Monday, November 18, 2013

Mommy, she looks like me!

Last week, B and I were in the elevator and our Dominican neighbor and her daughter (who is exactly B's age, they share a birthday!) got in.  We see them all the time, but this day was different.

They got off the elevator, and B looked at me with wide eyes.  "Mommy" he said "She looks like me, that mommy looks like me".

"How does she look like you?" I asked, trying to clarify what he was seeing as well as take a minute to formulate my response. Even after 2 1/2 years of reading "The Colors of Us" with him and talking about all the beautiful and yummy colors different people are, this is the first time he's talked about this.

"She's brown like me" he said, rubbing the back of his gorgeous brown hand. "She has brown skin"

"She does" I said.  "Sometimes mommies and their babies have the same color skin and sometimes they don't."

"What color skin do I have", I asked?

"Yellow" was his response.

"What color skin does daddy have?" I asked.

"Brown" he said, "but not the same as me."

We talked about how daddy is chocolate brown and B is honey brown and the baby will probably be honey brown like B (and that mommy is yellow, he's sticking to that:-) and that people in families can be different colors and we are still a family.  I am his mommy even though our skin is different colors.

And then we went for our walk.

But he's talked about his brown skin and my yellow skin several times this week. it is clearly top of mind for him right now.

My sweet, sweet boy. I am and always will be your mommy.  You are adopted, which is very special, and often children who are adopted are a different color than their parents (just like Horace is spotted and his parents are striped, and just like Rosie is brown and her family is grey and Choco is a bird and Mrs Bear is his mama).

You'll see when the baby arrives, that even if you had been born from me, we would probably still be different colors. I could be purple and you could be green and daddy could be blue, and we would still be a family.

Mommy and Daddy love you so much and we are so proud to be your parents!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

You are a Who!

Great Post that I am Saving to Read my Children "For the Onlies"

I love this excerpt (but you should really read the whole post:-)..

To the only black girl in her school batting away swinging ponytails while combating a limited retelling your her-story choosing to begin with slavery rather than your Motherland. To the only Latina on campus who thinks in another language, constantly making translations in your head. To the only Asian girl always assumed to be from somewhere else, somewhere far. To the only Indian girl whose name reflects her parent's fears of a future of discrimination. To the only Native American girl whose image of self is hidden behind stereotypical mascots of male faces. To the only biracial girl in the neighborhood who is always bracing to hear the question, "What are you?"

May you know that your history is vast, your language beautiful, your home here. May your full name embody your full self. May you know stories of significance, of wonder, of greatness that look just like you. May you know that you are a who.  

This is what I want for my children!

For my son who has two cultures....who is completely Ethiopian and completely American and should not have to choose one or the other.  For the child growing within me who will likely spend their whole life being asked "what are you--are you black or are you white?" who should also not have to choose to define themselves as one or the other.

Each of my children is special.  Each of my children is unique.  Each of my children are multi-faceted.  They are both and they are beautiful and they are whole.  Their very self is so much more than the sum of their parts.  They may be or look different than many of their peers, and they may defy labels.  I want to celebrate all the incredible aspects that make them, them.

You are special, your history matters (all of it, both of it, the complicated parts and the obvious parts)...your heritage and language are beautiful (even if you no longer remember how to speak your first language(s), it is still a part of your heritage)...your home is here (you are not a partial-citizen or a second-class citizen)...and your home is there (it may no longer be as familiar as where we now live, but your birth country is also your home and we will celebrate it always and try to keep it an important part of your life that you recognize as home)..May your full name embody your full self. May you know stories of significance, of wonder, of greatness that look just like you. May you know that you are a who.  

You are a who!

Monday, September 2, 2013

A teeny tiny secret...

I've been AWOL this summer because, well, life has been insane...mostly because of

We are shocked and thrilled and very blessed, and I am sick...very, very sick.  17 weeks along, still puking regularly and nauseous every day, but praying that sometime soon I get to experience that alleged second trimester glow.

B is very interested in the whole, "how babies grow in the mommy's UTERNAS" (yep, that's what he calls it:-)  DH is truly holding down the fort at home!

Other than the 24/7 "morning sickness", we had great summer with family vacations and weekend trips.  

