Thursday, July 31, 2008

The duo is together again....

I'm not sure we've ever separated the girls for a few days like this, except for when G's been in the hospital. Even then A could go visit.

Wood and A just got home, toting a pizza. A was more excited to see G, then me, actually. She told me that "this should be G's special day". I asked her why. She said "because she came back".

There's no place like home.....

I'm exhausted - G is doing very well. She's already logged her new Ty beanie baby pink pet cat onto the internet and is playing happily.

I, meanwhile, am about 3 hrs overdue on having my salary budget done for the next few weeks for work. And I'm NOT happy to discover that they've eliminated home access to some of the reports and functions that I need. I just cannot fathom going into work tonight to get it done - I've been gone for 4 days and I know I will get sucked into all sorts of things - I have about 40 people who report to me, and the chances that no one has had a major crisis, issue or something that requires my immediate attention is slim to none.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Didn't quite make it...

We are just short of the Wisconsin/Upper Peninsula border. We stopped for the night, even though we are only a few hours away from home at this point. Once we cross over into the UP, we no longer have many choices until we get home. G is doing great, but was having difficulty being in the carseat up against her stitches. In the morning, we'll only have a few hours to go.

Edit: A is having a hard time with G and I being gone. She had trouble falling asleep last night, and Wood eventually went into her room, and laid down on G's bed. He heard a rustling under the pillow. When he looked, A had drawn a picture of her and G, holding hands, and put it under G's pillow waiting for her return. While we were in Milwaukee, G insisted on buying a present for her little sister. Tonight, they talked on the phone. G told A about her stitches. Not to be outdone, A told G all about her new "papercut". They commiserated together - it was cute.

G is now in a fair amount of pain - we went out to the pharmacy to get her two new meds filled (if you are counting, this makes 9 prescriptions that she is on - all at the same time). It took them forever to fill them, and G got shaky and felt very unwell. I have no idea how single mothers do it - all I can think is how I really could have used Wood around for the past few days.
In case you haven't guessed, not a single dr out of the many we saw while at Children's agreed with our ped at home about the so-called eczema fiasco. None of them even considered it - one even rolled her eyes when I related it. At this point, however, I'd happily deal with eczema.

I was thinking tonight about the many posts on the forum when prospective adoptive parents on the forum are contemplating the medical checklist, and what they are "open" to. There just are no guarantees - no matter what you list, you may end up with something completely unexpected. That's just part of being a parent, adoptive or otherwise.

When we accepted A's referral, she was an extremely malnourished child, who wasn't walking independently at age 18 months, didn't talk or express herself and had multiple opportunistic infections indicating a poorly functioning immune system as well as the malnutrition. She is now the healthiest child I have ever seen in my life. She never gets sick, willingly eats an incredibly balanced and healthy diet and is the picture of health. Meanwhile, her older sister, who was an incredibly healthy infant and toddler, had every advantage, was breastfed until age 14 months, never had even an ear infection - got sick around the time her sister came home from Ethiopia and has incredibly fragile health ever since. Crazy - you just never know.

To head home or not?

G had a biopsy today, and has an incision and stitches on her back. I'm unsure if we should try to head home or not. She's got some swelling in the area, and if we leave she'll be in her carseat for the next 6.5 hours. The local anesthetic is wearing off, so I'll see how she's feeling when it's worn off. The dr did give us some pain meds, but I'm not sure I want to use anything stronger than Tylenol with her in the backseat and me not being able to check on her. The anesthetic also contained a blood vessel constrictor, so when that wears off, the dr said it may started bleeding or oozing. Boy, I'd really just like to be home with her right now. 7 to 10 days for biopsy results. I'm thinking that's just the standard medical reply - no matter what you have done, it's always 7-10 days.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Here in Milwaukee....

Made it here, however, the hospital accomodations program couldn't find a single place for us to stay. Ronald McDonald house was completely full, and so it seems are every local hotel is completely booked. Apparently Milwaukee is a hot spot during the summer.

The hospital took much longer than expected, and very unexpectedly, we have to go back tomorrow. Things are never simple with G - Dani, you were exactly right on that one.

At the last minute, the hospital found us a place to stay at Kathy's House, which is a hospitality house similar to Ronald McDonald house, only not just for kids. It's very nice. We have a nice room, and there is plenty of space to move around in the shared commons area - a full kitchen, living room, outdoor play area, and game room with puzzles and board games. What a blessing, because late this afternoon I was envisioning us sleeping in our car. Really.

