Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Computer Stickies

I totally ((heart)) my Mac. Love it. Adore it. I think Becky summed it up best when she said shortly after getting hers, "Now I know why Gweneth named her daughter Apple!" My sentiments exactly.

One of the fun features on a Mac is "Stickies"- you can write yourself (virtual) notes and stick them (virtually) on your background. I use mine to remind myself to do things, but also when I see a quote I like anywhere on the net I cut and paste it to a sticky. I thought since I haven't blogged in a bit that I would share a couple of them with you.

"Why is my life more valuable than this baby's? Someone asked me recently why I don't save money for emergencies, or retirement. My answer was how can I justify saving for myself "just in case" something happens to me when something IS happening to so many already. 29,000 kids will die today of preventable causes. If I'm to love my neighbor AS myself, why spend so much time worrying about me?"
Francis Chan

"...once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act."
(Proverbs 24:12)

There are seven sins in the world:
wealth without work
pleasure without conscience
knowledge without character
commerce without morality
science without humanity
worship without sacrifice
politics without principle
Mahatma Ghandi

Ezekiel 16:49 (NASB)
 "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy."

(how about that one??? ring a bell??? we always want to blame sodom's sin on something sexual, but right there in the bible it says that sodom's sins are basically the exact same as mine in this country.)

And finally, here's one I came across today. Not for the faint of heart.

Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, took some liberties with Matthew 25:35 and wrote a paraphrase version for today.
For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thristy, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved.

God, help us.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sad News

On Tuesday Haregewoin Teferra passed away. She was the amazing woman that "There Is No Me Without You" is all about. I've cut and pasted the below from Melissa Fay Greene's blog:

Dear Friends,

By now you may have learned the shocking news that Mrs. Haregewoin Teferra has died suddenly after a short illness. We don't know what caused her death; she felt sick for a couple of days, went to the doctor, came home without a diagnosis, felt sick again, and that was the end.

We are grieving, yet we have no time to spare: 59 children survive her, many of them toddlers and babies, the majority HIV-positive.

Worldwide Orphans--the New York-based organization that has overseen the medical care for Haregewoin's children for many years--has stepped into the breach. They have assumed full custody of the 42 HIV-positive kids and are prepared to take responsibility for the 17 HIV-negative children, as needed. Most of the latter are babies and toddlers; they're still at the foster home; their caregivers have stayed on; and the Atetegeb board is attentive to their health and safety at present.

These heroic measures come at high cost: we estimate $300,000 will be required in the coming year (about $4,600 per child) to cover food, healthcare and medicine, education, clothing, and caregivers. Once their basic needs are met, the children’s paperwork will be sorted out; some may be eligible for adoption, others may have extended families in a position to allow the children to return. But that is for the future. The crisis is now: keeping these children fed and clothed, paying the salaries of loving caregivers to act as stand-ins for their late parents, making sure there is no break in the life-saving healthcare provided by WWO.

Haregewoin lived with these children seven days a week, 24 hours a day, for ten years. She is irreplaceable. The smallest ones, of course, have no idea what has just happened. Please let us work together to act as foster parents in absentia for these little ones and to provide financial sustenance to the adults on the ground in Addis with them. Thank you in advance for any amount you can give.

Online contributions can be made at www.WWO.org.
Specify Campaign for Haregewoin's Children.

Or checks may be sent to:
511 Valley Street
Maplewood, New Jersey 07040


Please pray for these orphans and their care givers. I'm sure all are grieving and will forever miss this amazing woman.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Leprechaun Trap

They try every year...

...but so far, no luck!

Billy Joel is my new BFF

Wait, what I meant to write up there was that I went to see Billy Joel WITH my BFF!!! ha. Yes, last night Kelly and I went to the long awaited Billy Joel / Elton John concert and it was sooooooo great!

Here's Kelly and I on my porch before the concert:

And here's Kel posing w/ the sign at the BOK center (very nice, btw! way to go Tulsa!)

But when we went to find out seats...

...yes... that's the BACK WALL behind Kel there!!! We were on the VERY LAST ROW!!!! Which we could have dealt with if that were our only problem. BUT... when the concert started and we realized that the jumbo tron screen was 90% blocked by a big curtain, well, that just wasn't acceptable. So my girl from New Jersey went to do something about it. She missed Billy and Eton doing a duet on "My Life", but it was soooooooooo worth it b/c she found grace w/ the nicest man who was in charge of guest services and he GOT US NEW SEATS!!!! WAAAAAAAAY BETTER SEATS!!!!!!!!! We went from the very last row to here:

(that's a pic of Kelly with Billy, in case you were wondering.)

