Sunday, June 29, 2008

Is That a Cucumber in Your Garden?

I thought I'd participate in Cloudscome's Sunday Garden Tour Today.

Remember When....



Today's View....



Lots of Lettuce...


Cucumber...


Tomatoes...




Pathetic Carrots...



Broccoli, Zucchini, Pumpkins, Melons, etc...



One Lone Strawberry...



Moses' Fig Tree (You guys plant trees just for your dogs right? He really likes figs)...


If you missed the creation of our Habesha garden, click here, here, and here.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Friend or Family Feature...

will return next week? I sure hope so.

Here is something from someone far more eloquent. As I mentioned there was an online chat with Rebecca Haile on Monday. She is an amazing woman. I had a little trouble with the actual chat itself. When the moderator asked for questions, I panicked because I thought no one was participating. I quickly typed in a question. It wasn't that people weren't asking questions, they were asking excellent questions. They just weren't showing up on the screen yet. Here is my lame question, (Did I think I was the host of the Miss America pageant? Not my best moment.)

ME:If you had to describe Ethiopia in just a few words, what would they be? Would these be the same words you would use to describe the Ethiopia of your childhood?

Rebecca Haile: I've been putting off answering this question because it is so hard to distill. Ethiopia has so much history and beauty and culture,and yet all of that is undermined by the natural forces and political actors that have ravaged the country and its people.It is home for me, so I feel the connection to family and place that leaves me feeling uplifted after a visit.And yet I worry about the future - it is a country at a crossroads.
I did not appreciate all this complexity as a child.



Also, unrelated to this, I found out something sweet about Ethiopia in a webinar on rituals and ceremonies that my adoption agency presented. They believe in the tooth fairy in Ethiopia. Instead of the under the pillow/get cash/capitalistic American ritual, in Ethiopia they throw the tooth up onto the roof. The tooth fairy takes it and 'leaves' a new tooth. Nice huh? I like it. You will definitely see me in a couple of years, outside, standing in the grass, chucking a small Ethiopian tooth onto the roof. (Thereby solidifying my standing as mayor of Crazytown.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees...



Is that how that platitude goes? Can't see the forest through the trees? I have definitely been caught up in the trees lately. I am trying to remember to step back and take a look at the big picture.

Here are some of the things that I have realized in the last couple of weeks:

ONE: This is one hell of a depressing blog. Good grief, I don't even want to read it.

TWO: YOU, my friends in cyberspace, may be the most insightful and supportive people that I have ever "met".

THREE: One of life's cruelest ironies is taking away a librarian's ability to read.

FOUR: Stage IV cancer is much, much, much worse than Stage I.

FIVE: My husband is the best son ever.

SIX: My cold/cough is not indeed a recurrence of my cancer, but more likely the result of having a small first grader sneeze into my face.

SEVEN: My dogs miss my husband as much as I do.

EIGHT: My adoption will continue!! (Best of the big picture revelations!)

NINE: If we are lucky, our kids will meet both of their American Grandmas.

TEN: The word 'Palliative' is one of the nastiest words in the English language.

ELEVEN: Everyday is a gift; I'd better stop moping.


I was trying to remember how important levity is in a crisis. Remember Boyd?

Here is an example.(It is not at all funny now, but at the time it was a great relief/release.)
I was asking Steven about the possibility of getting Chris to come to Los Angeles for her cancer treatment. U.C.L.A is world renowned in this field...

Me: Well, can she fly?

Steven: Julie...She has cancer, not wings!

Levity.Barely.

I thought that I'd tell Chris a joke that I read on our adoption agency's forum. (Apologies if you read this and say,"Hey! That was my joke!")

Picabu Street, the world class skier, decided to quit skiing and become a nurse. She graduated from nursing school and applied for a job at a Colorado hospital. When the hospital denied her application for employment, she asked why they refused to hire her. They said,

" We don't want anyone calling here, and have to hear you answer the phone,"PICABU...I.C.U."

I know, not a very good joke. I realized that not only was this joke not funny enough, my mother-in-law probably wouldn't even get the semi-obscure reference to this Olympic skier.

We've tried Incredible Hulk jokes and Kermit the frog jokes. Oh, didn't I mention that Chris' experimental clinical trial drug causes her to turn green? I don't mean figuratively, I mean literally green. Because she wasn't feeling bad enough already right? She gets to turn green, her skin, her nails, even the whites of her eyes - green.