I'll post tomorrow, when there's more to tell.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Off to Children's Hospital

Children's had a cancellation for tomorrow with G's dr. G is still reacting to something, possible her new (and effective!) meds. Wood, having just started a new job, has no time off. G and I will head off in the AM, Milwaukee bound.

I don't relish the thought of making such a long trip by myself. Actually, I'm incredibly nervous. Hopefully, we'll get some good answers. And it's good to get our visit done before the snow flies - it's a horrible trip to make in the winter with all our snow.

A will be staying home with Daddy - Wood thinks it would be best if she had her normal routine, and I didn't have the added responsibility of trying to keep up with her at the hospital, especially during tests.

Edit: We are currently waitlisted for a spot at the Ronald McDonald House - so we are traveling without actually having a place to stay - the other accomodations that the hospital uses are all full. Not making me feel much better about the trip, but I'm hoping it will work out.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How the bike riding went...

G did great - she is riding just fine, but has trouble still starting the bike and needs a tiny push. We'll practice more today and I think she'll get it fine :)

Miss A was another story. We bought her a new bike a few days ago, so she wouldn't be left out of all the fun. She had previously been riding a big wheel type vehicle. She was excited about her new bike. She was looking forward to riding it, and understood that we were taking G's training wheels off today....or so we thought.

The event pushed all her "buttons". First of all, both Wood and I were paying almost exclusive attention to G. That triggered all her insecurities. We were both on either side of G, so A was left to ride her bike (which had training wheels) herself. We explained how G needed us because she had no training wheels to hold her up, but all A saw was that we obviously loved G more and she was all alone. Although this issue has gotten substantially better since our first year as a family, I realized how much we still manipulate situations to ensure that this never happens. And that really isn't fair to G. Sometimes, the attention DOES go all to one child - that's life. Sometimes it will be her, sometimes it will be a sibling - it depends on their needs.

So A stopped riding her bike, and began to pout and sulk. Which really irritated Wood and me, and we became short with her. Which only made the situation worse. She started tipping her bike on purpose or riding it into things, just to get attention. And crying. And bringing up every injustice that she could think of, involving either us or her schoolmates. Finally, I took her off her bike, put it back into the car, and told her that until she could behave, she couldn't ride. How's that for compassionate? G always get the short end of the stick because she can "handle it", but this time, it WAS about G.

So now I'm guilt ridden and feel like just a terrible mother. I was trying to rationalize with a 4 year old about the times when we spent time exclusively with her, and this was G's turn. But it was all about emotions and feelings for her, not about reason. And I really dealt with it with MY emotion, and not very effectively.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The training wheels come off....

Today is the day we are planning to take G's training wheels off her bike. Last year, we lived in a neighborhood with no sidewalks, and our house was up an incredibly large hill with a steep, steep driveway. Almost all the driveway was steep, so the kids really didn't ride bikes even on the top part. So she only rode a few times last year. This year, she has been on her bike (with traning wheels) every day that the weather is good.

G is building up her endurance. For the past two years, she couldn't run across the playground without getting winded. She had to take "rests" frequently while playing. We had to use her inhaler EVERY time she engaged in physical activity. Now, she is yelling at us to "hurry up!" and leaving us behind. She doesn't get tired. It brings such joy to my heart.

After previously helping two kids learn to ride without training wheels, I'm convinced that the "run next to them technique" doesn't work well (at least for my kids). The child isn't doing the balancing, because you are holding the seat. You have to have them going fast enough to keep from falling when you let them go, that my kids were always too scared to learn well.

Here's what we did for the last one:
-Use a bike that they can sit on the seat with both feet firmly on the ground.

- Take off the pedals of the bike. Easily done with an adjustable wrench.

- Let them spend some time learning to coast. They just "walk" the bike and coast or push off with both feet. This helps them get the balance part down, which they never learn on training wheels.

- After they have this fairly well, put the pedals back on. Have them start by pushing off with their feet, doing the coasting thing again.

- As they are coasting, have them put their feet on the pedals WITHOUT LOOKING (important, or they will fall).

- Voila, they are riding. Takes an hour or less. And it saves my back considerably! Wood and I are older parents - this is not to be easily dismissed. If you are 10 or 15 years younger, your back can probably take bending over a tiny 16" bicycle and running. If not, try it my way instead! :)

I did this about 13 years ago with my son. Now, it seems like they actually teach this way in NYC in classes on how to ride a two wheeler. I could have marketed it, and been rich!

