Monday, August 29, 2011

One month home!

It's crazy to think Meskie has been home a month already. It's amazing how much has happened in that time. She continues to be really happy, loving, affectionate. Feeling lucky with how well bonding and attachment is going. The melt downs are far and few between now. I think she just feels much more secure. And then the verbal communication has gotten so much better. We had learned some key words in her native language but it still was difficult explaining situations to her. And she didn't know any english. She is understanding (and speaking) more and more english each day.

She's already experienced so much since coming home. And she seems to love every minute of adventure. She's a go-getter and fits right in with her brothers and sister. This is the most cliche-sounding thing, but it really was all meant to be. I know that without a doubt.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ask 5 for 5 - You Can Make A Difference

guest blogger: Sarah Lenssen from Ask5for5
photos courtesy of Cate Turton / Dept. for International Development

First, thanks to Cami for allowing me to post on her blog today! Today, more than 25 bloggers, including this one, are standing with me to Ask 5 for 5 for Africa. Here's why....

I began pursuing a BIG dream two weeks ago. After deciding I could no longer avoid the news about the famine in the horn of Africa, I had that gut feeling that I couldn't sit this one out. I HAD to do something because I could. Something bigger than I could do alone. That's when #Ask5for5 was born.

A malnourished child in an MSF treatment tent in Dolo Ado

Two of my children, Ashen and Bereket, were adopted and are from the region affected by the drought in Ethiopia. They would be two of the statistics if they still lived there. I see my son’s and daughter’s faces in the photos of those suffering in the refugee camps. It could have been him. It could have been her. The thought haunts me.

And moms just like us are watching their children go hungry day after day. I can't imagine what it's like, but I have to –I have to be there to help them, because it could have been my children. These families have lost their livestock, their crops, food prices are inflated at the market if there any food there, and don’t have any more lifelines to tap into. Many are traveling hundreds of miles through parched land in hope of finding help. Many are dying along the way. It is estimated that 29,000 children have died in the last 90 days in the famine in Somalia alone.

Malnourished children, weakened by hunger

But I KNOW we can do something about it. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed, we can rally ourselves and our friends to respond! I set up a fundraiser through See Your Impact. 100% of your gift will go to the relief and development organization World Vision, where it will be combined with government grants to multiply up to 5 times in impact!

You’ll receive updates on just how your funding is being used to help save lives affected by famine in East Africa. I'm amazed at how much we've raised already -- over $7,000 in just four days! We blew through our first 3 goals in just 3 days and are well on our way to $10,000 and beyond!

I need you to help me save lives. It's so so simple; here's what you need to do:
  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter, and join our page to stay updated too!
I'm also looking for 100 bloggers to stand with Ask5for5 to spread the word during Social Media week, September 19th - 23rd. If you're interested, email me,

Extra food for every child under five

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Bright Soul

I can't believe Meskie has already been home a couple weeks. We are settling into life as a family of six. Meskerem is happy. affectionate. loving. She shines just like her sister. Bonding and attachment is going great. We all love her so much. People often ask how the adjustment is going with bringing home an older child. We feel really lucky with how well it's been going. That's not to say there haven't been any behavioral challenges. She's 4 1/2, been through more than we can imagine in her short life, not to mention the language barrier. It's also clear she hadn't experienced many boundaries. I tell people it has been a bit like having a strong-willed toddler in the house. Testing to see how we'll respond. All to be expected.

And it's amazing the difference even two weeks makes. Far fewer tantrums and testing (she's able to communicate and we're able to understand basic needs) and we're falling into a routine. She seems to feel secure. My Ethiopian friends are able to communicate well with her and she understands this is her home, that she will not change homes again, and that we love her very much. She says she is happy here.

As for the far everyone seems to still be in the honeymoon phase. Adoring her. I know it's only a matter of time before sibling rivalry will kick in but for now I'll soak this in.

And as for Etta and Meskie, they are two peas in a pod. Loving life together.