I really am trying to think back to the feelings I had after I was through with my cancer ordeal. I was grateful. I felt strong. I felt more appreciative. I noticed life's beautiful tiny details.

My case had a happy ending though. I'm still standing. Chris' ending will not be happy. It won't be the same feelings. She won't survive. This is what will kill her. This is something entirely different. How do you come to terms with that?

When we got this news, my first adoption related impulse was to call up my agency and ask them to let me talk to the family that was next in line for a sibling referral. Surely they'd switch places with me! Our situation is urgent! We need to make someone a Grandma PRONTO!

Then I realized just how completely inappropriate this idea was. It is urgent for every adoptive family, (as you all know). This family probably would have switched with me! All of the adoptive families I know here, and in cyberspace, are just that thoughtful and generous.

I also realized that if we did this, if we tried to manipulate the Universe's time line, we wouldn't be placed with our kids. I realized that the kids who needed us most would never find their way to us.

So, I remain hopeful. I am grateful today. What am I most grateful for today? (WATCH ME beat a metaphor/simile into the ground!!)

Today I am so very grateful for all of you. Your thoughts, prayers, comments, and support have made a huge difference in my life. I am not being hyperbolic, I mean it.



Like a grove of majestic Redwoods (There it is!), you guys have shown me your strength, and your wisdom. You are my forest. (Oh, the cheese! I am laying it on so thick!)

But seriously,

I mean it.

Thank you.

I am grateful.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Days Like This...Deirdre.

Some good news for a change...

Sidamo is a big brother.

Look Here.

Best.Video.Ever.

Deirdre you are such a wonderful mom. Congratulations!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rebecca Haile Online Chat Today...


Rebecca Haile's novel, Held at a Distance, was put on the New York Public Library 2008 Summer Reading List. In connection with that, the library is hosting an online author chat with her today Monday, June 23, at 6:30 EST.

HERE is the link. Scroll down and click on the left-hand side.

For more info about Rebecca on this blog, click
HERE .

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Measuring a Week Behind...


I feel exactly the same way I did a couple of years ago. Steven and I had gone for an ultrasound. We had a heartbeat on the monitor. The embryo, however, was, "Measuring a week behind," and, " Could go either way." The level of anxiety was terrible. At the end of the week we learned,"There is no longer a heartbeat."

I feel like our adoption could go either way. Is there even such a thing as a failed International adoption? Seems quite rare. But then again, Steven and I fall into that rare category a lot. Is the universe hitting me on the head and I am not paying attention? As we move our adoption money into our monthly bills account, as Steven's caretaking weariness begins to chip away at his soul, I feel things falling apart.

I am afraid that the only Ethiopian children we will know will be those of our friends. I feel like I will be that one woman, "Out of the twelve women trying, nine eventually got pregnant, two adopted and one chose to remain childfree." Only I am not choosing. My circumstances may be deciding for me. Has it really taken me almost ten years to figure out that the universe does not want me to be a parent? I am an idiot.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Friend or Family Feature...

I feel like I am in way too dark of a mood to write a proper tribute this week.

My Friends and Family are on full alert, helping me to weather the current storm.




My two grief soldiers are by my side. How do dogs know? They are so intuitive.




This is a picture by Eliot Karhu...



Health care... Ethiopia style. Wouldn't it be great if you could walk behind the curtain and have all those ailments on the sign cured by the 'Healer of Harar'?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Would you place children with this person...

Rock Star.

In all ways except guitar playing, (where he is only advanced beginner) this man is a Rock Star.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The C Word...Chris.


In March, by writing this post HERE, I tried to describe what it is like to hear the words,"You have cancer."

Apparently there is something that feels much, much worse.

The school where I have been subbing has a 'no cell phones' rule. You never see a teacher or an administrator talking on a cell phone. It is kind of cool. It gives the school an old-fashioned feel. I always bring my cell phone so that I have a clock. This way I can surreptitiously count down the minutes until I can say the most glorious words known to all substitute teachers across the world,"Children you may go to recess."

When my mother-in-law's name came up on my phone, I immediately felt an uneasiness. Chris always calls Steven's phone, not mine. They talk at least once a week. Thinking I would uphold the rules, and talk to her on a break, I didn't answer. When the phone lit up again seconds later, I excused myself from the first grade classroom.

I answered and Chris said,

"I have a brain tumor, I need to talk to Stevy but I don't know his number."

