Friday, September 26, 2008

Hair ritual!

Wow! I have found out that it is indeed traditional to SHAVE the women/girls hair after a close loved one (especially mother) passes away!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ella and Hair (the truth comes out)!

As many of you know sweet Ella (age 7) has made it clear that she is HAIR OBSESSED. One day I braided her hair and she was thrilled. She loves hair extensions. We have pretend hair in every color of the rainbow. Everyday she changes her hair three of four times...she also loves to wash it (too much) and place hair care products in her hair. She also has the most beautiful natural ringlets but has always expressed a hatred to the way her hair looks.

So we are sitting in the doctor's office today (the girls have to get their thyroid check). I am reading a magazine. Ella says to me (very matter of fact)." Mom day I would sleep with my mom, the next day she get sick. The next day we all go and live with Grandma. We watch Mom die...yes Mom die. And then Grandma cut off all of our beautiful long hair because my mom die."

I literally had to suck in the tears because Ella was just stating a truth but to me it was the truth revealed. Her hair issues truly are connected to the loss of her mother and she is trying to revive her mother everytime she talks about adding extensions, looking beautiful and wanting to put on a wig...Of course having her hair cut as a result of her mom dying would bring grief and a focus on wanting her long hair back ...thus her mom back. The girls had always told me that they had beautiful long hair when they were little and then one day their grandmother cut their hair. I never questioned WHY...I thought it was just convenience. But their hair was cut as a sign to grieve and mourn their mother. Ella wants to know when her hair will be long again...or when things will be better to the point that the loss and wound would be healed...I just can't help but be sad about it ...still I am happy to know now WHY she loves to try to fix her hair....constantly....

Friday, September 19, 2008

Eureka we sold our house!

It's official. After a long drawn out process, one year on the market, major price reduction, new carpet and many repairs that cost us so much money....we sold the house with a loss. We are very happy though and tonight celebrated with PIZZA and a cool night on our screened in porch. Now I feel like maybe we can commit to the house we are in and finish putting things up on the walls etc.

We also just returned from Myrtle Beach. This time we had a great time with the kids. We had a condo with two bedrooms and a kitchen but had to sit though a 90 minute time share presentation which gave me a major headache. We cooked and the kids had their own bedroom. And there was this amazing kids pool. We only went out to dinner once with the exception of ordering 6 McFlurries one night which cost $19....

We learned more about our kids lives prior to the orphanage. Ella said she used to just fall asleep wherever she was like right next to the goats in the barn or at her friends house and sometimes they would all just sleep in the same bed when she wasn't in the barn. They also told us about milking the cow 3x's a day and watching as the cow gave birth to the calf. And then Grace did a pantomime of putting on gloves to birth the cow. Later Ella told us about the first car ride she had at about the age of 4 or 5 and how she threw up because she got dizzy. Jared eats more food than any child I have ever met. He had 4 slices of meat Pizza tonight and ate 8 chocolate pancakes the other day. He is behaving remarkably well and we have seen very few melt downs with him.

It has been 7 months since our kids have been home and to see the youngest 5 kids interacting is so incredible. They do fight but also when things are going well they laugh together, are affectionate to each other and just gel so well together. We are extremely blessed.

Andrew has started a rock band called Quick (minus the u). Qik (motto is 'we are so cool we don't need 'u')....he has written 3 songs and is having a rehearsal tomorrow. He chose the drummer based on who owns a drum kit. He also had a two handed piano lesson from Mark of SMOKE ON THE WATER in all day and all night this is all I hear on our acoustic piano and then on the electric one. He is ten years old and very business minded. Last night he was really concerned about copyrights. I explained how he could save money and copyright with a compilation....prior to that he asked me..."How can we do a fund raiser to raise money for our songs to be copywritten if they aren't copy written? Maybe someone will steal them...." Mark and I both enjoyed listening to his logic but also looked at each other and said "But Andrew has so much promise academically lets not encourage him too much with the guitar...ha!" In case some of you don't know we are professional musician's and prefer a more mainstream path for our kids...

Anyhow...I gotta go and prep the neighbors for QIK's first rehearsal tomorrow. Andrew asked Mark if he would be the manager...why? because we own equipment and it will save the band money.....

Good night...


Sunday, September 14, 2008 army of kids!

