May 2007


I got an email from one of my closet friends last night who told me about an acquaintance who was having a horrible adoption experience in some country and was thinking of changing countries to Ethiopia.  She asked me about our agency, and for other advice.  My first response was well they can email us with other questions. 

I then suddenly realized how adoption has changed my life.  I am an “adoptive parent.”  That is one of my main roles in my life. 

For the last 10+ years I have felt passionate about the homeless situation in America, and the mentally ill population in America.  I realize that they need help, and if I were in that position I would want someone to treat me with the dignity and respect all people deserve.    That passion led me to go back to school, and get a master’s degree in social work, although you do not get paid a great deal as a social worker.    That passion allowed me to go work in inner city Chicago for 5 years with people who are chronically homeless and have a mental illness.  It was one of hardest jobs of my life, but as I saw the worst in America I also saw the best in the people who live in these circumstances.  That passion leads me everyday to leave my kids for9 hours a day to go outreach to people who are homeless and have mental illness on the streets of southern California. I teach my kids about what I do, and how important it is to help others.

Last night I realized that I now have two extreme passions.  Adoption is also a passion for me.  I want to help other people in this process.  I want others to realize that although, this may not have been their initial life plan adoption is an amazing journey.  Kids need families. 

I look forward to adopting one last time in the future,  and I also look forward to following my new passion as an advocate for adoption in the future.  It changed my life,and I hope to spread the word.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend 2007!!

1.  We started off our weekend on Friday with attending an award’s ceremony at Meron’s school.  She got an award for Perserverance throughout the year.  Go Meron!! 

2.  After we enjoyed a rare lunch alone together before picking the kids up at school.  Guess where we chose to eat.  We had a romantic lunch at Carl’s Jr.  The choice was funny, but with no one fighting with each other it was quiet.  No toddlers were throwing food either.

3.  We went to Rosarito Beach in Mexico to celebrate our 7 year wedding anniversary, and Yordie’s 2nd Birthday.  She enjoyed hitting the pinata, doing the limbo, and playing musical chairs.  She didn’t win any of the competitions, but she was the only toddler up there with the other big kids so kuddos to her for effort.  We got many compliments about how cute she was.   She loved swallowing the gum in the pinata.

4.  Estifanos beat a twelve year old in the musical chairs competition.  He kept saying all weekend, “I am the winner.”

5.  A girl Meron was playing with in the hotel pool asked her, “Why is your mom not brown like you?”  Meron said, “Because she wasn’t in Ethiopia with me.”  If adoption and racial issues could only be as simple as through a child’s eyes.

That is our weekend at a glance.

I just want to give a shout out to Yordie Jordan Orelli on her 2nd Birthday.  My baby turns two today.  It seems like she just came home, and I remember the first time I saw her in Ethiopia like it was yesterday.  I had not planned on three children, but the minute I saw my baby she was mine.  She makes every minute of my life enjoyable.  Her laugh, her smile, and her love makes everyday brighter.   When I watch her carry her backpack that she insists on carrying to preschool or watch  her share her bag of Golden Grahams with our two huge lab dogs it is great to watch her love for life.  She loves to eat especially sweets, the water, sand, Elmo, Cailou, and her dolls. The love she has for her family, friends, and her pets is amazing.  Yordie I am so excited to watch you grow. I am so proud of the toddler you have become.  I hope you have a great day Boo!!   We love you!!

Have you gone through withdraws yet? I know it’s only been 4 days, but I think that’s the longest I’ve ever gone without posting on this blog since its inception. I kind of saw it coming — you probably did too — blogs that don’t pay taking a backseat to the paid writing gig. If it’s any consolation, my other blog has suffered way more than this one.

I actually thought that the problem would be that once I started getting paid to write, it would no longer be fun. But that hasn’t really happened — at least not yet. Instead, I’m getting more into writing. I’ve even started reading The Elements of Style. If you had asked me a year ago if I’d be composing articles and blog posts in my head during down times, I’d say you were crazy.

