Friday, December 24, 2010

An Ethiopian Update: Too Sweet!

I know it's not the 14th but just wanted to share a quick update as we get ready for the Christmas holidays. We received an email last week from our agency. Our application has been received/processed and we are now working on the next step... our home study! I have heard they can be sweet and painless or long and worry-some. Can you guess which I'm hoping for?

I was thinking today that maybe next year we will be needing a new ornament to represent our adoption for our Christmas tree. That's where I found this ornament/tag (purchase here). Too sweet.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What Would My Own T-Shirt Say?

Have any of you all seen this article? "The force is with you, Katie" It's about a lil girl who loved Star Wars until friends at school teased her for using a Star Wars water bottle and told her that Star Wars was for boys.

Katie not only loves Star Wars but she is Jewish, has a weak eye that requires wearing a patch and is adopted. She was heartbroken but decided she didn't want to add one more thing to her list of "what makes me different" and decided to no longer carry her favorite water bottle to school. Katie's mom has a blog, Portrait of An Adoption, and she wrote about how the experience affected her daughter. As you all in the blog world know, Katie's story caught on and the blog world rallied around her. This little girl has gotten to attend some cool Star Wars events, has received so many Star Wars toys that she is giving the majority of them away and more!

People started talking about teasing and bullying and about teaching our kids that it's ok to be different. I love that! Katie's school took it one step further and hosted an, "I'm Proud to Be Me!" day at school - a day that would allow all kids to wear a t-shirt that shows who they are and what makes them unique. I love-love that!

I hope to organize the same day at my daughter's school and am emailing our PTA President and Principal the article and my idea. I'm excited to hear their responses and will be sure to keep you all posted.

Until then, I'm off to think about what my own t-shirt would say!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our Ethiopian Christmas + An Update

This past Saturday, some of us the families who are part of the DFW Ethiopia Babies yahoo group got together to celebrate Christmas. It was so much fun! We were able to meet new families, catch up with friends, meet potential traveling partners (wink, wink) and hug enough adorable children to last us til we meet again!

And now for our update. Thankfully, we have a very understanding agency (we love Gladney!) who understands the aggravating predicament we are in regarding this whole TX driver's license. So what does all this mean? While we work on obtaining Harold's driver's license, we can go ahead and submit our application! Yay... soooo excited!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Sprinkle of Christmas Cheer... exactly what I needed. It seems just when we are taking one step forward, we end up taking two steps back. Our car needs a new transmission and enrolling both girls in a camp for the Christmas break is going to be much more expensive than I anticipated. Booooo!

Today we dropped off the car at the mechanic, got our tree set-up and started decorating it. As soon as we started unpacking our ornaments I knew we would be ok. Our family is healthy, the girls are happy and together we are going to accomplish great things!Lucia saw this tree and insisted I buy it and sent it to her brothers in Ethiopia (love that girl!). I was able to convince her that we could send a picture much quicker and she was fine with that as long as she got to hold the tree. Yes, she is wearing dress shoes with her track pants... a few minutes earlier it was a cheerleading outfit with dress shoes so this was a happy compromise!
The real reason for the season. Nativity ornament we bought on our last trip to Peru.
Both Lucia and Isabella wanted to put the start on the tree so that's exactly what we did. Nothing wrong with placing the star on twice... who knows, maybe next year we'll be doing it a total of three or four times!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Ethiopian Update

There are days when I think we will need to alter our adoption list from toddler boy to teenage boy since it seems we just can't get our act together when it comes to getting our paperwork started. Sigh.

For those of you keeping up, I mentioned working on our referrals last month - turns out I was working on our homestudy application - not the "official" application! Grrrr. I guess on the positive side, at least we know what we need to finish up and work on when it's homestudy time, right?

There is just one thing holding us up right now - our Texas driver's license!!! Now that we are TX residents, we have to submit TX license numbers. It took two days to get mine and now we are just waiting on Harold's. Unfortunately, the DMV is closed on the weekend and lately it seems Harold is only working weekdays!! Grrrr. Grrrr.

Sorry for the lame update - hopefully next month's will be a better one!

In the meantime, I'm loving meeting so many of you and working on your adoption announcements. Thank you for thinking of me - your children are all too precious for words!!

I also found out that there is an Ethiopian art gallery in Atlanta, The Hanatzeb Gallery. I keep visiting their website - - and staring at this picture. Are these two sweet boys friends or brothers? Do they have a family or is the priest assuring them that their family is on their way? I don't know... just know that it makes me smile and wish we were already in Ethiopia! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This Dream Made Possible By Mom.

I don't remember believing in pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, white unicorns or all the other innocent things kids believe and daydream about. I know that I thought about going to college and growing up but I don't remember ever getting carried away in my dreams.

One of the last conversations I had with my mom was about dreams. I had just been offered a chance to work at an advertising agency as the owner's assistant. He was going to teach me all he knew about graphic design and I was just excited to have a full-time job for the summer (especially since I was already thinking of not returning to college in the Fall). I came home after our meeting and told my parents all about it my new position. My parents were excited that I would be working on a computer and even have one at my very own desk. It was 1997 and no one in my family owned a computer.

I kept filling them in on what exactly the agency did and what would be expected of me. My mom then said, "Oh, Laura, you have to work hard and then he might decide to buy you a computer to have here at home!" I'm pretty sure I rolled my eyes at her and said, "Mom, he is not going to buy me a computer to bring home." Picking up on my you-are-crazy-tone, my mom then said to me, "Laura, you never know - don't be like that. This is your life, you have to learn to dream big."

Less than three weeks later, both my parents passed away in a car accident. I didn't return to school in the Fall but did go back a couple of years later to get my degree in Graphic Design. And as for that crazy idea my mom had.... well, guess who bought me my very first Mac to use at home? Yup, my boss.

Today is my mom's birthday. I was thinking about that conversation we had years ago as I find myself dreaming my nights away thinking about upcoming homestudys, referral calls, trips to Ethiopia and of course, what those sweet faces will look like. I can't claim that all my actions have made my mom proud but this decision my family and I are making I know will have made her so, so happy.

Happy birthday, Mom, I'm dreaming big for the two of us! xoxo.

Sunday, November 7, 2010