How Long We Have Been A Family!

Count Down To Nate's 4th Birthday!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dossier is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!

Wow! Our dossier is in Ethiopia! PTL! That was fast!

Sep 25, 2007
12:00 AM
Int'l shipment release

12:00 AM
Held at FedEx location for recipient pickup
Package available for pickup at: HIGHER NO 21

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dossier in Frankfurt!

Here is the current progress of our dossier! It is exciting to see how far it has gotten already!

Sep 23, 2007
4:12 AM
In transit

4:12 AM
Arrived at FedEx location


Sep 22, 2007
5:55 AM
Departed FedEx location

3:42 AM
Arrived at FedEx location

12:21 AM
Departed FedEx location


Sep 21, 2007
9:32 PM
Left origin

4:21 PM
Picked up

10:43 AM
Package data transmitted to FedEx

Friday, September 21, 2007

Our Dossier is off!

We just got the official confirmation that our Dossier is leaving Virginia today for Ethiopia! YEA!! I will keep checking the tracking number and posting the progress! Happy Friday!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

We bought a crib set!

Ok, so yesterday I was online search for crib bedding for our baby. I spent hours looking at many different sites, until I found the perfect one! We didn't plan to buy (we are continuing to guard our hearts), but it was on Ebay, and it was perfect. Crazy enough, the auction was going to end in just a couple hours. Paul & I were both in agreement (which hardly ever happens!) so I waiting until 5 minutes before it ended and won the auction! Yea!

Here is the picture:

Isn't it adorable??? I am so anxious to start painting to get the room ready.

Hope y'all are having a wonderful Saturday!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Complaint Free World

Ok, so I confess, I watch Oprah! Not religiously, but there are a lot of good topics that she covers.

One day in March, Oprah had the pastor of Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, MO. He was promoting a program called A Complaint Free World. Here is an excerpt from the website to tell you how it works:
"How Does it Work?"

Scientists believe it takes 21 days to form a new habit and complaining is habitual for most of us. As Twain said, we must coax our old behavior down the stairs. The bracelet(s) you receive are a powerful tool(s) to remind you of how well you are creating your life with positive intention. Here are the suggested rules:
  1. Begin to wear the bracelet, on either wrist

  2. When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping or criticizing (it’s ok, everyone does) move the bracelet to the other arm and begin again.

  3. If you hear someone else who is wearing a bracelet complain, you may point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you’re going to do this, you must move your bracelet first!

  4. Stay with it. It may take many months but when you reach 21 days you will find that your entire life is happier, more loving, more positive and more abundant.

Because of the popularity, it took us 5 months to receive the bracelet...I promise, I am not complaining! :-) We passed them out last Sunday, and I am so excited! I believe this could be just the start of something wonderful, not just in my own life, but in the life of our church!

To find out how you can get involved, visit A Complaint Free World.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy Ethiopian Millenium!

Tonight (9/11) at midnight, Ethiopian time (2 PM PST), Ethiopia will be celebrating this Millenium. I found it very interesting and thought I would post an article on why Ethiopia is 7 years behind the rest of the world's Millenium celebration. Enjoy!

Why Ethiopia's Millennium is seven years late?
By Elizabeth Blunt
BBC News, Addis Ababa

People in Ethiopia are preparing to celebrate the New Year on 12 September and for them, it will be very special - the start of the year 2000 and the beginning of millennium celebrations.

But the reason why they are celebrating more than seven years after the rest of the world is rooted in Ethiopian history and in the beliefs of its own Christian Orthodox Church.
Educated Ethiopians live comfortably in two calendars.

It is still 1999 here and the month is Pagume when they speak Amharic - September 2007 when they speak English.

The only thing that ever seems to faze them is the complication caused by the leap years in the two calendars being out of sync.

But even if they are quite at home with the Western calendar, Ethiopians show no sign of wanting to abandon their own.

Thirteen months

It is part of their national identity, not to mention allowing their tourist industry to boast that they can offer visitors 13 months of sunshine.

Several major events are planned to celebrate the millennium

The short 13th month is just one of the tell-tale signs that Ethiopians took their calendar from ancient Egypt.

Another is the date of New Year, originally linked to the annual flood which brought new life to the Nile Valley.

But none of this explains why the millennium is seven years late; why Ethiopians think that it is 2000 and not 2007 years since the birth of Christ.

Conservative culture

Ahmed Zakaria, professor of history at Addis Ababa University says the reason is that the Roman Church amended their calculation in 500 AD - adjusting it by seven or eight years.

The Patriarch says Ethiopia became isolated from other countries

"So we are seven or eight years later than the Roman calculation, so that's the difference that came in."

The recalculation of the birth of Christ was just the first of a number of changes in the rest of the world which the Ethiopian church ignored.

It is partly because the country was so remote and isolated, but also, says the current patriarch, Abuna Paulos I, because Ethiopian Christians are intensely conservative.

