Sunday, August 31, 2008

1 year ago

The slide show is really long, but it really more for us than anything, so I don't expect anyone to sit through all of it. It has been a year in coming, but I finally sat down and did it since I am somewhere with good Internet connections.

I can't believe it's been a year since we were in Ethiopia. I miss it so much everyday. I can still remember when we stepped off that plane, one year ago, and smelled Ethiopia. The smell of woodsmoke, burning trash, diesel fumes and berebere spice--an indescribable, but familiar smell. I have rarely felt more like I was at home anywhere, especially considering it was thousands of miles from my home. This incredible place that brought my girls to me. The home of my heart.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


What's not to love huh???

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cool Kya

Miss Kya is changing so fast that I can't believe it. She is just turning into such toddler now, and is really leaving the baby stage in the dust. She is almost 16 mos old and is into EVERYTHING! She is so curious and learns so quickly that I am amazed. Her language is really starting to pick up and she is learning more words all of the time. And, she has really taken to music too. Not sure if that is because Makenna and I are constantly singing something, or if she finally just decided to give it a chance. She is babbling to the tune of a few different songs and has finally really found her dancing groove and like to shake her booty just like her big sister.

We are coming up on a year home and I can't believe how far we have come. She is a completely different girl. I will post more on that soon, but I just had to share a few thought on our sweet baby girl. I am so glad that I finally truly can't imagine our life without her. It was a long time coming, but we are there!

Friday, August 15, 2008


These are the sweet faces of 3 of the girls' cousins. These three little blonde haired and blue and hazel eyed cuties are the world to the girls. They spend a lot of time together and they really are so sweet to each other, ahem... at least some of the time. They are so much a part of our life I just had to share their pics. We love them to pieces!


We are out of town this weekend(at a much needed spiritual refresher), but before we left I needed to rebraid or re-do Makenna's hair so that we wouldn't have to worry about it at all for the next week or two as we will be gone alot! So, we decided to do lots of two strand twists. So cute!

I got to thinking about all of the worry that is placed on my sweet girls' curls. Before they came I wondered if I would be able to do it their hair? Could I ever learn to cornrow when I am so NOT a hair person? What would other people say if I didn't do it right? And, on and on and on. It was one of the first things people asked me about. And, it is one of the first things people ask when they meet the girls--who does their hair? Or, YOU do their hair, how did you learn to do that? Like it is this impossible task for a white woman to learn to care for black childrens hair.

And, now there has been some discussion on some of our adoption groups and the forum for our agency about locs, where the hair is permanently locked together in small sections or hair, either by braids, or by rolling the hair together. Is it the right thing to do? What is the political message you are sending if you do loc your kiddos hair? Is there still a political message? What is the feedback they will get from the AA community? From other Ethiopians or Africans? And, on and on and on.

I never knew there would be so much drama surrounding the hair. I know that sounds naive, but I truly never understood it before we lived it. I may have heard about it, but I didn't understand it. And, I never will fully because I won't ever have to live it. And, I will not stand in judgement of what any mom chooses to do for their child, including hair. All, I do know is that I love the girls' hair! And, they have such different hair that it is crazy. Makenna's is thick, kinky, light brown and has truly perfect spirals. Kya's is soft, fine, dark and loopy. But, either way I just think it's beautiful. I LOVE their hair. And, I really have come to like doing it. Kya's we can't do much with yet, it just doesn't last long. But I have been putting puffs in and it is growing. And, Makenna's we do. It's a creative outlet for both of us. She gets to pick her 'do and I adapt it to my skill level. :) It's this special time we get together that I just can't imagine giving up entirely. That is one of my biggest concerns about locing her hair. I don't want it to be a cop out. I want to teach her to care for her hair naturally until she is old enough to choose how she wants her hair to be. I want to see her with "free" hair because I love how she looks. I want to spend that time teaching her that she is not the sum of her hair, but that her hair is just another part of what I hope will be a beautiful little soul inside and out. I suppose it's all about balance huh? Any thoughts about it all out there from any readers? I am definitely open to hearing others thoughts on the matter!

Here is M right after her bath with free hair, and then 2 very late hours later when I finished her hair and Makenna finished watching the Brandy version of Cinderella. She was a very happy but tired girl and I really had to work to get the after pics.



Thursday, August 14, 2008


Here are some random cute pics of the girls from this past week. They were both being "mommy" to their individual babies and I couldn't resist. I have to capture the moments where they are actually playing together and seem to love each other, just to get me through the MANY moments where they aren't quite that way. :) Makenna was giving me some faces where she was trying not to laugh--she rarely succeeds, but she got a couple of good ones this time.

I especially love this pic of Kya sitting on Makenna. She is finally getting big enough for it to be more of a fair fight with her big sister. Makenna is going to be in trouble soon! Her little sister isn't missing a beat and learning from the master. We keep warning her!

Oh, and the pics of Makenna with her natella (Ethiopian shawl), man does she look big! Yikes, where is my baby going???

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Cut & Cornrows

This past Saturday we took Makenna to Global Braids in St. Paul to get a her first "real" haircut at a salon, and her first professional braids. She was SO excited because she is with us a lot when we get haircuts, and could never understand why she didn't get to go and get one. I have trimmed her hair a lot over the last couple of years, but I was waiting to take her somewhere until she was old enough to handle it.

So, before we went we talked about what a "big privilege" (which is a big deal at our house right now!) it was to go and get her hair cut and braided. And, we had a little chat about how our behavior should be while we were there. I have to admit, I was nervous. I had no idea how she would react, or if she would sit still. And, of course, she proved me wrong. She sat like a champ and did awesome!

The woman, Biftu, who owns the salon is Ethiopian and all of the clientele was as well while we were there. So, as soon as Makenna went in, she knew this was something special. Biftu was wonderful with Makenna and was surprised at how long her hair is when it's stretched out, and said her hair looked great! YEAH!!! We are doing the right things I guess. Her hair is getting long and comes to the middle of her shoulders when it is wet in the tub. It just shrinks like crazy with all those incredible curls!

We ended up talking with her and her husband forever, and they were so incredibly friendly and really sweet to both of the girls. It was a very positive first experience for both of us.

Afterward we went for dinner at Fasika's Ethiopian restaurant (Makenna got to pick) and our favorite waitress was working. She is so sweet to our family, and her and Makenna are buddies. She brought both of the girls special little tiny cups of coffee along with mine, which were mostly milk and a little coffee. And, she carries Makenna around and lets her "help" while she is working. It's so sweet to watch.

So, all in all a really good Saturday for us. Oh, and the best part of all...even though Makenna LOVED her braids, she said that she wants mommy to do them next time because I do it better. Awwww, way to melt my heart baby!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Whoa! Is right! I knew it had been a while since I had been able to sit down and blog, but I had not idea it had been so long! Wow. As you have probably guessed we have been crazy busy the last few weeks (and I am trying to wean my computer addiction too :)). We have been gone a ton, and I have just been plain old too tired to get my butt on here and post.

We went camping in July with some of my family like we always do. Usually it's all of my sibs and their spouses and kids and my parents. One of my bros and his family didn't make it, but the rest of us did. We went to Lake Superior and here are a few pics of the girls hanging out there. Kya wasn't so sure about the beach experience. She didn't love the sand or the birds. But here are pics of them chasing the birds and a family pic too.

Kya was mad that Makenna was wasting perfectly good hot dog buns on the birds and attempted to sneak a bite whenever she could. Still working on the food issues obviously huh? :)

I promise to be back (soon:))with pictures of Makenna's first professional haircut and braiding.