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.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The most wonderful Surprise

I received a Christmas present from Ethiopia yesterday. I was so excited to receive the box-that it didn't matter what was inside of it. With eyes brimming with Tears I opened it- inside contained the most precious item!!! A silk piece of material with embroidered and beaded edges. On the material are the hand prints of the first few children to be sponsored by Hayel (the small non-profit I'm in the paperwork phase of opening). I was in tears!!!! Please enjoy the picture!!!

But that's not all- included also was the Berbere that my family makes so we can make Ethiopian food that tastes like what I had for the many months of living with them- and a hand made card (and photo) of a little girl named Kalkidan that I fell in love with while in country. The package flooded my mind and heart with memories as it even smelled like their home.

With joy bursting out of me- I close this post!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year- the year of the OX

In all of the excitement of Den's birthday and getting ready for kiddos I almost missed that today is Chinese New Year. So- happy new year to you all!!

I have been celebrating Chinese New Year for most of my adult years- and can't believe I almost missed it! There are so many reasons to celebrate in our lives right at the moment- that it holiday snuck up on me-laugh. Den's a year older, the kiddos are coming sooner than later and wow- it's the year of the OX.

Being an Ox- I have been very excited about 2009 coming-not realizing of course at the time that it's also the year I'll become a parent. Hopefully this means that patience and good karma will be on my side-grin.

The Ox, is an animal that symbolizes calm, hard work, resolve and tenacity. It looks like we've got honest, candid year ahead. Obama being a great start to see through this prediction.

The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. With the recession at hand I can't think of a better way then hard work- to see us through and back to plenty-although hopefully when we return there we will be a more environmentally aware government and people in support of plenty-grin..

As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm and modest. Like his animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in his work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.

The ox person needs peace and quiet to work through his/her ideas, and when he/she has set his/her mind on something it is hard for him/her to be convinced otherwise. The ox person has a very logical mind and is extremely systematic in whatever he/she does, in spite of a total lack of imagination. He/she can be very stubborn, and difficult to dissuade once he/she decides on something. These people speak little, but are intelligent, and when necessary, they are both articulate and eloquent.

The ox person is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes him/her nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the ox person many sleepless nights. These people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them. It would be right to mention that people born in the ox years are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain. These people are always welcome because of their honesty and patience. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the ox people are rather introverted and wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new. It is important to remember that the ox people are sociable and relaxed when they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such person and he/she takes on the worries of the world and tries to find solutions.

Sounds like a perfect character to symbolize this year and move our world and economy in the direction it needs!

Happy Lunar New Year to you all!!
Hugs- KC

Monday, January 19, 2009

First Parenting lesson: Learning to Steal, Beg, Plead and rely on relatives

Okay-so everyone knows we got this call that said- hey, meet your kids.
But what people don't realize is that you really learn so little about them on this call.

So, as the "new and expecting" mom of 2 toddlers..... I start to wonder about clothing them??? I'm certain the neighbors have already had images of my two little ones running up and down the streets in diapers... "yup-that's the Calderone's kids" -ha ha.

So- I went into Babies r us- (please see other post)- and staggered around the clothing a little bit- first ohhing and ahhhing over the cute little outfits-then - pondered the sizes.. having no Idea what to buy. Then I picked up an outfit-and this white tag was like diamonds- sparkling- I swear I heard it say "take me"... so, I did-I ripped the little sizing chart right off the outfit- yes everyone- I stole - my heart pounding. It was exhilarating! I was finally going to know what sizes to buy our children...Feeling dark and menacing (carrying an innocent grin).. I had officially crossed over to the other side- I'm a thief. So, I looked both ways- Sweating a little bit-I made for the exit with "my" beautiful little chart .

I justified it by saying to myself- the person who buys this isn't going to need this little tag-After-all don't most people know what size clothes their kids wear????

So- I rush home with much excitement -proudly showing Denis over and over again, along with dancing around the room with my little "lifted" sizing sheet. I explained to Denis the rush I got out of leaving the store with it. We hurried into the referral paperwork and wow- it indicates that Debritu is in Size 12 months- WHAT- 12 months- are you serious... wow-she's little. Then Habtamu is wearing 2T wait- he's like 3.2 years old. OMG- we sit back and ponder -reality sits in a bit....

Then we ohh and ahh over the fact that we know what sizes they might be. I run upstairs to see what we have in that size in the closets -hmmm- the barren and empty closet-we have nothing-so we rush out to Target- giddy like- saying- look this is about how tall Habtamu is and how small Debritu is.... but how big will they be when we get them? How fast will they grow??

We come to the realization- that we need to have in Boys- 2T (a few), 3T and 4T's. and in Girls- 12Mo (a few), 18mo , and 24mo ... you look at the price tags and your heart starts pounding- we can't do this- they really are going to be running up and down the street in their diapers....

