Friday, June 29, 2007

Here's a tip.


Pass the mustard.
It's MUSTER...the word was used in the military and referred to assembling troops for inspection and such. Look it up. That is what my dad made me do long ago and why I know this. And now I am tortured until I die with people saying it wrong.

Is Dennis babysitting?
This is a new one. My friend Jeanene pointed out to me that no one calls it babysitting when we watch the kids, so why is it when Dad is? No, he's parenting, not babysitting. And since she pointed that out, that bothers me.

3. Emails sent without verifying with Please check with them if it sounds too good to be true, someone is going make money, get something for free, or is gathering info for a science class.

4. People who don't tip well and send food back.

Not a whole lot going on right now, obviously.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


So while I am not loving the wait, I am loving the security of knowing that we are through the courts and that part is done. When I have the wait of that uncertainty that we had to compare to this one, this is a breeze.

I have lots to do with the kids and still getting our Sunday School classrooms ready for our big move to a permanent facility on the 8th, so that really helps.

Did anyone see Oprah today? Sometimes I forget that I don't have to watch cartoons during the day, and today was one of those days where, since we had been inside all day, I kicked the boys out on the porch to play (since our yard is like a jungle right now w/all this rain) and turned the station to Oprah. It was a good one about people who saw injustice and instead of wishing they could do something about it, they did something about it. I especially loved the story about the man from Haiti, Jean-Robert Cadet, who was a child slave, moved to the US as a slave for the same people, and ended up getting a college degree in International Business (I think). They are called Restavecs. They are sold by their families into slavery, with the intent to return them to their families when the "masters" no longer need their services. I love Haiti and I am so glad to see it mentioned. I love Africa, too(especially now!), but Haiti never gets mentioned, while it is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. I loved the whole show anyways, because it highlighted the fact that one person can make a difference. Lots of people don't get that. They think that they have to have Oprah money or be one of those weirdo missionary women who don't shave their legs, or wear skirts with black socks and Birkenstocks, ya know? Really hope I didn't step on any toes, there. Anyways, I forgot where I was going with was just a good show.

UPDATE: I would also just like to say that I am a weirdo missionary woman, myself. Without the black socks and birkenstocks. Sometimes I shave my legs.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

No Tartar this time

Last night I went to Aster's Ethiopian restaurant with my mom and my sister, who is in town visiting. She likes the food, but we can cross it off my mom's list. Not her thing. I tried a couple of other things this time (it was definitely a smarter order), and it was good. As long as I stick to the milder dishes, then I am fine. I'm not much of a spicy foods eater. I can't wait to take Piper there so she can eat something familiar. It is definitely a different food from what we are used to. The coolest thing was that we saw that they have Sesame Street videos in Amharic! How cool! I will definitely get her one from there, if I don't find it in Addis.

I have started daydreaming again, since now I know she is ours. I hardly went into her room or even looked at her picture when we were waiting between court dates, because I was so scared. I was scared not only because rainy season was coming, and if it didn't go right, we were going to have to wait until later this year to get it cleared up, but also because, what if it was an issue that couldn't be cleared up? Thankfully, it's all good, now, but that was a horrible feeling!

I really wish that I could have videotaped Cam when I told him that she was coming home soon. He started jumping up and down and started laughing and saying over and over, "Sissy's coming home!" Then he ran into the kitchen to tell Dad (like he didn't know :)
It was awesome.

By the way, there is a funny blog on the Rooney blog. It is about the non-cuss words we use, especially around kids, when we really feel like letting one out. There are some pretty creative folks out there. It had me laughing. Go visit them and add to the list!

Friday, June 22, 2007


After a day of incredible stress and nervousness, we celebrate Piper Chaltu Elliott coming to Texas in mid July!! We just found out....she is OURS!!!

The sound of crickets....

