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.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

To tell or not to tell...

I often struggle with being a custodian of Habtamu and Debritu's story and not a teller of their life experience.  Instead- we're working to make a difference... or at least trying to...on a small scale:

  • By speaking out at culture camps- we are able to connect our children with others with similar life stories.
  • By speaking out to our church we are able to education others about adoption, society and inter-racial relationships- not to mention the realities of life is "sub-Saharan Africa". 
  • By asking for small amounts of money here and there; disadvantaged students in Ethiopia are receiving an education and we are working to keep families with disadvantages in-tact and functioning as a family.
  • This morning- H and D's story has inspired a congregation in Florida- to ask for and send money to Nothing but Nets. So, not only are our children inspiring others to make a difference - their story is going play a small part in  "making a difference".  Perhaps today-  one less family- may lose their mom or dad or simply being touched or enlightened by a another's life experience.
I do believe that it is better for my children to grow up knowing that their story was told to help- when it was told.   Seriously- if we buy nets, fight malaria every way we can, earn money for vaccination against TB, educate others on adoption and adoption language and help other children/families to stay intact through  the difficulties of poverty (both at home and away).. perhaps perhaps we will instill pride and confidence in their story.  Perhaps they will dislike that I told the story- or perhaps they will believe in a bigger picture- and believe that their story was part of a solution... 

So when appropriate- yes, we do tell H and D's story.  We tell it with much consideration and concern -but yes we do tell it.  We also encourage others too (with permission of course).  

So, as custodians, we can only do the best we can.. and sure, we will make an occasional bad decision-like the rest of our parenting -giggle-but hopefully on the grand scale our kids will "turn out all right"...  :-).

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Education First is looking for host families

Education First- is looking for some host families in the Worcester Area. The kids are coming July 7th-August 2nd.  

They are gone from your home work hours-spending evenings and the first two weekends with you. If you are interested or can provide some meals and a bed- email or call her at 617.233.7467

There are about 8 teens (including 2 teachers 24+) looking for a place to stay.  There are planned drop up and pick up locations near the suburbs (ie: northboro, etc).. so if you think you can do it- or can spilt the time with another family.. give her a call. 

If they don't find "rooms" the kids have to stay home. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Out of the loop..and just "realizing it"

I found myself reading other people's blogs tonight along with some of the yahoo groups I belong to-regarding Ethiopia and Adoption.  It's been a year since I've dedicated time to this, and wow,  to my surprise-life has been happening all around me-laugh. 

I'm delighted to see some new blogs, and to view pictures of children from those that I encountered while waiting.  

Sure sure.. like most- I counted the months, days, weeks, sometimes breaths of the days we waited.  While we "impatiently" waited we checked off the list of things we had to do before the kids came, and we scrutinized everything about Ethiopia and Adoption.  I officially wore out my "refesh" button- F5-F5-F5-F5-F5 nothing new.?? close window- open it again-log in.. F5-F5-F5-F5-F5..phew 15 minutes passed- maybe something now... F5-F5-F5-F5-F5 for 20 months or so..laugh.

Then something happened..something nutty..... We actually went ahead and adopted kids.  
Like most I know,  I totally crawled inside my home and was shocked ... laugh.. no seriously shocked at what just happened to "my" life.  Are you kidding me- I'm now in "charge" of two kids?  Seriously- how did that happen??  What were they thinking?? Somebody-lot's of somebodies.. said we'd be good people to become a parent to two children at the same time- yeah me and him...  two kids.. no seriously??? What were we thinking... What were they thinking???  

Somebody once said to me- "god won't give you anything you can't handle".  Now, I don't know where I stand on my belief in god (or my disbelief for that matter).. but this saying has been in my head for the past year - every-time I hit my limit I hear it... Much like my other little mantras...  Recently, I just shared it with a new friend of mine-perhaps it's helping or haunting her too-perhaps if you are in our shoes- it will help you too. 

so-It seems every 3 months I'd get disillusioned- I'd convince my husband- we're not doing so bad-etc etc..Look we can go to the zoo. Look we can take a shower...  

3 more months..Look we can handle family visiting and juggle school schedules. 

3 more months- hey let's take a trip???? oops....

