The days on the long road of one families Ethiopian Adoption

This blog started out as a way to record the twists, turns, highs and lows in my families journey to adopt siblings from Ethiopia. Now our children are home and we have just finished celebrating our first year as a family.

I'm Kimberly (or Fendesha), an adventurous person who aspires to be a vagabond- but for now- I spend all of my free time travelling and my down time thinking of travelling. I'm a mom of 3 (the oldest being my gorgeous canine companion), a IT project manager, and on occasion I find myself the primary writer of this blog.

Happy Reading and thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Norway Bound

It's the usual craziness that surrounds Christmas time. Last weekend celebrated the holiday at my mother's house and then Monday night with Den's family (his mom the weekend prior). All of our shopping is done and our work almost completed (Denis working late and sleeping little as always before our holiday trips). I'm doing the usual- last minute packing- speaking of- shouldn't I start instead of blogging? Ahh.. I have our passports out and our itinerary printed. Ohh and as of 5:00 the gifts in a suitcase. The rest- I've never been one for craziness prior to a trip. I like to just figure out that day what I'm taking or the night before and go. So many people worry about buying everything they could possibly need but as you travel you learn- commerce is everywhere and it's part of experiencing a culture.. So-outside of medications when I know I can't get them (ie: norway) I don't worry to much. If you can't live a few weeks with out something- how did you get this far??

Well off to eat dinner, pack, a little more work and then to Norway. Will we really increase the size of our family next year? Will the adoption be finalized by Christmas next year so we can spend it Norway again, will we want to? Will we be home with children yet?? Only time can tell - in the meantime I guess the only option we have is to fun!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.
Km and Denis

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ethiopia Week

Last week seemed to be Ethiopia week for us and the rest of the Central Ma adoptive families group. We all crammed a few months of activities into one week (Sunday-Saturday). "how is it that some Sundays- I wonder what is it that I accomplished that prior week- what difference is it that I made in somebody's life, who did I make smile? did I smile? Did I notice that friend in need, did I listen to you, and then other weeks- I laugh, I dance, I sing, I'm listening to you, I'm making a difference?"
  • Cooking Ethiopian food for the first time (and adventurously sharing it with 10 people-laugh). Denis did an amazing job.. I did a well 50% amazing job.
  • A grown up adoption support group at our house for families with Ethiopian connections- *(my how the central MA area is growing- 4 families with referrals at the meeting- How exciting). It's such a privilege to be a part of and watch these families grow and expand.
  • The Boston Ethiopian Group Children's Christmas party. (The kids are growing up so fast)!
  • Rwandan Orphan Choir-Wow! a great show. Have you heard of Meme Stevens yet? You just have to hear this song (get tissues):

A note on the referral process: This week I learned that the referral process is not always a happy and wonderful experience because you become attached and feel a social responsibility questioning should you give them family money - and keep the child in it's culture? Why does money allow me to have your baby- am I stealing this child because I was born in a different location? With such a heavy heart you move forward into adopting after waiting for this "joyous" moment of finding out you are going to be a parent.. I think it's something many families are not prepared for those emotions that come with a referral.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tomorrow 6 months waiting

Hi All,
I haven't written in this blog for a while. Actually I'm pretty certain no one is reading it- I tend to keep it pretty sterile and have been thinking about that. Why do we hide our personal lives so much more than others? So I've decided to write a somewhat personal one today.

Tomorrow we'll have been waiting for a referral for 6 months. As you all know- we truly started the adoption process (signed the application with an agency is the date we select to say "truly started" in April of 2006). There was a lot of agency research before that date so if you wonder when we started that- it was probably at fall of 2005)- but enough said.

In the past month we've started to struggle a little bit. First our friends/family that learned about our adoption and then later on found out they were pregnant are having their babies. I feel terrible that I'm struggling with it-but our day will come.

