Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas and Whatnot!

Well, we made it! We survived Christmas!! I don't think Eli thought it was any more special than any other day, but for me, it was the most special Christmas ever!

These pictures are of Eli getting into the Christmas Spirit! He really liked showing off his size three diapers that are still WAY too big for him!

Eli and his favorite cousin Katie! For Christmas, Eli got Katie an African American Cabbage Patch Doll. Katie decided that the perfect name for her new doll is Baby Eli. It didn't matter to her that the doll was a girl!

Eli and I would play this little game where I would hold him up above me. He'd put his head down so we could touch foreheads then he would give me a big open mouthed kiss!

He really enjoyed the attention he got from friends and family. This is him with his Auntie Winter.

Making music with Grandpa!!

Yesterday marked four weeks since Eli has been home. And today was Eli's ten month Birthday!
Happy Ten Months, Baby Boy!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Getting ready for the Holidays!

Eli and I have been trying to get ready for the holidays! He is such a trooper when we go to the mall! Yesterday Eli had his first Santa pictures taken. I couldn't get him to smile but at least he didn't scream! I overheard Eli ask Santa for a new flat screen TV for his Mommy! What a sweet kid!!

He even had his picture taken with Katie, his cousin! They just adore each other so much! I was really worried that she would be jealous of Elisince she has been the baby in the family for so long! So far they've been great together! Well see how she is around Birthday time! Her Birthday is the day before Eli's!

Helping decorate the tree.

In the Christmas Spirit!

Too much Christmas Spirit!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of that beautiful baby sleeping peacefully in his crib right now! I know I still haven't written about my trip yet, but at this moment I just need to share with everyone what this little man is like. In just two weeks since he was placed in my arms he has changed so much! Just two weeks ago Elias at nine months could not sit up on his own, his head still a little wobbly! My goal was to have him sitting up by Christmas but yesterday he began sitting up on his own! And today he learned to blow raspberries!!

This little guy is so happy all the time! In the morning when he wakes I hear him playing in his crib. When I walk up and peer into his crib I am greeted by the biggest smile and the most hilarious flapping of arms and legs, like a little humming bird. When I pick him up he snuggles his face into my chest or shoulder. He is so sweet!

He is a great sleeper! He goes to bed around eight and sleeps through the night til about six. I give him a bottle, we play for about an hour and then he is ready for a two to three hour nap. His afternoon nap is a bit shorter but I'm not complaining! After I rock him to sleep he never fusses, just sleeps!

My son is a talker! He is always chattering and babbling and always responds when I talk to him. Tonight we were driving home and I was sure he was asleep because he was so quiet. I called his name and he immediately responded!

He loves to be out and about and is so curious and interested in everything around him. He rarely sleeps in his car seat or stroller. He's afraid he just might miss something! Today my sister and I took him to the mall for a quick shopping trip. Well quick turned into about five hours! Not once did he cry or fuss! It was so much fun holding him as we walked through the stores. The whole time he talked and laughed!

I am definitely Elias' favorite person! Before we left Ethiopia he already began to bond. If he was crying when someone else was holding him he would immediately stop when I took him into my arms! Our in country rep wanted to hold him on the way to the airport. Elias cried and cried but as soon as he handed him over to me he stopped. I was very surprised since this man was someone he has known for the majority of his life!

I look forward to tomorrow, the next day, week and year and everything the future holds for us! All I can think about is how truly blessed I am to have this amazing person in my life... forever!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I Ate Poop!!!

The past few days I have been in horrible pain, suffering from severe stomach cramps and vomiting. I made two trips to urgent care, had blood drawn and the results came up H. Pylori. The majority of people in third world countries carry the bacteria but don't have symptoms. One contracts the bacteria by eating food that has been handled by someone who did not wash their hands after using the restroom. The scary thing is, is that this is not my first time eating poop! I also got it when I went to Mexico so I knew exactly what the doctors needed to test me for. I am feeling better now but have to take four different pills, eleven in total daily for the next two weeks! So it's now official. I am a Mexican and Ethiopian poop eater!

