Monday, August 25, 2008

Thinking and Talking about Ethiopia

I'll be on the radio tonight (WORT Access Hour). Amber and I are going to talk about Ethiopia and to discuss global and social justice. The question remains: how do we become good global neighbors? I will blog more thoughtfully about these things when I have some space to do the moment, little blueberry is my number one priority and I'm pretty busy making a multitude of adjustments involved with welcoming a baby into our home.
I'm feeling like it's time to ramp up my thoughts here on the blog, but it's hard to craft the time to put down in words what my head is thinking all the time. For now, I hope some of the images of Ethiopia we took during our travels are compelling. Check out the shoe shining - how does a country address 45% unemployment. As one man told us, "Right now, education=frustration." I worry when I hear this, but I get it. I get the desperation. Later, I'm going to introduce Richard. Richard has a dream. Check back to hear about him.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

As requested

Pictures, more pictures...of our boy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Little Plumpy...nut

While in Ethiopia we met a couple who have spent more than two decades working for Doctors Without Borders. What an amazing duo they are - and OF COURSE I asked about Plumpy'nut, about MSF programs, and about conditions in Ethiopia. To sum up their experience, MSF truly is an organization deserving of our attention and support. I'm more convinced of this today than ever before. Please, donate here. And, here's another picture of our darling boy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I was in the lobby of a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and a woman approached me and said, "Excuse me, I know this is weird but I recognize you because I read your blog." WHOA!!!! How freaking cool is that???? That's a first for me - especially because I have no idea who (if anyone) reads this blog. Anyway, this woman is in Addis adopting, also. I wish her the best! Wave. Wave. Wave.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Soccer in Lalibela

Our friends, aspiring to be a guide, a biologist, a doctor. For the moment, though, they shine shoes and go to school. They call Mr. Waffles, "brother."

Famine at Home - Our Son's Home

Please read today's USA Today article about famine in Ethiopia and consider contributing to my fundraiser in support of all of those who are suffering from hunger. I can finally say that when I watched the video I could literally FEEL Ethiopia as my tiny Ethiopian son sleeps peacefully in our bedroom. Donate here to save a life.
*Photo taken by my daughter last week in Ethiopia*


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rock Star Dad

Let the record show, Blueberry thinks his dad is a rock star!!!! This boy has certainly already wrapped his Daddy tightly around his little finger. And rest assured, neither of them are complaining. In fact, both Blueberry and his Daddy are all smiles, all the time.

It's our last day here (with an overnight at a hotel for our Friday evening flight home) and we're all packed up and ready for the last leg of our journey home. One thing is certain, we will be back. We have loved our time in Ethiopia as our family has grown and blossomed in unexpected and delightful ways.

We are excited to bring our little Ethiopian boy home and ancitipate how easily he'll charm all of you!

Love and hugs...Ms. Plum (recovered enough to send off this e-mail!), Mr. Silly Pants, Songbird, Twinkletoes, Mr. Waffles, and Blueberry

Gastrointestinal Distress

Hello, once again. Mr. Silly Pants here, continuing my work as intrepid biographer.

It's Wednesday August 13th here and things are going wonderfully. Well, almost.

Yesterday, Ms. Plum caught the stomach virus was going around, characterized by profound malaise and punctuated by intermittent bouts of vomiting and "other GI distresses." Unfortunately, this occurred while we were at the Embassy formalizing Blueberry's adoption. Ms. Plum suddenly got quite pale, turned to the rest of us and said, "I'm going outside."

After a bout of regurgitation which can only be described as "epic", Ms. Plum gathered up her strength, met with consular officials to sign the necessary paperwork, then headed out for another round.

In the midst of the misery, there was one funny twist, involving a security guard who walked over and asked, "Miss, are you okay?"

Plum's answer: "I'm sick - - - go away!!!"

(Never before has a US citizen been able to speak quite so curtly to a security guard without the eventual use of handcuffs - - - in this case, the guard smiled, waved and backed off.)

Today, our plum is much improved and all of us hope that the illness is behind her.

Blueberry, on the other hand, is doing wonderfully. He continues to be happy, healthy and gregarious, eating well and fussing only when he is hungry or needing to be changed. (Let the record show that Mr. Silly Pants has been taking care of this due to Ms. Plum's illness, including two bottles overnight and one particularly impressive diaper.)