If you are interested, here is a PDF from the NYC Bicycle Education program on how-to:
http://www.bikenewyork.org/education/classes/images/bny_learn_to_ride.pdf

And here is a youtube video from the same program, if you are a visual person:

http://nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/video/

Then select "Teach your child to ride".

Note, the stores are currently selling coasting bikes with no pedals for this purpose.
They are terribly expensive :

http://www.upsideover.com/LIKEaBIKE-Kids-Midi-Bike-p/lkb-midi.htm - $355

http://www.gliderrider.com/ $149

http://www.builditplayit.com/html/mini_glider_balance_bike.html $99

http://www.toystoreexpress.com/chbabi.html $259

You can never put pedals on these bikes. They only have a single purpose - to teach your child to balance on a two wheeled bicycle.

You can buy a wrench for a few dollars, and take the pedals off yourself and achieve the exact same thing. NOTE: if your child has a scooter and rides it well, they probably already have the balance thing down fairly well, and you may be able to skip the no pedal stage.

We just recently got Miss A a two wheel bike - she has been riding something similar to a big wheel since she outgrew her tricycle. Given how athletic, fearless, and physical she is, we expected to take her training wheels today at the same time. She is actually somewhat timid and scared of falling off the bike, even with training wheels. Definitely not ready yet. This is the child who has absolutely no fear of falling from incredibly high places on the playground (hangs upside down from TALL monkey bars), but seems fearful of falling off a 16" bicycle.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Handling racism at work...

I'm the store manager for a large retail store. I'm frequently out on the sales floor, talking with customers, making sure we are providing great customer service, taking care of problems. Right before I left the other night, I was having the most pleasant conversation with an elderly gentleman customer. Initially, we were talking about the features and benefits of different socks (ok, I never said I had a facinating job....). He asked me how long I had been the manager at the store - he had known one of the previous managers, who had since been retired for about 14 years. . I told him 2 years. He asked where I was from. I replied "Detroit". This seemingly lovely man proceeded to comment on how I must be glad to be out of Detroit, with all the "blacks" there. How the blacks have run everyone else out of the city.

I replied, no actually, the thing I miss most about living in Detroit is the diversity. Oh, sure, he replies, diversity is good, but isn't it good to be away from the blacks especially? Now even the blacks are leaving the city, moving to previously good areas because even they don't want to be with other blacks (Huh???) Blah, blah, blah. He totally expected me to agree with him, he'd stop and say "you know what I mean?"

Can we go back to discussing the socks?????

Ok, going to relay on the forum standby......
"uh, no, actually I don't - why do you say that?"

Ok, that was a complete flop. Because now he's going to explain the problems with the "blacks" in detail. Mental note - NEVER "ask why do you say that?" because THEY WILL TELL YOU!

At this point, one of my associates has caught the about half of the conversation, and is completely frozen in place, for once I'm not the one with my jaw hanging open - literally, his was. Probably because he can see the steam coming out of my ears.

Thoughts racing......I can probably get fired for going off on this guy...can I kick him out of my store??? .but it IS my obligation to keep my workplace free of harrassment of any sort, including associates, vendors, customers, etc.

"I'm sorry, but I really don't feel that way at all. And furthermore, our company, "big retail", is committed to diversity of it's customers, associates and management and we won't tolerate those kind of comments in our workplace I can have ____ associate here ring up your socks, but I won't continue this conversation with you and ask that you refrain from these kinds of comments in the future."

Isn't it sad that I'm getting better at this?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to you......!!

B is now 19 years old. I don't know how they grow so fast. When they are small, at times the days seem endless. You are sure certain stages will never end - sleep issues, tantrums, nursing, whatever. But if you look at your life as a timeline, the issue at hand is always just a small blip on the entire timeline. And you wonder why you let the time slip away so fast, without really living in the moment.

The days are long, but the years are so short. Make the most of the time you have, everyday.

B is an incredibly mature, responsible young man. During this health crisis with his father, even as upset as he was, I was amazed that he could think ahead and be rational about his father's health and help to ensure that all the details got taken care of . He is a natural peacemaker. In high school, he easily made friends among all the diverse "groups" or cliches, that normally stay seperate. He easily fit in with the athletes, as he did with the chess club, the studious academic kids and others. Much to our amazement, he was mentioned in both of the valedictorians speeches at commencement. He has a unique ability to see beyond stereotypes and truely pick his friends for their character, not any superficial qualities - which can be incredibly hard in High school. And he has the courage of his convictions to do the right thing, and not give in to peer pressure.

