Monday, November 2, 2009

For the Critics

The following is opinionated and somewhat harsh.

Maybe I should just be quiet as this too shall pass but I really feel the need to comment. To all the critics out there and you know who you are. I've read your comments and normally I wouldn't pay any attention but my heart aches for the future of adoption, Ethiopian, domestic, and other international. Your uneducated musings about why Americans adopt are ridiculous and dangerous. You have no idea why one individual family chooses to adopt and thus, you shouldn't speculate. I don't really care what you say about me amongst yourselves. I'm sure you are saying it just to make yourselves feel better or probably you have nothing better to talk about. Adopting Rowan was a calling from God. It was God who pointed us to Ethiopia. It was He who chose this tiny, malnourished, sick child and entrusted us to care for him. Rowan is my son, MY SON! and I will rise up as fierce as a mother grizzly bear to defend him if I have to. It is our right to call him what we want, not yours, not the kebele's, not the orphanage staff. He was abandoned. His biological parents did not name him. We did! We who love him, adore him, care for him, feed him, change him, read to him, snuggle with him, hug him, kiss him, comfort him, teach him. We are his family, not you. We're not perfect. We know that. We're not black. We're not Ethiopian. We don't speak Amharic. I can make injera and dora wat but you probably wouldn't eat it. We're doing the best we can with what God gave us. He will provide what we need to raise this child to be a proud Ethiopian-American. You may criticize us and all AP's but unless you have a better idea of what to do with the 143 million orphans around the globe, please keep your backward opinions to yourself.

Monday, October 19, 2009

And the Cutest Baby Is..................ROWAN!!!!

So you probably know by now that Rowan won the Babytalk Magazine/Good Morning America cover contest. Out of 50,000 entrants he was chosen as number one! That's pretty good, pretty exciting really. We didn't know he was going to win, I swear. Right up to the point the GMA staff was walking us downstairs to the studio they continued to tell us the other two families were also there. Oh, maybe I should start from the beginning. On October 2 we were informed GMA was not planning to bring the three families to New York for the unveiling which was scheduled for October 12. Adrian and I were disappointed and I took it to mean Rowan had not won. October 2 was a Friday and I spent the weekend a little depressed. By Monday I had accepted the inevitable and was actually a little relieved (that we weren't going). Heck, I didn't have to spend the week running around like crazy trying to find a NYC approved outfit and worrying about how I was going to do my hair. Tuesday was a normal crazy day here and I didn't open my computer until the evening after the children had gone to bed. What a shock to get an email from Victoria from Babytalk Magazine saying the staff did want us to come to NYC for the unveiling after all! Wow! I couldn't believe it. I had prayed that if Rowan had actually won God would change the minds of GMA and bring us to NY. This new news didn't mean that Rowan had won, I reminded myself, just another free trip to NY. So let the scramble to find myself an outfit begin. It was very frustrating having so little time to get ready for such a big event. We were going to be on national t.v.! I decided on Wednesday that I wasn't going to stress about what I was going to wear. I just didn't have time and I knew it wasn't worth it. And I must say, I didn't stress.
We were told all three families would be there and we weren't to contact them. This sent up red flags, especially for Adrian. He was pretty convinced Rowan was the winner. I wasn't so sure. At least I wasn't going to assume anything though I must admit it didn't make any sense to me to bring all three families to NY for the unveiling. However, I must say that when we got to NY I did scan the streets and hotel lobby for the other two families. If you've ever been to NYC you must be thinking that's what makes no sense. The streets are teeming with people and there was little chance of me seeing either family by chance. We enjoyed Sunday walking through a street market then retired early to give Rowan a bath. Monday we had to be at the ABC studio at 7:50 with our hair and makeup done. Still, they touched us up anyway and put mics on us. Rowan got a whole new outfit courtesy of The Children's Place. We were told they would put us in the audience and that the other two families were there already. O.kaaay. As they walked us down we met up with the hosts of the show like Sam Champion and Chris Cuomo and Robin Roberts. That was pretty neat! So as we were put in the audience I scanned it for the other two families and nope, I didn't see them. I wasn't surprised. Afterward, the folks from GMA and Babytalk joked about what bad liars they were. I understood. They were trying to keep a secret and it was a tough one to keep. I guess I don't need to tell you about the actual show because you can watch that on YouTube or the GMA site. The actual unveiling was a little bittersweet for me. This whole thing was a family affair and yet we weren't together as a family. I almost wish they hadn't brought us to NY. I would have liked to be with the girls for the moment of celebration. We still haven't celebrated in fact. When Rowan was announced as a finalist on September 1 it was so much more exciting and satisfying. It opened so many doors for us to talk about adoption and now it's over. Sam Champion did mention Rowan was adopted and it's in the magazine but he didn't ask us any questions about it and I so wanted to talk about it on national t.v. It was a bit of a let down. The whole contest for us was not about winning a gift card (which we haven't received yet, btw) or about bragging rights. We just wanted to spread the word about adoption. Now that the contest is over I'm afraid that platform is gone. We've gone back to being nobody special. Well, that's not entirely true. I still have the cutest baby in America and lots of people around here recognize him. Also, I do get to talk at my MOPS group in January and that reminds me, I'm supposed to write a brief article for the MOPS magazine, so that's something. It was really fun while it lasted and this is something Rowan will always have, not that he'll remember any of it, however.
The whole contest was fun and a bit surreal. I could see and feel God's hand in it the entire time and I hope to write about that someday. God really does have a heart for orphans and he takes care of them and blesses those who care for them. I love my son so much and not because he's the cutest baby. I love him because God gave him to me (all of us) and I feel so very blessed everyday because of him. It's an amazing kind of love, the kind only God can create.