"People are not inclined for any reformations, especially when it comes to religion.

"They are very much loyal - to change one sentence is a betrayal as far as they are concerned.

"So because of this, they have been isolated. They have been loyal to their faith and they have maintained their own traditions."

And so here in Ethiopia it is still 1999, we're all seven years younger, and on the 12 September, the first of Meskeram, we'll finally join the rest of the world.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

September 9th, 2007 -- Spiritual Pathways: Contemplative

"1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, 'Where is your God?' 4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. 5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and 6 my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God my Rock, 'Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?' 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, 'Where is your God?' 11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."
Psalm 42 NIV

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Look out Starbucks, you have Ethiopia!

Ethiopia is well known for it's coffee, and I can't wait to visit the coffee shop talked about in this article!

Addis Ababa Journal
Along With That Caffeine Rush, a Taste of Seattle

The latest thing in Addis Ababa is this Starbucks knockoff. It is run by Tseday Asrat, who has grown to admire the Seattle coffee chain, and says confidently, “They can’t compete with me.” The cafe is named Kaldi’s for the Ethiopian goat herder who, legend has it, discovered the heady effect of caffeine.

Published: July 22, 2005
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 18 -

It looks like a Starbucks. It smells and tastes like one too. Settle into one of the comfortable Starbucks-like armchairs and it certainly feels like the real thing.

Antonio Fiorente for The New York Times
Even the green aprons for the employees and the round logo are startlingly familiar to anyone who has spent time over a Frappuccino.

But the hottest cafe in the Ethiopian capital is not a Starbucks at all but a knockoff, the creation of a Starbucks devotee who tried to bring the real thing to Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, by many accounts. But she had to settle for a look-alike after the Seattle coffee giant rebuffed her partnership request.
Kaldi's has a Starbucks-like logo and Starbucks-like d├ęcor, and its workers wear Starbucks-like green aprons. At the bar, there are Starbucks-like "short" and "tall" coffee options, although Kaldi's sticks exclusively to Ethiopia's coffee varieties, while the real Starbucks includes Ethiopia's premium beans among many other offerings.

"I've always loved Starbucks, the ambiance of it," said Tseday Asrat, the proprietor of Kaldi's, fessing up to the obvious inspiration behind her year-old business. "So we created our own version of it here."

Kaldi's is by no means the only pretender around here. The latest hotel to go up near the airport is a "Marriot," another knockoff that uses only one "t" but has the exact same typeface in its sign as the J. W. Marriott hotel chain. There is a 7-11 convenience store here, as well, which has no connection to the 7-Elevens on so many corners back in America. The copycats are evidence of the financial success that many Ethiopians are attaining in the United States and of the desire of many of them to invest some of their wealth back home.
Officials at the Starbucks Coffee Company were not thrilled when they learned of the knockoff. "Even where it may seem playful, this type of misappropriation of a company's name (and reputation) is both derivative and dilutive of their trademark rights," a company spokeswoman, Lara Wyss, said in an e-mail message, adding that the company prefers to resolve such conflicts amicably.

The copycat cafe is not exactly cutting into the profits of the real Starbucks, though Kaldi's is popular enough that it will soon open its second cafe. And Ms. Asrat has no fear of competition from the chain, which has watched many rivals sadly hang up "Out of Business" signs.

"They can't compete with me," she said bluntly.

She allowed that a large company like Starbucks could theoretically try to undercut her business with lower prices. But prices here are already quite low. A Kaldi's short Macchiato with a Starbucks-like chocolate muffin costs just 6.50 birr, which is under a dollar and pricey by Ethiopian standards. A similar pick-me-up at a Starbucks in the United States would cost more than five times as much.

When it comes to knowing the ways of Ethiopia's finicky coffee consumers, Ms. Asrat clearly has a leg up on her rival. She points out that Ethiopians do not like to order their coffee from the counter, Starbucks style. She has a counter, compete with a Starbucks-like glass case for her baked goods, but her clients by and large sit down in their Starbucks-like chairs and issue orders to workers.

"Ethiopians like to be treated like a king when they come to a place like this," she explained. "They like to say, 'Waiter, a Macchiato. Waiter, come back, warm this up. Waiter, how about a muffin now?' "

They also expect parking-lot service, something that is not to be found in the business plan of a typical Starbucks. Many Ethiopians, especially young hip ones, enjoy pulling up to a cafe and ordering directly from their car windows. At a rival cafe there was far more car service than actual cafe service on a recent afternoon.

To prove her point about the importance of ample parking, Ms. Asrat motioned toward a cozy but all-but-abandoned cafe across the street from Kaldi's. "They have good coffee but look at them," she said with pity in her voice. "There's no place to park."

Her lot was full, with cars and waiters balancing trays of coffee and pastries. At the new coffee bar that she will open soon, there will be room for 200 cars, she said.