Monday, December 1, 2008


As of Friday evening, we are home!! It was quite a loooong and difficult journey, but we made it! Details of that and the rest of the trip to come later! So instead, I give you some of Elias' firsts!

First smile captured by camera!

First morning smile! This is how I am greeted every morning! Lucky Me!!!

First tummy time!

This one is just cute!!

First ride in a car seat!!! And first meeting with Zaela Rose!!

First time in Jumperoo!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Little Somethin' I Whipped Up Over Night!!

What a lie!! The nursery has been something I have been working on for a while. Since April actually! When things were going south with my first referral I pretty much had to shut it off. It was difficult for me to go in there. When I got my second referral I was again motivated to finish it. When I didn't pass court, again it was unbearable. I really didn't start working on it again until the courts reopened. So, this last weekend I finished it, except for the dimmer switch that will be put in on Friday.

And yes, I did paint it all myself!! It helps to be an art teacher, you know how to cheat!!

So I leave you with the nursery since I am leaving for Ethiopia on Saturday morning. I can't believe this is really happening! I hope Eli enjoys his room because he's going to be the only 17 year old with a jungle themed room!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Elias Tariku King!!!

I cannot believe it! I am still in shock!! Today the Ethiopian courts awarded me the legal parent of Elias Tariku!! It has been a very long and hard road and I was really starting to believe that this wasn't going to happen for me! Yesterday marked eight months since I accepted my first referral whom I named Elijah. Although I still think about him everyday, I know Elias was meant to be my son (wow! I have a son!). On July 1st, I was shown this picture of Elias;

I knew he was meant to be my son because his birth mother named him Elias. Elias is the Greek translation of the name Elijah! He is so handsome!!!

This photo I received from the agency the day I accepted the referral.

This photo was taken by Lisa who was able to make it to the Thomas Center when she travelled to bring home her beautiful daughter Zaela Rose!

This is the most recent photo I have of Elias, taken about a month and a half ago. I can't even imagine how big he is now!!

Thank you to all of my family, friends, and blogging family that have supported me and kept the hope alive when I thought there was none left!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Postponed Again!

My case was heard again today in the Ethiopian higher courts. It has been postponed until tomorrow because the judge is deciding if my case should have the new document now required for relinquishment cases. My in counrty rep is arguing that it should not have the new document because my case was filed before the court closing and before it was a requirement. One more sleepless night!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Yep, I was tagged. I was actually tagged quite a while ago by the following three lovely ladies; Dawn, Lisa, and Diane.

Since everyone else I know has been tagged already, I've just decided to include a couple of extra facts about me.

1. I HATE bell peppers! Sometimes just the thought of them gives me the chills. Typing this has caused me to break out in goose bumps! ICK!!

2. I'm not a very organized person. I really try and wish that I was but I just can't. It's a right brained thing!

3. I have very strange and vivid dreams. Just as an example, I once dreamt that I was an octopus. I remember floating in the water on a raft and moving across the raft with my long octopus tentacles. I was watching the people on the beach and thinking octopus like thoughts. I know, I'm strange!

4. In my early college years I frequented rock concerts. I even had a couple of mosh pit mishaps. At a Metallica concert I became very dehydrated and passed out in the pit. A couple of guys were kind enough to carry me out by my arms and legs and drop me off in the first aid stand. And then there was a Pearl Jam concert where I was head butted and got a black eye. I was so proud!

5. I spent many summer days of my youth at the race track. My Grandpa used to breed and race horses in Oklahoma. My sisters and I really enjoyed being able to spend time with him at the track. Especially when his horse would win and we'd get to take pictures with him in the winners circle!

6. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was a kid. That changed when I went with my Grandpa to take one of his horses to the vet. The vet needed a stool sample and to do that he went in shoulder deep! Now, I'm a little person and I'd probably get lost in there!

7. My nickname as a child was Space Case. I was always off in my own little world and often preferred to play alone outside.

8. It's official! I have gained 20lbs since I started this adoption process. I never considered myself a stress eater but then I don't think I've ever been this stressed! With the amount in adoption fees I have paid, I could have had Lipo a few times over. But then, if I weren't adopting, I wouldn't need Lipo!

