Welcome to Rob and Candy's Blog

We are going PINK- we are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We'll be sharing our journey to adopt our daughter!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Catching up

Henry is adding new words to his vocabulary. Here are two of my favorites-
He use to call Igor - EEEEEEE- but now he say "DEEE-door" or "EEE-door". I giggle every time he says it. Henry also says, "Ah, Man." Rob and Igor say this phrase as well.

I finally filed Henry's re-adoption paperwork at the courthouse! I've been putting it off for far too long. I'm so glad my part is complete and marked off my list.

I started Christmas shopping. Yes, I know it's September. I looked at the calendar and started to freak out a little bit. We have things coming up at church, an adoption seminar, Rob is going on a mission trip for a week in October and the Ethiopia trip is Nov 30-Dec 9. I need to get a head start or I'll be Christmas shopping the week before Christmas.

We took the boys to the zoo this week. We had a great time.

We had a conference call with Children's Hope Chest today. There are 11 people going on the vision trip to Ethiopia. We will visit 6-7 orphanages and care points. One location has 400 children! Another location is 6 hours outside Addis.
On Friday we should have a list of items people can donate. I will post the list here on my blog.
I have my plane tickets and I have renewed my passport! I received two vaccines today- Yellow fever and the polio booster. All that is left is malaria pills which I will take much closer to the trip. My list of things to do is getting shorter!!

Check out Henry wearing my new adoption t-shirt! You can buy one at Caleb and Rebecca's blog.

On Monday my grandmother passed away in her sleep. She was 96 years old and lived a full life. I'm certain she is rejoicing in heaven now.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ethiopian New Year

This post should have been written two weeks ago but life has gotten busy.
Henry and I celebrated the Ethiopian New year at a local restaurant. The owner of the restaurant greeted us with "Happy New Year!". We ordered Doro Wat which Henry enjoys. The waitress brought the injera with vegetables but no meat. Henry automatically put his hand on the injera rubbing it down and then gave me his furrowed brow as if to say where is the Doro Wat??? Seconds later the waitress came out with a bowl of Doro Wat pouring it on the injera. Henry was very happy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


On Friday I bought my airline tickets for Ethiopia! I leave November 30 and return December 9. Several people have asked what I am going to do in Ethiopia. It's a really good question because I have only a high level perspective. I have been reading this blog: Loving the least of these. The writer, Amy, went to Uganda with Children's Hope Chest. Her trip provides a glimpse of what I/the team will be doing in Ethiopia.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Family life in pictures

This weekend we saw a puppet show, made bookmarks and masks. We met Clifford along with other book characters and the Chick-fil-A cows. Igor loved it!

Henry did not!

When I dropped off Henry at Ms. Joya's today he cried when I started to walk towards the car. Normally Henry bounces out of the car and doesn't look back. On the way home I was doubting our decision to take him to Ms. Joya's.
When I picked Henry up all my doubts about nursery school vanished. Henry was running to the picnic table wearing only his shirt, diaper and green rain boots. Henry had another great day playing in the metal wash tub.

You are in the right place!

I switched the format of our blog around. You have the correct blog, it looks a little different.

A blog reader asked what do Africans eat? Answering that question is difficult because Africa is a huge! I found a great article that breaks down the types of food by regions. Click here to learn more.

To learn more about Ethiopian food check out:

Please read this young woman's blog to read more about orphans and the poor in Uganda.

For children who are orphaned you can learn more about their struggles and their diet by reading this Washington Post Article.

Clean Water

A blog reader asked if there is clean water in Africa. Many people in Africa do not have safe/clean drinking water. This video shares the startling statics in central Africa.

or watch it on YouTube

Here are some other statistics from the Australian Red Cross on the lack of clean water in the world:
Six: the average number of kilometres that many women and children in Africa and Asia walk every day to collect water.

Ten: the number of litres of water the average person in the developing world uses every day (the average person in Europe uses 135 litres of water a day, Melbourne currently has a water restriction target of 155 litres per person per day).

Every fifteen seconds: one child dies from a disease caused by lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

Fifty per cent: the number of hospital beds in the developing world which are occupied by victims of unsafe water and sanitation.

Over one million: the number of children killed every year by diarrhoea through dehydration and malnutrition. About one in every 200 children who contract diarrhoea will die from it.