Lots to post re B as we just realized he has now been part of our family longer than any other living situation in his life.  He is definitely processing some things but we are so grateful he is our son and are loving the funny, energetic, quirky, smart, inquisitive little boy he is becoming!  We are all ready for back to school next week (PreK again) as he's getting a little bit of cabin fever:-)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Amazing Salted Maple "Sugar" Cookies:-)

Adapted from

Amazing Salted Maple "Sugar" Cookies

makes 12 cookies
2 cups Honeyville blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
Icing Glaze:
2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened but not melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350F. 
In medium bowl, mix together the cookie ingredients until a soft dough is formed. 
Form into walnut sized balls and place on silpat-lined cookie sheet.  Press each cookie with the tines of a fork to flatten the cookie and create ridges on the top.
Bake 10-15 minutes (bottoms should be golden brown and tops should be just starting to brown).
Cool on wire racks and spread/drizzle glaze over the top.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Yummy "Amish Friendship Muffins" egg-free, gluten-free, paleo

Loosely based on this recipe:
Detoxinista Muffins

2 cups almond flour
Egg-replacer equivalent to 2 eggs (we used homemade EnerG)
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened 
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon (more if you like)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 chopped walnuts

Mix everything except the nuts together, then fold in nuts.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes (start checking after 15 minutes but mine almost always take 25 minutes)

Delicious!  The really do taste like Amish Friendship Bread!!!!  Yum, Yum!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Life in our house...

I'll post more later, but just a snapshot...

B a few months ago pretending to be a dog like his "brother" our woosha Max.

Just now, I am in the bathroom and hear the sound of pouring water coming from B's room.  I open the door to the bathroom and holler for Ababa to come and see what is going on.  B comes out of his room, pulling up his pants with a grin on his face.  I say "B, what was the water pouring...wait, were you peeing?!?!??!"  B goes "peeing in the vaporizer [big grin].

Then tonight, B was running around giggling carrying some small object on his little wooden cutting fruit tray.  It fell on the floor and Ababa was like, "that sounds like real food".  Turns out B had spirited a head of raw garlic out of the kitchen and was carrying it around.  After much begging from him, we let him try a piece.  He took a big crunch, started chewing, and then started sighing and mouth breathing saying, "hot, hot, 'picy..." but he kept chewing.  Finally, we got him to spit it out and drink some water, but his breath is hor.ri.ble now.

Just before bed tonight, B looked at me with a very sad look and said "It's ok to miss your partner".  I said what partner?  He said "M, my partner at school, it's ok to miss your partner, she'll be back soon" So glad that he likes his new partner and so sweet that he misses her!

Um, yeah...TGIF!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Amazing Thai Peanut Sauce

Delicious Thai Peanut Sauce-Original Recipe

My slightly modified version

  • One 13.5-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder (mine is some random Vietnamese? curry powder I bought in 2001 in Boston's Chinatown)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened natural nut butter (I used a mixture of half natural almond butter and half Jif and it still worked)
  • ½ tablespoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 c honey (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water (to taste)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (to taste)

Dump everything into a pot, bring to boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.

It tastes just like restaurant thai peanut sauce, so amazing!!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


It's been a while, but I just realized today is Wednesday! As always, do your own due diligence re agency, country, child's case, etc...

Jonah-Adorable 2 year old boy in China. Developmentally seems to be on target but is living with hydrocephaleous and brain dysplasia

En-18 month old boy in China who is post-op from heart disease.

Chen-7 month old boy in China living with cleft lip, cleft palate, and heart disease

Pei-18 month old girl living with club feet and spinal cord issues

American World Adoptions has several older children (including a newly listed 7 year old boy)

Brothers 5, 3, and 2 in California living with "mild FAS and mild Cerebral Palsy"-how fun would they be?

The thought that there are children waiting for families and families waiting for children, both stuck in limbo, both waiting, is one of the most heartbreaking travesties of international adoption for me.

If you are waiting to adopt, please consider a waiting child!

I know that many people feel called to internationally adopt a healthy, infant girl but please examine your heart and your calling.  Consider these children waiting for families.  They are ready.  They are real.  They need a family!

No waiting for referral, no waiting for "paper readiness", no knowing that hundreds of other families also wanted to adopt your child and would eagerly parent the next child matching those parameters...adopting a waiting child has some wonderful "process-related" benefits, in addition to the immeasurable joy of becoming parents to a precious child.