9. I love to travel. Some of the places I've been to are Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, England, Spain and Switzerland. I prefer traveling to third world countries because I have found that the people in such countries the people are so much more warm and inviting. And since I am a teacher, I have had the luxury of traveling for weeks at a time. Next stop, Ethiopia!

10. My pupils are two different sizes. When first discovered, my doctors thought I had a brain tumor! I was terrified! I had an MRI, saw neurologists etc. and nothing was ever found.

I think that's all the interesting things I can think of, or at least the ones I can share!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some More, Please!!!

Apparently fate has decided to torture me for two more weeks before deciding. I guess the last eight months haven't been enough! Yep, that's right. It's been eight months since I received my first referral! By the time I get him home(or any baby home, for that matter), I'm going to be so jaded. It's just not fair!

This is what happened today; The requested statement from MoWA was there but I guess the judges did not feel they had enough to make a decision. My case will be heard again on Thursday, November 6th and a decision will be made after further 'investigation'.

Thank you to all those supporting me through this. I'm determined to make you all alcoholics with me!! (that's a joke guys!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


It is approximately 7:30 am Thursday, October 23rd in Ethiopia. In a few short hours, a judge will decide my fate as well as the fate of an eight month old baby boy whom, since July 1st have considered my son. Not a day has gone by that I haven't wondered what he is doing. Is he happy? Is he sad? Is he getting enough attention? Is he feeling well today? This judge may be sitting at home drinking his/her morning coffee, perhaps reading the newspaper. Does this judge know that the future of two people are in his/her hands? Whatever the outcome, two lives are about to be changed forever.

Friday, October 17, 2008

This is Scary!!

Ok, so I've tried to keep my personal political views off this blog but after seeing this I had to post it. This was emailed to me from the Color of Change organization that helps to promote the political and social status of African Americans. After watching these videos I got a real sickening feeling. I know that racism exists in this country and I guess because I don't see it first hand very often, when I do see things like this I am shocked. It scares me to think that if McCain wins, it's because of people like this. It also scares me to think if Obama wins, what these people would do to him and to others considered less favorable in their eyes. Most of all, it scares and disgusts me at the reality that someday my son will have to deal with such people.

Please click on the link to see the videos.

Dear Friend,
John McCain and Sarah Palin have stopped talking about the issues, and have instead launched a strategy relying on fear-mongering, racial divisions, and hate. The result is McCain/Palin supporters saying "kill him!" "terrorist!" "traitor," and more, at rallies, with the McCain campaign playing dumb in response.It's outrageous and it must stop.
Together, we can show that Americans of all races won't stand for this.
I've signed onto ColorofChange's open-letter calling out McCain and Palin. will publish it this week, and as they've shown in the past, when enough of us stand together, we can force the mainstream media to amplify our message. Will you join us?
McCain-Palin rallies have started to look more like mob scenes than political events. The candidates keep asking "who is the real Barack Obama?" (a question that also kicks off almost every McCain television ad).In response, supporters have yelled "terrorist!" and "traitor!" And the venom goes beyond Obama--one McCain/Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at a Black member of a news crew, saying "sit down, boy."
McCain and Palin are going down a dangerous path. Watching some of their supporters being interviewed shows the kind of fear their campaign is stoking and exploiting.McCain and Palin are clearly in the driver's seat. They've personally made it a point to use "terrorist" and "Obama" in the same sentence; they have surrogates repeatedly refer to him by his middle-name;and they keep pushing the discredited guilt-by-association smears that have long been debunked.
All of it plays on the much more sinister rumors in anonymous smear emails which claim Obama is Muslim (a myth designed to tap into anti-Muslim bigotry), anti-American, and is somehow connected with terrorists. This strategy is powerful because Obama is Black, and it's designed to make Obama's race a disadvantage without appearing overtly racist.
As Americans of all stripes, we've seen how Barack Obama's historic candidacy has moved our friends and family to have a more honest conversation about race in this country. It's inspired a lot of people to step out of their comfort zone and confront racism in their own communities, with their friends, neighbors and families.
In the final days of this campaign, we can't let a desperate John McCain and Sarah Palin drag us down. If enough of us act, we can create a powerful story in the media about Black people and our allies of all races standing together against race-baiting and fear-mongering coming from the McCain/Palin campaign. But it will take a lot of us speaking in unison.
Will you sign an open letter to McCain and Palin, telling them who you are and why you won't let them move our country backward? will publish the letter and make sure John McCain is forced to respond.


