Monday, December 18, 2006

10 Days/ Truly Perfect Injera At Last Thanks To Abeba


And, the other exciting thing that happened to me today is that I have made a truly perfect injera at last thanks to my new friend Abeba. Abeba called me today to say that she was going to make injera, so I drove to her house and watched and learned. There is a step that she did last night that I missed, but the next time she does that, she is going to call me. Then, I think I can do it on my own. I actually made the injera in these pictures! I am so proud of myself! I have a whole stack of injera on my counter that I made! Also, Abeba had an entire 25 pound bag of teff that she only paid $30 for! I have been paying about $6 for a tiny little bag that is probably just about 1 pound! Who knew all of these secrets?! Evidently, Ethiopians living in America know all of these secrets, and now I get to know them too!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

11 Days/ Families Needed

11 DAYS LEFT!!!! The packing of treasure-filled gallon-sized ziploc bags has begun! Our living room is filled and I can't seem to find a tape measure to measure the potential suitcases. The response to Yesus On The Streets has been phenomenal. There are so many truly caring people out there. The kids have touched me the most. I'm amazed at their selflessness. "Inspired" is the word.

Below is a video that I wanted to share with my readers. If you haven't already adopted, but have that "tug" in your heart (If you've had that "tug", you know exactly what I'm talking about!), please consider adoption. The children in this video will give you some pretty good reasons why this is so important.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

12 Days!!!!/Mitad


Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I would like to share what I have learned about this well-kept secret of making injera in America- the mitad. We had supper with some new friends last night who are from Ethiopia and Abeba showed me her mitad. This wonderful cooking device that a couple of Ethiopian women now have said can only be purchased in very large cities that have large Ethiopian populations is the exact same item that our local Target sells! It is available online by clicking here. This is what Abeba uses as her mitad. Now, you must have a lid to cook injera, so you need to purchase a lid separately that will fit. Yene addis wadadj (My new friend) is going to let me come to her house so that I can actually watch and learn how to do it. She said that something else that is essential is a blender. Evidently, in Ethiopia, she stirred the injera with her hands and it was find. But in America (elevation perhaps?), the only thing that works is to stir it by putting it into a blender. She said that once her blender broke so she used a food processor, but that didn't work. It must be a blender. So, a blender it is.

It occurred to me the other day that there are lots of shortcut recipes for injera, some of them not so bad. But they're just not the real deal either. For me, the quest to learn how to make injera stems largely from the desire to honor the cultural heritage of two of my kids. It has to do with honoring their parents. We are supposed to honor our parents, and I feel that by honoring their culture, their parents are being honored as well. That's why I won't settle for a shortcut recipe. I want the real deal. Mihret told Avery that her favorite food is injera! I must learn this! :) I've been discussing injera via email with a woman who lives about an hour from me, who is also an American mother to adopted Ethipian children. We've been trying to share all of the secret tips we've picked up. It suddenly struck me that we would be extremely entertaining to any Ethiopian woman! It would be like me watching two Ethiopian mothers dicussing the finer technicalities of making mashed potatoes, yet still not coming up with good mashed potatoes! Perhaps someday I'll be such a good injera maker that I will have Ethiopians lining up at my door in the hopes of having the opportunity to buy my injera...hmmm....what is that verse in the Bible about faith being the evidence of things hoped for and not yet seen?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

14 DAYS!!!!/Mitad

Just in case anybody missed my happy little ticker at the top of my blog, we're now down to 14 DAYS UNTIL WE LEAVE TO GO TO ETHIOPIA TO VISIT OUR YOSEF AND MIHRET!!!!!! I've had so many thoughtful personal emails sent to me that have used the phrase "bitter-sweet" in regard to our trip. True, I wish this was the trip to bring our kids home, as we've waited a very long time. But as of yet, it doesn't feel bitter. Just sweet. The wait and separation from my children has felt bitterly painful at times. But this visit is only sweet. I love a song that says, "You turn the bitter into sweet..." Indeed, God is turning the bitter pain into only sweetness. And He is so good to me. Knowing how painful it will be to leave Ethiopia without my children in my arms, it looks like He has opened a door for us to escort a baby back to his new family in America. It already brings me such a measure of comfort to know that my arms will at least have somebody else's baby to love on that long plane ride home. God knows my heart so well. He knows how much comfort it brings me to have a baby in my arms.