Could one of the children posted about here, or the thousands of other waiting children internationally and in foster care, be yours?

Oh, and these incredible sisters have a family who is considering if they might be their family.  Please pray that it would all work out (or if maybe you are their family).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"Mercy Mercy" Ethiopian Adoption Documentary Discussion

Please watch this!

and an interview with the documentary filmmaker

This documentary needs to be seen, wrestled with, and seriously taken to heart.

It is heartbreakingly unbelieveable as it follows the journey of two small children Masho and Robba from Ethiopia to their new life in Denmark, their family in Ethiopia, and their Danish family in the years following their international adoption.

If you have a child who joined your family through adoption I think that you must see this, and if you don't have a family who joined your family through adoption...I still think that you need to see this. It is hard to watch, but it is important. Parenting is hard, therapeutic parenting is even harder, therapeutically parenting a child who has gone through the trauma of adoption is harder still.

This is not my son's story, this is not our story, but this is a true story...and an important story...and one that should be shouted from the rooftops as parents consider adoption.

Adoption is beautiful, hard, ugly, painful, joyful, and amazing...but the hard and the ugly are real.

In the adoption process, there are dramatic inequities, heartwrenching loss, devastating miscommunications, willful denials, political and financial power struggles.  The process is complicated and opaque and very, very vulnerable to exploitation.

And in the middle of this complicated, vulnerable process are powerless children and poverty-stricken families struggling with devastating, life-altering circumstances and decisions.  There are adoptive families with expectations for reciprocal love, the joy of parenthood, and visions of what their new family will look like, be like. And there are scared, TERRIFIED, traumatized children.

Reality can be a harsh wake-up call.

Think about this if it was your child...the sweet 4 year old one snuggled up against you...think about it through her eyes.

What if you told your 4 year old child one day that you were going to the store but never came back.

And then she was "kidnapped" by a black (or any other race different than hers) couple she had never fact, she'd never even seen a black person before.

And she was taken on an airplane to another country with a different language, customs, food, smells, people...everything.

Would you expect her to love this black kidnapper family right away? What about four years later?

Here's the thing.

In our world, if 4 years later your child was still resisting loving her kidnappers we would call her "strong" "spirited" "feisty" "a survivor".  If she was adapting to life with them, even if not affectionately, we would call her "resilient" "strong" "able to overcome"...

So at worst, based on the film, Masho was strong, resilient, and able to overcome.  But, based on the film (and I will acknowledge that there could be more that was not shown, but it really doesn't seem like it) Masho does not seem to have a severe attachment disorder.  Also, she clearly had a strong and loving attachment with her Ethiopian family for her first 4 years which research would suggest means that she has a stronger likelyhood to form a strong and healthy attachment again.

She was failed by her adoptive family and by the "psychologist".  They seem to have been uninformed, unprepared, in denial, and utterly at a loss as to how to parent a child who has been through unimaginable circumstances.

My heart breaks for this little girl whose childhood has been annihilated.

My heart breaks for her family in Ethiopia who relinquished her out of love when they thought they were dying and now, although they are alive, did not received any of the legally required post-placement reports and were treated with complete disregard by agency and government officials.

My heart breaks for Robba who has surely been impacted by the cruel and perplexing treatment of his sister.

My heartbreaks for the Danish family who clearly were woefully unprepared to become parents through adoption.

Here is my question:
Now that you have seen what adoption can look like (it was so telling how cavalier the government officials and agency staff were towards the adoptive family, and how as the years progressed agency staff got more and more uncomfortable with the cameras) what are you going to do?

I believe that there are children for whom international adoption is the best option, but I also believe that it is not the best option for many children who are placed for adoption...and that international adoption requires exponentially more resources than other care options like family preservation, in country adoption, fostercare, etc.

One of the popular adoption verses that floats around "adoption circles" is "Once our eyes are opened we can not pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act" Proverbs 24:12

Now our eyes are opened...what are we going to do?

I think that before we will know what to do, we need to wrestle with these ugly, uncomfortable truths.

There are some great discussions popping up online about this.  Although I am sure it will highlight my very special but tiny ("hi mom!") readership I am putting up my first ever link up.  Please continue the conversation on your blog (and/or in the comments) and link it here.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Egg-Free, Gluten-Free Saturday

We made yummy pancakes this morning:
I started with this recipe but made a few tweaks.