Friday, October 9, 2009


No, he hasn't won. Yet. O.k. I have no idea if he won or if he is going to win but I do finally know when I'll know. MONDAY! Talk about waiting to the last minute. Truth is, I couldn't take it anymore and on October 1 I emailed Babytalk and asked when we would find out. I didn't ask if he won just when they would announce it and how. We received word on Friday, October 2 that the editor of Babytalk magazine would announce the winner live on Good Morning America on October 12. At that time GMA had no plans to bring the three families to the show. We were disappointed and I came to the conclusion that Rowan had not won. I don't mean to be arrogant here but Adrian and I thought that if Rowan had won they would want him on the show. He has a story to go with his cute smile, after all. Oh well. I did pray though that if he had won that God would change the minds of GMA and have us on the show. I was shocked when I finally checked my email Tuesday night and found one from Babytalk saying "Good news. The editors want to bring the families to New York for the show on Monday." If I hadn't been sitting down I really could have fallen over. I didn't get on my computer earlier in the day because the girls were using it for school. The weird thing is that Adrian didn't receive the email either on his blackberry because he didn't take it to the lake with him. He always has his blackberry with him. So here we are sitting on the couch Tuesday night trying to relax after the kid's have gone to bed and we have no idea how our world is about to turn upside down. Wow! I spent the next two days in a state of mild shock, floating around, but not on cloud nine. My cloudy mind also could have something to do with the fact that my house is in a state of constant disarray and I've had men drilling in my kitchen all week! Yes, in my kitchen. Back to Rowan. I am not assuming he won. That doesn't seem fair plus we were told that all three families are going to NY. I know a lot of people have told us they think he's won but thinking something, wanting it, and knowing it are three different things. It'll be great if he won, real exciting, but we'll come home from NY and on Tuesday I'll get up, put Luca on the bus, try to go for a run, weather permitting, home school Henley and Teagan, grocery shop, vacuum, make dinner. You get the idea. Life will go on. For now though I'm going to enjoy myself. For the next three days I get to imagine what it's going to be like to be on t.v. in New York City.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Still No News

So it's been 29 days since finding out Rowan is in the top three of the GMA/Babytalk Magazine cover contest. People ask us all the time if he's won or when we'll find out the results but we don't know what to tell them because we don't know ourselves. Arghhh! The suspense is killing me! I know that is just a cliche so it's obviously not true but it is getting to me. My nerves are frayed and I find I'm being short with the children. The problem is not just not knowing. It's also not knowing when we'll know. At least the first time I had a set date to circle on the calendar. I just want the phone to ring and someone to tell me he won or he didn't win. Stop the torture and just tell me the results already. Of course, I want him to win and I'll be pretty devastated if he doesn't win but at this point I really do just want it all to be over.
I do take a lot of comfort in talking to God about it. I know he knows the results. Unfortunately, he's not spilling the beans. There are a lot of great passages in the Bible about patience and God's will and taking care of orphans (that would be feeding them and the like, not winning contests, btw). I also take comfort when I hold Rowan and think, "I've already won the prize. I got him!" It doesn't get any better than that! When I think of where we were a year ago: we had a referrel for this teeny tiny baby, a blurry picture of him and not a court date in site. That is true torture when it comes to wanting something to come and not knowing when it might happen. Every adoptive parent knows exactly what I'm talking about. It says in Habakkuk, "though it linger, wait for it; surely it will come to pass." This will come and pass and life will go on and I will wake up each morning and Rowan will wake up and I will parent him and love on him and thank God for him. And thank God for him.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remembering the Day!