We've been so vested in Ethiopia that I'm kind of embarrassed to say we took a look at DSS late last month. We've been giving some consideration to raising our age range and with that comes the feeling that we needed to look around at our local situations. We'll that experience went absolutely no where. I can't believe the experience I had- after 8-12 phone calls I finally found the right person to chat with and she didn't have any listening skills at all. It's a long negative story that I don't want to remember at a later date- if you need to know more- email me- I'll be happy to vent- but basically- I'm back to completely understanding that US adoption options really suck- and since there is some sort of gov't program that at least provides a bit for them- I'll stick with international. I mean who in their right mind is going to take a couple of children when they want to adopt that may be removed from their home. I asked for % of risk based on past experience- they have nothing. I swear- it's hard to believe any of these people we've met in the social working field ever got out of college- It's been a disgusting experience to say the least. Okay- enough on that. Very angry yet again at a US social program and willing to move where there are not any it seems- call me nuts- I'm sure I am. I'm at the very least angry.

So- in the past few months we've decided we need a web developer for the Ethiopian culture camp website- I'm just not interested in doing it- and Denis is struggling for free time as it is.

We are trying to help the Central MA Yahoo Group meet and get to know each other better. Had the first parent meeting last night- and 4 of the families had a referral. The energy was just amazing- and we totally needed it.
We are also hosting the showing of Black Gold at our local Church (Northboro - UU- 7pm on Dec. 7th). Hopefully quite a few people will join us.

We've decided on a color for the play room, sponsored a DSS Child's Christmas.. etc.

Anyone out there have a convertible bug and 2 children? I'm beginning to think it's going to be a bit of a clown car-but with it almost paid off and I don't really like it - I really want to find a stroller that will fit in the trunk so the kids can trash it- as they seem to have all my friends cars- and then when they are older- I can replace it with a nice clean one :-). With a 2 year old car - just about paid off- I'm not really excited about taking on any new loans. Especially since we should be barreling our money into our house -given the market conditions.

Well- that's my blog for today. It's a bit more personal..

6 months with probably 6 more to go...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Micro-Lending. You can make a difference

Have you read "Banker to the Poor" yet by Muhammad Yunus?
Other items to consider...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Library and Amharic

The Library Rocks. Discovering the library again has been so much fun. There are so many books on Ethiopia and when you order them online- you just pick them up. There's no wandering through the aisles hoping to find something you want to read. It's Great!

Also- found this link on Amharic from the FSI: (Foreign Service Institute non gov't language course). It's the best I've found so far.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mamma Mia

Went to see Mamma Mia while at a conference in Vegas last week. I Loved it - only it had to do with a girl who wants to find her biological dad. Man there are adoption themes everywhere.

It was the first time I was that close to California with my biological father's information. I found myself wanting to go to his address and meet him. Not sure what I am going to do with that thought just yet. Do I drop it or act on it? I didn't go- I finished the conference and came home-but I'm not sure the "desire" has gone away just yet.

Although- when I think 6 hour flight- I think EU- I do not think Cali... Will I ever think Cali? Hmmmm....

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Harry Potter

I don't have much on the adoption front- I've been knee deep in Harry Potter of course. But the latest Harry Potter book was great. Can you believe it's over? 8+ years of reading and waiting for the next book. Have to say it was fun! Thanks Rowling.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

List of Books -Culture or Adoption Related

Planned for rest of 2007:
  • Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution Is Transforming America
  • I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World (almost finished)
  • Inside Transracial Adoption
  • Adoption Is a Family Affair! What Relatives and Friends Must Know (elementary-too infertility based-but only reference I can find for families). Can somebody please not assume we are infertile in all of our readings). It would be nice if a book or two assumed it was a first choice - surprise surprise-it is to some of us!
  • What to Expect the Toddler Years (tired of adoption focused reading- what's are real toddler issues- seems like we should know that too)
  • What to Expect the First Year (ditto- time to learn about "what's normal"...)
  • Ethiopia, 4th: The Bradt Travel Guide (Whoooooo Hoooo... let's travel baby)
  • Surrender or Starve: Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea

It's alright Mon- No Problem

We are in the Bahamas on a business trip and have met some lovely people. We were suppose to leave today but luck would have it- we're here for another day. In a room with a gorgeous ocean view. What a lovely surprise that life has thrown our way. A day together in Nassau, Bahamas.

on the adoption front- I've been looking at other agencies contemplating changing. Am I crazy? It's just the wait is so long with ours and it seems so much shorter with every other one. I laugh because I have this urge but then again- we're really not in a hurry are we? It's so hard in a world that's always in a rush to sit back and think.... "It's alright Mon- No Problem" :-)...