B's New Pancakes
1 cup sweet sorghum flour
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1/3 cup potato starch
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1tsp vanilla
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 eggs (we used EnergE egg replacer)
3 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil, but next time would use coconut oil)
1.5 cups water

Mix dry ingredients, mix egg replacer and wet ingredients, add wet to dry, stir until smooth, cook in oiled skillet.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting Child Wednesday-I can't get these girls off my heart!

Please someone, step forward to be these precious girls' family.  We are not their family (Ababa is not ready to adopt again and since we live in a small two bedroom apartment with our son, we would not be able to be homestudy approved for two girls in NYC), but I know that somewhere out there a family is waiting to welcome them with open arms and hearts full of it you?!?:

Sisters ages 7 and 2.  The seven year old has significant special needs and the two year old is healthy.

Agency is American World Adoption

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Magic recipes (egg free and gluten free)

B might be allergic to wheat now as well as times in the Mamaababaandwoosha we try to eliminate wheat too.

So, we're looking for magic recipes that taste good (for everyone not just the person with allergies), are easy and affordable to make, and have no wheat or eggs.

Magic mousse:
Only two ingredients...chocolate and water!

Gluten free, egg free bread:
really yummy, easy to make, tastes good and has good texture even after a few days. I have a loaf in the freezer and will let you know how that fares too. (update: freezes and thaws like a charm, but do not refrigerate as it will get crumbly)

Gluten-free, egg free blueberry muffins (I made a few is the original recipe and below is my adaptation):

Mama Ethiopia's blueberry muffins 

1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (I used Arrowhead Mills)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups frozen blueberries or huckleberries
Ener-g egg replacer equal to two eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of orange or lemon zest
Dash of nutmeg

Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a 1 dozen muffin tin with liners

In a large bowl, whisk together thoroughly the sugar, flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Add the fresh or frozen berries and toss to coat.

In a medium bowl, mix egg replacer as directed then add butter, oil, yogurt, milk, water, and vanilla.

Whisk to combine and add the zest.

Add to the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is thoroughly moistened and smooth. My "batter" was really more like a soft dough.  I ended up kneading it to combine all the flour.

Since there’s no gluten, you don’t have to worry about overmixing. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes to allow the gluten-free mix to absorb the liquids thoroughly.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling them almost to the top.

Bake 25 minutes (20 if using fresh berries) until the muffins are golden brown and feel firm to the touch, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

Turn out onto cooling rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

• Makes 12 muffins.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

When it rains it pours, and pours, and pours...

This week's wrap up...

-Ababa learned he has a herniated disk with a pinched nerve and is now in intensive physical therapy
-Ababa got let go from his job b/c of inability to work due to said herniated disk (he can barely walk and is under Drs orders not to lift things right now)
-Our car got towed by the towing bounty hunter (aka the #$%^& US Marshall Office with severely inflated towing fees and very inconveniently located tow lots)
-I started back to school, had a huge event at work and a major MAJOR negotiation, plus I had to go get the car out of the tow lot b/c Ababa couldn't walk and do most of the school drop offs and pick-ups
-B started his new school which is much further from our house and awkward to get to on public transportation, so we spent a fortune on cab rides in the two days our car was in the tow lot (good news, he still loves his new school!)

and then this morning...

Ababa and I were lying in bed.

We heard B get up and turn his light on, then we heard an awful noise that sounded like something between a cat coughing up a hairball and a very liquid splat.

Ababa and I both froze, said "what was that", and looked at each other genuinely perplexed...

We heard footsteps, B slamming open the bathroom door, and a little boy saying "uh oh"

I went running into the bathroom and stopped short in the doorway...

...a trail of liquid poop drops from the PJ hook in his room, through his room, to the bathroom, splatted all over the potty, all over him, and all over the bathroom floor...

*****Please, please let this be a one time occurrence and not the start of a stomach bug*****

Friday, February 15, 2013


The New York City Department of Education co-locates schools (putting more than one school in the same building).

Co-location is always challenging as more than one school shares a building; however, sometimes this allows for more public educational options and utilizes DOE space most effectively.  Fine.

