Thursday, February 28, 2008

Still a porker

I just heard that Fiori is doing great and hasn't even lost that much weight during her hospital stay. They are keeping her a bit longer for observation but she should be outta there in the next day or so.

Now if only we would get a court date so she could be coming home instead of back to the orphanage.

UPDATE: Fiori is out of the hospital and back at the transition house. Yeah!

Monday, February 25, 2008

She's a porker

We finally got Fiori's medical profile. She weighed 12 pounds at 4 months which is hefty by Ethiopian standards although probably puts her in the 10th percentile in the US. I think there may be a bunch of clothes we have that she's already outgrown. Of course with her recent hospital stay she probably lost a lot of weight.

Funny thing, they gave her a birth date that is almost a month later than the date I was given when I was there. This is not unusual. Now her birth date is listed as 10/29/07 which almost makes her a Halloween baby.

I have also now seen her name spelled five different ways:


We're still going with the first which is what I initially wrote down when I first saw her.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Babies recognize faces a few inches away don't they?

My friend Dawn brought this to the baby shower:

Funny thing is that I've never seen that picture but I think it might actually be the best picture of Matt and I that I've ever seen. I wonder should we send this to her with one of the traveling parents. Do you think it will help her recognize me when we go to pick her up? I'm thinking not but maybe I'll send it anyway.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


This weekend my friends put on a baby shower for Fiori. It was really nice to see foks I don't get to see that often. And since everyone has been having boys, they were all so excited to finally be able to buy for a girl. I tell you, girl's stuff is so cute and Fiori is going to be way better dressed than I am...which isn't really saying much.

The funniest was that I decided to show up pregnant and stuffed a deflated playground ball in my shirt. My friend Christina saw it and was so startled that she took a misstep, tripped on the stairs and sent her glass of wine flying all over the floor, herself and several wrapped gifts. Come on, it hasn't been that long since we've seen each other.

Look what Uncle Andrew got for Fiori. Being that I have a new horse I of course got a kick out of it. Makes real horse sounds and the head and tail move. Cute!

I tell you, everyone should wait until older to have kids as all the friends have more money to spend on gifts. We're totally set for Fiori.

Shortly after I returned from the festivities, we learned that Fiori is in the hospital with pneumonia. Rhonda is in Ethiopia picking up her little girl and went to visit Fiori in the hospital. They have our poor baby hooked up to an IV in her head. Rhonda said she would go back today and try to talk to the doctor to get the full scoop but they are definitely planning on keeping her there a couple more days and I can only hope she is on the mend. Waiting on pins and needles for news from Rhonda who is probably in a deep sleep right not. C'mon Rhonda, wake up and email. I can't tell you how hard it is to be 9000 miles away from your sick baby and unable to do anything about it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The next Danica Patrick

Some of you know I have an affection for cars. My first date in elementary school was to an auto show (my choice), I meticulously put together model cars in my teens, I used to do my own brakes and change the belts on my 1967 Ford Mustang convertible in high school, and until I succumbed to practicality and bought a Prius (gasp), I've driven mostly sports cars and specifically fast convertibles.

This is what I used to roll in - a BMW M3 convertible but mine had red leather interior. Yeah. It was sweet.

And to the right is how I roll now. Not quiet as cool.

I have to admit I like my little Prius but only because it has more gadgets than my M3: voice activated bluetooth and navigation, push button starter, automatic unlocking of doors as soon as I put my hand on the door handle...and it gets no less than 40 mpg (the BMW was 16). If it handled a bit better and came in a convertible, I wouldn't miss my M3 one bit.

But given my love of cars and my desire to set her on the appropriate path towards transportation righteousness. I bought her this since one of us has to have a convertible. Yeah. It's sweet.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Nothing good to report

Fiori is feeling under the weather. I don't think it is serious and they already took her to the doctor but of course any issues with illness when I am here and she is there is worrisome.

To add to the mix, I was hoping the agency would have already filed for her court date but they still have not cleared up her paperwork and I just got a message saying they were working on it and are hoping to have her home before summer. Hoping?!?! Before summer?!?! Argggghhhh.

And my mom just called to say her car got broken into for no good reason since she had nothing inside. And we had something like five car breakins in our neighborhood.

OK, I take it back. There are good things to report. Several folks from our agency just got court dates and several other folks have decided to adopt some of the older kids that I met during my visit which is so absolutely wonderful.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I hate self-righteousness

Def: confident of one's own righteousness, esp. when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others.