3 more months- I'm actually back to reading other peoples blogs..yes.. that's my big disclaimer today. It does seem like a simple thing-  looking at other people's blogs and reading yahoo groups- that use to be something I did in my down time.   Now, I think.... what is down time exactly???  Taking time to search the web-it's the last thing I have time to do..laugh. 

Well -here I am- yet one more stretch ... I'm actually searching the net, kids are sleeping. and Yes, I'm  reading your blogs and it feels GREAT. Yet to me- it's one more simple step toward a life that feels more balanced.   

Your blogs feel like a breath of fresh air- a chance to capture a moment back of what was once so simple....  

So, thank you all for keeping up your blogs and I can't wait to catch up on your  beautiful lives! 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Northboro Church Knitting group makes socks and sends them to Ethiopia

Our church (First Parish Church UU of Northborough) has a Knitting group.  They recently knit socks for the upcoming rainy season for a family of the Selamta Family Project.   Here is a picture of the socks arriving to the family in Ethiopia-Included in the email from the children- was a heart felt Betam Amaseganallo! (thank you very much) from the Family.

Our church has been so very supportive of our adoption.  First they hosted a public viewing of a movie called "black gold" -with advertising -etc.  At the event they sold fairly traded coffee, made popcorn and provided an opportunity to discuss it.  They have donated money to the ECC for new adoptive parents to learn more about inter-racial adoption... and now.. they have sent socks to a newly created family to help a mom take care of her children during this upcoming rainy season.   

Having the humble but wonderful opportunity to co-ordinate some of these opportunities is really making my heart leap for joy and tears come to my eyes.  I can't thank our congregation enough for being open to reaching out to the needs in Ethiopia and for embracing our efforts.  

Should anyone else like to ask their church or another local organization to do something for the Selamta group- simple or large- please email me at: with your idea and I'd be more than happy to put you in touch with the correct person.

A Lazy Day in Photos - June 6th 2010

Welcome - come on in and enjoy a rainy day with us...

Daddy Started the morning off with the kiddos- (at 4:45) Debritu gets up crazy hours at the moment because she's missing her binkie...mommy laid on the couch- wishing away a headache.

A few hours later mommy decides to jump in and gives daddy a break.  Habtamu and I play Cooties...

Debritu decides to play a lace up the bugs game.

Kids eating left over bagels while daddy makes eggs, sausage and hashbrowns... yummy yummy!

The kids went outside to play barefoot in the warm light rain this morning-but when I got back to them with the camera-I discovered that they decided it was a good day to roll around in the grass and play in the sand while - NAKED - so we've omitted those pictures :-)

ahh- back inside and it seems that it's time to have some independent play time for everyone :-)
Daddy and Habtamu leave for H's last T-ball game. Did I meantion it was a rainy day??? Note how well I dressed him today (not).

Debritu falls asleep (pheww) so Mommy misses the T-ball game and stays home.  Geneva decides it's also a good time for a nap so she goes to sleep with her.

It's noon....Habtamu and dad are off to T-ball, my mom is still doing our laundry (thank you thank you thank you mom), Debritu's asleep and it looks like the sun is going to come out.  Ahhh- A random chance for me mom to take a shower-maybe even shave her legs (I'll spare you the picture of  it though-laugh)! Yippy!

Mommy took 5 minutes and got to brush Geneva- A Pomeranian could easily hide in the hair I brushed off her.

1:00  Debritu up Eating lunch. 
T-ball game cancelled- boys are in-town. 
Nana is walking her dog.

From 2-4:00

Debritu learns "Do Re Me...." with Nana while daddy plays a completely different song on the guitar.  Debritu runs around pulling out books, toys and other random items looking for something "new" to do while saying "why, why, why" to everything. (Mommy is playing on You Tube researching braiding styles - hoping to find something she can actually do).

Habtamu decides it's a good day for a nap- can you find him in his bed?


Got bored- Decided it was a good time to head out to Chuck E Cheese.

Was having too much fun to remember to take pictures.. after this-laugh.

The kids are not the only ones that had fun it seems...laugh. Nana looks quite happy too....

Exhausted- we came home -and put the kids in bed.

