Thursday, August 28, 2008

Not only does she dance, she also sings. Ethiopian Idol anyone?

OK, maybe I'm the only one who finds that funny. I guess you had to be there.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fiori uses her head

PS - I love my Mino video cam.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's not really the end of the journey...

It's actually the beginning.

I picked up my mother, my wife, and my new daughter from the airport today. All are home safe and sound. My mother looked tired from lots of traveling and Nikko caught some bug and is fairly sick. But I'm sure they'll both be back to 100% soon.

Fiori? As advertised. Gorgeous, funny, a talker, not a crier. She's slightly terrified of the dogs and doesn't really know what to make of them yet. (Then again, I'm not sure they know what to make of her either.) But all in all, for the 7 hours she's been home, she's been about as good as she could be.

I'll let Nikko recount the highlights of her trip - but one of them involved Brooke Shields playing peek-a-boo with Fiori in the airport.

Stay tuned...

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Eagle has landed.

Ok, maybe not the Eagle. But after a long, long, crazy, almost-comically ridiculous trip, Nikko and my mother touched down in Ethiopia this morning and picked up Fiori.

The first email arrived about 10:00. All it said was: "We made it. We have her. And she is amazing."

About an hour later I was on the phone listening to my daughter babble "da da da da da da" into the phone. Let me tell you, this girl is going to be a talker.

I'm ecstatic. Nikko's ecstatic. I didn't talk to my mother, but I know she's probably going baby overboard right now. She's finally a grandma. Nikko claims Fiori's only cried once "for about 3 seconds." I'm not counting on that lasting too long. Hopefully she fares well on the plane ride home.

The plan as I understand it is they're taking Fiori for a checkup tomorrow, then dropping off more donations before heading home. Which means I have 4 1/2 days left to get the cabinet locks installed and buy some Cheerios...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Not on our way

So, thunder storms in NYC caused ALL flights going into JFK to be severely delayed. You guessed it, both Lisa (out of LAX) and I (SFO) missed our flight to Dubai. I don't want to recount the details but it was messy and involved multiple delays, circling, fuel stops etc.

To make it all worse, when we got there, there were no more hotel rooms available and we had about 10 hours until our flight left. So we all hop in a cab and head into the city for some eating and sightseeing - at 3 am in the morning local time.

We had a memorable meal at a little diner called Green Kitchen and even witnessed a chick fight with blood and glass throwing (they are serious about their fighting in NYC).

And then we drove around town and actually managed to cross town and see lots of sights sans traffic. We realized it was a full moon which might account for some of the craziness.

So now we are waiting at the check in counter for Emirates to get on the flight to Dubai. But wait, the drama is not over. The flight from Dubai to Addis is booked and we're on a wait list. And we have NO idea where our luggage is.

The saga continues.

Friday, August 15, 2008

We're off

Just a quick post to say we are heading out soon for the airport on the way to pick up Fiori!! My mother in law is coming with me so I will try to get Matt to post in my absence in case any of you want to know how it is going.

We are scheduled to be back on Saturday afternoon.

Catch you on the flip side!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This girl better be worth it

Little know fact about me: I love, love, LOVE the Olympics.

For the two weeks that they are happening, I find it really hard to do much else. I stay up until the wee hours of the night watching and I have the broadcasts on TV during the day. I get weepy when I hear the US National anthem and I almost cried with the men won the 4x100 meter relay two nights ago. Actually, I did cry on watching it over again the next day; how sad is that?

I have thus far attended the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics. And I'm not talking "just happened to be there and went to an event" type attendance. I'm talking planned two years in advance, researched events, picked the most likely US medal events and had a jam packed week of constant Olympic sports. I saw several US golds awarded and rode on the local trains with the athletes. It was amazing! For some reason I didn't go to Athens and, well, you know why I am not in Beijing right now. And I will even miss the second half of the Olympics while I'm in Ethiopia picking up Fiori.

Is she worth it? Absolutely! Am I sad because I'll be missing one of my favorite spectacles. You bet.

