Posts Tagged ethiopian-adoption

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Thankfulness, Insecurity and Adoption: A Messy Lesson

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Thankfulness, Insecurity and Adoption: A Messy Lesson
My daughter Meazi’s second grade class visits an assisted living facility every month. For the November trip they planned a “Make a Thanksgiving Turkey” craft for the seniors living at the facility. I signed up to be a volunteer parent. The night before I spoke to Meazi about how happy I was to be going with her and how lucky I felt that I was going to get to spend some time with her during the school day. Our trip last year to the Natural History Museum was a bit of a debacle: she ignored me the whole time.  Read more »

The Sleep Habits of Orphans

From the time my kids have been home, they have demonstrated some strange ideas on sleeping.  Read more »

What is Home for My Adopted Son?

I’ll never forget the day I pulled into our driveway and my then two-year-old son, who really only knew a dozen words at the time, looked out from his car seat at our small white house in Los Angles and said, “Home.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in the U.S.: Spanish and English

Welcome Becky and Antonio!   Where are you from?   Becky: I am from Chicago and Antonio is from Mexico City.  Read more »

Mommies Always Come Back (except when they don’t)

Three years ago, I met my children at an orphanage in Ethiopia. We had been told that our daughter Meazi was two years old, and that her baby brother was eight months old. When we met them we knew we needed to either call the Guinness Book of World Records and report “The world’s most brilliant toddler,” or talk to some doctors and dentists to figure out Meazi’s actual age.  Read more »

How a Love of Ginger Tea Helped our Multicultural Family

Ella had been in America for about six months. We were making a connection but there were struggles. Adopted from Ethiopia, Ella was enjoying her new country but grieving over the loss of her homeland. She had endured much loss in her seven years, seeing her mother die and dealing with the inevitability of her father dying of the uncontrolled HIV virus in his system.  Read more »

What do Baklava and Doro Wat Have in Common?

When I was growing up, cooking and baking were a way for me to escape the problems of the day and ultimately find a new vantage point.  I remember lonely Friday nights during middle school where I would get lost in baking cookies.  During the measuring and mixing, I would stop obsessing about my status at school or the day’s slights.  When the cookies were cooling, my perspective would have altered just enough so my world seemed a little brighter and my problems almost manageable.  Read more »

My Inadvertently Open, Ethiopian Adoption—A Steep Learning Curve

In the beginning it was about wanting a baby. I desperately wanted a baby. Every single cell in my body was screaming to be pregnant. My late twenties and all of my thirties were dedicated to the goal of getting pregnant. I loved my husband and was sure that this pregnancy, and its inevitable outcome, a living child, would be the greatest fulfilled expression of love between us.  Read more »

Remembering Their Birth Mother’s Face

My first Christmas with my Ethiopian children came 10 months after they were officially adopted into our family. During the year we settled in, we learned that one of our daughters was still heavily grieving the loss of her mother two years earlier. One of the most difficult struggles for Ella was that she was starting to forget her mother’s face.  Read more »

Is it Possible to be Too Multicultural?

People who see us together call us the United Nations family. We are stopped constantly by people who ask, “Are these all yours?” I confidently tell perfect strangers that my family represents four different countries. Our diversity is something that I am very proud of. However, it is difficult to continue to teach your children about their history and their culture while at the same time introduce them to their new culture and family.  Read more »

Reunited Outside the Orphanage Walls

Tanya’s car pulls into my parents’ gravel driveway. She is honking the horn, and waving her hand out the window. Meazi, Melese and I have been outside waiting for them to arrive from their five-hour drive from St. Paul, Minnesota. Peeking in her car, we see her boys Mintesinot and Tesfaamlak sitting in their cars seats, identical to ours, one with a cow pattern and the other with a butterfly pattern.  Read more »

Disconnect to Connect: Foregoing Facebook and iPads to Model Connection for Our Children

So, I caved! I gave my 12-year-old Ethiopian daughter a cell phone this year. As she was heading into middle school, I realized that she needed it to stay connected to us “in case of emergencies.” Well, as you can imagine, the phone has become an invisible lifeline between my sweet Grace and her friends. Lately, when she walks in the back door after school, she forgets to say hello to me or doesn’t hear me because she is texting.  Read more »

Adoption and The Gift of Hope

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13: 13) My children tell me the story of when they were in the orphanage in Ethiopia and how they had lost hope that a family would adopt them. We adopted three children who were siblings. Most of the adoptions they had seen were of one child at a time.  Read more »

Death of a Parent and Ella’s Troubled Hair

The first time I laid eyes on Ella was via a picture from her Ethiopian orphanage. I immediately thought that she was perhaps the most beautiful little girl I had ever seen. She was six years old and had perfectly braided hair gathered into a bun on her head. The orphanage had very little resources but a local hair salon came on Saturdays to wash and braid the hair of dozens of little girls.  Read more »

Announcing Our Kids Singing Contest Winner!

Thanks to everyone who submitted awesome videos of their kids singing in languages like Luxembourgish, Korean, Amharic, French, Spanish, Italian and German. We loved watching every one of them and also found it inspiring how many of you are teaching your kids songs in other languages.   But after this contest, we made a giant note to selves: this may be the last time we do a contest where we have to pick just one winner of adorable kids doing adorable activities like singing.  Read more »

Primary School Privilege

I get an urgent call from one of the other Kindergarten moms. She tells me that there is a child that she wants removed from the classroom. My mind races a little as I think about what a strict school it is, so strict in fact that my daughter Meazi recently received a time-out for whistling. (Apparently she was also a "whistling instigator," inspiring several other kids to express themselves in this exuberant manner).  Read more »

Finding Aster

I began to think about Aster's birth mother long before the nanny handed her to me. It took many months for my daughter's biological mother not to enter into my daily thoughts. I felt such deep sadness for this child who, we were told, would never have the opportunity to know the woman who birthed her. She supposedly had no other blood relatives, so seeking out her birth family would never be an option for Aster.  Read more »

Family Evolution: The Meaning of Multicultural

I grew up in a multicultural house. My mother was born in the Netherlands. My father, although also of Dutch heritage, was born in Indonesia and spent much of his early years split between those islands and Australia. He brought with him foods, languages, a love of large birds and a unique accent. I was born in New Jersey but my parents raised me Dutch.  Read more »

The Gift of Oranges From a Sister I Will Never Meet

I felt a connection to a woman who had lived across the continent in Ethiopia. We had never met and will never meet in person. She was the birth mother of my three Ethiopian kids. I know it is strange to admit this connection but I can honestly say that I felt a call from her heart to "mother" her children via adoption. Bayoush was around 32 years old and had passed away due to AIDS a few years prior in 2005.  Read more »
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