Happy birthday, B. We love you so much and are very proud of you!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sobering statistics on Ethiopian children....

In Ethiopia, one in ten children will die in infancy, and nearly double that number will die by their fifth birthday due to tetanus,infections or diarrhea. At present, 13.2% of children in Ethiopia-–3.8million–-are orphaned. International adoption touches only a tinyfraction of these orphans; in 2006, only 731 Ethiopian orphans wereadopted by American parents.

Wood and I watched a CNN special a short while ago called "The Survivorship project - One Child at a time". It focused on the needs of children in several countries, including Ethiopia. The large number of children who do not make it to their 5th birthday in Ethiopia is shocking. Access to clean drinking water is a tremendous issue - most children in Ethiopia do not have access to clean drinkable water - a basic need for survival. The CNN program showed how only $5,000 could install a water system for a village of several hundred people. Child mortality dropped dramatically just from having this need fulfilled. We were amazed at how little is costs. $5,000 really is such a small amount of money. We easily raised almost $700 for the Walk for Water with very little effort on our part. How much could we do if we organized and really put some effort into this?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hair night

A's hair is suddenly not staying in a style more than a week or so. The last set of small twists I left in a bit over 2 weeks, but they looked horribly fuzzy the last week, and I had a very hard time getting them out - they were beginning to loc.

After I took the twists out, I wanted someting that would last, and I put a few dozen braids in her hair. It's only been a week, and they were just a mess of frizz. I'm thinking it a) could be the humidity, or 2) she has broken hair or new hair growth that is just falling out of the style.
So I took out the tiny braids while she was playing in the tub tonight after work and put it in a quick style. She loves it - she says she looks like a ballerina!

What gorgeous thick, curly hair!


Our new ballerina look!!

Daddy says she looks like Princess Leia from Star Wars...

Zig zag parts because I've really been overusing the middle part in the front and in the back.

Update on M's and B's dad - he is continuing to recover at an extremely rapid rate. They are anticipating a fully recovery at this point. What wonderful news!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

improving

Further surgery yesterday went well - they fused the cervical vertibrae together to stabilize the spine. Massive doses of steriods have reduced the swelling that was pushing on the spinal cord. He is steadily regaining feeling and movement. What a blessing. Although the amount of recovery is yet to be seen, everyone is much more encouraged than they were just 24 hours ago.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bad news....

My ex-husband and my older son and daughter's dad, has been seriously injured following a bicycle accident. He has a spinal injury and can't move his arms or legs. He will be in surgery tomorrow morning at Stanford Hospital in California to stabilize his fractured vertebrae and hopefully to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord. He has regained some sensation in his legs late today (incredible pain), but still is unable to move. We have been told that the pain is actually a good sign.

We are praying that he heals from this devastating injury, for his family, and for my children to have the strength to get through this with him.

We are having visitors!

We don't often get people who come visit us. Last summer, an family we know in the Ann Arbor area downstate and their 4 children - including 1 adopted from Ethiopia, Tesfaynesh, came up and we had a great time going out for dinner and having a fantastic playdate.

A family that stayed accross the hall at the dorms during the Mehaber will be camping about 40 miles from us. We're all going out for pizza tonight. My girls got along great with their two boys, Bereket and Eshetu. Happy, Happy, joy, joy!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Names, part II

A few days ago, I posted about names on our family, including Miss A's and why we retained her Ethiopian name.

Here are some posts on the subject, from a Transracial adoptee:

http://harlowmonkey.typepad.com/harlows_monkey/2006/05/the_name_game.html
http://harlowmonkey.typepad.com/harlows_monkey/2006/05/the_name_game_p_1.html
http://harlowmonkey.typepad.com/harlows_monkey/2006/05/the_name_game_p.html

Thought provoking. Once point that I hadn't really considered was this point:

"If you believe that keeping an ethnic name will target the child for teasing and harassment, I would wonder what kind of community this child will be coming into; and what would prevent those kids from teasing and harrassing the child because of his/her ethnicity anyway. You will not, I repeat, not be able to prevent kids at school from teasing and harrassing your child because of their transracial and international adoptive status; nor will you be able to prevent others in the community from saying or thinking racist thoughts".

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I hate dr's - part II

Arrrghh! G's skin looks terrrible. Every day, it's abotu 50% worse than the day before. I've never seen anything like this. Miss A has eczema, but it looks nothing like this (BTW, the dr feels this is eczema from his, oh, 3 second look). Now she has areas on her trunk that don't even have bumps - they are just red. And they seem to follow her lower rib cage - more like a line, than a blotch. I'd honestly think shingles except she's never had the chicken pox.