I spent the next three minutes insisting that she of course DID NOT have a brain tumor. I said that there was NO WAY she could have a brain tumor. She told me that her GP had given her an MRI and there was a tumor on it. I went on about GPs knowing NOTHING about MRIs, that of course it was a mistake, and what was this buffoon's number!? She gave me a number and asked me to call Steven and have him call her. I told her to calm down. I assured her that this was a mistake, that we would work this out and get to the bottom of this egregious error. I told her not to worry.

For a couple of weeks leading up to this day, Chris had been calling Steven. They are very close, but these calls were more frequent. Steven and I were convinced that Chris was a bit stressed out. Her symptoms (forgetting things, making mistakes at work) pointed, in our opinion, to stress. We even stayed up late the night before this call compiling a list of things we felt were contributing to her stress and anxiety. Steven planned to send this list via e-mail to reassure her that with a couple days off , she would be right as rain. He didn't send it that morning because he wanted to confirm with me that he had included all the reasons we had come up with.

After I talked to Chris that morning, I still thought that she was just stressed out. I turned the doorknob to go back into the classroom and discovered that the first grade had locked me out of the room. I pounded on the door,"Please LET ME IN!!!!" I pounded some more. Shit, I thought, how am I going to explain this to the administration? I was in the hallway, on my cell phone. I left twenty, seven year old children ALONE in a room. Luckily, a kind-hearted first grader sheepishly unlocked the door and let me in.

Something came over me.

You know when you have the flu and you are about to throw up? It was like that but without the temperature change your body gets. There was no chill, no heat flash. I felt like the life was just draining out of me through the soles of my feet.

Just then, at that moment, the fire alarm went off. Twenty first graders went berserk. Two of them seemed to be in mid air, as if they sprouted a trampoline beneath them. Two boys tried furiously to open the sliding glass doors that led to the garden and then to the street. Kids were running to three different exits, "Miss Julie! Miss Julie! We have to exit HERE!" "No HERE!" " No HERE!" I loudly request that everyone calm the hell down, and line up at the main door to the classroom. Laura yells, (Did I mention that she sounds exactly like Carol Channing?) "MISS JULIE WE NEED THE EMERGENCY PACK!" I asked her to get it.

Remarkably, we all file out. We walk in an orderly fashion to the parking lot. There of course was no fire. Each school has a required number of fire drills to conduct before the end of the year. School is out this coming Friday, so I assume they were, just like a cop at the end of the month, filling their 'quota'. The principal comes around and asks me if every student is accounted for. I say, "Yes, I think so." I am ashen and shaky. Laura says, "Everyone but JAMES!!" My shoulders fall and I am seconds away from tears. " Everyone but James,"I say defeated. "He is just absent today," Laura says. Luckily, he is just absent today, not lost in the non-fire.

On my break I went home. I told Steven about the phone call. I give him the number of the doctor who clearly doesn't know his ass from his elbow, and I go back to school.

I come home again while the kids have Japanese. I see Steven on the phone, a pen in his hand.

He has written on a Post-it....

Brain tumor.

He leaves for the airport. I go back to school.

"Miss Julie is crying."
"It's because her Grandma is sick."
"No, it's her mom!"
"NOOOO, it's her mom-in law."

(Are you starting to see why Miss Julie is not the best choice to lead a room full of children?)

School ends. I go home.

I diligently read about brain tumors. There are all sorts of brain tumors. Many are harmless. I read and read, and then I read some more. I remember the story of this actor. He had a brain tumor and he is fine! Still a great actor! I am encouraged. I read some more.

Oh God, just don't let it be this one thing. If it is this one thing, then we are in trouble.

Monday morning my husband's mother has a biopsy of her brain. It is confirmed to be the one thing it could not be. That is what it is. Incidence is approximately two to three new cases per 100,000 people, per year. Steven reminds me of what my doctor said to me about my biopsy, "98% of the time it is nothing." Why is it it that we keep falling into this category?

There is something much much worse than learning that you have cancer. It is learning that someone you love does.When that person is at least fifty percent responsible for creating the person you love most in the world, well what is there left to say?


I feel an anger now that is so intense it scares me. I have never felt this angry.

What do we do for Chris? Why is this happening? What will we do? How do we manage?

Is it that we have to experience this loss to understand our future children's losses?

Fuck that.

Steven lost his father already. We are empathetic and we are educated. We can figure out how to help them without this. This is not something we need.


