Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A New Phase of our lives...

When our son Zak was learning the English language he kept us giggling with what we have come to affectionately term as Zakisms.  Now that Noah's language is coming on full force we are now entering a whole new generations of 'isms.'  I'm so excited to announce that we are now welcoming Noahisms into our lives.  For example, today Noah was reading to his 5th grade buddy Haley.  He was looking at the pictures to help him connect with the words.  He got to a picture of a pig and her piglets.  When he got to the word piglet he was able to figure out the first half of the word. "P-I-G".    Slowly, to himself, he sounded out the letters.  Proudly he looked up to us and was ready to say the entire word.  Haley and I were ready for it...ready to cheer on his success.  He looked at us with his big brown eyes and smiled ready for us to cheer on his sentence in full.  "Big pigs have little pigs.  Little pigs are called...P-IGGLOOS."   Usually Haley and I can hold in our "that is so cute" surprised smiles or we can correct him with a sly endearing smile but we just couldn't today.  We just busted up laughing...it was just so darn cute.  He so believed himself that he was right and that baby pigs were called pigloos. : >)   

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I am a huge U2 fan...have been one forever.  U2 was introduced to me by my brother Tim , a musician, back in my high school years.  Tim had a wanderlust spirit and in his late teens and early 20's chose to live a lifestyle as such.  He traveled to the east coast on a few occasions with his band and would come back with fantastic stories of life on the road.  One such story from the early '80s is the time he came back from Chicago and told me, "Do not forget this group or this name...these guys are going to be BIG."  He  told me about how he and his band hung out with this band from Ireland after one of their gigs. The lead singer's name...Bono.  The band...U2. 
So how does this tie in with Noah  you ask...just wait.

Fast forward to the year 2000.  New neighbors moved in.  Wonderful kind people originally from Ireland. As time went on the mom of the family, Melissa, and I became fantastic friends. She too was a fan of U2...but for a different reason.  Melissa grew up outside of Dublin.  She was very much into the arts and theatre of her school.   Going to that very same secondary school was a young man named Paul Hewson...Bono.  Melissa was in a play with Paul and even had the original playbill and a photograph of the cast.  Oh, and she would ride the bus with U2 bassist Adam Clayton.

So...how does this tie in with Noah you ask...just wait.

While we were preparing for our adoption through Ethiopia we were introduced to the beautiful words of Bono through the book On the Move.  His words, based upon his 2006 speech to the National Prayer Breakfast where he spoke to leaders of all the faiths, are inspiring and powerful.  The images are photos he took himself while visiting Ethiopia in the mid '90s.  The boy on the cover errily looks like our son Noah.   It is one book we should all possess and read in our lifetime.  In Bono's own words:

"The one thing, on which we can all agree, is that God is with the vulnerable and poor. God is in the slums and in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. 6,500 Africans are still dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, for lack of drugs we can buy at any drug store. This is not about charity, this is about Justice and Equality." --Bono

His words and his images kept us sane during the long wait for Noah.

And now I bring you to the connection with Noah.  The ringtone on my cell phone plays U2's  Pride when a call comes through.  It is a song that Noah has become accustom to and he hums it regularly.  When we started getting our bedtime routines down after Noah's arrival,  Noah would pay attention to what Sam would do to settle in for the night.  The one thing that stood out to Noah is that every night Sam would listen to music when he fell asleep.  Sam's choice of music...The Beatles.   Noah wanted music as well and when I asked him what type he would want the only song he could come up with... because it was so familiar was...Pride (In the name of Love).  Every night Noah's sweet sweet voice sings from down the hall...
One man come in the name of love 
One man come and go 
One come he to justify 
One man to overthrow 

In the name of love 
What more in the name of love 
In the name of love 
What more in the name of love 

Full circle...I was told 25 years ago to remember a band's name.  Could I  have guessed then how much that band would intertwine in  my life to the point of having our house serenaded every night to the melodies of U2 by my beautiful Ethiopian son.    

Monday, March 9, 2009

Since I've been so busy raising kids the past 15 years I put my journalism and education background on hold.   Just recently I have begun to delve back into my past careers.   My dear friend Jessica has helped encourage me to start writing again and I am preparing  to enter back into the schools...not sure at what capacity but am excited to get back to two things I dearly love to do. My first nationally published piece is featured in this months Adoptive Families Magazine. For me it is a dream come true.  I can't post the actual article from the magazine because of copyright so you'll just have to go out and purchase it.  : >)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Letters to home...from home.

Noah has been working on a letter to send to Ato Teklu, a wonderful man who works for WACAP in Ethiopia.  It is being hand delivered within the week.  After Noah was relinquished by his aunt he was placed in an orphanage.  Mr. Teklu, knowing we were requesting to adopt a child around Noah's age,  is the man who traveled to that orphanage and found Noah.  His relationship with Noah did not end there.  Once Noah was moved to the WACAP transition home Teklu became a central figure in his life for the three months leading up to my travel to bring him home.  When I was in Addis I got to know Teklu very well.  He is a wonderful man who loved my son when we physically could not.  One of the most dynamic moments of our time in Addis happened during our final few hours on Ethiopian soil.  Teklu and his driver took us to the airport around 7:30 pm.  It was a very bitter sweet goodbye and I don’t think Noah really understood that this was really goodbye until we were at the ticket counter and tears just began to stream down his face as he cried for Teklu.  He realized that the wonderful kind Ato Teklu would no longer be on this adoption journey with him.  It was a sad realization for all of us.
This weekend Noah dictated a letter to Hannah who typed it on the computer.  She printed it off and gave it back to Noah to write in his own handwriting.   He signed it...Musse. "Because Noah is my American name and Musse is my Ethiopian name."  
We are so very grateful to Ato Teklu.  He is our Ethiopian angel.