I am so nervous...Court Date day is almost over there in Ethiopia....tick tock....tick tock...tick tock

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Chancin' this post

My brother says that I am probably a Christian Democrat. I had never heard of such a thing, the term, I mean. I honestly don't think I am. But I'm not sure that I am completely Republican. I certainly lean very far in the conservative direction. However, I am not pleased with either side of the line at all. When it comes to most issues, I am very conservative. Can I be a bleeding heart Conservative or Republican? Honestly, I am not political at all. But these times kind of force you to choose somewhat, or you are just one of those fence straddlers who don't care enough to choose. But it seems we only have 2 choices. I am NOT anti-Bush. But maybe I am not 100% pro Bush either. And if I only get 2 choices, then I go conservative. And I have nothing to back myself up, since I don't know much about politics or care to get into it all, either. I just realized that I don't think that I have a proper representation out there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Can we do something to stop the spread of teenage affluenza?

So I wrote my poo blog and then found this. Way to pout, Rachel. Real proud of myself.

I don't think enough eyes could see this....



Waiting in limbo is just the worst. Yes, I know it's not the worst, but it sure does stink. Like feet. Like a dirty, nasty, colorful, diarrhea diaper. Sorry for the graphics, but I feel like saying something dirty. And since I don't cuss, with the occasional "crap" once in awhile, you'll have to forgive me.

I feel better now. Is it Friday, yet?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Storing our treasures

Had another one of those "Sooo, she'll be black?" comment/questions again. Camden has been taking swim lessons and one of the moms that was friendly enough to speak (those can be some cliquish events), asked me that question. She said it, and it was in that way people do where they kind of trail off because they either know it was a stupid thing to say or they don't know how to use the word "black", you know, if it's ok or not. It really is amazing. The color of someone's skin can really throw people off. They don't know what to say or do. I like to think that it is a step in the right direction when they ask questions, even if they are stupid ones, because then they learn something and maybe don't feel so awkward next time it comes up. Anyhoo, I smiled immediately and reflexively(I think that is a word), because it really is so dumb of a question and said yes. I also immediately followed it with something else, because we would have been just sitting there, awkward, if I had just said yes and that was it. Because she would not have known what to say next. Just makes me chuckle.

So, a week to go until the court date...I am hoping that everything goes well. I am trying to think positively. At least they are 8 hours ahead, so that when I wake up Friday morning, it will have already happened and I won't have to wait until late afternoon to find out.

I am so in love with this child and I know next to nothing about her. I wonder how that happens. Is it empathy as a human being? Can it be a motherly instinct, even though she isn't born of me? And scarier still is, how on earth can I possibly love her more. And I know that I will. Sometimes I morbidly think about the loss of my children and how I would go on. Would I shrivel up and disappear? I really think that I could.

My pastor talked once in a sermon about how some people store their treasures in their children. Not that you shouldn't adore and love your children, but that some people can lose focus on God and their marriage, and maybe use their children as their reason to live. I am sure I am screwing up the message here, but I can see how that would happen. Your lives revolve around your kids, and everything else falls away. I know a few people who do that...not necessarily storing treasures in their kids, but, you know, schedule every moment of their children's lives so that no one has to be home to deal with one another...or parent for that matter. He said that the marriage should always come before the children. That what greater gift to your children than to show them how you come first(well, second to God) to one another. That your love was there before they got there and will be there when they are gone. And that shows them how a marriage is supposed to be. I agree for the most part. I personally think, though, at the younger ages, marriage really has to stand the test, and take backseat some. Not completely, but they demand a lot of attention. That really is toughie. But I digress...I think I probably should watch out for storing my treasures in my children. I could do that easily.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

My boys

So it is about time that I post some pictures of my handsome boys. Cam has decided that he loves golf. On Fridays for the month of June, he is taking a 3-5yr age golf class in the gym at the rec center. He carries his silly Spider Man golf clubs around and wears the visor that he made in school EVERY DAY and for much of the day. He even insists that we watch golf sometimes(not that he really watches it). Too funny. Making contact with the ball (a vital skill in the game) seems to elude him. He is also somewhat ambidextrous and we are having problems with which hand to use. He wants to hold it like a lefty, but swing the direction of a righty. Poor kid.