When one of the schools is a charter school though, the equation changes.

My understanding is that charter schools receive use of DOE space rent free and the New York City DOE routinely refuses to grant space to new and expanding public schools in favor of charter schools.

We have seen this occur several times in our neighborhood. It is perplexing as the Department of Education should be supporting public education and charter schools are many things, but they are most definitely not public education.

I feel that charter schools can sometimes be very beneficial; however, the current model of the DOE providing them space rent free and awarding space to charter schools over excellent and strongly performing public schools is alarming.

Here is one fascinating tumbler blog that documents what co-location with a charter school looks like and how it can be detrimental to healthy public schools.

Colocation blog

Monday, February 11, 2013

B's verdict on the new school...

For the first time ever...we asked B "how was school" and he said......................."fun"...........................and smiled!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Miraculous PreK Do-Over

As I have noted more than once on this blog, B's preK experience has not been great.  His teacher was ok, not awesome, not awful, but ok...but she's been out for weeks at a time due to serious personal issues, the principal retired this summer so there is an interim acting principal, and the have been some terrible decisions made at his school-ranging from substitute teachers who have never taught an early childhood class, to a class period where 4-6 classes so 80-120+ kids grades preK-5 (depending on if you take the teacher or the principal's word for it) were housed in a regular size classroom with only 3 teachers, to just a general atmosphere of extreme rudeness, hostility, and condescension--with no regard for the children, on the part of the principal and administration.

B hates school...we hate school...and I think after the past week (when we galvanized the parents and had a major discussion with the principal outlining what needed to change for our children) the school hates us.

B's teacher and assistant teacher were fine and are very grateful that we have been advocating with other parents for our children, but his main teacher is now on an indefinite leave of absence, his assistant teacher is trying to hold down the fort in the classroom but is not really trained or qualified to do that, and the current sub is a high school teacher who has no idea how to handle preK children.

We've been volunteering in the classroom almost constantly during the past few weeks and we've gotten to see even more clearly how ineffective and disorganized it is.

Following the group prep incident which violates all kinds of safety laws in addition to NYC board of Ed regulations, educational best practices, and general common sense, Ababa and I decided that B could not stay there.  We reached out to several friends who work in education as well as several public and community-based schools to see if there was a way to move him mid-year.

In an amazing answer to prayer and a truly miraculous PreK do-over, B has been accepted into one first choice school in all of Manhattan for the rest of the year, he starts Monday.  His new teacher has a nephew or godson (I wasn't totally clear which, maybe both...) who joined their families through Ethiopian adoption.  She's an amazing teacher-calm, firm, kind, creative, understanding, respectful,'s a small school and will be much less overwhelming for B, plus they are really going to try and observe him to see if there is any extra help he might benefit from to help him really excel.

Plus, there is an Ethiopian family with several children at the school (the principal  introduced us today), there is an older kids classroom that is specifically studying Africa for the whole year!, the music teacher has been to Ethiopia, and if I understood things today (I was alternately tearing up and grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of B going here) there is another child in the school who joined their family through Ethiopian adoption.

This school is so amazing.  It is basically my dream school, and now he will get to go there for preK, and possibly the rest of elementary school!!!!!!!!

Today on his trial day he sculpted with real clay in art, built towers with blocks, met the class guinea pigs, read books, talked way more than he would talk in his old school on a good day, actually interacted with other kids in his class (which he would not do at his old school), was held to a much higher standard of interaction/response/participation than he was at his old school...and he started to rise to the occasion!

I can not wait to see what the rest of this school year has in store for him!

Yes, it is a little further commute.  Yes, it starts a little earlier and we will likely need to leave the house 30 minutes earlier to get to school, but it will be so worth it.

I have to keep pinching myself--it took 5 dramatic months of the school year in a not so great school situation but, he is going to the school we listed first on our PreK application!!!!!

We are praising God today for this incredible and miraculous change of preK circumstances!

We will miss the students and parents at his old school who we grew close to in the past few weeks especially, and hope that they will have the stamina to keep pushing for positive change and that the administration will recognize that the parents in that class are engaged, want the best for their children, and will keep pushing to get it. We will continue to advocate for them and with them as much as we can.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Personal Day

I took a much needed personal day from work today.