I know it is a little late for me to be figuring this out but man is it great having a lot of kids. This morning our second car had a dead battery. So, I had to stay home from church which first ticked me off. Mark was already there because he goes early for band practice. So, i made chocolate pancakes which were really really yummy...THen all of the kids went outside with me to pick weeds at 9am. The incredible thing was that we had so many weeds(6 garbage bags). But the kids pulled the weeds happily and then cleaned the entire garage. I am now determined to lay out a dozen extra chores like cleaning out the linen closets, pantry....organizing the shoes in the mudroom, organizing the small clothes etc....because this was the greatest thing ever. I have given Grace and Andrew (ages 10) the title of vice presidents of domestic affairs. I also let them pick their team and give me a job report when they were done.."well matea started out helping but then stopped (she is three)." said Andrew. Tomorrow we head off to Myrtle Beach again (pray for peace). This time we have a kitchen and two bedrooms. SO, we are hoping it is smooth. We also are only staying 3 nights and 4 days. And when we get back we will start our cleaning regimine.....Also, we are teaching the kids to pray to Jesus. Ella wants a bible (grace grabbed the kids bible)...but of course Ella can't even read yet but we will find one for her anyhow....and read the children's stories....pray for our house to close this week....blessings,d

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prayer Time!

So every night at dinner we pray for our meal as most christian families would. We used to just ask who wanted to pray. Now it is becoming a competition. You know the videos you have seen (if you haven't traveled there) from the wailing wall where everyone is praying out loud at exactly the same time. Well that is what is happening with our kids. First Matea will start and then Jared will interuppt and Matea will cry while Ella blurts in THANK YOU JESUS FOR MY DOLL overlapping Jared simultaneously speaking in AMHARIC and saying Jesus every other word. THen the 10 year olds start laughing and I start is mass chaos and we are trying to maintain the aspired solemness of the moment. SO, we have started the system where they each go one at a time. And then afterwards they start tattling on who had their eyes open during the prayers. IT IS CRAZY and I am wondering what Jesus is hearing. We have also had to separate Ella and Grace at dinner time because Ella can't sit in her chair and they affectionately bite and pinch eachother while giggling through dinner. Jared thinks he saw Jesus on the plane in the skies when he flew here from Ethiopia. The airplane and heaven is synonomous to him.....Because I am still getting the hang of having so many kids Jared went out with rhinestone lime green flip flops (his sisters). When we showed up at McDonalds I was so embarrassed. I let them have drinks ( I usually get water for them). They have spent hours going back and forth to the free drink bar. Then mixing dr.pepper, sprite and orange soda..Here mommy tastes good....only 19 days to go to track back in....

Free Adoption Seminar!

Providence Baptist in Raleigh is having this amazing adoption seminar on 9/27 from 8-4. It is free. Go to . We will be giving our testimony and providing some music.....please go to register. They are providing lunch too so at least want you to register eventhough it is free.


Not Closing Yet!

For some very unreasonable and inexplicable reasons we are not closing on 9/12 and we do not have a new date. This has nothing to do with us but totally messes us up. Please pray that nothing else gets in the way of our closing by next tuesday or wed by the latest.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pray for our house to close on 9/12!

Things are looking good to close on 9/12 on our old house. WE sold it and I am praying we can have a little money coming back but it looks like we will break even or have to pay 3k. We really can't afford to be spending anything more. We had a list of 23 items to fix which I wasn't happy about...because that meant more money...BUT I also want to say PRAISE GOD. Because we did sell it....if all goes well we will be singing in our concert free from being owners of two pahlease keep praying....

Tracked out ...OHHHH NOOOO!

So we live in NC where this evil thing called year round school has been implemented. My kids have been in school since July6 with the exception of Samantha who just started her senior year in High School...She is on a standard schedule. And the baby Matea just started her 3 morning pre school on the first monday of track out for the other 4. Year round means they go 9 weeks and then three weeks off. The three weeks always come as a surprise. AND MY HOUSE IS INSANE AND MESSY AND I HAVE NO PEACE....There is literally a constant loop and echo of 'mommy mommy mommy mommy..." But i am also having a blast with them. Everyday the kids cannot believe they have 3 weeks off..they say "mom how many days left"...yesterday with coffee in my hand and dread in hearing the number '21' "mom no school today." I say "No honey just 20 more days until school again.." YIKES! Some of you have been reading my blog for awhile and remember when we went to myrtle beach for two days too many. Well we are attempting the visit again. In July we got a call from someone offering a great deal at the marriott for 3 nights and 4 days in a two bedroom condo next week. Of course it didn't dawn on us until last week that it is hurricane season. SO we will hope for good hurricanes and hoping too for understanding condo neighbors when we get there.

Ella is obsessed with fake hair. We have purchased every children's play wigs and comb extensions and I find fake hair (orange, purple, hot pink and yellow) everywhere. I was talking with one of the repair man in our foyer and she walks up and hands me this huge wad of black hair (looks like hers but it is fake)...the guy sort of looked at me and I had to explain. She also found a waterproof red marker that she enjoyed using as lipstick. She wanted to practice kissing the pink basketball she has....