Traditionally, Ethiopians have taken their coffee at home, drinking slowly, with only close friends and family. They roasted the beans on the spot, part of an elaborate coffee ceremony that remains an important part of the culture here but that is not always practical for those on the move.

"Coffee is part of every Ethiopian's life," Ms. Asrat said. "We discuss life over coffee. We talk about our marriages. We have coffee ceremonies that go on and on."

Though she is busily injecting Ethiopian culture with a bit of America, Ms. Asrat has not lived in the United States. But her husband, a pilot for Ethiopian Airlines, has made regular trips there, frequently with her in tow.

She said she did not feel the least bit guilty about her imitation cafe. After all, legend has it that coffee itself originated in Ethiopia long ago when a goat herder named Kaldi noticed his goats prancing around with glee after eating some strange red berries. Yemen, just across the Red Sea, makes its own claim as the birthplace of coffee. Whatever the case may be, one thing is clear: coffee did not originate in Seattle.

Ms. Asrat has the history of Kaldi printed on the wall of her cafe, proudly promoting the Ethiopian roots of her product. But even there Starbucks was the inspiration. Ms. Asrat acknowledges that she knew nothing about the legend of Kaldi until she read about him on the Starbucks Web site.

Did you know...

In Ethiopia...

  • ...One in ten children die before their first birthday
  • ...One in six children die before their fifth birthday
  • ...44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old
  • ...60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition
  • ...The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years
  • ...1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)
  • ...720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone
  • ...Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa
  • ...In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)
  • ...Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)
  • ...Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.
  • ...Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002.
  • ...Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.
  • ...In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.

Just something to think about...

Friday, September 7, 2007

The 4-1-1 on Ethiopia

I thought I would take a few minutes and post some information about the beautiful country we adopting from. The information comes from the AWAA website and other various websites.

Ethiopia is the only African country that was not colonized as various European nations scrambled to divide and rule Africa. With the brief exception of the Italian occupation from 1936-1941, Ethiopia has remained an independent nation.

With a population of nearly 75 million people, there is an assorted collection of food, languages, customs and people groups. Ethiopia also contains a diverse landscape, including parts of the Nile River and the Great Rift Valley. As an East African landlocked country, Ethiopia is bordered by Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti.

Ethiopia, an ancient Christian nation, has deep-rooted Ethiopian Orthodox customs and practices. The Judaic-Christian roots of Ethiopia can be found in both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Today, about half the population of Ethiopia is Christian.

Unfortunately, this country that is about twice the size of Texas has an estimated 4.3 million orphans. The children are primarily orphaned due to poverty, and live in both government-run and privately established orphanages.
Official Name: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

National name: Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik

President: Girma Woldegiorgis (2001)

Prime Minister: Meles Zenawi (1995)

Land area: 432,310 sq mi (1,119,683 sq km); total area: 435,186 sq mi (1,127,127 sq km)

Population (2006 est.): 74,777,981 (growth rate: 2.3%); birth rate: 38.0/1000; infant mortality rate: 93.6/1000; life expectancy: 49.0; density per sq mi: 173

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Addis Ababa, 2,716,200

Monetary unit: Birr

Languages: Amharic, Tigrigna, Orominga, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, English, over 70 others

Ethnicity/race: Oromo 40%, Amhara and Tigrean 32%, Sidamo 9%, Shankella 6%, Somali 6%, Afar 4%, Gurage 2%, other 1%

Religions: Islam 45%–50%, Ethiopian Orthodox 35%–40%, animist 12%, other 3%–8%

Literacy rate: 43% (2003 est.)

Yard Sale Today & Tomorrow -- All proceeds go for Ethiopia Adoption!

Today we continued our Yard Sale that we began earlier this summer. We have done some major Spring Cleaning and have had several people donate items to be sold!

Luckily, my husband thrives on the interaction with the people as they look through our stuff. If he complains, I just remind him who did ALL the paperwork!!! Ha Ha Ha! :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My Chewy Doggy

OK, so maybe I am a little silly, but I can't help it! I wanna share a very special friend with all my blogging buddies.

This is my doggy, Chewy Turkey West. He is a Jack Russell Terrier (JR Terrier = Crazy dog!). He has been a source of laughter and joy through our failed adoption and the transition of our new adoption. It is not by accident that he has joined our family! We can't wait to watch the interaction of our dog and our little boy from Ethiopia! Good night for now!


Hello Friends and Family!

We are so excited to begin this blog to keep y'all up to date on our Ethiopia adoption. Our Dossier had been received by our agency in Virginia. The next step is for our agency to have the Dossier authenticated in Washington D.C. Once this process is done, our Dossier flies (via FedEx) to the other side of the world! We will let y'all know when we know more.

After many months of guarding our hearts, I find myself finally getting excited butterflies in my tummy!

We are trusting the Lord for His perfect timing. Proverbs 3:5-6.
God Bless,