I've already told Matt we are going to be in London about this time in 2012, Fiori in tow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Jaclyn is currently in Ethiopia picking up her son and posted this today:

I did get to spend lots of time with Fiori, Alamayehu, Efrata, and Lina. they are all such good babies! They posed for their passport pics and just rested! I held Fiori for the longest time. She was so happy and LOVES Aiden and Minte (her sons). She would get really excited and bounce up and down and make a little snorting sound when I would hold her and crinkle my nose at her!!! So funny!
To steal a phrase from another adoptive parent, I'm so Jealappy (jealous and happy).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My latest Fiori purchases

So, these just arrived in the mail today.

In light of the recent pictures of Fiori sitting on a potty, I decided to get one and see if I can keep up the good work. I have a feeling that once she is away from the other kids an not learning by example, it won't work as well but I'll try it out. The Baby Bjorn mini potty is only $10 so even if she hates it, I haven't wasted too much and it's worth a shot.

My friend Benta just got a Mino mini video camera. I've been toying with getting a video camera but know they either sit around gathering dust or you don't have them when you want them since who carries around a big ass video camera all the time. Well, with the YouTube revolution, there are now some pretty cool options out there. The Mino is about as small as a cell phone, is cheap and made for taking and posting videos for the web. And it's totally perfect for shooting video at the orphanages when I pick up Fiori.

I am so going to carry it with me all the time. I just wish I had it the night Kona jumped the pen.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Why I haven't started packing yet

I've gotten a bunch of emails from my traveling buddies talking about how far along they are in their travel preparations. They've been filling our forms, gathering donations, creating piles of items to bring, etc. What have I done? Nothing. Want to know why? Because I have a crazy horse.

Get this. I go up on Monday evening to turn her out into the arena for a quick run. She's acting a bit sassy (normal for her). She's running around at breakneck speed, snorting, doing little mini bucks... She seems to be focused on the horses in the nearby stalls although they are paying her no mind. She takes off in another circle, stops short at the fence and then all of a sudden jumps over it.

Well, tries to jump over it is more like it.

She actually a fairly short horse and manages to get three legs over it but the rear left leg gets caught in between the two fence panels. She falls to the ground on her back while she's hanging from her wedged rear leg.

I'm screaming for help as it's late and only two little kids are around. Luckily they belong to Sara, the manager of the stable, and she comes out fairly quickly. She assesses the situation and quickly figures out it will not be easy to get her out since she is on her back and we'd have to lift her in order to get her leg unstuck. And since she is around 1000 pounds, that's none to feasible without some type of winch which we don't have.

Lucky again that my horse Kona is being relatively calm considering she is in a precarious and dangerous situation. I'm fairly calm only because Kona isn't panicking much. Sara is calm because she is used to dealing with crazy stuff having been around horses all her life. Other folks start arriving and it becomes mayhem. It's like the keystone cops with everyone shouting opinions and trying to shovel, pull the fence out, do something. We're shoving stuff under her to keep fer from slipping more - anything we can find - blankets, boards, a car jack. Meanwhile the vet has arrived and given Kona a sedative.

The vet realized we need to call in reinforcements and calls the fire department. They arrive en masse with sirens blaring and about 15 firemen in full uniform.The vet puts Kona under and tells the fire department they have 10 minutes to get her out. A fireman pulls out the biggest saw I have ever seen and starts cutting into the fence around her. I can't even begin to put into words how crazy it all was. It was like a scene out of some Discover Channel animal rescue show. There's around 10 of us surrounding Kona trying to keep her aloft and the fence from falling over from her weight. As he starts cutting, spark are showering Kona and all of us. In about 90 seconds, he's cut the fence away and she's free.

The good news is that she is alive and didn't shatter her leg. She's up and walking and even bearing weight. The bad news is that we're not sure how much damage she did to the leg but chances are she is going to have a long rehabilitation. I've been having to go up there twice a day to administer meds and wrap her leg so haven't had too much time to think about packing and Fiori related stuff.

Stupid horse.