All the kids took chalk to outline the layout of their dream homes on the driveway. Andrew has a weight room, ball park, basketball and viewing room and no kitchen and bathroom...just like a boy. We have what I thought were plants growing taller than me which ends up being weeds (looked like small trees to me)....But Mark and I both expect the other person to go out and pick the weeds. We still have not established who's department that is. We have division of labor for everything else ie he takes out the garbage (actually Andrew does now), I do dishes and grocery shopping....he is the one to take care or talking to any govt office...dmv, irs, insurance...I lose patience and start screaming at them. But I am great with social stuff...parties etc. Still the gardening thing is gray area and so the guy across the street whose yard looks like astro turf and the botanical gardens must love the various nuclear plant weeds and the blue, yellow and pink chalk markings on the driveway along with the inflatable beach ball that floats over to his yard everytime the wind blows....along with the plastic icey packaging that the kids threw on the ground.....Well looks like I can start counting down from '19' days tomorrow...whoo hoo...before I know it school will start again..

Concert for Zimbabwe!

Mark and I are performing this friday 9/12 to raise money for the zimbabwe orphan endeavor. We will be performing at 7pm at the First United Methodist Church in Cary. Admission is will offering only for the charity... or

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jared and his shoes!

So, Jared has been growing. It was his turn to get a new of shoes. So Mark took him to the mall. They went to JC Penney's... He picked out a pair of IRON MAN light up sneakers. When walking in the mall with Mark he pointed to the Victory Secret store and said to Mark "Hey Swim suits!". And then when he came home he proudly showed off his shoes to his siblings who all want light up sneakers. The next day he goes to the bagel store with Mark (this morning) and is so proud to say to the bagel lady "And my daddy bought me two shoes" as if they don't come in pairs. REALLY REALLY FUNNY!


Monday, September 1, 2008

I miss my COW! WAAAA!

So, saturday night it rained and thundered etc. All of the power went out which meant we had a spontaneous slumber party in my room. Prior to that Ella was mad that I made her go into her room because she threw all of the clean laundry (two loads) into a pile with dirty clothes..that is how they cleaned their room..picked up the clean clothes and rather than putting it in the drawers threw it back in the laundry room. So, she was in trouble. Then I hear screaming from their bedroom. I run in and the window is open. Grace had stopped Ella from trying to jump out the 2nd floor to run away. When i opened the door and saw what Ella was doing I put her in a corner and slapped her hands. This upset her and she ran out the front door into the lightning. Mark ran out to get her while Grace started crying telling me that she promised her grandma she would take care of her forever. I told her that Mark would get her. Mark carried Ella (both of them were wet) back into the house. Ella said 'mommy no like me make me go bed early." Again I tried to explain that i love her so much and in families we learn the rules and the parents can discipline. I started to feel regret for slapping her hands. Then Grace said to me "Mom, my grandma and mom would slap Ella's hands too when she run away in Ethiopia." I said "She would run away in Ethiopia?" I thought she was running because of being in America/adopted etc. Apparently Ella is very dramatic and has been doing this since she has been 3. Grace said 'yes she run away to her friend house to watch TV out window. My grandma find her and slap her on hands, butt, face." They both started laughing hysterically as Grace was telling the story. Then lightning cracks and flashes, all the power goes out and Grace becomes inconsolably freaked out in the fetal position under a quilt in my bedroom. After 20 minutes of sobbing and terror she comes out from the it is pitch black with the exception of light from my iphone and andrew's ipod (we don't use flash lights or candles just mac products..ha). When Grace comes out of the covers she starts telling me of a story her mom told her from some kind of Ethiopian Orthodox beliefs of how the demons come out when it is dark and storming because God is not happy and she thought she saw one with black cape and red eyes in her memory. The minute I say the word "JESUS" she is calm and the atmosphere changes in the entire room. Then I continue to pray and say how we are protected etc. All changed. We stayed in the bedroom and that night there were children strewn out all over our room. Around midnight the power came back on..I was asleep by then. Today, Grace was very sad again wanting a picture of her mother..(everyone please please please pray for this to happen...this is really important to them and apparently a point of stress for them). So she is crying and then tells me "I MISS MY COW." I said "Your cow?" She said "MY COW." Tears streaming from her cheeks. And then she says its name was "SHABIRR"(my spelling)...She says "and shabirr black and white and I walk everyday all day with my cow and she give me milk and she have baby." I said "our friends have cows we can go see them." She cries..."I miss my cow..." She had been holding this cow grief in I guess for sometime because after she chatted about it and I did the mom thing saying "i'm sorry honey about your cow" nodding and acting completely understanding..she then finally was her old self and was hungry and came to the kitchen......Who knew a COW could cause so much grief?