This week (just from Mon-Wed...) I had a cocktail reception for 40 guests that I managed for a high-maintenance client, a board meeting, two major meetings with clients, 3 big presentations, a final for an intensive MBA class, found an orthopedist that will take uninsured new patients (Ababa's EMT insurance is so sketchy that it may as well not exist and we are not even totally sure that he's enrolled in the plan...still working on that), paid our bills for the month, paid a church member's bills for the month in my role as a Mercy team member at church (this involved hand delivering rent checks to section 8 housing, paying bills online and in person, grocery shopping and having them delivered, etc.), researched preK options as we are likely going to switch B's school in the next few weeks due to a safety and educational concerns with his school, volunteered in his classroom for 3 hours Monday, watched a film on child slavery/soldiers (War Witch), oh yeah and I organized B's preK parents to formally protest what has been going on in his school/classroom (more on that another day I am just too tired to write about it today).

I am still exhausted, but at least I am exhausted and have gotten some stuff done at home that we desperately needed as well as made some progress on B's school front:
-8 loads of laundry washed and mostly dried (I am not 100% sure how/when they will get folded and am hoping that Ababa will get the last few loads from the dryers in our building's laundry room when he gets home)--the laundry was especially important as B had one of his frequent bloody noses a few nights ago and his sheets, comforter, curtains(!), and big stuffed elephant "Bombay" were covered in blood, Bombay looked like he had had an unfortunate run in with a band of poachers he had blood on his head, back, sides, thoracic region, and hind quarters...thanks to the miracle of ocyclean everything is good as new now!!!
-a load of dishes in the dishwasher
-tour one of the two potential schools we might be able to transfer him to (the one today was a private school, the one tomorrow is a public school)
-found out that the awful knee pain Ababa has been having which has severely limited his motion is actually related to a serious back injury he had 12 years ago and he now has a completely herniated disk and pinched nerve!)
-went into work for 1 hour to deal with something urgent and spent about an hour on emails and about an hour on work calls
-had a 45 minute conference with the administration at B's current school with most of the parents from his classroom (I am not sure what exactly will change and doubt that it will be enough for us to feel comfortable with B staying there, but I think there will be some positive change)
-went to the grocery store

...and the best part...

I took a 1 hour nap with my sweet boy today.  He didn't sleep, but I did and we had lots of amazing ooey gooey cuddle heart cannot hold all the love I have for this little man...he is so special and every day I feel unimaginable blessed to be his mama! He does have a little oedipal complex that is starting to really get on DH's nerves, but thus far I still think it's cute:-)

Tomorrow we have an early morning school tour, I have to cram my work day into 6 hours, pick B up afterschool, take the subway to midtown to say "hi" to a very important person from B's orphanage life in Ethiopia who will be in town for 1 day, and then get home to collapse into bed.  I have work events on Saturday and Sunday, church Sunday morning, and starts all over again...

On a more serious note, please pray for my Granddad.  The end of his life here on earth is probably very near.  We rejoice that he will be experiencing the glory of Jesus soon in heaven, but we are sad that he is leaving us and concerned that he is in pain and feeling very sick right now.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Waiting Child Wednesday

Brothers ages 9 and 5

Sisters ages 7 and 6

American World Adoptions ( I can not help advocating for these girls every few weeks, they break my heart and I know there must be a family out there for them!  Sisters ages 7 and 2 in East Africa with the older sister having significant special needs

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Waiting Child Wednesday: Susanna

Are you the family for this special little girl?


Meet Susanna.  She is a beautiful six year old girl.  She has spent all of her six years confined to a crib.  She was born with Spina Bifida and she has NOT received surgery.  She has an opening in her spine and hydrocephalus.   Susanna has formed a bond with the boy in the crib next to her.  Their beds are one next to the other and they exchange toys and “talk” to each other. The caregivers explained whenever the girl starts vocalizing, the boy joins her. They have seen her reach out through the bars of his bed and try to “fix” his clothes the way the caregivers do. Whenever the boy is taken out of the room for some reason, she watches and waits for his return.
Susanna is shy with strangers but responds to all requests by familiar people.  She obviously distinguishes between familiar and unfamiliar people. Susanna is able to follow instructions and urges and laughs when she is tickled.  She responds with a shy smile to praise.
Despite deprivation and medical neglect, Susanna is a happy little girl.  The staff at her orphanage treat her fondly and she shows good attachment to them.
Susanna is able to sit up and balance and move around her crib.  She can reach for toys but has lower limb paralysis.

