Friday, March 30, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

We're Home!!!!

Finally, a picture with out entire family!!! I'd love to write more, but I was up in the night with Kaitlyn who was sick and throwing up. I just got Lucas to sleep, as he woke up with a fever and told me that it felt like a rock was bouncing around in his head. But, until I have time, enjoy a couple of pictures. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Final Preparations!

I'm in my final couple of days of preparation before my entire family is together in Addis!!! Yesterday I washed the sheets for all four kids and made up the bunk beds. It's time to switch over to summer sheets. As I made the beds (which takes forever when doing two top bunks!), I thought of how many times I've already made these beds up for these two kids only to have the seasons change, or some friend stay at our house and sleep in their beds. My heart suddenly realized that this is for real. This time, my very own children will be the ones sleeping in their beds. I began to cry. Who knew that making beds could be such an emotional experience?! :)

I must write about my Saturday. Avery informed me that we couldn't go to the beach as a family as I had wanted to do. The reason being that he had an all important meeting with some guy in Bikers for Christ at 5:00 at a coffee shop. Evidently the guy had some donations for us to take to Ethiopia. I was a bit annoyed because I had really wanted to escape for a day with my little family of four one last time before we become six. But I did have a ton of stuff to do, so I didn't complain too much about staying home.

So, at 4:50 I was pretty dirty and in my sweat pants and still had more housecleaning that I was trying to accomplish before I started cooking supper. That's when Avery announced that in 10 minutes we all had to leave for this meeting....uh....WE???? What's up with this "we" business??????? But the guy did have donations for Ethiopia. Mind you, I'd never met him and wasn't feeling particularly social. But I did want to encourage his heart for Ethiopia. So I threw on some jeans and considered washing Lucas's face, but I don't think I ever actually did that...

On the way to the coffee shop Avery asked me if anybody had said anything about planning any sort of adoption shower for us and I told him that I didn't think anybody was going to do that. I was a little sad because I was sure that if I was adopting a baby that there would have been a shower. But these are older kids and I just figured that nobody in my life saw it the same way. Oh well. I knew that people would still love them very much....they just didn't think they were party material....sigh....

So, when we got to the coffee shop I could see somebody holding a camera in the back of the shop and they were obviously taking a video of me. I was quite annoyed. I figured that it was this mystery biker person and he was so zealous about his donation to Ethiopia that he wanted to capture the entire thing on video. I normally am not a grouchy person. But I was so busy, not particularly kept, had a ton of stuff to do, and didn't really want to be video taped. But what can you do? So I smiled. :)

When we got closer I saw that it was a friend of mine and I though, "Huh. What a coincidence. She must be trying out a new camera. Still. Weird! I'm not in the mood for a video!" (note: I'm slow sometimes!)

I followed Avery to a little socializing area in the very back and as I turned, I noticed that lots of my friends were there....and there were pictures of my kids all over the place....and there was a huge cake! :) It was an adoption shower!!!! And a surprise one at that!!!!

No wonder my friends haven't been calling lately! They were all purposely avoiding me! And I've been too busy to call them.

They made it all so nice. Two girls put it together. They had a cake and a huge container of coffee (Avery insisted that I take my Ethiopian spices for bunna which I thought was extremely inappropriate to do and I just wasn't in the mood anyway!). There were balloons, aranguade, bicha, kaiy (Green, Yellow, Red for the Ethiopian flag), pictures everywhere, a really cool Konjo Kids flyer, and gifts! That's right- gifts. Lots of gift cards! That's so great seeing as how I don't know what the kids actually need because I don't know what size they are....or how fast they're going to grow once they start eating a little bit of protein and fruits and veggies on a regular basis! And there were also non-gift card gifts too. We got thank you cards (oh yea...I have to add stopping by the post office to my to-do list today to mail them!), a flash drive so that we can store our millions of pictures that we're going to take in Ethiopia, a cool family photo frame, and the four kids got the most creative gift that I never would have thought of. They each got a disposable camera, a photo album decorated as a "travel album" and a giftcard to Walmart to get their film developed. Lucas was so excited that he wanted to take his pictures right then and there. But they're all four safely packed in their respective backpacks. I thought of how Mihret would always hold her hands up to her eyes and make a photo-taking motion with her hands when she wanted to use our digital camera. This kid is so cute! Oh yea, they even went to the trouble of playing all my favorite music at the coffee shop. Again, I was feeling slow that day. As I sat there talking I heard a song that has really been a huge encouragement to me these past two years. Then I heard another one. Then another one. They have all really been God's voice to a broken mother's heart....duh...Avery had burned a CD of all my favorite songs and given it to the coffee shop! :)

And to think that I was mad at Avery!