Today will be spent getting to know each other, playing and bonding, while we await our final paperwork from the government. We are still planning on leaving this Friday, arriving home Saturday.

There is much else to tell, so much that we will need to cover it in messages over the months and years ahead. Perhaps most telling is the statement made by each of us as we get to know Blueberry and find our love for him growing without limit: there is a miracle taking place here.

More to come.

With much love,

The Crew

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Meeting *Blueberry*

Greetings, again, from Ethiopia's rainy season. We are back in Addis Ababa, having concluded our in-country travel and started the process of meeting our baby boy, Zeke.

Let's get one thing out on the table right away:

He's perfect!
He is a beautiful, happy, curious, affectionate and lovely baby boy. We first met him yesterday morning; from the start, he took to us joyfully, effortlessly enduring the fact that five unknown people were hovering over him, passing him around, crying tears of joy, laughing and calling his name. All of us had many long moments where tears flowed easily yet words were difficult. For long moments, all any of us could say was, "He's beautiful!" He smiled throughout and babbled happily.

One thing we realized right away was that he wants his food quickly! Dad literally had to pour the formula and rice cereal into his mouth (they "cup feed" him here) or he would get a bit impatient. As long as we shoveled the food into his mouth, though, he was happy as could be.

After his meal, he fussed a bit until Mom took him in her arms and gently rocked him to sleep. He quickly became peaceful and slept contentedly with his fist in his mouth.

Today, we had much the same experience, except that the teens were able to do some local shopping while Mom and Dad met with Blueberry's doctor, social worker, nurse and nanny, all of whom gave him a clean bill of health. After that was more time with the baby; today's feeding went the same way (as fast as humanly possible) then he fell asleep on Mr. Silly Pant's shoulder prior to being laid in his crib.

This beautiful boy is already a blessing to us and it's hard to believe that our time to get to know him and bring him home has finally come.

Thanks to all of you who continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. More to come!

With much love,
The crew in ET

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Addis Ababa, Gondar and Lailibela

Hello all!

Just a quick note from us to let you know we arrived in Ethiopia without a hitch. Ethiopian Airlines was flawless and provided great service. We even got all 10 of our bags.

We stayed the night in Addis Ababa then flew early the next morning to Gondar. Our day was spent at the palace of Fasilades (it is no longer working - - - we didn't want you to think we were greeted by royalty.) However, it was quite beautiful and is undergoing renovation even as we speak.

Today, we flew to Lailibela and toured the amazing churches here, hewn directly from rock over a 28 year period. We are staying at the Jerusalem Guest House and have a breathtaking view of this beautiful village. The kids met a local girl (Twinkletoes age) who invited the three of them into her home for a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. They had an amazing time talking with her and came back to the hotel positively beaming with delight.

Our evening will be spent with dinner and reading; the sunset at 7pm makes it difficult to do much else.

The people here are kind, humble, generous, welcoming; lovely in every sense of the word. Although we can hardly wait to meet Zeke, we are treasuring our time here in his country, getting the smallest glimpse of an amazing culture.

More to follow.

With much love,
Ms. Plum, Mr. Silly Pants, Songbird, Twinkletoes, and Mr. Waffles

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Girls at the Airport

This is Ms. Plum's sister, Maura. I am blogging for the family as they make their way through Ethiopia to pick up Blueberry. Early this morning, as I was sleeping (ahem, Twinkletoes), I heard a text come through. Twinkletoes sent me this picture and I thought it would be a nice way to begin blogging. As you can see from the photo, the family is in good spirits with their sense of humor intact. When I spoke to Ms. Plum on the phone last night she said they were down right giddy yesterday, the day prior to their departure. I think Blueberry is going to have more than one mommy!

Friday, August 1, 2008

T's comment - a 15 year old boy's perspective

After packing ALL of the donations for the trip because Mr. Waffles has much better spacial perception than I do, he commented on the medical supplies and soccer balls by saying this: "smiles on faces are just as important as boo-boos fixed." Right on!
Psssst...don't forget to donate - read the next few posts.