Solution-I've discovered relatives (god send-Thank you B!!!), the Children's Orchard , and yes folks: FreeCycle. All of which work very well and I highly recommend both stealing a little sizing chart (Sheepish grin) and trying out all of the above avenues.

Of course, that then allows you to ohh, ahh and actually purchase those few precious items- you just can't live with out (BIG TOOTH EATING GRIN)....

My first precious little purchase for Debritu:
signed- your little thief

Friday, January 16, 2009

funny about --cutting back in these financially challenging times.


A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up & down the aisles.

The sales girl notices him and asks him if she can help him.

He answers that he is looking for a box of tampons for his wife.

She directs him down the correct aisle.

A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string on the counter.

She says, confused, 'Sir, I thought you were looking for some tampons for your wife?

He answers, 'You see, it's like this, yesterday, I sent my wife to the store

to get me a carton of cigarettes, and she came back with a tin of tobacco

and some rolling papers; cause it's sooo-ooo--oo-ooo much cheaper.

So, I figure if I have to roll my own ......... so does she.

(author unknown-but thought it was creative and disgusting)..

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Registering and Preparing for our wee ones..Questions galore.

Hi all-

I'm in the process of registering and asking friends for their old stuff for the kiddos.
If you have a preference on diapers, products, toilet training seats, gates, sippy cups- you name it- please add a comment.

I'd love to know more than what consumer reports has to offer..laugh.

Thanks and hugs,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

a Travel Date for Laura and Tom!!! Congrats

Hey our friends just passed court and got their travel date- I'm gushing with excitement for them- and just had to get the word out... Congratulations Laura... Your a mom!!!!!

Waking up after the "waiting game"

I have been thinking about the wait and the referral experience the past few days. I've decide for me- It was kind of like taking a long nap from my life. You wake up energized and renewed.

Before our referral-I had "in my head" that I was doing fairly well through out the wait-but I realized that I had not been doing well in fact. I had a real "light dawning on marble head" kind of moment this morning-laugh.

I said to my DH - I'm feeling kind of motivated this morning. I think he wanted to choke on his cereal-and spew coffee across the table. It looked something like-Hurray.. it's about "freeken time" masked with his loving and caring smile (a funny and entertaining view from my vantage point).

It's hard to say this so publically- but I haven't done a darn thing since I came home from Ethiopia. I haven't participated in supporting my home, getting my certs, I haven't finished opening the non-profit, I've gained weight and not cared-thus not taken care of myself, I've not really caught up with our friends as I have nothing to really talk about. In fact I've done little to nothing.. I have just been existing.

For instance- my calendar-which usually requires much "scheduling" to see people-is literally empty. No church appointments, no volunteering, little work, no social appointments -no life.

For anyone that knows me-and is use to "booking time with me" -this is pretty freeky. I woke up this morning-checked my calendar and thought to myself- how unusual. There's nothing but a hair apt and doctor's apt. on all of January. hmmm. Sure- I have my bouts of exhaustion where I cancel-but it's usually due to over-doing it. Have I been "hybernating" like a bear perhaps? I know I've been growling like one-laugh.

It looks like- - I got quite "depressed". Today it's kind of like waking up.. Not so much that it's freeky- I mean obviously I knew I was bummed out-but perhaps keeping myself busy enough to not notice how "bummed".

So with out further adieu- it's time for me to get back in the game. I've got a lot of catching up to do.

If your a close friend or family- you are probably saying- hey dumb ass- it's about time you noticed. Let's get out and play. If your an acquaintance- you're probably thinking- ohh so that's where she went-laugh. But most importantly- if you're a waiting parent- you might want to go and look at your calendar. Is it empty?? Have you crawled into a hole? I know you hear me..

And this blog entry is for you -the ones waiting. I know your dreaming of hearing something about what your family will look like-but it hurts- it hurts a lot-that the dreams turn into this anxious feeling and you are distracted from your life -as you twittle your thumbs and wait painfully for the stork to arrive.

I have one thing to say-Ya know- It sucks.. the wait totally and completely sucks. We got our referral and the whisper of this pain have not yet completely subsided- it's there- in the back of my head along with the joy.

To those of you who are waiting- It's okay-the waiting game sucks!!! You should feel free to jump up and down in your house yelling "this sucks this sucks this sucks". Heck- take it right on out to your front yard and do it- at least that way-you'll likely laugh at yourself.

I don't have to tell you all that there is a light at the end of that tunnel and it's a happy one. What I want to say is that when you get that referral- you'll feel like you "woke up"- and you'll be energized again. So, the heck with it- if you're not doing "everything" you should be- I say- THAT's OKAY. But you might want to check your calendar and see if it's empty-laugh. Perhaps add a few things on it.