The problem with getting paid to write is, of course, time. There isn’t enough of it to get everything out of your head and onto the page (or hard drive as the case may be). I’ve got two posts perfect for this blog stuck in my head right now. I’m not sure how Mary does it with her paid blog position, writing a book and still finding time to post on her blog (and did I mention that she’s got 8 kids and 2 more on the way).

For some reason 🙂 the paid position seems to be taking precedence. Do you think I could charge grandma for 500 word updates on the kids? Probably wouldn’t be ethical, but I am hoping that the writing job will go full-time soon and then I’ll only have two part-time jobs (this blog and my other one), rather than the 3 I have right now.

I read all week; I share with you; you read what sound good. Easy enough, lets get started:

  • Remember last week’s tickets for TV watching time? Someone’s made available a set for you to print out.  Available in a variety of colors and for 30 or 60 minute blocks. I’m not sure yet if we’ll use them; the kids are really good about not complaining when I tell them to go play after they’ve been in front of the TV for too long.
  • The Baby Name Wizard lets you see names usage over time.  Brian peaked in the 1970s at 8th most popular, but has been in decline ever since. Surprisingly, Meron, Estifanos, and Yordanos didn’t make the top 1000 in any decade (for the US). 🙂
  • William’s son gives a restroom play by play.
  • CrazyD inspires you to do more with less.

Only 4 this week. I had a research intensive commentary to write for The Fool, so I’ve been flying through the feed reader…skimming if I’m lucky, so if I missed a good post of yours, that’s probably the reason.

 This was the first Mother’s Day that my kids really understood what was going on.  It was fun.  I sat last Friday drinking tea with other mothers at Estifanos’s school, and watched him play with his friends. I talked to other mothers about whose kids, with fall birthdays would be starting kindergarten in the fall and who would be waiting a year like ourselves.   I thought boy my life has changed in the last year. 

I am so grateful to be Meron, Estifanos, and Yordie’s mom.  I don’t remember what I did with all my time before I had them.  On Sunday I opened my hand made presents from them.  I loved how they were made with so much love and care.  Meron wrote,”Thanks mom for taking care of me.  Love Meron.”  Those words made me cry. My daughter a year ago had been a grown up at four years old, taking care of her siblings.  Now she can be a six year old that is thankful for a mother who takes care of her.  She can be a kid like she is suppose to.   

I watched them as they enjoyed a petting zoo, pony rides, train ride, hay ride, and corn maze at a local farm.  I was thankful for being their mother. 

I was thankful as I sat with my own mother for all the love she has shown me.  I was thankful that my mother got to share a trip of a lifetime with me to Ethiopia in July to get Yordie.   She was able to see where my kids came from, and meet the people who cared for them.   I was grateful for Brian’s mother, and all the support and love she has shown us on this journey.    I was thankful for my sister as a mother who has always supported me, been a role model as a mother, and loved me.  

I was grateful to my kids’  first mom for loving them with all her heart.  She has trusted us to love and raise her three amazing kiddos.   I always talk to Meron about how that is a love of a lifetime to care so much for your children that you let them go, so they can have a better life.

 I also thought about the future.   I thought about child who may just be being born in Ethiopia who we will parent in a couple of years.  I thought about how bringing that child home will be the end to this part of the journey of creating our family, but just the beginning of our life journey.   I thought about how as my kids grow my role as their mother will change, but they will always need their mother.  So thank you to all mothers and future mothers for the love they show their kids.

Yordie’s birthday isn’t until next week, but it appears she’s hit the terrible 2s a few days early.  It started last Saturday while driving back form the L.A.:

“No, Sleep!” “No, Cracker!” “No, Jacket!”

We hopped that it was just that she had a long day, but it appears that her favorite word has changed from Whatsthat? to No! With her learning a few new nouns everyday, she’s been able to expand the things she doesn’t want exponentially. We’ve tried reverse psychology by telling her no first, but I think she’s catching on.

There hasn’t been an Instruction Manual in a while, so I’ll open it up for your comments. What’s the best way to deal with the terrible 2s? (Besides adopt a 3 year old) Best suggestion gets this cool badge to hang anywhere there’s a computer monitor:

And live in infamy on the parenting instruction manual page.

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