Four million: the number of people who die every year from water-related diseases.

One billion plus: the number of people around the world who lack a basic water supply.

Two point six billion (including 980 million children): the number of people who lack access to proper sanitation facilities - this is about 41 per cent of the world's population.

Source: IFRC, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and Oxfam.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The many emotions of 9/11

I will never forget this day....

9/11/2001- It's a beautiful morning, it is a crisp fall morning. The sun is shinning brightly.

The radio announcer reports a fire at the WTC as I pull into the garage at work. I arrive at my desk 5 minutes late but no one is at their desks. I take the stairs to the fitness room in PWP and it's standing room only. I cannot believe what I am seeing..... My co-workers are suppose to fly to Charlotte in a little while... I mentally go down the list- where are my friends: Donna is away on business but e-mails to say she is safe... Liz is in England her (9/11) flight home is canceled.

my friend has her husband's flight schedule printed out, he's on the plane that just crashed.... was he on the plane?? Later, she finds out he changed his flight at the last minute. He is safe but the FAA had the pilot land in the Midwest. All the passengers are questioned. The FAA cancels all flights. My ex-boyfriend works at the Pentagon- the plane hit on his side of the building- I learn later his co-worker dies but my ex makes it out alive....I want to be sick, I want to go home, I want to stay with my co-workers, I am in a daze....

Rob is at church. He hears a plane flying really low and then he hears the crash.... He heard the plane crash into the Pentagon..... Christy is not in NYC but in Nashville recording an album.. she writes Dry Bones as a prayer (Ezekiel 37).

The schools are in lock-down we are told to go home but not to get on the highway- it's grid locked. Cell phones don't work, all circuits are busy on land lines. My friend Archana follows me so she can go the back way home...

That night the neighborhood is a glow with candles on porches in memory of those who died. Everyone is outside talking about what happened. A family is at the cross street waving an American flag. Every car that goes by honks.

We drive to the Pentagon a few days later... you can still smell the smoke. The hole in the side of the Pentagon is indescribable... I cannot control my emotions... The Red Cross is there, relief workers are there... McDonalds is there... the parking lot looks like a tent city. We see the wreaths and the memorials. I take pictures but I feel like I am a voyeur. It doesn't feel right. We drive downtown, it feels like a ghost town. There are barricades around the Washington Memorial and a tank on the Mall....

A garden is created and dedicated to the FM employee who died at the WTC.

Fast forward 9/11/2008- We have been waiting for our second referral for two months. I'm in a store parking lot, my cell phone is ringing.. it's Duni. We have a referral for a 19 month old little boy!

9/11/2009- Melkam Addis Amet! Happy Ethiopian New Year! It's 2002 in Ethiopia. Henry and I are going out on date! I've called the restaurant, they are preparing Doro Wat. It's one of his favorites dishes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Igor builds

When Igor gets off the school bus he does the same thing everyday. He goes to the play room to build something. One day Igor said, "Mom, I want to be alone in the "cold room" (play room), where it is quiet and I can play."

The other day Rob asked if I had been in the play room. I said I had and it looks like a huge mess but I asked Rob to take a closer look.
it looks as though toys have been tossed every where... but Igor is building a city
look closer... can you see a house with a long driveway and tires to mark the yard

can you see the trees? That is the zoo with elephants and lions, etc...

the zoo is lower right and the area in blue is the airport

Henry is working on the race track for the "Big Race"...


For a while now I have had a longing to help children in Ethiopia. I have been searching for different ways to help. Two weeks ago I was on a conference call with some other AWAA families and Children's Hope Chest. The plan is for 12 people to go to Ethiopia visiting several orphanages and areas where there are children as head of households. The goal is to partner with an orphanage that does not receive help from the West or to develop a long-term care-point to keep families together.

It is exciting to make a difference in a child's life. Part of me is sooo excited, part of me wants to help, part of me wants to go but there is another more selfish side that says let someone else go. The bottom line is God is urging me to go but I am comfortable where I am. That is the sad ugly truth.

God is never satisfied with comfortable. He doesn't want lukewarm Christians to serve him because it's easy or comfortable. Sometimes, many times, God puts us in uncomfortable places so we can grow. For me growing pains are never easy but the comfortable path isn't easy either.