And Bro "practices" in the corner of the gym with me and helps chase all the kids balls down when they are "driving" the ball. Poor baby's birthday is Sept. 8th, so he is too young to do anything, since lots of stuff goes by the school's system. All of the 3 year old stuff, he could totally do, but can't cause of his age. For swim lessons this year AND next, he can only do the Parent-Tot class...he doesn't need to bounce around the water w/mom holding him...he wants to get in and go! I think having a big brother close in age really helps...he gets stuff way quicker than Cam did.

On the adoption front, Mary sent out a notice recently that there are some changes possibly coming soon from MOWA(Ministry of Women's Affairs) in Ethiopia:

1. Adoptive parent(s) must be between 25-55 years of age.
2. Adoptive parents must be married for at least TWO years.
3. Married or single heterosexual individuals must have 5 biological or adopted children or less in the home.
4. There must be a 2 year age difference between the adopted child and a biological child.
5. Both parents are expected to travel to Ethiopia to pick up their child/ren, unless extenuating circumstances are presented and approved.

These are not set in stone and we do not know when/if these go into place. Dennis was going to stay behind, so that the boys would do better and not have as much a problem adjusting to both of us being gone, AND adjust to a new sister, but if he has to go, then of course, he'll go. Our biggest fear is #4. Piper is 1 year and 3 days younger than Bro. I doubt these will go into effect this soon, and I would think some of us would be grandfathered in or have a grace period, but it is still another worry in the back of my head.

I really wish that I was going this week, but there are some good things that come out of this. Our church has been meeting at the high school for years and it has really been something, as my husband has been setting up and tearing down for years. I am our preschool (0-K)director. We have a new facility and we are to the point that we can start painting our rooms. I have 3 rooms that I have to decorate because we officially "move-in" on July 1st. This was a huge stress when I was leaving this week. At least I can do a better job and concentrate on that for now. It will also help keep me busy. Yesterday we went to a place called Royal Seating in Cameron, who donated TONS of furniture, children's tables, chairs, and bookshelves out of their discontinued stock to our church. It was incredible. They gave us a whole warehouse to choose from...we filled up my car and a UHAUL and could have taken more if we had had room. It was a huge blessing to our church and a tiring great day. Cam also has swim lessons this week and no one will have to worry about taking him to that this week, so that is good.

Friday, June 8, 2007

My baby!

This is a nice gift from Becky Page who is there right now getting her daughter, Kali. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Becky! I see hair!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I'm sorry, you can't go to America...

I was reading Becky Page's blog and there is some bad news for some kids who were going to Bright Futures Camp. They don't get to come unless someone is willing to host them. I copied and pasted what she wrote:

This is a plea from Ethiopia to check out the kids still needing a host family for the Bright Futures Camp!! Go to the Gladney home page and click on the link for the camp to bring up the photos and information on the children still needing host families. We talked with Ryan yesterday about these kids. He now has the unpleasant task of telling these kids that they won't be coming to America this year. He said that they will be disappointed, but know that they can try again next year ... except for the 16 year old boy. He and his two sisters are the first picture shown. Ryan said that this boy is amazing, that he is so gentle and works so hard, just a great kid. Unfortunately, if he is not adopted this year, his time will run out as he soon turns 17. PLEASE if you know anyone who would be interested in hosting this sibling group of 3, please ask them to contact Gladney immediately. Gladney's hope is that the host family is also interested in adopting the children they are hosting, but if all you can do is host and help to find them a family, that works too!! Of course, all of these kids need host families, but this group especially.

This makes me so sad. They are supposed to come from July 1-15. Gotta figure out somethin...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Tartar means RAW

Last night we went to THE Ethiopian restaurant in Austin. It is called Aster's Ethiopian Restaurant. We also brought our boys. NOT a great place to take children, unless they are worldly in their culinary tastes. Doro Wat- spicy chicken-on-the-bone sauce-stew thing. Could have been good, but tongue lost all ability to taste after the spice in that thing...also has a hardboiled egg in it. Vegetable Aliche and Yataklete Kilkil - like a vegetarian stew and pretty good. Dennis ordered Kitfo-that would be Ethiopian steak tartar....he did not see the "tartar" part.. yeah, raw hamburger meat.. he took a teeny taste and set it aside. We also had something that was like beef in beef stew that was really good. The injera is the texture of a thin pancake or crepe, but sourdough-ish in was ok with something, but not great by itself....I have low bread standards, though, so it was good to me. There were a few other sides, a lentil mashed thing that was not good and some kind of greens, and we don't do greens unless it is broccoli covered w/cheese or dipped in ranch :) I would go back, but the rest of my family was happy to say "Thanks for playin'!"