In other news, I was very saddened to learn today that one of my former students was tragically killed in a car accident last weekend. Caleb was only 20 years old, and serving his country in the Navy. He was driving home for the weekend to visit his family and drove his truck into oncoming traffic. He was killed instantly. Many students have crossed my path over the years and unfortunately I don't remember them all. Caleb was one of the unforgettable ones. Even though he wasn't the best student and often liked to challenge me, he had a really great heart. Please send your thoughts and prayers to the Manning family as they deal with the loss of their youngest.

And yes, I have been tagged three times now! I promise that will be my next post!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ok, How about the 23rd?

My case was heard in the Ethiopian higher courts last Friday. The judge was unclear as to why my case was originally denied and is requesting a detailed letter from MoWA as to the reason for the denial. My case will be reheard and the final decision will be given on the 23rd. My agency is hopeful that the decision will be in my favor. Other cases similar to mine have passed!

Sooo... to keep myself busy til the 23rd, my goal is to have the nursery completed! I've been working on it for a looong time. I know you're all in suspense to see the finished product, so I've decided to give you all a little sneak peek! Enjoy!!

Hmmm.... What could it be?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The New Mommies!!!

Over the past few months, I have had some great friends of mine become first time mommies. They all graciously decided that they would become mommies before me so that I could get in some practice time before I bring home Baby King! What great friends I have!

Gena and Maraya Ann
Born May 15th, 2008

After many, many hours of pushing, Gena, with the help of her hubby Hector, successfully produced the beautiful Maraya Ann. Maraya is very easy going and loves swimming in the ocean, as I witnessed in Maui. A few weeks ago we all went to a Los Angeles Dodgers game. Maraya has already proven to be a loyal fan and sat and watched the game with hardly a peep! Gena is a very patient and loving mother. She has a natural talent for motherhood!
Patricia and Dominic Anthony
Born July 28th, 2008

Introducing Dominic!! After many, many hours of pushing, Patricia, with the help of her hubby Juan, delivered Dominic @9lbs. through Cesarean section. Dominic can't wait for Baby King to come home. He's already declared Baby King his best friend! Patricia, is an amazing self taught mommy. Before having Dominic, she never even changed a diaper! As you can see from this photo, she is delighted even when he cries! Also, as you can see from this photo, she is producing enough milk to feed a small village!!

Lisa and Zaela Rose

Born October 18th, 2007And last but absolutely not least is new mommy Lisa and her beautiful Zaela Rose! After many, many months of waiting, Lisa brought home Zaela on August 23rd of this year from Ethiopia. Zaela is a wonderful and funny baby girl! I recently witnessed Zaela's first standing on her own. She was so proud of herself! Her mommy is not quite ready for Zaela to grow up. And to keep her from further attempts at walking, Zaela is now wearing 5lb ankle weights! Lisa is quite the MacGyver! I don't know how she keeps up with little Zaela while maintaining her pre-mommy alcohol level! (ok, I may have helped there!) Please check out the adventures of Lisa and Zaela at their blog!!

I'm really looking forward to sharing mommyhood with all of these wonderful mommies! For now, I will patiently listen to their stories of poopy diapers, late night feedings, and fun fussiness!!! Can't wait guys!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Or Next Week...

Unfortunately, I didn't get the news I was hoping for last week. Because my case is being appealed, it won't be heard in the regular adoption courts. The court that will hear my case is not yet open. Hopefully it will be opening in the coming week. I am a little nervous about my case being heard in a different court. I hope that the judges there are familiar with the adoption laws . I also hope that the appeal process will not take long and that they are not backed up. I dreamt the other night that my agency told me that the appeal could take up to a year. Hopefully this week...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This Week...

