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, October 13, 2010

End of this blog and a long journey home

On my last trip to Ethiopia I learned a lot about my children's life from their birth family. It would not be possible for me to explain the emotions around meeting their family members, seeing where my children were born and learning of their day to day life before they came to us.  It felt like the birth family meeting I thought I would have-but did not last year.  I now feel a sense of closure or transition that I had anticipated but did not when we first brought them home.

Although I am saddened by the path my children had to take to become ours, I am and will forever be grateful to their family for making the tough decisions they did-for allowing their children to leave their loving arms and find mine/ours. Their Birth family and Adoptive families hearts all ache over their journey but rejoice and are excited about their new path.

With this closure has also come the decision to end this blog.  The focus of our lives is no longer on "adoption" but that of becoming a family and the ordinary challenges that go with it.  Together we are working and teaching our children to lead productive and happy lives-with any hope that will be through example. We will continue to balance their Ethiopian heritage and their American Citizenship. Our adoption was complete a year and 6 months ago. Sometimes it seems like yesterday-but mostly it feels like an eternity ago- a lifetime ago.   The first year was difficult-more difficult than I ever imagined it would be- and it is still challenging. But eventually, somehow- we became parents and our children also worked hard and are now very much our little Ethio-American children.  

Our life will likely take on the form of a new blog-full of adventure and unexpected twists and turns along with the expected ones- when I figure it out I'll post the link for a week before closing the blog officially.

Thank you to all of you who have followed us through this trying and exciting time of our life!

Hugs, Peace and Love to you all,
Kimberly, Denis, Habtamu, Debritu and Geneva...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Addis and modernization of my Bel-Air neighborhood

My intimate relationship with travelling back and forth to Ethiopia is now a young 2 and half years old- my interest in the country much older.  We have both grown and changed so much in this short time.  She has modernized herself in unexpected.  She is forever surprising me- this year with seat belt laws, cell phone and driver usage laws, rules around “zebra” crossings or pedestrian ways. She is exhibiting improved roadways and many more cars.  There are way more cars and with them traffic- it’s actually difficult to go near bole or around bole these days and the roads around bole are also congested with traffic.  There is traffic school for anyone looking to obtain their license.  Her schools are facing stricter regulations and consistent check lists, private online colleges have been closed, there is a data network for the cellular users, there are ATM machines outside of the banks, the internet is faster overall, there are pedestrian overpasses in Arat kilo that are not yet being used but are an eye-sore  when approaching the circle from piazza or from Amist Kilo.   They block the beautiful monument in the center.  There are new busses and more tractors being imported for commercial and public use.  It is green- very very green- and not the dusty polluted city I am use to seeing in March.  This cleanliness is due to the amount of rain though and not a change.  More homes are using filtered water, there are more banks- many of those are privately held- not gov’t.   They are enforcing copyright and piracy laws so the old music stores and video stores that used copies or rips of the videos or music have closed or are closing.  There was electricity and water for almost my entire visit- a complete but absolutely delightful experience might I also mention-laugh.  It’s amazing to see all of the changes happen in such a short 1.3 years.   Ethiopia feels like she is growing with me.  So many changes, such a short amount of time- it’s difficult to list them all.  I won’t get into the changes I have made- but let’s just say that if who I am today-met who I was 3 years ago- it’s likely we’d decide to be acquaintances instead of good friends-laugh.
I stay in the Bel-Air part of Addis. Hotels and more western homes are popping up everywhere between my visits. 

This road did not exist on my first visit. It was dirt, piles of rocks and the road we live on was a dead end.  Now it's practically a highway.

There's even parking spaces, Zebra crossings and gorgeous sidewalks.

A thank you from LemLem's Children.

A picture of some of the children in Addis allowed to stay in school this year due to our fundraising efforts in August. There are more children in Axum to be selected and a few missing from school this picture that will be attending in Addis.  It's amazing the difference in peoples lives you can make when we work together!
Thank you-Thank you-Thank you!!!!!!

(some of the above children are temporarily under our care until their sponsors can assist them again- if that happens the money from them will transfer to additional needy students).

3 more...

Eldana, LemLem (the accountant- coincidently,yes,she has the same name as the school) and I making the really hard but exciting decisions...

Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

Meme Stevens- Beautiful Song- get Kleenex

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