2012: Celebrating a year in Oregon

Dreams are the touchstones of our character.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Our Last Post Placement Report Appointment

We are in disbelief, we had our 3rd and FINAL Post Placement interview with our adoption social worker! This is the LAST REPORT provided through our agency. Our incredible social worker Nancy, who has been there since the beginning with our homestudy, has watched our entire journey unfold. It still amazes us that we have been home a year now, and that Mawerdi has been in our care for 15 glorious months!

Although Mawerdi has only seen Nancy a few times she certainly remembers her!

We are now done with the agency part of the process, completing another step in this amazing journey. We are now required to submit our own report to Ethiopia on a year basis until she is 18 years old. How can you express in a few pages what a significant impact this special spirit has had on our family, how Mawerdi and Ethiopia have forever changed and enriched our lives. It truly is the Journey of Love!

“Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves”
~ Teilhard de Chardin

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gotcha Day

On this day we truly became a Forever Family in our eyes. Although we had court on the 17th, March 19th was the day we were given the opportunity to check Mawerdi out of the orphanage. This is our "Gotcha Day."  It was the day that we truly took her into our care FOREVER, and we will continue to love her FOREVER!

We celebrated of course by eating Ethiopian food, Mawerdi loves her Injera!

“Of course if you like your kids, if you love them from the moment they begin, you yourself begin all over again, in them, with them, and so there is something more to the world again.”
~William Saroyan

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Court Date Anniversary

When we started Mawerdi's adoption process we bought her the American Girl Doll, Saba, which also contained a book "Saba" written by Jane Kurtz. We were thrilled to hear that Jane was having a book signing, a perfect way to celebrate the anniversary of our Court date! Jane does a wonderful job of bringing awareness of Ethiopia through books to kids, we have many of her books and can't wait to see what else she writes! She is an incredible writer who also does her best to give back to Ethiopia through fundraising libraries! This book signing event helped them raise enough money to complete the Harar Library, again only fitting since Harar is only about 30 mins from where Mawerdi was born in Dire Dawa.

What a perfect way to celebrate!

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
— Frederick Douglass

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The day that changed our lives forever

A year ago today we held our daughter in our arms for the very first time...forever changing our lives. We have been reflecting on how natural everything felt and yet it was still a leap of faith for us, we just followed our hearts...because from the very beginning we knew in our hearts we would be united with our daughter.

It was love at first sight!

Our daughter is truly the light of our lives, not a day goes by where we don't look into her beautiful eyes and tell her how much we love her, how special she is and lucky we are to be her parents. It is not uncommon to find us gazing at her in amazement, talking to each other about how truly blessed we are, she is a perfect fit for our family! We truly can't imagine our lives without her, yes that is cliche but it is also very true! She is not only beautiful but hilarious, smart, curious, courageous, stubborn and well we could go on. She is an extraordinary little girl who continues to amaze us each and every day. It is incredible to watch her progress and personality bloom over this last year! We see her continuing to light up the lives of everyone around her, she has that special something. WE are the lucky ones to be touched by HER light!

We love you Mawerdi, everything about you is perfect!

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
 ~ Abraham Lincoln

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
~ Unknown Author

Here is our blog post soon after our arrival from Ethiopia, which includes a very sweet adoption video!