This is instead something that I fear will cause us to crumble. All of us.


We Scramble.

We Cry.

We Hold On.

We Hope.

We Falter.

I Am Angry.

I Don't Know What to Do.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father.

Three men...


My Dad.

See why he is the World's Greatest Father HERE.




Steven's Dad.

I never had the privilege of meeting him, but I know I see him in his sons.


And Steven.


A man on the threshold of Fatherhood.

Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Husband...

is a lousy dancer, but can sing the shit out of a wedding song....







Just sending him a hug from happier times.

I miss you.

In sickness and health...


If you loose your faith, babe, you can have mine,
and if you're lost I'm right behind,
cause we walk the same line.

Now I don't have to tell you
how slow the night can go,
I know you've watched for the light.

And I bet you could tell me
how slowly four follows three,
and you're most forlorn just before dawn.

So if you loose your faith babe,
you can have mine,
and if you're lost, I'm right behind,
cause we walk the same line.

When it's dark baby,
there's a light I'll shine,
and if you're lost, I'm right behind,
cause we walk the same line.

And I don't need reminding
how loud the phone can ring
when you're waiting for news.

And that big old moon
lights every corner of the room.
Your back aches from lying
and your head aches from crying.

So if you loose your faith babe,
you can have mine,
and if you're lost, I'm right behind,
cause we walk the same line.

When it's dark baby,
there's a light I'll shine,
and if you're lost, I'm right behind,
cause we walk the same line.

And if these troubles
should vanish like rain on midday,
well I've no doubt there'll be more.

And we can't run and we can't cheat,
cause babe when we meet
what we're afraid of,
we find out what we're made of.

So if you loose your faith babe,
you can have mine,
and if you're lost, I'm right behind,
cause we walk the same line.

When it's dark baby,
there's a light I'll shine,
and if you're lost, I'm right behind,
cause we walk the same line.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Friend or Family Feature...

will return next week.

I'd like to re post something my Mother-in-law wrote when we first told her about our adoption plans. The 'ranch' that she is speaking of, is the land that Steven and Mark are gazing upon in Tuesday's picture. Here is what she wrote this past winter...


I have told only a few real close friends, and they are happy along
with us. But mostly I was happy past weekend up on the ranch. Sitting
under a starry sky, with coyotes singing in the distance, and the wind
moaning in the Junipers, and a myriad of stars blanketing my most
favorite place on earth, I thought of my grandchildren. Are they born
yet? Who are they? - I sent good thoughts along the Milky Way to
Ethiopia. I hope they are ok. Will it be important someday that I love
this lonely place because one or both of the children have known a
place like this? Or are they city dwellers, and I will have to wait to
give them a taste of this until they are older? No matter. Whatever
their needs - you (we?) will be able to provide for them. I feel
enormously strong, wide-shouldered, tough, and capable suddenly.



Did I mention that Chris got a boxcar and plunked it down out there? This has become her weekend getaway. Talk about extreme camping. The boxcar has no electricity and no running water.

When I asked her about a particularly cold weekend up there she said, "Well, my eyelids were frozen shut but it wasn't too bad."

Did I mention that this woman is tough?!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

At Home...


My Mother-in-law Chris is back at home. Steven is with her, and we will take it one day at a time.

This is an updated picture of our Habesha garden. The Teff, (in the foreground) was sent to us by Chris. As you can see, it is vibrant and healthy. If Chris gives me the okay to share more info later, I certainly will. In the meantime Thank You so much for your thoughts and prayers. I could literally feel the support through the Internet.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

He's Got your Back...

Sorry about that last post. I guess I was feeling a little angry. 

I wanted to send a gentler image out into the Universe tonight.

 All of my thoughts are with you Chris.

This Post Gets No Title...


These three will be together tonight. There will be no toasting with coffee cups. There will be no joyous stories. There will be no big plans made for meeting the Ethiopian grandchildren.


There will be talk of advance directives, recovery, and risk. There will be words like inoperable, survival rates and "Get your things in order." My husband, my brother-in-law, and my mother-in law Chris will be discussing her brain tumor. Her disgusting, fucking brain tumor that has taken over both of the lobes of her brain. They will be discussing how she can't find the words she wants to say, how her memories are playing tricks on her and how she really really wishes that she could have a cup of coffee.

Can you tell which stage of the Kubler Fucking Ross cycle I'm in now? You have got to be fucking kidding me. 62 years old, three years away from retirement, a few months away from finally being a grandma. We thought her symptoms were signs of stress and depression.