Wood called the dr on call yesterday evening. The dr told us to use more steriod cream. Wood said "even over such a great percentage of her total skin area?" Dr said "it won't hurt her at all". We live in an area where NO ONE asks their doctor's questions. The only feedback people up here give their physician is "yes doctor, no doctor". I'm not kidding. They think I'm a royal pain the neck and get irritated that I expect sound,medical info, not just here, take these scripts and see me in a week. This is probably the last place in the nation where the Doctor as God complex is alive and well.

We are getting ourselves to a dermatologist pronto. I refuse to coat the majority of my daughter's skin with a high percentage steriod cream. Oh, and the dr last night, when Wood asked if the steriod creams were safe, given that she is on high dose inhaled steriods, he told us that NONE of the inhaled steriods get into the body, except the lungs. Then why does using high dose, inhaled steriods slow the growth velocity of children if it never gets anywhere but the lungs?(this has been proven, and it mentioned prominently in the package inserts that come with her meds).

Friday, July 11, 2008

Names....

We have had different reasons for naming each of our children, some more profound than others. As someone who goes by a nickname derived from my legal name (which is a name that no one under 65 or so would have), I didn't want any of my children to have names that would lead to a nickname of any sort.

With my oldest, I "knew" from even before I was married, that I would name her M. Angelica. It fits her perfectly and she's always loved it.

My second born - I had a very difficult, high risk pregnancy, going into labor for the first time at only 19 weeks gestation. My dedicated OB spent hours and hours and hours with me, always being honest about the difficulties before us, but remained calm and positive and reassuring. He'd come to the hospital for me, even when he wasn't on call. My healthy, near term miracle son was named after him, B. David (my ob's last name was Davidson).

G was the first child we really debated or considered more than one name. If she was a boy, she would have been Noah Thomas. For a girl, we like G, Emma Jean, and Amelia Jean (Jean is my middle name, and my grandmother's name. About a week before she was born, a baby born on a very popular sitcom was named Emma. Wood and I looked at each other and simultaneously said "ok, not Emma". We decided on G, and gave her Wood's mother's middle name of Catherine.

All during our adoption process, we just really didn't think a lot about names - we were so consumed with the process itself. Miss A was a waiting child, and we requested her info immediately after turning in our dossier. After looking at her picture for a few days, we couldn't possible think of her as anything else other than A.

A is a name that, while unisex, is usually given to firtborn boys in Ethiopia. It means "Gift to God", in the way you would tithe, give your first fruits, the best of the best, back to God. In A's case, there was a tragedy in her family just a few days prior to A's birth. Knowing that there could never be a boy in the family, her mother gave her the name A. I'm amazed at the faith of this woman - her world had just collapsed, yet she looked to God to give thanks for her blessing, and gave honor and praise to the Lord. A was all that she had in the world - and was dedicated to God.

Ayele, her middle name, was her father's first name (Ethiopian tradition). Ayele means "from who (God) who gives me strength or power". So her name together means "our gift to God, who is the source of my strength and power.

Wood and I just realized the other day that all of our children have 5 letter names. And none really have a shortened form, or nickname that would be associated with them, other than a pet family nickname.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I hate doctors

About a month ago, G broke out in bumps all over her elbows. It was the weekend, and fearing it would get worse (it always does, it seems), Wood took her to the walk in clinic. The dr there said that "this type" of skin condition occurs frequently in kids with asthma. He prescribed a topical steriod. The steriod did seem to make it better, but it never went away. This week, it started spreading out from her elbows. Then yesterday, they appeared on her face, and all along the back on one ear.

Today I take her in to our local doctor. I'm thinking a reaction maybe from one of her new meds, or sunscreen even. The dr takes a 3 second looks and declares the face/elbows to be reactive eczema and behind the ear to be sebborheic dermatitis that he thinks may be infected. Did I mention it doesn't itch?

He writes us three scripts - one steriod for the face, one stronger steriod for the body, and an antibiotic for the infection. I again ask if it could possibly be due to one of her meds? He says typically they don't cause skin reactions like this. Then I say I'm concerned about the amount of medications that she's on. With these latest 3, that will be 7. Yes, 7 prescriptions, 3 of them steriods, for a 37 pound barely 6 year old. He shrugs and says "sometimes it takes a lot to keep symptoms at bay". That's it, he's done talking about it.

