kids


I was reminded this past couple of weeks how blessed we are to be a part of the Ethiopian community, and the amazing culture our kids come from.

It has been a hectic few weeks with school starting, soccer in full swing with Brian coaching both teams, gymnastics, dance, church activities, preparing to travel to bring Kayeso home in a couple of short months, oh and don’t forget that thing called work.  In the midst of all these hectic times at moments I am reminded of our kids’ culture and the amazing Ethiopian people that we get to meet and share with frequently.

A couple of weeks ago we were at an Ethiopian adoption picnic with all familes who have adopted in southern California mostly San Diego.  It is amazing to watch this younger generation of Ethiopian-American kids as the grow into themselves each time I see them. 

Brian went to get gas for our BBQ at the gas station, and he asked, “Where is a picture of Kayeso?”  The lady who works at the gas station immigrated here many years ago from Ethiopia and adores our kids. 

We went out to eat at the local Ethiopian restaurant last night, and the young man in his 20’s had  certain fondness for Yordie because his sister’s name is also Yordanos.  My kids were like there is a, “big Ethiopian kid.” 

 Last but definitely not least there is the young man who works at my dad’s office who adores our kids. His mom who we have never met is making Kayeso and our other kids a present that we are not sure exactly what it is, but we are so excited to get. 

We are so grateful to the Ethiopian community here for their support of our family, and for them reminding our kids where they came from and who they are.  In a world of school, sports, friends, and media it is easy to forget where you came from.  It is special to have mentors in their lives besides us to remind them of their journey, and what makes them who they are.

We are so excited!  We were matched today with our son. Kayeso just turned four years old.  We have been working on getting matched for a couple of weeks, but he needed paperwork, and we did also.  Tonight we told our kids, and showed them pictures of him, and it all became real.  Our family is complete.

I think the thing Brian and I have learned from this experience is the importance of people considering adopting a waiting child.  It amazes us that people wait close to a year for a two year old when you could adopt a waiting child who is just slightly older.  Estifanos who came home at 3 1/2 does not remembers very little about Ethiopia, and blends his few memories of his first mom with me.  All children need homes, and they are all just babies. 

I had planned on adopting a two year old, but I am so excited to have my beautiful son.  Life isn’t always what we plan.  I hadn’t planned on Yordie, I hadn’t planned on adopting siblings, and I hadn’t initially planned on Ethiopia, but I guess life can’t be about plans.  Three years ago I was a married woman with no kids who wanted a family, and thought maybe someday I will be blessed with one or two.    Now I am blessed with four amazing kids ranging in age from 3-7.  Some say we are crazy.   

I feel blessed to be Kayeso’s mom.  As I go to bed tonight I know who my son is, and I am so excited to meet him, hold him, play with him, bring him home, and start our life together.  I hope he knows tonight that he has a mom, dad, 2 sisters, a brother, and so many other people who already love him.

This has been my last week in the world of adoption

Monday:  We get approved by our agency to take a waiting child, and adopt out of birth order.    We email the worker in charge of waiting children.  I pick up our homestudy at our local agency that was finished earlier that day.

Tuesday:  We attempt to live, work, and of course wait since waiting children worker is on vacation.  I mail our homestudy and last of paperwork to agency.  Brian attempts to go to get CIS approval, but their computers are down.  They promise to process it when computers are running again.

Wednesday:  We wait, and attempt to live normally.  Estifanos goes to cardiologist for annual checkup, which is always stressful.  They tell us that for another year he is doing well, and does not need surgery because he has no symptoms.

Thursday:  We get a call from waiting child worker who has been on vacaction.  She tells us process in which we can get information on one child at time.  How do we pick?  They are all amazing kids, and are all in our age range.  We decide on three, and ask some questions to narrow it down to one.  The one we get information on is amazing, and he is in our hearts already.  We find out he needs one more piece of paperwork, and we need our CIS approval.

Friday:  Wait.  Our agency notifies us they have everything, but our CIS approval.  That litlle boy is in  our hearts, our thoughts, and our minds.