Now, I have learned a most valuable and well kept Ethiopian secret about injera! I just can't seem to get the right consistency. So, last week I traveled an hour and bought some injera from an Ethiopian restaraunt. When I got home, I discovered that the local woman who made it had a sticker on the bag with her name and phone number! So, I decided to call this wonderful injera maker named Tenu. I explained to Tenu who I was and that I had tried for over a year to make injera, but just couldn't get it quite right. I asked her if I could pay her to give me a cooking lesson. She thought this was quite funny and agreed to help me free of charge. Then, she asked me if I had a pan. I told her that I have a frying pan. She said, "Oh no. You need a special pan." She said she'd find out what it's called and where to buy it and call me back. She hasn't yet.

So, on Saturday we had lunch with our new friends Tedros and Abeba. Abeba knows exactly how to make injera and said that she will teach me. She said that the name of the special pan is a "mitad" and that it is what they call the clay fire pit in Ethiopia. In America, you can buy an electric mitad. Who knew?????? In all of my research on injera, I have never come across the word mitad before! BUT, if you do research on the word mitad, you will find all kinds of nice sociological and anthropological articles discussing the use of the mitad to make injera in Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djbouti, and Somalia. Also, the mitad is used in Congo, but I'm not sure what they cook on it. I just can't believe this special stove/pan wasn't mentioned in anything I've found about injera! It's expensive though. I only found one place to buy it online and it was $190. Tenu said she thought you could get it in DC for $90. So, I am going to use all of the money I get for Christmas, which will hopefully be enough, and try to find myself a mitad when we go to DC to catch our plane in 14 DAYS- THAT'S RIGHT- JUST 2 WEEKS!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Must See Video Concerning HIV+ Ethiopian Orphans

This is a must-see video. It features the well known HIV+ Ethiopian orphanage, AHOPE. This is an issue that has become very near and dear to my heart these past months. Also in the video is Dr. Jane Aronson, known as "The orphan doctor" for her care for orphans and children adopted internationally. Also, Dr. Sophia Mengistu appears briefly. She is the doctor who cares for my children in their orphanage while they await their homecoming to America. It is 12 minutes long, so if you have dial-up, you might need to bypass this one or wait until a time when you're not in a hurry.


Click here to see the video.

Must See Video Concerning HIV+ Ethiopian Orphans

This is a must-see video. It features the well known HIV+ Ethiopian orphanage, AHOPE. This is an issue that has become very near and dear to my heart these past months. Also in the video is Dr. Jane Aronson, known as "The orphan doctor" for her care for orphans and children adopted internationally. Also, Dr. Sophia Mengistu appears briefly. She is the doctor who cares for my children in their orphanage while they await their homecoming to America. It is 12 minutes long, so if you have dial-up, you might need to bypass this one or wait until a time when you're not in a hurry.


Click this link to view the video:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

In 16 Days I'm Going To Ethiopia To Visit My Kids!!!

That's right! In 16 days at this time, I am scheduled to be in Washington DC trying to find the airport with Avery so that we can get on an airplane headed for Addis Ababa where I will spend 4 1/2 glorious days with Yosef and Mihret! A most precious woman has given us the best gift ever- two tickets to Ethiopia! My babies can't come home to my family, but what a measure of comfort and peace I have in knowing that very soon I will be with them. God reminded me of my lament from a couple of weeks ago when I realized I wouldn't know Mihret while she was still five. Indeed, I will know her while she is still five! :)

So, anybody who still wants to send a bag, I need to have them by Dec. 23 so that I will have time to pack. We know a man (who generously helped us to fund our adoption) who is from North Carolina, but he spends about 6 months out of each year in Addis doing humanitarian and community economic development projects. He's a most humble, generous man. He will be helping us to distribute the bags so that those in need will receive them and also to ensure safety for Avery and me. Some call it a small world- I call it God's sovereignty- but this man is going to be on the same flight as us going to Ethiopia!

As far as our adoption, our agency is still awaiting their relicensure. It seems that once some requested documentation is provided to the Ethiopian government, the license is expected to be issued. Of course, this all takes time. I would ask though that if you're reading this, and if you're the praying type, that you take a minute to pray for the director of our agency. She had been traveling for the past couple of weeks in Africa when all of this was discovered about the documentation. On top of the stress of having to deal with that, her adult son has become critically ill and she is having to deal with that too. As a mother, my heart aches for her right now. Hopefully good news will be coming soon. But until then, I'M GOING TO ETHIOPIA TO MEET MY KIDS!!!!!!