We are so rich in friends here. As I think back over these past two years of waiting, I can't imagine having done it without these people. They have faithfully prayed for us, cried with us, rejoiced with us, and just been there. I have had so many personal cheerleaders. Whenever I've felt completely spent of emotional energy, they've cheered me onward in this race. And now the finish line is just in sight. I'm almost there. And the joy in my heart is indescribable because the God who had made this happen is also indescribable.

To all my friends, thank you so much for Saturday. It really meant so much to me to see that my kids being added to my family really is a big deal. Just as important as a cute little baby. And people outside of my immediate family understand that. That really means so much to me. Thank you!

Monday, March 12, 2007

This Is The Week!!!!

In just a few short days my family will be en route to Addis Ababa in order to join up with the other part of our family!!!! In church yesterday a little girl wanted me to hold her during praise and worship. I picked her up and was taken aback by how she held herself upright in my arms. It was exactly what it felt like to hold Mihret. She was the exact same size and had the exact same posture. I closed my eyes as the tears rolled down my cheeks, realizing that the next time I stand in church, I will be holding my very own precious daughter. God has been so good to our family through every horrible step of this adoption. In the darkest moments, He has been there with us. The Bible says that even when weeping lasts through the night, joy will come in the morning. Our night felt like it was very long and there was much weeping. But our morning has finally arrived and as the light of dawn is shining brighter and brighter on our family, our joy is increasing. God is so very good.

Monday, March 05, 2007

My Yummiest Injera Ever

This past weekend I made my yummiest injera ever and want to share with my readers the slight variations I made to the basic instructions. This injera included barley flour which gave it a taste just like what I've had in the Ethiopian restaurants in NC.

If you didn't read the post where I gave basic instructions, check that out first. These are very step-by-step instructions for making authentic Ethiopian injera here in America.

But first, a tip for getting more ain in your injera: The first step I gave in my instructions was "The Night Before" step. If you pull the starter out of the refrigerator earlier in the day and feed it with some wheat flour (just because it's cheaper- use whatever flour you prefer) in the morning, then give it another feeding in the afternoon, it will have more ain when you cook it the next day.

Now, to incorporate barley (gebs for my Habesha readers!), here is how I did it. I'm sure you can experiment on your own for variations. But I'll tell exactly how I did it since it worked for me.

When I did Step 1 (The Night Before), I added teff and kneaded it exactly as is written in my basic instructions. However, prior to adding teff, I set aside half of the starter. I had 3 cups of starter that I divided into 3 separate plastic containers. I kneaded teff into 1 cup of starter. Then I "fed" 1 cup with barley. And I fed the other cup of starter with self-rising. I did not knead the barley and self-rising. I just fed the starters. If you don't know how to feed a starter, please see my post about making and feeding starters.

The next morning I fed the barley and self-rising again. Then I made sure I had equal amounts of teff, barley, and self-rising starter. I blended it all up in the blender, just as my basic instructions say to do. Everything else I did was the same.

The reason for making the barley and self-rising into a starter the night before is that it adds to the sourness of the injera. Also, it allows more time for the ain to develop.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the emails I've received from people who are experimenting with their own injera. I must say though that my favorite emails have been the ones I've received from Ethiopians. I got the funniest email this morning from a lady who wanted to tell me all about the funny video she found on the internet. The reason it was so funny to her is that it was a "ferinj lady" teaching people how to make injera! I wrote back and told her that I too think that's hilarious! :) If you've tried injera and it still didn't work, don't give up! Try it again! I've gotten quite a few emails from people who have finally found success. You can do it! :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Conversation With A Five-Year-Old

Me: Lucas, I love you so much. I'm so glad you're my son!

Lucas: What if you were a Mommy who didn't have any babies? Would you have adopted me?

Me: Of course! I would have found you and adopted you so that you would be my son because I love you so much.

Lucas: What if I was a Chinese baby? Would you adopt me?

Me: Of course I would because you're my son!

Lucas: What if I was in Africa and my Mommy died? Would you adopt me then?

Me: I sure would have! I can't imagine life without you as my son!

Lucas: What if there were six of me? What would you do then? Would you adopt me?

Me: Well, I guess I would have adopted all six of you since I love you so much!

Lucas: But Mama, what if I was Chinese and it was my birthday, AND my mom and dad died?

Me: Wow! That would be a pretty bad day, wouldn't it?!

Lucas: I think we should adopt 6 million kids. Okay Mom?

6 Million kids- the number of orphans in Ethiopia alone. If only life were as simple as adopting all of them. Oh, to be five again. God must know that I need the innocence of my children in my life. I love Lucas so much. But gee, 6 of him would be quite a handful!! :)