This is the week that the Ethiopian courts reopen from their two month holiday. This is also the week I should be finding out the date of my court appeal for Baby King. The past two months of waiting actually haven't been so bad. When you know there is no news to be heard, you're not constantly checking your emails or looking to see if you missed a call. It's worse than waiting for a guy you've just started dating to call. (Or so I've heard, I can't really remember anymore!) So now the waiting gets ugly and stressful again! Oh Yes!! Let the Adoption Games Begin!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Ahoy Matey!!! Today is National Talk like a Pirate Day!!! Shiver me timbers! I think I found the map to me hidden treasure... Baby King! I've been on the wrong path all this time! Arrrr!! No wonders me haven't gotten him home yet!

The map says courts in Ethiopia are bouts to open. Maybe me talkin' parrot can help lead me way!!
Here's the official Talk Like a Pirate Day website and please leave me yer favorite pirate joke!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy New Year, Ethiopia!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


That's not what I was getting last night! I don't think I've mentioned it but I've got some sleep issues. The issue is that I don't! I was wide awake ALL NIGHT LONG!!! I did happen to see at around 4 am, Dr. Feldman, the adoption specialist that I will be taking Baby King to, deliver a baby on Discovery Health!! Well, you could say I'm ready for those sleepless nights with baby!

This is going to make for an interesting first day of school. The kids are going to eat me ALIVE!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm Home!!!

Sorry it's taken me so long to post. I got back late Monday night and had to go back to work Tuesday morning. Yuck!!! Tuesday night I was just too exhausted. I didn't get much sleep Monday night and Sunday night I didn't sleep much either. That's because my last night I stayed in Maui I was by myself and thought I'd save some money and stay in a Hostel. No big deal. I've stayed in some pretty low budget places before. Well when I checked in I asked for a private room. I'm too old for the dorm style. It wasn't until late that night when I realized I was sharing my room with flying cockroaches!!!! I HATE, HATE cockroaches!!! We have them in California. I see them occasionally in my classroom and sometimes they glide around with their under developed wings. But they don't fly!! These cockroaches were very skilled flying acrobats! I swaddled myself in a sheet and swatted at them as they purposely flew into the ceiling fan so they would be shot at me full force!! Little Bastards!!

There were many good times in Maui though. It was pretty relaxing and I spent the majority of my time on the beach or at the pool. We did go to a Luau and ate some great food. The highlight though was the snorkeling and diving! We snorkeled at Black Rock and there were two Giant Sea Turtles! They were beautiful and they swam right up to us. It was cool! I took a diving trip alone because my traveling buddies are not divers. I dove at Molokini Crater. It was really beautiful. This is an example of some of the things I saw on my dive:

Lots of beautiful, colorful fish!

I saw lots of Eel.

Yes, those are sharks! I saw about five.

That's me!! HELLO!!!!

Eww! Someone pooped in the water!! Oh wait, it's just a sea cucumber!

Parrot Fish. I can be Parrot Lady while under water too!
I especially enjoyed my backseat buddy Maraya!!! She is so sweet! I didn't even mind when she peed on me!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Maui Bound!!!

I am still packing but will be done by 6am when my ride comes to pick me up for the airport!!! My dear friends Gena, Hector, and their new baby Maraya invited me along on their trip to Maui where they have a time share! I think they just took pity on me!! But either way, I am going!! It sure beats sitting here at home another week thinking about my little baby boy waiting for me in Ethiopia! I'll have some great pictures to post when I get back!! ALOHA!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Parrot Lady

It is a well known fact that there are many wild parrots living in Southern California. Every morning I wake up to the obnoxious sound of twenty to thirty parrots squawking outside my window. After the recent turn of events with my Ethiopian adoption, I have decided that I am going to adopt the wild parrots of Southern California! Yes, they are loud and obnoxious, but wouldn't you be if you had no one to love you? No real place to call home!?! I' d be killing two birds with one stone! (not literally!) I'd be providing a loving and nurturing home for homeless parrots while fulfilling my inner desire to become a mother!