There really are a lot of self-righteous people out there. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've been guilty of it. My husband definitely has. :-) I'm sure you have too. But it's really starting to bother me more and I'm paying more attention to it these days. Maybe the thought of motherhood and raising a child has caused me to question the world around me more than usual. Maybe the current polarized political climate has made it more obvious. Maybe I'm just obsessing over it for some unknown reason.

I think people don't even realize they are doing it. This is especially the case if you live amongst a bunch of people who think like you. When you are in the major majority, it is easy to forget that there are people with dissenting opinions. Case in point, I live in a neighborhood that is predominantly mid to upper class, white and thinks of themselves as very liberal. We have a very active neighborhood email list and you can tell by the posts that the assumption is that there is no way there are Republicans amongst us. We live in a fog of self-righteousness as we drive our matching Priuses, install solar power, fight for universal health care, etc. Obama signs has started to pop up amongst all the million dollar homes and I shudder to think what would happen if someone *gasp* put up a Mitt Romney sign or sported a Huckabee bumper sticker. And my friend Tamara won't even go to our local alternative grocery store, Berkeley Bowl, because she thinks she gets grief due to her slightly oversized SUV. I personally think it's because she doesn't know how to drive in a crowded parking lot. But I do think that if she was driving a Hummer, she quite possibly would be chased off the property.

But given where we live, I have to remember that if we lived somewhere else, it might be the complete opposite and we might be the ones who are looked at through dagger-filled eyes. However, the recent emphasis on the environment, the crap economy and the fiasco in Iraq has allowed all us long-standing greeniacs and left-leaning politicos to act more openly self-righteous.

When we started this journey, I joined the Ethiopia adoption Yahoo group that now sports over 3000 members. Because of the large and diverse membership, the moderator has set up rules that posts should be directly related to adoption and if you are going to talk about your religion, you must mention it in the header so the folks who don't share your belief can chose not to read. Seems simple, right? Several folks have chosen to ignore the guidelines including one person who posted a link to an adoption video that turned out to be a blatant anti-abortion message. You should see how indignant folks were. On both sides of the fence. Half were pissed that they clicked over to the link and it turned out to be what it was. The other half were pissed that they couldn't openly talk about God and how could folks be so intolerant and Christian-bashing. Everyone was very self-righteous about it all. At the end of the day though, rules are rules and as the moderator stated "if you want to play in this sandbox, you've got to play by the rules". But some people have taken it a bit far by calling out folks for mentioning that they pray or went to church or thank God that they got their children home healthy and safe.

And the other day a post popped up with a canned message in support of Hilary Clinton. The woman who posted it actually got private malicious hate emails. Can you imagine? My guess is that these were from folks that had been berated after posting religious content and who felt that this should also not be tolerated on the site (which is totally true). Luckily, it turns out that it was a complete mistake and the person who posted the message was a victim of some sort of auto posting bot and she didn't even know it was posted. I'd hate to think the left-leaning folks guilty of such hypocrisy even though it happens all the time. Hey, maybe my next post should be "I hate hypocrisy".

Then there was the discussion about black hair care which started as a simple question from a white parent as to whether she could leave her daughter's hair loose (vs braided) or would she be looked on as a bad mother. Next thing you know, it gets into self-righteous discussions about self-esteem, keeping the culture, never perm, do perm, don't straighten or this or that. In the end, I think everyone realized that black hair has a variety of textures and strength (just like white hair) and you can't generalize about how it should be cared for. But it took a while to get there. I wonder what would have happened if I added a post saying I was planning to give Fiori a blond weave like Byonce. That would have been funny.

Now I see why people try to avoid politics, religion and sex at the dinner table. But now I have to add hair care, child care and horse care (don't even get me started on that one).

So here is what I want to teach our daughter:

  • Be a good person.
  • Be compassionate.
  • Be open-minded.
  • People are the sum of their experiences and their experiences are different than yours. Understand this.
  • Don't be afraid to express your opinions and beliefs and discuss why you feel that way. But don't try to impose these beliefs on someone else. Don't let them impose theirs on you.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • Don't be self-righteous.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I forgot to mention another new addition

Meet Kona, my new horse. She arrived here a few weeks ago from Kentucky via Oregon where she hung out for a few months awaiting an opening at our local stable. She is an eight year old Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse which means she is gaited.
What is gaited you ask. It means that if you are riding her properly, she doesn't trot. That's right, there's no bouncing around on your sensitive parts. I haven't tried it but they say you can ride around with a filled wine glass and not spill even while going fast.

And despite living in the city and less than twenty minutes from SF (sans traffic), there is a great stable less than 15 minutes from my house with acres and acres of riding trails. And they also have a decent indoor arena so I can ride despite all this rain we're having. I love the Bay Area.