 Hope you all had a wonderful Rainy Day yesterday.... Thanks for sharing ours with us.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

13 months as a family

Holy cow... 13 months.- Phewww!  If you told me 13 months ago that I'd be happy being home- not working yet;  that I'd be afraid of the dynamics of flying with my children; that I'd be going to Vermont for a family vacation (domestic are you kidding???).. I'd have laughed at you.  If you told me the kids would be the happy and complete focus of my life- I'd believe you-but I'd have had no idea what that really meant.  

The past 13 months-talk about a Roller Coaster Ride!!!  Mostly I think, I wonder how this all happened...How in the world did we become parents to our wonderful and beautiful children???   Their voices in the morning make my heart's get up time..(Habtamu) or Mummmeee- "Wake up" (Debritu).. and of course my eyes still burn because it's so darn early.  My brother in-law was visiting and said to us "I don't know how you function on such a little amount of sleep".  Dad and I were both surprised by this comment- we thought we slept a lot- ..laugh.guess that could explain the "mood swings".

How did we get children that really are the perfect fit for our family???? How does this all work itself out-really??? 

We still remember what it was like before our children joined our family but don't desire to go "back" there anymore.  I don't cry about what we did "to" our lives nope.. I've moved on- I  cry because I'm at my limit.. and need a break-but ya know that limit keeps changing- keeps growing. Talk about a job that tests ya!.   

Things that use to matter to Den and I- don't anymore. The children have offered us so much perspective- so many changes.  Children have changed me as much as all my travelling combined and then some-but you won't hear me saying "why didn't we do this sooner", ha ha.   All of the changes are different- on a different level than the changes and excitement of becoming more "open or closed minded" through your travels.  The changes motherhood create in somebody I'm convinced are not  easily imagined by that waiting parent. 

But who I was with out our children- even it they magically "went away"- I'd never be that woman again- nor would I like to be. They are remarkable little people that change constantly and are so forgiving.  Why can't we stay that way as adults.. Why do we judge when our children teach us to forgive??  
13 months ago today we walked -exhausted and confused but delighted through the threshold of our home; I'm still exhausted, still delighted when I look, listen or watch our children and man I'm still  oh so very confused-but somewhere in all of this we've all changed.  Habtamu, Debritu, Denis and I- We've become a family with bonds.. bonds that I can't imagine being with out.  Bonds that make each day-and adventure.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Annual reports, adoption and our lucky children...

Our annual reports are due. This got Hubby and I thinking and talking-  As adoptive families from Ethiopia-we are so lucky to have to write annual reports on our children-what a great record of their childhood these children will have.
As many of you know-the questions are structured so year after year-our children will have answers like- - "how have you changed",  what was your school performance, and how was your health". Along with quick summaries to the events of their lives for that year.

Hubby and I were talking about how neat it would be- now that we are older- to have these to look back on.  To learn that we had RSV, or preferred to play alone than with others. To learn that we wore special shoes to learn to walk, or that we threw temper tantrums.  Wouldn't it be great to know that your grandmother died at age 4 and that you spent time with her-perhaps learning how her death affected your life.

Sure many of us journal here and there -but to have a year of your life consistently recorded in under 2 pages every year.

Since I often think about what was taken away from my children by the loss of their culture, never knowing what your biological mom and dad looked like or what their first year or so of life was like- I am thrilled to be able to offer them an account of their life with us.  Although it can never make up for their initial loss it will provide a history and some answers- answers to questions-that other kids-bio kids - are unlikely to have.

So - 3 Cheers to having to write this report.  Now, to hope and pray that their extended family gets to read it.

Bye Bye my love...

How do you say Goodbye to your "best friend"? The object that comforts you at night and during your mid-day nap?  Debritu's teeth are all in and it looks like she's starting the first stages of an overbite-so I have to be the tough guy and take her binkie away.  Why is it that the mom's always seem to have to make the tough decisions ...hmmmm?

The poor girl is in for a tough couple of days-and I'm guessing we are too-but somehow no matter how hard something is- I'm continuously empathizing with the children.  This is her loss - and it's a big one...

For us, it's just a few more hours with out sleep.   I have to wonder.. do we actually sleep anymore anyway?

1) Debritu says bye bye to her binkies
Here's my baby getting ready to be a Preschooler

and the trash truck come to take her binkies away
She's waving to the trash truck- while crying.. and saying bye bye binkies..bye binkies..goooooo...


Meme Stevens- Beautiful Song- get Kleenex

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