WooHoo!!! It was a great show and it was awesome to share it w/ Kel. What a night!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Well, the homestudy went GREAT!!! Our social worker, Andrea, was super sweet and really put me at ease. It ended up being almost 5 hours- probably because I tend to go on too long w/ my answers. But when she asked us things like, "What are your thoughts and feelings about your birth mother?" I couldn't help but burst into tears and then go on and on with things I have stated on this blog already about how difficult it must be for her. The truth is, children in Ethiopia (and everywhere) end up in orphanages for many reasons: death of parents, dire poverty that makes the parents want more for their children to the point of being willing to relinquish their parental rights, and abandonment. While I choose to think of our birth mother as loving her children desperately, it's pretty naive to assume this is always the case. When Andrea then asked me if my thoughts would change at all if we found out that our children were simply abandoned, I answered honestly that no, I didn't think so. I hope this won't be the case, but again- it's a naive hope. I plan to be totally up front and honest w/ our children when they ask about their story, (in an age-appropriate way, of course) but it would be so much nicer to be able to tell them that their mommy wanted the best for them and made plans accordingly than to tell them they were found wandering in a village. She also brought up some good points about not sharing the children's story w/ other people. Think of it this way: if I told you that my children were found abandoned in a ditch, wouldn't that come into your mind every time you saw them? That story should be theirs to tell if they ever want to - not mine to share with others before they even know it. All in all it was a very interesting and informative day.

...and E.X.H.A.U.S.T.I.N.G.!!! I totally crashed after she left. And I'm still feeling both the relief and the exhaustion now. But... it's over and now I can get back to focusing on getting all the needed documents together for the Dossier. So much to do...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tomorrow = Homestudy

RIGHT NOW my house is cleaner and neater than it ever has been before... or probably ever will be again!!! EVERY room is nigh perfect! And it had better stay that way until noon tomorrow when our homestudy starts. I even wiped off the leaves of the plants! (and we have a lot of plants.) It lasts until 4, by the way. Yes. 12-4. Four hours. And then after that my boys can actually play with legos again! They probably think I'm crazy with how I've been about the house for the past few days. I'm so curious as to what they will say when the social worker interviews them. The last time I asked them what they thought adoption was Ben answered, "When you buy a baby!" and Jack said, "When you let some kids be in your family because their family isn't a very good one." Hmmmmmm... believe it or not, these are NOT the things I have told them about adoption. It will all be very interesting.

24 hours from now it will be over and I will be drinking wine and relaxing in a less-than-perfect house. Aaaaaaahhhhhh.

(see plant w/ extra shiny leaves below)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

THE Homestudy!!!

If you happen to be reading this on Facebook, don't worry. I haven't broken my FB fast to post this as a note. My blog is set to automatically upload onto FB. So far I've been w/o it for almost a week and it feels pretty good! It's not that I think FB is bad... just that I perhaps have a problem w/ moderation that needed to be squashed and replaced w/ doing things that are good for me and the world and that bring me closer to God. But I digress...

ONE WEEK from today we have our homestudy! This means that a total stranger will come into my house for 4 hours w/ the sole purpose of JUDGING ME! AAAAAAAUGH!!!!! No, I know that's not what it's all about. But that's what it feels like! I spoke to her on the phone and she sounds very nice and friendly and did her best to set my mind at ease... but I'm still nervous. I've got a list of things that MUST be done around the house before she comes. Things like:
Steam clean all carpets
Dust the tops of all door frames
Take down all curtains, wash them, and re-hang
...along w/ all the 'regular' cleaning and organizing stuff. But really, the house is only part of what makes me nervous. I know she's not coming to do a white glove test, but more to get to know who we are and why we want to adopt. I get nervous thinking about answering questions like, "How prepared do you feel for the challenges that a multi-racial family will present?" Or, "What will you do to ensure that your child stays in touch w/ their culture and heritage?" Or, "What will you do if your child is not attaching well to your family, or vice-versa?" Or, "What will you do if your family doesn't seem to blend well and your older kids are having a problem w/ the younger kids post-adoption?" It's not that I haven't thought through these things and don't have answers.... it's just that I don't think my answers are very good. Because although I'm reading a lot and talking to people and asking questions, and preparing myself for all possible eventualities, academic preparedness can only take you so far. Then you just have to jump in with both feet. And really... I have no idea if these are the questions she will ask. These are the questions I am asking, and therefore feel unprepared to answer.

But... I'm sure it will all be fine. But in the mean time... is that dust I see on the ceiling fan blades???

Selam! G'day! Hello!