I just finished reading "There's no me with out you" Great book and a total must read. Now I'm onto - "Does Anybody look like me?".

2007 has brought with it amazing travel opportunities-thus plenty of time to read-a weekend in Paris, two weekends in Florida, a week in Jamaica, a week in the Bahamas- and it's only July.. oh joy oh joy oh joy.. can you say- no problem - no problem- no problem..! :-).

Life is good.
Read on.. Travel on...

Monday, July 9, 2007

2 Adults per Child please!

Okay- so are we nuts? We're in our mid-30's and we had a friends 3 year old and our Nephew who is 1 at our house this past weekend. Is this really what we are asking our lives to turn into?? Are we crazy? This country needs 2 adults for each child!!!

Here's my thoughts? Be prepared they are scattered-

It was a lot of fun. How do people get anything done? I need a house cleaner!
Would older children be better? This "having a choice" is such a burden.

We finger painted, made cookies, made a disaster of the house, we went to the park, and to an Ecological park. Yet Den's sister and brother in law cared for their child the whole time we could barely keep up with the 3 year old. So- what are we going to do when there are not 4 adults and 2 kids in the house. I think we not only need to adopt 2 kids- but we need 2 parents too! Can you say NANNY???? Au'Pair.. oh baby- here we come-start the interviews now!!!

People enjoy this? What about my life- will I ever get it back? Okay- so I'm selfish- get over it. If you haven't figured it out by now- there- I've told you.
Don't forget that I'm also very giving, nurturing and generally thoughtful though :-)...laugh. But yes- I'm selfish and I like my life.

I know we want to have children, I know that we won't change our mind and we know that it's going to be hard. Right now- I'm not sure I want to do this- but what else is there? Travellings getting boring, life's getting boring -I'm running out of interest to persue- and well- I don't want to be older parents- I'm already much more tired than I was when I was younger. I think it was probably easier for our parents - who got married, had kids, (got divorced), and there wasn't so much pressure to be "perfect parents".

Society is kind of nuts how much we "cater to our kids". It'll be interesting to see how we will balance perceived societal expectations with our parenting desires. I'm sure many "new" parents feel this way. We're just not keep up with the Jones types- never have been and our parents did as much if not "more" with a lot "less" and we're fine. Although some could challenge how "fine" we turned out-laugh.

On a more interesting note.. Denis and I had a blast. I didn't think about our work all weekend although we had to pay the price last night with Den going to work at 3am, heck we couldn't find the check book and didn't care-laugh. I can take care of that tonght. We loved going places, answering "why", giving baths and essentially- we enjoyed being needed. Geneva did great as well- she I don't think enjoyed sharing us quite a much as she had to -but she did like watching the people and wagged her tail when the kids were around. She enjoyed the attention from the additional adults to. But what if the kids hadn't gone "home".. Den up at 3am- the bills still unpaid, the house still a mess.... OH MY!

To summarize- We need a bigger house and to adopt 2 more adults.. There needs to be 2 adults for each child or we need to move to country where the expectations are less.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

How long to wait?

Now that we've finished all of the paperwork I find myself wondering how long the wait is going to be. I read the yahoo groups - everyone seems so "concerned" about this uncontrollable wait period. Although we don't feel like we are going to get upset about the wait- we have so much to do before our life with children starts- but we are currently figuring on 1 year.