(actual parrots photographed outside my home!)

(yes, they are green and red!)

Just like that crazy old lady that lives up the street. You know, the one that hoards and has at least fifty cats! That's me! Except with the wild parrots! I even have a theme song "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins!

(age enhanced photo of me forty years from now!)

Then I started thinking, how can I befriend the parrots AND benefit others? Well, parrots can talk right? So why don't I teach the parrots to speak Amharic!! Just think, you could have one of your very own Amharic speaking parrots that was once an orphan, to entertain and educate your children at the same time!

C'mon Lisa, I know you are imagining yourself taking your evening walk, Hermie in her Beco, and a bright green Amharic speaking parrot on your shoulder!!!

If I am not immediately available by email or phone, don't worry, I'll get back to you. I'm just busy chasing down the neighborhood parrots!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Heartbroken is an Understatement...

Today the judge refused to overturn her original decision in granting the adoption for Baby King. None of this really makes sense. How can anyone think that it is better for a child to grow up in an orphanage? Doesn't every child deserve a loving family? I am writing this through my tears, hurt and frustration. I know that I have lots of family and friends who will help me through this. What about all of those children in this world who have nothing?

My agency said that they are able to appeal one more time. Of course, no guarantees and this won't happen until after the courts reopen in October. If not successful, then I will be given yet another referral.

Thank you to all of my friends and family who have given me unlimited support. Without you guys I probably wouldn't have made it this far and probably wouldn't have the strength to continue.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Getting Worse!

Today I have had to face the reality that my adoption for Baby Boy King #2 may not happen. Apparently Ethiopia may be changing some of its adoption rules. One of them being that a child cannot have a living birth parent. MOWA wrote the required letter to complete the adoption with a negative statement about a living birthparent. The judge who heard his case understood the letter as a denial from MOWA. Tomorrow I will find out if my in-country rep can convince the judge to overturn the original decision. If not, this beautiful baby boy will grow up in an Ethiopian orphanage. How can this be fair?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Even More Disappointed!

No, I didn't pass court today...again! I won't give all the details because you never know who is reading this blog. My in-country rep has an appointment with a MOWA supervisor to hopefully clear things up. It's going to be a long hard weekend! Look out Blog Union! I hope you're ready to deal with my angry drunk a#$!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Well, I didn't make it through court today. Apparently they were missing a letter from MOWA so they've postponed it for tomorrow. MOWA promised to have it by tomorrow. Everything else seemed to be a go. Even the birth mother showed up! My agency is hopeful that if I don't pass tomorrow, then before the court closure next week. I'm exhausted! Only two hours of sleep last night! Hopefully I can pass out tonight! Maybe after a few glasses of wine that I'll be having with my fellow bloggers at the opening of the Blog Union!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Good Things are Happening!

Congratulations to all the successful court dates over the last few days! To the Jacobs and Alexander families, your baby boys are beautiful! And to Lisa, Zaela looks like a true surfer girl! Please check out little Zaela, she is just gorgeous! I can't wait to meet her!

My good friend and travel buddy Patricia (she's on the elephant with me in the previous post), is expecting her first. Her due date was on the 22nd so little Dominic will be here any day now. Another playmate for Baby King!

My other travel buddy Nikki, left for South East Asia last Sunday. I'm sad for not being able to go but the trade off is worth it! I'm wishing her the safest of travels in her month long adventure!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh, How Life Changes!

As my court date approaches, I can't help but think of all the diffferent ways my life is going to change. For example, those quick trots to my neighborhood Target aren't going to be so quick and easy anymore. Since I am a visual person, I thought the best way to describe these changes would be through pictures;

All of my beer and wine bottles will be traded in for...

Baby bottles. (I really don't have that many!)

Instead of climbing the Temples of Angkor...

Baby King and I will be climbing the jungle gym!

No more scuba diving in exotic locations! (yes, that's me!)

I'll be wading in the kiddie pool!
The only elephant riding going on at my place will be...
on the plush elephant rocker!

This lifestyle change is going to take some getting used to, but I think I'm going to love it!