You are telling me that my child, who has never had even an inkling of any sort of skin problem suddenly developed BOTH eczema and severe sebborheic dermatitis (in one isolated location) in the same week? And she needs to be on 7 prescriptions?

We've seen such good results from her latest drug change, but it has to be too much for her little body. I'VE NEVER BEEN ON 7 DRUGS AT THE SAME TIME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! Am I the only one who thinks nobody is looking at the big picture???

What happened to summer??

It's currently 54 degrees this morning. The only one happy about this is Miss A, who excitedly asked if we would be getting snow soon.

Hopefully, we can refrain from bringing out the snowpants for at least another 6 weeks.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

A great time was had by all!

Waiting for the fireworks to begin

The girls found one of their school friends!

The awe and amazement!

With my big sister

Patriotic red, white, and blue!

Waiting for the parade



Friday, July 4, 2008

What's to love about Ethiopia?

I've found that many people I encounter have an entirely negative view of Ethiopia. They are amazed when I describe Addis Ababa, city of 4 million. Did you know that there are more than 120 international missions and embassies in Addis-Ababa? The headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa can also both be found in the city.

Want to see more?





Thursday, July 3, 2008

Relinquishment and Anniversary reactions

Yesterday was the day, several years ago, that A entered the care of CHSFS at their Hossanna center. So far, this is the first time we've not experienced a significant anniversary reaction. But I still fully expect it. The sudden onset of crying bouts, sadness, anger, melancholy or inappropriate acting out during these times sometimes mystify parents. I know A doesn't consciously acknowledge the reason. But she subconsciously knows it. She lived it.

Adoption for children isn't a concept to be learned, a theory to be understood or an idea to be developed. It is a real experience about which they have had and are having recurring and conflicting feelings, all of which are legitimate. These feelings are their response to the most devastating experience they are ever likely to have: the loss of their mother.

While adoptive parents may refer to the child as "chosen" and to themselves as the "real" parents, the child has had an experience of another mother to whom they were once attached and from whom they are now separated which can never be completely ignored.

I repeatedly hear potential adoptive parents express that raising and adopted child is the exact same as raising one's biological child. At one level, this is true - we love them as much as any biological child.

However, I think all potential adoptive parents should be told that their future child will have suffered a trauma that will impact, at some level, every aspect of their relationship with them. Adoption is a lifelong process. It is hard to hear, I know. It is difficult to accept something which we can't basically change. And we can't eliminate the trauma and pain of separation from the first family. But we can help though by understanding their suffering, acknowledging feelings and providing ways in which to work through that pain. Acknowledging and working through anniversary reactions is part of that process.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Famine in Ethiopia

The drought this year combined with rising food prices has considerably worsened malnutrition in Ethiopia.
Doctors without Borders and the UN are increasing their aid to Ethiopia during this crisis.

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/06/ethiopia_in_food_crisis_once_m.html

One of the areas hardest hit is the area that A is from, the Kembatta Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNP). Shashemene, where much of the reporting and heartbreaking photos (including those above) are emerging from in the national news about the worsening food crisis, is just 5 miles from the tiny village where A was born. A still has family in this area, who were significantly suffering even before this situation worsened.

Pray for those who are hungry in Ethiopia.

Lord, even though I do not understand the reasons for suffering, I believe that you are a God of love, a God of compassion. I pray that you will be with all those this day that are in pain, who suffer silently and alone, who feel abandoned and left by the side of life’s road. Wrap your arms of grace around them, until they know they are safely held in your embrace.

And, I pray, that you will fill my heart with the same compassion, and give me eyes to see how I can assist those in such great need. I ask this for the sake of your great love. Amen

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New routine....

Wood started his new job yesterday. It went very well, and he's already hired a new employee.

It's going to take me some time to get into a new routine. Since last December, my amazing husband has gotten the kids ready for school, packed lunches, done all the laundry, grocery shopping, and made dinner most nights.

No longer am I going to be able to get up in the morning, have a leisurely cup of coffee and only focus on getting myself ready for work.

I know - I've been completely spoiled. And did I mention that I married extremely well? Wood is the most amazing man, and I'm still head over heels in love with him.

Walking with God
"Whatever the outcome of our struggles, at the heart of our faith lies the challenging but inspiring claim that although God has not chosen to spare us the suffering that comes our way, God has chosen to walk through our suffering with us and to piece us back together and breathe new life into us"