Some of the families ahead of us asking for the same age range waited 10 months and the shortest I've seen for a wait in the past 6 months is 7 months. Our Age range is a single Infant under 12 months, Siblings (one an infant, one under 3 years) or twins under 24 months. The only way I see the wait being potentially shorter is on the twins side.

My research indicates-
1) there are many more agencies working in Ethiopia to place children than there were a year ago and I'm guessing this staff is working very hard with not many more resources.
2) there are a lot more Adopters going to Ethiopia to adopt then there were 10 months ago when these individuals that waited 10 months started waiting.

So of course I ask - do we plan 1 year, do we plan 15 months, 18 months. I wish our agency would say- in December of last year- we had 20 applicants that met your criteria and those applicants waited 6-10 months for a referral- now we have 40... It would be very helpful. But that's just my analytical side stepping up and out.

It amazes me that people are questioning this wait with out looking at and analysing the information already available to them and expecting to wait 6 months even though the latest letters (from our agency anyway) have read 10 months.

So instead of focusing on this- we're just keeping busy. We've started Networking with in the Ethiopian Adoption Community, we're making a list of all of the items that we need to fix in the house before the kids come, we're working on a playroom and we're getting rid of our clutter for the kids clutter. We just put up a train around the ceiling of the playroom and now we are going paint a mural. They have these cool paint by number murals out now. We're going to give it a shot and see how it comes out.

This past week we attended a CPR/Choke save class and the required Older Child Class our agency asked us to attend. Next week we are volunteering at the Ethiopian Cultural Camp in NH. Then we're free of adoption activities for a month while we visit with family, babysit our friends kids and have some summer fun!

Of course- I'm starting to think about putting all of the information for the children together in a scrapbook. Like the newspaper articles, our experiences-etc. I know I'll want to have it all when the kid/kids are older.

There's not much more to write but I thought I'd keep the blog alive so that when it gets interesting there will be some history to preview.

Have a great few weeks.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On the list! June 5th 2007

We received our I-171-H in the Mail this week and forwarded off to our Agency.
And have a list date of June 5th. This moment we've been working toward is finally here! We started this journey in March of 2006- with Agency interviews, learning about programs- etc.. Now 1 year and 3 month later (yes we're a bit slower than most of you) our paperwork is on it's way to the Ethiopian Embassy for Translation. It's most exciting to think our active paper chase is finally over. Now it's down to business with the stuff we feel matters and is more like the steps people can relate to- like classes to improve our parenting skills, doctors, daycare and readying our home to take up our time.

I find myself wondering if either of the children are born that we will be referred or if they are even conceived yet. I find it hard to believe that the steps we just took will result in a child or children. Seems so un-real at times. Article of interest:

We met the family this article is focused on at our first Ethiopian Program meeting well over a year ago. Since then Ethiopia has been highlighted in the news more frequently. But this article holds a special place since it came out several months after we had started considering Ethiopia the country for us. At that time the program was moving much faster than we had wished to go.

The latest NY Times article highlights some of the concerns from the rapid increase in Adoptions from Ethiopia.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In the Milford Newspaper

I didn't expect our Adoption to become so public so quickly- We have made the local news already. Denis and I were interviewed by a journalist for the Milford Daily News at the Annual ACONE Adoption conference.

See the full article at:

The article reads:

Among those in attendance were Denis and Kimberly Calderone of Marlborough, a couple who is trying to adopt siblings from Ethiopia.
"We just want to make sure we have the interracial issues that come with that covered," Denis Calderone said.
Already 14 months into the process and still at least a year away, the Calderones cautioned that prospective adopters needed to be patient.
"You've got a lot of homework to do," Kimberly Calderone said.
Her husband agreed.
"You have to be dedicated to do this," he said.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Hello All! If you are here you may already know us or you have come across our website through your own interests. Either way- Welcome to the Blog regarding our Ethiopian Adoption. We will document the process- our challenges-our successes for your perusal. Welcome aboard! Let's get started!

Meme Stevens- Beautiful Song- get Kleenex

Oh the places I've Been (and might go again)