Friday, February 26, 2010


One of Abe's favorite things is when the mail carrier delivers our mail. We usually try to give him a piece of junk mail so he can think something came for him. I was telling my mom about this, and then lo and behold, a few days later, Abe got a real letter in the mail.
My mom had sent a St. Paddy's Day card and a few photos, including this one of her dog. Abe was a little freaked out by the dog last time they saw each other. She also sent a photo of a plate of "real Southern food." But come on, Mama! You think I don't feed our son grits, cornbread, black-eyed peas, greens, mac-n-cheese?

Every child should have a grandparent who sends them mail, especially mail with a hand-drawn four-leaf clover with a face growing out of the middle of it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Talented, Soulful Friends

I've been in a writing dry spell of late. Which is why I just wrote the term "of late." And is why I'm writing in fragments and starting sentences with 'and'.

Inspired words can be found by going to Courtney's blog for her post called "Sharing." Also, go to Julie's blog to read her post "Thoughts at Six Months Home," a post that should and will be a new classic in adoption literature, a must-read for anyone with any connection to adoption. Both of these women I am lucky enough to call "real-life friends" as well as blogging friends. Both of these posts had me blubbering.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February Sun

When the sun shines this much in Oregon during the middle of February, we wax poetic, amazed at our good luck.

Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone--
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance--
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love--

do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,

or have you too
turned from this world--

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

--Mary Oliver

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

We made chocolate heart-shaped cupcakes for Valentine's Day.
That batter is delicious on the spatula...

...ooh, is that some on my sock?

...mmm, tasty chocolate sock batter.

Then we watched this on our Muppet Show Season 2 dvd and figured it's probably the sweetest thing ever recorded.

"I see friends shakin' hands, saying 'how do you do?' They're really saying 'I love you'." That just may be one of my favorite lines ever written.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ethiopian Winter Olympian

"It's really to show that anything is possible and it's for the future. You know, if there is that young kid now that's skiing...maybe that's gonna be the kid that's gonna bring the medal back for Ethiopia."
--Robel Teklemariam

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


At dinner, Abe is nodding his head as he eats big spoonfuls of lentils and rice. Amid mad nodding and chewing, he says, "Mmm, this good, Mom. Thank you for making dinner. Can I have some more broccoli?"

Who is this kid? How did we get so lucky?

...added later... I don't mean to paint a picture of Abe as being this perfect, angelic 2-year-old or us as perfect, angelic parents. I should have added to this post that about ten minutes after above incident, Abe has lost interest in his food and is playing with his plate, something we've told him not to do. As I try to put a bite in his mouth, his flailing arms knock the spoon out of my hand and lentils go flying. I silently stood up and walked away, leaving Ted to clean up the mess.

Adoption News

We were up bright and early to be fingerprinted today, finally. This is the last piece to go into our foreign dossier. Anyone who thinks the paperwork second time round might be easier is mistaken. For us, at least, it was just as complicated and time-consuming. We're so glad it's nearly done. That is, assuming my prints turn out okay; apparently, my prints are wearing down. The guy taking my prints had a lot of trouble getting good copies. We're keeping our fingers crossed that I don't have to be called back in.

Also, we have decided on a date and place for the Ethiopian Diaspora-Ethiopian Adoptive Families gathering! Mark your calendars for March 20th. If you'd like to receive an invitation and haven't sent me your email address, go ahead and write me at ourownrooney at gmail dot com so I can add you to the evite. We're working out a couple of details now; the evites should be going out soon.

Completely unrelated to anything with this adoption: I found a set of photos I took in Croatia in 2002 and have been reminiscing about a time that feels like a lifetime away. Did that trip really happen? Is that really me?

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Thursday morning, as we got out of the car for the Thursday ESL class of senior Africans, we saw Zerabruk standing on the other end of the parking lot, a little bewildered. We just moved locations, and I think he wasn't sure how to get inside. He was standing there, in his hooded jacket and cute glasses like always, and I could see the sparkle in his eye from pretty far away (what is it with these African grandparents and their sparkly eyes?).

He saw us getting out of the car and waved. I waved back, and Abe took off running towards him. Zerabruk said, "Abenezer!" and held out both of his arms towards the tiny Ethiopian running full-speed his direction. Zerabruk swooped Abe up in his arms, hugging him and saying, "IloveyouIloveyouIloveyou," one of his best English phrases. He then carried Abe inside, following behind me as I led the way in to the class.

Sometimes a simple "I love you" and bear hug can over-ride any language barrier.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


As I was pinning up my hair, Abe asked for a bobby pin. Why do you need one?, I asked.

"Because my hair might fall out."

Earlier this afternoon, as we sat on the front steps after a ride on the tricycle, he crashed into me, head-first, yelling, "I love you my whole life!"

He regularly tells us, "That don't make any sense."

Later tonight, on the couch in the basement, I made him slow down from the constant movement to sit facing me on my lap. I told him I wanted to tell him something. With wide open eyes, raised eyebrows, complete attention staring directly into my eyes,

"What you want to say, Momma?"

In that moment, I couldn't remember. I just said, "You're cute" and kissed his forehead. And my heart nearly burst.