Just got an email from Becky Page and they are in Ethiopia and have Kali! She is 3 years old and from the private orphanage that Piper is in. I am so happy that they are there. I think that Kali has been there for awhile, longer than my Peeps, so I am happy for them. It feels a little bittersweet, but that is just the green eyed monster in me. I am calling in all favors to those going and there to get my little girl a hug and maybe a picture, too! You have no shame when it comes to your kids...I am not afraid to beg!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I think the clock needs batteries...

Well, last night Dennis and I ate too much Mexican food and had a margarita. Then a good cry. Our little pity party lasted awhile, but I feel a little better today. I still dread the wait...once you get that referral, time seems to creep. And now it just seems to have stopped.

All those what if's really terrify me. And then I was thinking about the court closures, so this really can't get postponed any more. Then the longer she sits there, the more vacant she looks(you know, that vacant stare that they talked about in There's No You Without Me), the bigger risk for illness she has, the longer she has to go without a family. And then I'm sure they'll shave her head again....I know that that is not a big deal, but I want to complain right now.

And now I have to explain to my boys that Sissy is not coming as soon as we thought and that she really is coming, but later. They are going to think she's a figment of our imaginations! This is hard for a control freak. I think we deserve a new picture of her.

Ok...done now. What a road. A little easier to say than feel, but thank you God for this opportunity and whatever your plan is, I'm on board.

Monday, June 4, 2007


It is a sad day here. Piper's court date to become officially ours did not go well. The courts are requesting additional info regarding her father. They need documentation from the county or city where she is from that states that the dad is M.I.A. It has to be formatted just right and certain signatures on it, so I really hope that it can get done easily and quickly. They rescheduled for June 22nd. This means that we don't travel until mid July sometime. THAT IS FOREVER AWAY.

I don't think that it has hit me, really, yet. I am so sad that she has to sit in a stinkin' orphanage, be it a wonderful one or not, for longer. There are so many "what if's" now. What if they don't get the documentation done right? What if they can't get it done in time? What if they won't write the documentation? What if the jerk shows up? What if it gets postponed, again? CRAP! I'm worried.

I know this is just one of the gazillion risks and how these things roll sometimes. And I know it can all work out fine. Or not.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

More travel

I suppose we are going to have to leave on Monday the 11th. I don't want to have to sweat that transit visa, so we need to go Ethiopian Air. I will confirm w/the agent tomorrow( which is our court date!). Amy Bottomly mentioned that they got Silas early, so if that is the case, then awesome! And maybe I can run into Becky Page while I am there, then, too. That would be nice.

I have met some incredible people online through this blog and it has really made this whole experience easier, more fun, and more bearable.

For those in the beginning and middle, keep up your blogging, because it really helps you feel connected to Ethiopia and eventually, to your child/children. Especially when you get to see people blogging while they are there in the same place your child or children is/are!

Saturday, June 2, 2007


We are looking into flights and hotels....

Looks like we will have to leave Tues, the 12th in order to get there the evening of the 13th(we have to be there by the 14th a.m.). This is if we go with Lufthansa/United instead of Ethiopia Air(in which case, we have to leave on Monday! Uh-uh) Then I would miss another day with my family, stay the night at Dulles, and still not see Piper until the 14th, so nope! And we don't get back until Saturday, the 23rd. That is a total of 11 days. You lose about 4 in travel....from Texas, anyway. As for hotels, I think that both the Sheraton(darn) and the Hilton are booked. Waiting to see what is after that...our digs may be more Ethiopian style, rather than Western style. We'll see.

If this is the case, then we leave in a week and a half! I can feel my nerves already!

Sweet Mary at Gladney let me email her a picture of us so that they can show it to Piper regularly. That makes me feel better.

I still need to go over all of the forms/paperwork that I need to bring. I guess I will do that Monday.

She's coming soon!