Tomorrow morning, an arrogant surgeon with ZERO bedside manner, will drill a hole in my husband's mother's skull.

Wake me from this nightmare.


MusicPlaylist



Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Friend or Family Feature: Guest Blogger Edition- AJ

Today's Featured Guest Blogger is...

AJ!





AJ is a friend of the family. She's traveled to more than fifteen African countries for both work and play. She loves a good story, but spends more time writing curricula than writing stories.

Here are her reflections on her time in Ethiopia...



My time in Ethiopia was memorable. It was 2005 in the United States; in Ethiopia it was 1998. The countryside was crazy beautiful, but when I think of myself in Ethiopia, I think of myself crying. My tears were partly due to the beauty of countryside and the fact that I was traveling with a boy who had just broken my heart. A few weeks prior to my arrival I called to wish him happy birthday; he followed up with an email informing me that he was dating someone else. I already had a round trip ticket to Ethiopia.







Addis to Lalibela

My most vivid memory of Ethiopia: I am sitting on a packed bus that is almost the size of a Greyhound bus, but nowhere near as comfortable. The seats are close together and more like benches with a slight cushion. They had to have been made in China because the leg room was insufficient for a person of 5 feet 6 inches. The bus is dusty, there is no bathroom on board, and people seem cramped to the point that it looks like we're all sitting on top of one another. This bus left Addis and is destined for Lalibela, a grueling 24 hour journey up north with an overnight stay somewhere along the road. The road to Lalibela is steep and goes up and down one mountain after another at a roller coaster speed showcasing breathtaking views.


The bus driver had a supply of vomit bags for the passengers and they were used frequently. But the nausea, the cramped legs, the smell of vomit---none of that was the difficult part of that bus ride. The difficulty was sitting so close to someone I thought I knew, someone I thought knew me, and feeling as if, all of a sudden, I knew nothing at all. My most vivid memory of Ethiopia is of me sitting on a bus heading north, looking out at a landscape that made my heart constrict, trying to hold back tears and not succeeding.



I spent most of the bus ride in tears and the boy sitting next to me was oblivious most of the time. I did a pretty good job of catching the tears before they streamed down my cheeks, but one escaped and he chose that moment not to be oblivious. He caught my arm first, then my face and then used his thumb to gently wipe away that stray tear. It was a gesture that rang of such intimacy and tenderness between two people--an intimacy no longer present.





Kidist

A trip to the African continent would not be complete if a few typical things did not occur. Typical thing #1: your form of transportation will break down. On the return trip from Lalibela heading back to Addis, the bus did, indeed, break down. When this happens there is nothing to do, but wait. I couldn't go for a walk or go exploring because if the mechanic managed to repair the bus while I was exploring, I would be left behind. So I waited and while waiting I was approached by a young Ethiopian couple who came over to try to guess what country I was from. They guessed Kenya, then Tanzania. They were friendly, beautiful, and on vacation for a week without the kids. We started talking and my waiting for the bus saga turned into me making friends with Yennenah and Kidist. Kidist means saint in Amharic which leads me to typical thing #2: in Africa, you will have some type of religious moment and Kidist was mine. They truly befriended me and were on a mission to ensure that I had good memories of my time in Ethiopia and I felt like they literally saved me from a million things. My tears stopped around them, they made me smile, they made me trust complete strangers, they reminded me that love can exist between two people; they made me stop thinking about myself, they made my senses come more alive and brought me back to the present moment. Their presence centered me and I believe that it was more than mere coincidence that kidist means saint.




Detour

Kidist and Yennenah invited me to dinner and then on a hike around a lake connected to a monastery. This brings me to typical thing #3: there will be a detour. So halfway between Lalibela and Addis we abandoned the bus and followed my new friends to the lake.



It was lovely, quiet, relaxing and an ideal place for meditation. I walked around engrossed in my thoughts trying to think about nothing. I stared at the lake, went on a hike and watched nuns weave blankets, tablecloths and shirts. I ended up buying a shirt, which I love and wear often in the summer months.




Losing Faith

Kidist and I went together to see the nuns weaving because we, being women, were not allowed to enter the actual monastery. When we came out of the weaving room into the open air, we met a priest who wanted to know if we were sisters. This leads me to typical thing #4: there will be a moment when you lose faith in God or religion.