So you must know by now that Rowan was one of the three finalists for the Good Morning America/Babytalk Magazine cover contest. It was quite an exciting morning, September 1. I got Luca on the bus at 7:20 and then went for a run. I had to calm my nerves somehow. When I got back Adrian, the girls, and Rowan had GMA on. Adrian thought he knew the results already because the public relations director from Mercyhurst had called him and said she found the winners online. Of course, Adrian wouldn't tell me the three so I immediately assumed Rowan wasn't one of them. I was chagrined and disappointed but kept it together for Henley and Teagan's sake. We got the video camera out and set it up so we could video both the t.v. and our reactions. I'm so glad we did! Of course, Adrian was playing me! First the girl. No surprise there. Then a boy, and not Rowan. Well, that's it, I thought. I had convinced myself Babytalk would pick one boy and two girls. When the host of GMA pulled the sheet from Rowan's picture I swear it took me a whole second to realize it was my son! I was so sure I was about to see a girl's picture that I didn't know what I was looking at. So there was a lot of screaming, jumping, and thanking God going on. What a happy moment! I still thank God. I have said from the beginning he has orchastrated this entire thing. We have not heard the results yet, nor do we know when we will hear. Of course, we want him to win but this entire process has been in God's hands and it still is. One of the best things to come from this entire process has been the opportunities we've had to talk about adoption. Tomorrow we have yet another chance. Adrian and I are going to have a radio interview with The Family Life Network which is a christian radio station out of New York. I have the station on all the time so I feel it's quite a privilege to soon be on it. (I don't think it's going to be live tomorrow though.) I've been praying for these opportunities and God has delivered. This is the third time the media has been interested in our story. God is so big there is no telling where else he may take this or take Rowan. My imagination doesn't stretch that far. For tomorrow, I'm praying that the words that come out of mine and Adrian's mouths will come from God. We want his work to be done. Please pray with us that we will speak articulately and with passion and that the person or persons who need to hear our message will be listening.

I know you can't vote anymore but you may still be able to watch the video clip so I'll leave these links up.
You can watch the video at

You can also see a local news clip about us at

God is in control.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Twas the Night Before GMA

Well, tomorrow is the day we find out if Rowan is one of the three finalists for the Good Morning America/Babytalk Magazine cover contest! What a wild ride it's been. It still feels a little like a dream. I'm actually not going to post much tonight. All I really want to say is that God is in control. Throughout this entire process I have felt God like never before. On Sunday, I was out for an early morning run before church when I rounded a corner and there before me was the most beautiful rainbow I had ever seen. It was so bright and clear. No, it wasn't raining. When I looked north toward the rainbow it was dark and cloudy. When I looked south it was clear blue skies. What I would have done for a phone (to call the girls) or a camera. It was so beautiful, I had to stop running and just stare at it for I don't know how long. I think the guy pulling out of his driveway a few houses away was a little concerned about this weird girl staring at the sky with her mouth hanging open. I'm not taking this as a sign Rowan is going to win. I'm just saying God is nearby and there is evidence everywhere you look.
I know God has orchestrated this entire journey and that if it ends tomorrow it is because God wants it to end. If it continues, it's because God wants it to continue. Of course, I want it to continue, but more so I want God's work to be done. I have prayed that he would use Rowan in this instance to advance his kingdom. Naturally, Rowan has no idea what's going on. As long as he gets his breakfast tomorrow, he'll be happy. I, on the other hand, may not be able to eat any breakfast, depending on how things go. So anyway, thank you all for your interest, prayers, and well-wishes. If you get a chance to watch Good Morning America tomorrow, do so. If not, check back here and I'll post the results. Until tomorrow.