Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve with the Ethio Crew

Earlier in the evening with Auntie Judy...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lucky Number 7

I have been blessed over my past couple of years of blogging to discover an amazing village who have been gracious enough to share their journeys with me as I travelled mine. And I’ve been even more blessed by virtue of the fact that, as a result of my work work, my work for the CFA Institute, and the aeroplan points generated by both, I’ve been able to spread my wings and meet a great number of these amazing women in person.

Work work takes me often to Calgary where I met the first of my adoption peeps, the amazing Haze. Through Haze, I met Gina. An IAMASLUT convention last May took me to San Francisco where I frolicked with Haze, Porter, Tasha (private) and Suzanne (private). Tash made that trip all the way from Ohio which frankly, I couldn’t even find on a map if my life depended on it. At Afrikadeys in Calgary this past summer, I added Dianne. And now, after a trip down (and to the right) to Washington DC, I’m excited to add Tami to my “in-person adoption peeps” list. We had dinner at Dukem, where my friend Leslie (aka one of the aunties) took this lovely snap of the two of us. Is her hair killer or what? She has agreed that notwithstanding how gorgeous she looks with that hair, she will side with Haze and make sure that Makeda does not get near any straightener until she’s at least 18.

And this list doesn't even include the non-bloggers that the bloggers have introduced me to - big shout out in particular to Marelise, Bridget and Evelyn. Love all you gals - thanks for sharing the ride!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Some Very Merry Christmas News

Hot off the press from my adoption agency:

"Hello Imagine Families!

It seems this is a week of very good news here at Imagine!

As was communicated yesterday, we received our Ontario Ministry License
renewal early this week. We have further received word today that our
NGO license renewal in Ethiopia has been approved!

We are also very excited to inform you that we have been able to
commence the process of referrals once again!

We trust that this news brings you all a sense of relief and joy, as it
did in our office today! We recognize that there may be challenges
ahead. However, there has been much accomplished in these last several
months, and we know that the lives of these children and families, one
by one, will be forever changed!

The Board and staff continue to await the final review and approval
from BDO. The Board does not anticipate there to be any significant
issues that will arise during this process."

5 exclamation marks! We're back in business baby!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Bumpy Start to the Season

Apparently Christmas is to receive no more deference than Halloween.

Our seasonal festivities started this weekend with a Santa Claus breakfast. No sooner had we arrived with our entourage (both grandparents and nanny tessie) than gramma was kind enough to point out what appeared to be a very damp baby bottom. Normally this would not be a problem, but today, with the distraction of extra people and trying to get her in and out of gymnastics before the party started, the diaper bag got left behind. M didn't seem distressed, so I decided we would try and tough it out. Unfortunately, she wasn't sitting still, and it was really hard to pretend I didn't see it the huge wet spot. I felt the inevitable "bad parent" balloon start to float around my head.

I decided to take her up to the craft table to make a reindeer hat. This entails tracing small child hands into an outline that resembles two antlers, cutting them out, and stapling them to a paper headband. This is where things started to fall apart. Firstly, said small child refused to let the headband touch her head, so I couldn't measure it and had to guess at the right length. Another "bad parent" balloon started following me as I guessed wrong and made it too small. Now it had to perch on top of her afro just to stay on. However, that turned out to be irrelevant as, upon finishing, nothing in the world, including 2 goofy grandparents modelling the headgear for her, would entice Makeda to let it come to rest on her curls. And forget the tears - they are no longer necessary. Unlike Halloween, now I get a hand in my face, or perhaps a karate chop, with a loud "No" that causes the "bad parent, child abuser" balloon to attach itself to me as the crowd gathers.

Luckily, at that point, the pancakes arrived, so I put her on my lap and fed her, thereby closing her mouth and hiding the wet spot. The "bad parent" balloons started to float away. Unfortunately, the wet spot started to transfer to my lap, which was uncomfortable and easily observable as I stood up to get more food.

Then Santa arrived. Santa is often a good distraction, but not when you have a small child with a Santaphobia that will not allow her to get closer than 5 feet to even a picture, never mind the up -close-in-person version. She screamed as soon as he made eye contact.

I put her in the chair next to me to put some distance between her and the evil bearded man, and Tessie took over the breakfast feeding. A moment later, a look of alarm came across her face, but that was followed by "good, she was able to get a burp out". Unfortunately, the calm didn't last. Makeda exploded like a volcano, the likes of which we haven't seen since Grampa got caught in the cross-fire in our last night in Addis, when she was still the projectile queen. Not only was that meal on public display, but the "pre-gymnastics" snack and the morning milk followed closely behind. Despite the attempt at a quick cover up (she's a lethal but silent barfer), the rest of the banquet table guests cleared out. We felt we'd made enough of an impression for one day and slinkered out the door, the multitudinous "bad parent" balloons following closely behind...