Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I may never know the trauma my little boy experienced at an early age while in the countryside of Ethiopia. Who knows what creatures stalked him &/or his family day or night. (I've heard that hyenas are prevalent in the villages). Our first inclination that things were not right was seeing his extreme fear of cute and cuddly toys like baby dolls, stuffed animals, "Little People", smiling cars with eyes, etc. Things we thought he would love to play with just set off screams of fear and trembling in our child. Needless to say, he freaked out when he laid eyes on our two large dogs for the first time. He is slowly becoming OK with them in the house as long as they keep their distance. He is also realizing that the dolls are not real (although they do look alive), the toys are just plastic, and the stuffed animals won't hurt him. I remind him occasionally by tapping on the dolls' head and hands to show how hard they are and then tap on his soft, warm arm to show him the difference. This worked wonders. Our breakthrough moment was today during playtime with big sister. This video says it all! (He's also saying quite a few words). Way to go Gabriel! We are so proud of you! You have conquered one of your fears! Now I pray that his nighttime fears dissipate and his sometimes restless, noisy dreaming subsides.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Orphan Sunday--Nov. 8, 2009

Spread the word. Share with your church community. Get involved.

Orphan Sunday from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Highlight of My Day

.....watching my white baby & my black baby jammin' to Toby Mac's "One World" in the car. LOVE IT!!! (sorry, no pic, but enjoy this video)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Angels in the Dust

My husband & I watched this documentary over the weekend....and we are forever changed. This is reality for so many in Africa. If you are looking for perspective, this movie will give it to you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Things I Don't Want to Forget

Using all 5 senses, I wanted to jot down some of the things I want (or need) to remember about our trip to Ethiopia. Since smell is the most potent "memory jolter", I will start there.

Unforgettable Smells:
exhaust from the blue buses
roasting coffee beans at the coffee ceremony
shea butter after bathtime

Unforgettable Tastes:
rich, chocolaty ethiopian coffee
sour injera
spicy wat
potent honey wine
bitter, hoppy ethio beer
tasty ramen noodles
dairy-free choc. b-day cake for nicki
chalky pepto tablets

Unforgettable Sounds:
pterydactyl crows outside window
screaming babies
barking dogs/howling cats
crowd cheering in middle of night (running)
steady, relaxing rain
car honking at gate, carrying our son for our first meeting
children's sweet voices singing for bread and for Ethiopian New Year during coffee ceremony
african drum beat at traditional dinner/dance
ipod music to put me to sleep on plane
first time Gabriel said "momma" and really meant me
first time Gabriel said "daddy" and really meant husband
first time Gabriel said siblings' names
first time Gabriel said extended family's names

Unforgettable Sights:
Gabriel's face in person
all the poverty
children begging on streets
black exhaust
blue buses
beautiful red & green plants at Bejoe House
beautiful people everywhere
beautiful art in the gallery and at gentleman's studio
circular mall
u.s. embassy
Gladney Care Centers
children's clothes hanging on lines and laying on pallet
boy's orphanage
"yard" of beer
dancer's unbelievably flexible neck, doing the head swing
traditional dancers
joy & hope amidst the poverty

Unforgettable Touch:
Gabriel's smooth buttery skin the first time I held him in my arms
the wettness of his leaky diaper on our first encounter
the cool dampness of the Ethiopian air
the cleansing rain
the gentle touch of Gabriel's "special mom" as she dons earrings and necklace for me as a gift
the pain in my heart for the beautiful people and the innocent children
the warmth & giddiness in my heart when we were reunited with our family at the airport

I praise God for all 5 senses and for Him allowing us this amazing, heartbreaking, life-changing experience!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pray for Rain

This video is a news broadcast in Southern Ethiopia. This is where our son was born. This was to be his future.....

Please lift his people up in prayer today (and every day) and be mindful of the many blessings we have here in America. How can we share these blessings? God will give you the answer.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Featured Videos

Until I can put together a video documenting our OWN trip to Ethiopia, here are some special videos I found on YouTube and wanted to share. Grab kleenex.