 Because Susanna  has spent her 6 years of life in this same crib she becomes scared and anxious when she is moved to a new room.  As a result the staff does not take her to the playroom and she spends her days in confinement.  Seeing how inquisitive and sharp she is and what she has learned in her confined environment, I can hardly imagine how far she can go with the potential she surely has when she is introduced to the world and its numerous stimuli. The family accompanying her in this journey will be privileged to see this happen.  For more information on how  you can adopt Susanna, please contact Nina at 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Really interesting Op-Ed re Difficulty of Adopting/Fostering across state lines

Washington Post Article

Very interesting Op-Ed highlighting the challenges of domestic adoption, particularly across state lines.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I haven't written much about fertility on this blog as it focuses more on our family, adoption, and life with B, but it's an important part of our story and I'm not sure how much our family and friends know about it, so I figured I'd share a little...

I had always hoped to welcome children through adoption and birth into our family and when Ababa and I got married, even though it wasn't something he had ever considered before, he heard me and after processing it all thought that was a great idea too! (have mentioned before how awesome my husband is:-)

When we didn't get pregnant our first year of marriage (which was a painful surprise), we decided to welcome our first child through adoption and were blessed with the most incredible son, B.  We are grateful for this season of challenges if for no other reason than it was one step God used to bring us and B together. 

Ababa and I both always envisioned our family with many children.  We love being parents and very much want B to grow up with siblings.  Ababa is one of 6 children and I am one of 3 and we can not imagine our lives without our siblings.  We have been considering whether to start another adoption. We both wanted more children, but were at an impasse.  I was ready pretty much as soon as we got home from Ethiopia, Ababa wasn't.  So, we have been waiting to see what happened and/or when we were both on the same page.  I'll be honest, it is not easy to be on different pages and it is even harder when you are struggling with infertility too.

I have had some issues that indicated my hormones might be out of whack a little (or a lot) so I had a surgery this summer to remove a uterine polyp that turned into a full D&C as well when it turned out my whole uterus was lined with tiny polyps.

I've been going to accupuncture approximately every other week since to help restore and rebalance my system, have been through several rounds of chinese herb therapy since the summer, and am trying to take better care of myself (more sleep, less stress, better food, more activity).  It is really, really hard to do that and juggle my responsabilites as a wife, mother, employee, and student, but I have to say, it is helping and I LOVE accupuncture, I would go everyday if I could!  Often B comes with me and plays on the floor:-) It's not quite as relaxing that way, but it still works.

Even with all that, we are still not pregnant and it has been over 3 years. So, I went to see a leading Reproductive Endocrinologist who ran a host of blood, ultrasound, and other tests specifically for fertility.  We are not interested in pursuing aggressive medical measures to get pregnant, but wanted more clarity regarding the challenges.

We got some test results this week that indicate, while it is still possible, our likelihood of getting pregnant is very low.  That was sad and sobering news to hear.  Several other tests came back much better than expected and...since it only does take one sperm and one egg...well, it's always possible.

We know that if God wants us to get pregnant, we will.  We are trying to just live our life, take better care of ourselves and our health, and see what happens.  We do not want to miss out on life by being trapped in the infertility spiral of obession, treatment, and often disappointment. Plus, since our insurance doesn't cover any treatment, if we are going to pursue another child for our family we would rather put our emotional and financial resources into an adopting a child who needs a family.

I am going to start taking more supplements as advised by my accupuncturist and RE, I am going to try and be more consistent about doing yoga and taking care of myself, I am going to explore the healthiest and most manageable nutrition options for me and we are going to keep thinking about starting another adoption (our dream would be to welcome more children through both adoption and pregnancy but we'll see how life unfolds).

In the event we adopt, we'll probably wait until at least the summer (maybe later) to start the process for logistical, financial, and scheduling reasons.  Plus psychologically, Ababa will be entering his final year of post-bac classes and I will (hopefully) be done with my MBA which will make a HUGE difference for us.

So, we'll see.

I know that God knows the plans He has for us.  I know He loves me.  I know he knows my pain, my tears, my questions, my uncertainties, my doubts, my fears, my desires...He knows me, totally and completely.  He is in control.  Somehow, the plan He has for me is better than my own.