Last night at dinner I asked Igor what he thought about me going to Ethiopia. Igor said that's a good idea. Then Igor said, "Mom, why don't we ask God to help Ethiopian children?" Rob and I said we could do that but sometimes God sends his people to do his work. Igor said, "Okay..... I know, I could give them some of my money too." Oh Igor, I love your heart......

Last night I was praying for a friend who is considering this trip. She is having some growing pains of her own. SCC's Dive came to mind. The words:
As I walk to the edge I know there is no turning back
Once my feet have left the ledge
And in the rush I hear a voice
That’s telling me it’s time
to take the leap of faith
So here I go

And then I realized, I've already taken the leap of faith by going to Ethiopia the first time.... My feet have left the ledge. I'm already in the water so I need to continue on with God's plan.
So here I go... back to Ethiopia!
I will be there December 2, which is when the Ethiopian judge ruled that Rob and I would be Henry's parents forever.

Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nursery School!

Dear Nana and Grandpa,
Today was my first day of Nursery School! I had my lunch so I was ready to go. Daddy took me to Ms. Joya's this morning. I was so excited to be going to school!

Mommy and Daddy forgot to tell Ms. Joya that I love water and sand. whoops!

As soon as Ms. Joya filled the metal wash tub with water I knew I was going to have a fun day. The other children filled tea kettles and pans with water but I had a much better idea! I decided to go swimming! I jumped in and splashed until I was good and wet (it only took a few seconds). Then I sprinted for the sand pile! Did you know that wet clothes and shoes slow you down? Once in the sand pile I rolled around until Ms. Joya caught me, I mean saw me.... She had to take off my clothes to washed me off because I was covered from head to toe in sand! It was so much fun!! When mommy came I was in my spare outfit and I was chalky white from all the sand.

I was sad to leave but I really needed a nap. I heard Ms. Joya asking mommy to bring TWO extra outfits tomorrow.

I am certain I will discover more fun things tomorrow.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brotherly love

We have been home 8 months and 2 days... yep, I'm still counting. Why? Because we haven't felt like a family yet. I mean we are a family, we do family things- we live together, eat together, go on vacation but we haven't felt like a "real" family.

I've been counting the days because I cannot wait for life to feel "normal" again. Igor has had a terrible time moving from being an only child to a big brother. Igor has also had to deal with a tremendous amount of orphanage dust this year... it's hard to run from your past and it's really hard to deal with your past when you are only 7 years old.

I have hope that our new "normal" is just around the corner. Today, Igor helped Henry put on his shorts. It was so sweet to hear Igor explaining to Henry how to get dressed. Tonight Igor asked me to take Henry out of the swing so they could play on the slide together. I nearly dropped my watering can! A few minutes later Rob came outside and asked, "Are they playing together?" Honestly, Igor has tolerated Henry so Rob and I were very surprised the boys were playing together. After playing I put them in the bath together (a risky move because Henry irritates Igor in the bath). I washed Igor's hair and Henry rinsed Igor's hair. I was amazed! Igor was letting Henry rinse his hair. Even after all the shampoo was out of Igor's hair he allowed Henry to continue to pour water on his head. Henry was delighted that Igor was allowing him to help in the bath.

So, tonight I have hope that after 8 months and 2 days we are quickly approaching a new normal.

An update

Igor's love affair with first grade lasted 2 days. On the third day he said first grade stinks- too much carpet/learning time and not enough playing. heavy sigh.... He still has 173 days change his mind.

Henry has had many firsts the last few days. He can open doors. (yikes!) He cannot unlock the deadbolt, yet.... He can reach the water dispenser on the refrigerator! If he cannot find a clean cup in the dish drainer he takes a dirty one out of the dishwasher... ugh. He hasn't figured out the proper amount of water to put in the cup so the kitchen floor can be filled with puddles or a small river depending on the day and how closely he is monitored.

He loves to wear his backpack like his big brother. He wears it around the house, when he is riding his scooter, filling his cup with water....

He loves goggles and wears them everywhere. Yes, even at the breakfast table.

We knew Henry was growing but we weren't sure how much. Today's doctor's visit confirmed that he has grown 1.5 inches in two months. For the first time in 7 months he went up in the height percentiles! Henry continues to gain weight as well. The doctor is very pleased!