So here's my solemn and truthful goodbye to the waiting part of our adoption. I'm off and running with so much to do.... I mean seriously-is somebody really going to give us kids???

I have to say though- to close this rant-that not once have I thought- Am I ready???

Hell YEAH I'm ready!!!

Hugs to all-you are in my thoughts,

Monday, January 12, 2009

America's Great Juvenile Amusement Park

Our referral came with two ticket$ to America’$ "Juvenile Amu$ement Park".

  • Fir$t we zoom off to cyber$pace for the low down on the late$t and greate$t opinion$ floating about in con$umer hell.
  • Then it'$ a quick $top on Dr. $eu$$' merry go round- to buy a Thing one and and a thing two and perhap$ all the way up to a thing 22 to decorate the place where our dear little Red fi$h and blue fi$h are going to go to have a $nooze...
  • We pau$e for a moment in paranoid parent world- where we will ohh and ahh over monitor$ and think about how thi$ i$ the fir$t of the many way$ we will make $ure that our children have no privacy-laugh. The choice$ our little techno mind$ will have to ponder.. a monitor with video, a monitor with out, do we want one hand $et or two..perhap$ a global gp$ will be be$t--laugh.
  • From paranoid parent world we're going to $kip on over to $trollerLand. Where we will be a$$aulted by the late$t and greate$t of $troller $ale$men- Do we want off roading wheel$, perhap$ two cup holder$, maybe even a $kateboard attachment. Are we the hyundai type or the mercede$ type??? Perhaps theres even an Eco-type now. The options are overwhelming. The dreaming of introducing our kid$ around town in the late$t and greate$t $troller.
Not quite finally but for today-that is-we will drive our new Stroller from Stroller land off to Magic Car $eat Mountain - Where we con$ider how many Straps does it take to make the roller coa$ter ride $afe. We dream about what $ize our wee one$ will be. Quantity, Quantity, Quantity- Do we need 2, or 4?? How about the convertible-how about one that come$ with a wind helmet$- in which ca$e- we'll take 2 of tho$e too!

$oo here we go- Our beloved dog hou$e it being converted to a "tree hou$e".
$tay tuned for the late$t and greate$t picture$ and $torie$ $traight from "Baby Ooober Land"

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Learning in Awassa

a great article from the BBC talking about school, learning the never ending Amharic Alphabet and how donkey's are "helping". It really speaks true to much of what I saw while teaching in the capital. Delightful.

If you just want to see the kiddos saying the alphabet click here-

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Melkam Gena!!!

Merry Christmas Ethiopia- Melkam Gena!!!! Wishing you and your families all a wonderful holiday!! You are in our thoughts...

Today we received the wonderful gift of additional pictures of our babies. I can't post their pictures on the internet (as most of you know) until they are officially ours- which will be another 4-6 months from now (about-perhaps more).

So- I'll describe them:

They look quite a bit alike. Same puffy cheeks. Their eyes and noses look similarly shapped. Both have similar slightly rounded chins as well-but they do look quite different outside of the simularities. They are average sized kids by the look of the pictures. It seems although this may be a coincidence that they both like to stick their big toe out a bit.. which made us laugh.

Debritu has this cute semi-smile and the biggest eyes- if you make the picture really big- you can see she has gorgeous eyelashes. (not that I'm obsessing over them or anything-laugh). She looks very curious about the things- Debritu is sitting up that happen around her. It looks like she might be in a crib but I'm not sure. It would make since as she's not yet walking according to the paperwork. But I'm sure it won't be long before she's motoring about since the home they are in has many children around her and her brother's age. It's common for kids to walk later their because it's not as popular to be put down on the ground as it is here. No worries :-). Debritu has a belly.

Habtamu is sleeping peacefully in the picture of him. He's on his right side- One arm is folded under his head and the other forward. He has very short hair and his shoulders are scrunched up a bit. His face is relaxed and has a bit of a look of concern on it. Given all of the changes and adjustments he is going through (new language and a new home with lots of other children) - it's of great relief to see that he's getting rest. He has a beautiful complexion.

Today it's Christmas (Melkam Gena) in their New world and it's a delightful gift to be able to see them this morning. Thinking that they have been in their orphanage for almost a month and look like they are settling into their current life.

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Welcome Home and a negative PCR test result -hurray

We walked into our house yesterday to find this Lovely message on our counter.
Just when you start thinking-Life just can't get any better- our "pending" daughter's last medical test results came back negative. This is for her PCR test. We are Jubilant-and over the moon with happiness this week.

Meme Stevens- Beautiful Song- get Kleenex

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