Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Virginia here, 2:30am Ethiopia time and I am wide awake for some reason.. Have been sleeping ok actually, not great, but ok & tonight I think the stuffy nose/sore throat finally got to me. The air here is so dry that I have had a mild bloody nose most days and so dirty that along with the blood is dirt black as night. Besides that, the weather is about perfect, high 70's mid day and chilly at night and the am.. 13 months of sunshine they claim, and I believe it.
This has been such an emotionally exhausting trip for all. Heather, you were right when you said your travel group was important, ours has been amazing. Get ready Erin! The other American families we are traveling with are incredible, and to have them experiencing the same with us is so comforting.
Meeting Musse's (He isn't quite Kai yet) mom on Sunday was simply unexplainable.. All I can really say about it is that she loves him more than I do right now, it was the hardest decision of her life and she knew exactly what she was doing. She is so strong and intelligent and why I was born into privilege in America and she was born into poverty in the forgotten but beautiful land of Ethiopia I will have to ask God, b/c only He knows.. The faith in God that she has is humbling, there is much I could learn from her.
Musse is absolutely beautiful and we are falling more in love every moment we spend with him. Tomorrow am is the goodbye ceremony at the Care Center and we will have him full time from then on - eeeek! We head to the US Embassy after lunch to get his visa.. The visa most Ethiopians would do anything for.. The guide that we had our first few days in country is putting his hope in the lottery system, and you know what, honestly, he would contribute much more to our society than I do, but he will most likely never get the opportunity. He is everything you would want in a friend, neighbor, brother and more. The people here are absolutely beautiful, the kindest and happiest I have ever met.. I just wish for them that their opportunities matched their hearts and hard work.
We went to Ahope today (monday)... The comparison between the care Musse is getting and the conditions at Ahope are in stark contrast. CHSFS is a wealthy organization here (& doing many wonderful things in the community), Ahope is surviving, just like the kids that come to them. Moms, this is where your donations went, I think you would have made the same decision, it was more heartbreaking than anything we have seen.. and it was nothing that money wouldn't solve. Thankfully, the WHO is providing all the ARV's (anti-retro vials) needed to keep their HIV+ status under control and besides some skin conditions, most are healthy and happy and those kids were just beautiful. This organization is doing much with their very little, trying first to keep kids with their families, providing the drug cocktails they need and feeding/clothing/schooling them. They take in the abandoned found by the police, never turning one away (about 75 kids right now).. the women who work here are saints, they must be. And if anyone is looking to sponsor a child or for an organization to give to, please check out AHope..
I'm going to try to go back to sleep now, love to all, sorry so melancholy.. that's why Ben's been posting most of the trip.. I just haven't really been up for it.. This is such a hard journey - thanks to all who have been there for us!
Kiss your kids and your spouses, and then kiss the ground and thank God you are an American. Africa is a wonderful place, everyone needs to come here in their lifetime. The people are hopeful, happy and grateful, but we are abundantly blessed, specifically with opportunities those here will never have.. and me, I often forget that.
Love much, Gin
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Just a quick note to you all to let you know we have arrived here in Addis Ababa safe and sound.
I'm writing from the guest house we are staying at through Wed. night. Then we will move to our agency's guest house on Thursday. The people here are wonderful, so nice and have been excellent hosts.
That's all for now, getting ready for our guide to come pick us up.
Hope to have pictures in the days to come.
Love to you all,
Ben and Virginia
Climb to the top of the charts! Play the word scramble challenge with star power. Play now!
Friday, February 15, 2008
We also got a HUGE update on Kai yesterday! He is just beautiful and looks so happy and healthy. He is up to 12.5 lbs, has great chubby thighs and eyes that draw attention. The report details his day, what he is eating, some milestones, his adjustment and how he interacts with the nannies and other babies in his room. I keep reading it over and over and will probably start highlighting on the plane! :)
We'll try to update asap.. probably no computer access until Thursday/Friday though..
Love to all, and thanks so much to those of you who called to wish us well.. you warmed our hearts!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
What a roller coaster!
Friday, February 8, 2008
We will get confirmation on Monday, and if we can't go in this group then our date would be the 28th, which would mean leaving on the 23rd..worse case scenario.
Malakai - Momma's Comin!
Finally! It's here and we couldn't be more excited.. Well, actually, I will be much more excited to finally meet our little boy!
Our agency contact said we would hear from her later today with our travel date.. so stay tuned! I am trying to ready my heart for an early March date..even though I sooo hope it is Feb 21/28!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Anyway, I thought it was interesting to see where the 2008 candidates stand:
This is my favorite one:
At least I am closer to the Dalai Lama than George W.
Monday, February 4, 2008
We also found out last Friday that a few families who were scheduled to leave over the weekend had their trips delayed due to USCIS (nothing they did or can do) and that the delay could be up to 60 days! Our hearts just break for them and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it all weekend.. They were packed, booked and ready - leaving in 2 days to meet their children and !BAM! nope, no go, back to waiting.. ugh.. Really, this process has made me have to just throw my arms up in the air and say, ok God, whatever, whenever.. I know you've got us covered, just help me endure it.. and then I look at the photo of little Kai on my desk, and I just know he is sooooo worth it.... We are SO close!
Love to all -
Friday, February 1, 2008
8 Things I'm Passionate About:
- Learning new things
- Loving those around me
- Growing Spiritually
- Good Food
- (not passionate yet, but working on it) Exercise
8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:1. Skydive/Ski/Snowboard
2. Live in a big old country house
3. Learn to speak another language
4. Become good at meditating
5. See my children grown and happy
6. Stop biting my nails
7. Travel to Africa (soon!)
8. Adopt at least once more
8 Things I Say Often:
- Umm, ok
- No way!
- I'll be ready in 5 minutes
- I'm hungry/cold/thirsty
- Go to bed (to Norman, when he drives me CRAZY!)
- You're driving me crazy!
- It's trafficky
8 TV Shows I've Recently Watched:
- 1000 Places to See before you Die
- Football (almost over! :)
- The Dog Whisperer
- ummm.. I'm reaching now..
8 Songs I Could Listen To Over and Over (in no particular order and off the top of my head):
- Trouble (Ray LaMontagne)
- John Saw that Number (Neiko Case)
- I Want You to be My Love (Over the Rhine)
- Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve)
- Rainbows in the Dark (Tilly & the Wall)
- Sons and Daughters (The Decemberists)
- Hoops (The Chemical Brothers)
- The Joshua Tree album.. I can't pick just one (U2)
8 Things That Attract Me To My Friends:
- Like to Laugh
- Don't put me in a box
- Love their spouses
8 Things I've Learned (or been reminded of) This Past Year:
- I have the perfect husband for me
- I have to much stuff
- It is ok not know what you want to do with your life.. it's the now that counts
- The path to adoption is hard & long
- Not everyone is as excited about adoption as I am
- Where did last year go?
- People are very generous
- God is so patient with me
8 People I Think Should Do "8":