Saturday:  As I write this I have his picture in my head.  I hope it works out.  I want to tell the kids soon, so I hope it all comes together this week.  I look at his picture, and I think of all the blessings I have and that he hopefully will complete our family.  I want to be his mom.

Another adoption has turned our world upside down, and changed the plans that we thought were certain.  We were in the process of finishing up our homestudy, dossier, and other paperwork to adopt a toddler boy from Ethiopia to complete our family. 

About a week ago we got a weekly update on all the waiting children who need homes.  We thought look at all these children, and in an instance what we thought we knew changed.    There were at least two children in between Yordie and Estifanos’s age that were waiting.  We are now seriously considering and talked to our agency about taking an older child about 4.  This does run into difficulties with birth order, but Yordie is our baby and to keep that role in the family would be great for her.  That would put the two boys in the middle, which Estifanos would most likely enjoy more in the long run. 

We are now scurrying to finish paperwork, get CIS approval, and talk to our agency about our options.  It was funny because the other day one of our adoption workers asked about how something made us feel.  I thought in the last 3 years I have had an adoption fall through, changed countries, adopted two older siblings, dealt with grief issues with a five year old who didn’t speak English, dealt with a heart condition with a three year old, found out about another sibling, adopted her, traveled twice to Ethiopia, and raised three amazing kids.  So now we are flexible and ready for another adoption adventure.

Dear Meron,

To my oldest on your 7th Birthday. You have been home 2 years this week. I hope you have a great Birthday weekend. You deserve only the best in this world. I love you so much. You have turned into such a amazing young girl. You excel in everything you do from school, soccer, acting, swimming, and gymnastics. You are a great daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend, cousin, and niece. You teach me new things everyday.

I watched you on your jumper today with all your friends, opening your Hannah Montana and High School Musical presents, and enjoying a beautiful day at the park. I thought of where two years has taken you. On your 5th Birthday we celebrated at The Hilton Hotel in Ethiopia after you had only known us 4 days. Nana just commented to me the other day as we discussed that you were reading at a grade level ahead, “What would have been if she had stayed in Ethiopia?” I just told her I have to think of what is. I am so grateful for your education, friends, and life you have here, although I also grieve with you the loss of your life in Ethiopia.

Two years ago this week you made the hardest journey one can make in their life. You said goodbye to your first mom, to Ethiopia, and traveled on a plane to America where you knew no one and no English two days after your 5th Birthday. You welcomed Dad and I as your new parents. You learned to trust and love us unconditionally. You helped Estifanos adjust and feel secure in his own transition to America. You offered love to Yordie when you were reunited with her after not being together for several months. You remind her of life in Ethiopia, and of your first family. You also look in anticipation at being a big sister yet again when little brother arrives home next year. Thank you for always being flexible as life changes. I can’t wait to watch you grow over the next year.

Love

Mom

The only thing more embarrassing than having your two year old yell during the middle of mass, “I just farted!” is the woman two rows back not hearing her and offering you a diaper after the resulting gas reaches her pew.

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More frequent updates and/or spewing of my view of the world coming in mid-July when I’ll only have one job.

Susan told you a little bit about our trip to Mexico, but she didn’t really go into detail about the best part: the kids are finally contributing members of the family.

 

While the dancers changed outfits between dances, they brought the kids up for some games and our kids kicked butt. Yordie followed her older siblings up onto the stage and totally rocked in the first game they played. She was able to dominate over an eight year old that was twice her size.  What game were they playing? Limbo of course, no back bending even needed for the 2 foot nothing little sprout. For their efforts, all the kids won a coupon for free ice cream, which they redeemed immediately. Later in the evening Estifanos dominated a game of musical chairs earning himself an additional coupon.

 

The next day they won us a ton of candies by busting open a piñata. The events coordinator must have appreciated that they were taking part in all the activities because when he saw them in the pool later he randomly handed each kid another coupon. With four coupons in our possession, I finally had a look at them and noticed that they were good for something other ice cream.  You could also redeem them for a soda or a MARGARITA.

 

Guess what Mom and Dad had with dinner? Yep, they’re finally earning their keep.

 

Don’t worry; we bought them a soda.

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