It is scary and hard and sometimes sad, but it is also awesome and I can't wait to see what He has in store for me and my family!

In the meantime, a certain fabulous 4 year old is growing like a weed (aka the toddler bed is not going to cut it much longer) we are nesting and envisioning a life with two or more children, and B is over the moon excited at the new bunk beds that should be arriving next week (we found them for basically 50% off and free delivery so jumped on that deal).

More on the big boy room later...but here's a peek at the bunks. Aren't they so pretty!?!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting Child Wednesday!

Could one of these children be yours?  Head on over to see the children Andrea is advocating for from Latvia and the Ukraine.  These kids have just spent time in the US through a hosting program so there are opportunities to talk to their host families (and in some cases even meet the kids!) before making your decision to move forward.

Waiting Kids from Latvia and Ukraine: Babe of my Heart

Friday, January 11, 2013

Not the best day

In case you are wondering why I haven't called you back in the past few weeks, it's b/c my phone battery can't hold a charge (even when plugged in).  Hopefully, that will get fixed over the weekend, but no guarantees b/c...

we have the flu...and it sucks!

Well, to put it more accurately I have the flu...since Monday.  I thought it was a head cold with a random fever, but a trip to the Dr. yesterday when my fever was still fluctuating between 99 and 102 after taking max doses of advil and he said he thinks it's the flu.

B seems to be healthy, I've tried not to hug/kiss/snuggle him but our apartment is pretty small so it's not like he's been in a bubble.

Ababa has taken great care of me, but today he woke up on the wrong side of bed, totally surly which is not like him at all.  He has been a grump all day and Mr. "I never take naps" has been napping for the past 3 hours, so I think he might be next (but am praying that he's just tired).

Oh yeah, we're dog sitting for a friend and we have a car and live in Manhattan so whomever is healthy has to take care of two dogs, moving the car 1 everyday to avoid street cleaning, B, and the sick spouse.  Ugh!!!  I am finally getting better, but am so not ready for that.

This has hit me like a truck.  It has been several years since I was this sick.  The good news is, I think I lost all the holiday weight, bad news, I now have a weeks worth of work to catch-up on (in addition to everything that piled up while I was on vacation for 2 weeks).

So, once my phone is fixed and I can talk for more than a few minutes without getting tired (this post took a while to write!) I promise, I'll call you back.  In the meantime, even more so than usual, email might be your best bet.

ETA: ...and it just got better...B had a "kaka accident" that he tried to wipe up, resulting in him clogging the toilet, me throwing away a pair of his pants and socks, a pre-dinner bath, and a disinfecting of the whole bathroom.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Waiting Child Wednesday

I have a head cold or the flu and a huge event tonight, so this will be brief...blah, blah, blah, do your own due diligence as always...

Check out the precious 6 year old girl Jodi is advocating for over at One Love, One Family

Are you her family?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


So, I think that today is Wednesday:-)  We are on vacation at my inlaws and the days are blending together in a major way.  After nearly 2 weeks of a constant diet of shrimp po boys, pickled okra, pecan pralines, king cake, smothered cabbage, red beans and rice, onion rings, crawfish etouffee, and salted kale chips (my attempt at adding a little more nutritional value and fiber:-)  Our clothes are a little tight but we are finally starting to feel relaxed and are not quite sure how we feel about returning to NYC this weekend.  It takes about 2 weeks to start to detox from the insanity of our life in the city right now and when we start to think about how much we are doing it can really start to feel overwhelming.  2013 is the final push for my MBA and the more challenging hump for Ababa's post-bac program, so we are enjoying the last few days of vacation and then will be back in the trenches.

But, enough about us, it's my favorite day of the week...WAITING CHILD WEDNESDAY.

On Wednesdays we are raising awareness re children who need families. Please advocate for (and consider adopting) these children.  I am not endorsing any of these agencies or these children's cases.  Please do your own due diligence in that regard.

13 year old boy in Pennsylvania

Sibling group of 4 ages 9, 7, 6, 4

Sibling group of 4 ages 12, 9, 3, 3

Little boy in China who just turned 1

Sisters in Ethiopia ages 7 and 2, the older sister has significant special needs and the younger sister is healthy