Lejoch- "Kids"

Don't kids have a way of making us laugh?! Honestly, they're more entertaining than television!

My 4 year old son, Lucas, was being bossed around by his 4 year old friend, Chelsee. Indignant, he turned to her and said, "I AM TOO SMART! ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS THREE!!!" The really funny part is that Chelsee walked away thinking that Lucas is really smart!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Yesus On The Streets Logo

The response to Yesus On The Streets has been phenomenal! We will have no problem filling our suitcases with little treasures for these beautiful people. We are asking that all bags be received no later than Saturday, December 23 so if you still want to send something, send me a private email requesting the address of our church, which has volunteered to serve as a collection site for the bags:

For those who would like to help solicit bags for Yesus On The Streets, you can use the following link for the logo:
And this is the link for the blog post that explains what this project is all about:

Please, take this idea and either participate in Yesus On The Streets, or transform it into something that you can use to get your own community involved in a similar project! Thank you to all for your generous hearts toward the people of Ethiopia!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yesus On The Streets

On behalf of Konjo Kids, I am excited to share with you the project we are currently working on! "Yesus On The Streets" (Jesus on the Streets) is an initiative intended to show the homeless and poor of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia the love of Jesus through small gifts from people in America.

This project involves everybody from the two-year-olds to the ninety-two year olds. Each person who chooses to participate will receive a gallon-size ziploc bag. If you're a child, you are to fill the bag with toys, socks, books, candies, crayons, etc. from your own collection. Also, the children are to ask Mom and Dad for some practical items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, lotion, etc. The point is to help our children to understand sacrifice. If you're an adult, you make up a bag for another adult. Ladies can include "girly" items such as jewelry, make-up, fuzzy slipper socks, pretty stationary, etc. The point is to reach out to somebody in Ethiopia who is basically the same as you, just impoverished due to the circumstances in which they were born. Men are to make a bag for a man living on the streets in Ethiopia. I am asking that each adult bag also contain either Advil, diarrhea medication, cough syrup, or all of the above. Adult bags will also contain practical items such as toiletries.

When the bags are turned in, I will take a picture of each person holding their bag. The pictures will be developed and put into the appropriate bags along with a card that will say "Jesus cares about the orphans, the widows, and the poor. Jesus cares about you. Jesus sees you. Jesus loves you." in Amharic. Then, when able, we will take a picture of the recipient in Ethiopia holding their bag so that we can then show the people here in America what a tangible happiness their gift brought to somebody in need. Our hope is that this small project will evoke a deeper passion for the impoverished persons in the world who are so deeply important to God.

Below is a 5 minute promotional video that I put together to capture the heart of what this is all about. The song is U2's "Where The Streets Have No Names." Bono visited Ethiopia during the famine of the 1980's and was moved by the disparity he saw there and by how it contrasted to the freedom and prosperity of the Kingdom of Heaven. He wrote a song that captures that essence. As I was compiling this video, it occurred to me that while Ethiopia's streets have no names, those who dwell in the streets are also in many ways "nameless." They are what many would consider to be "the least of these." And yet God knows each of their names and each of them is vitally important to God. What a broken world we live in. My heart is broken by the glimpses of true poverty that I have seen. God's heart must weep under the weight of the ability to see all of the poor and needy ones all at the same time. How He loves them...what will we do to show them that love? What will my little family do to make a difference? One step at a life at a time...never forgetting those who feel that they have no name.

Anybody who would like to send a bag with your picture for us to take to Ethiopia can contact me via email at:

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sehaiyu- "The Sun"

It's been a most dreary day today. It's been windy, chilly, and rainy. Just a very grey day. What a perfect day to match the dreariness in my heart! God reminded me that sehaiyu (the sun) does still shine. He reminded me of the song that has become my mantra, "Even though I can't see the sun through these clouds, I know it still shines...Even though I can't understand why this storm still blows...I love Your rain." I was driving home today when this song came on. What a timely reminder of God's faithfulness as the windshield wipers swished the dreariness of the day off the windshield. Later, still pondering this, I sat down at my computer to check my email, the room was suddenly very bright as though it were a sunny day at the beach! I looked out the window and saw that the sun had found a pocket from which to shine right through the thick grey clouds overhead. I went outside and stood in the middle of the pouring rain so that I could see the bright sun penetrating straight through all of that darkness. As I stood there, (with my neighbors surely thinking I've gone truly crazy!) I realized how absolutely beautiful the rain is today. "...I love Your rain..."