Kidist explained to the priest that she was Ethiopian and that I was a tourist from the United States. The priest looked me up and down and began speaking in Amharic while Kidist translated for me. The priest began by saying that he was happy to see me in Ethiopia and that black people from all over the world are the same. I was touched and started anticipating his next words. I thought he was going to say that I was his long lost sister, that slavery had divided us or some speech about all black people being united, but he said nothing along those lines. He proceeded to tell us a Biblical story about black people, the descendants of Ham. Apparently after the flood Noah cultivated grapes and drank a little too much one day. According to this priest, Noah was so drunk that he ended up naked in a tree. One of his sons, Ham, discovered him and immediately went in search of his two brothers. He pointed to their father in the tree and began laughing. His two brothers, being dutiful and respectful, did not laugh and proceeded to retrieve their father from the tree and cover him with a blanket. When Noah fully awakened from his inebriated state and realized what happened, he ended up cursing all the descendants of Ham--black people. So, the priest tells Kidist who translates for me, "We are all one people, black people." I'm sure something was probably lost in the translation and that is not the exact Biblical story, but it was enough to make me lose faith in religion for a while. I'm not sure what other reaction I could have had in discovering that I am a member of a cursed tribe. There it is in a nutshell, an explanation for the history of racism and the oppression of black people.

But I must admit that I LOVED seeing the priests in Ethiopia. They really seemed more like supermodels to me. Visiting one of the stone churches in Lalibela, I asked a priest if I could take a picture. He said yes and proceeded to arrange his robe, grab a big cross, and put on a pair of sunglasses to pose for the camera.




Lalibela

I don't know how to describe the Lalibela churches except to say that they are stunning. They are another one of those wonders that no one really knows how they were built. Legend has it that God told the King Lalibela to build the churches and gave him the plans for the churches. They were built in record time because the angels apparently worked at night in order to complete them. If I am remembering correctly, I think historians and architects guess that it would have taken a work force of 40,000 people to complete the churches. But since I am a little cynical after the story of Ham, I might take a guess that the word "slave" could be substituted for "work force of 40,000" or “angels." But when I was in Lalibela, I was not so cynical. It was a bit of a religious experience of such awe and beauty to leave me breathless.












Burger Queen

So although my trip to Ethiopia began with tears, it did not end that way. There is something distinctive about Ethiopia and it probably has to do with all of the things that make up Ethiopia and Ethiopian identity. It is the heart of civilization. It is one of two African countries to have never been colonized; the country that first cultivated coffee--home of the coffee bean; the direct descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba; Shashamani, the Rastafarian homeland.


My trip ended with me missing my flight. I arrived at the airport for a 3pm flight only to discover that my flight left at 3am. So I was stuck in Ethiopia for a few more days because there were no daily flights to where I was heading. Two days before I was scheduled to leave (the second time); I was invited to dine with a group of Americans. I declined, feeling a little sad and wanting to be alone. I decided to eat alone and had every intention of eating traditional Ethiopian food. As I was walking I had a craving for a hamburger and I never have cravings for hamburgers. So instead of walking into the traditional restaurant, I walked into a restaurant called Burger Queen. As I was about to order, I heard someone call my name. I turned around to see Yennenah and Kidist, my friends from the Lalibela bus trip. They were sitting in a car eating with two gorgeous, chubby kids. They treated me to dinner and it seemed perfect. I found myself thinking of every event that needed to happen in order for me to run into them again. As I was leaving, Kidist hugged me and told me this Amharic proverb:

People who love each other will meet without any appointment.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ethiopian Adoption in The New Yorker Summer Fiction Issue.


Mary Gaitskill has written an interesting short story called, "Don't Cry" in this week's New Yorker. The story is about two American women in Addis Ababa, trying to do an independent Ethiopian adoption. I remember reading some of Gaitskill's short stories years ago. Her fiction is jarring but moving, and you kind of feel like you need a shower after reading it. (Remember the movie "Secretary"? It was based on one of her stories.)

"Don't Cry," is worth reading if you get a chance. It deals with grief and loss, and has a glimmer of hope thrown in for good measure. Here is the online link, but I don't think it will be available there for a couple of weeks. You may have to get it at a news stand, or the library if you can't wait.

You know Ethiopian adoption is getting popular when it starts to become the setting for a fictional short story.

For a non-fiction short story about Ethiopia, tune in tomorrow for my first ever Friday Friend and Family Feature: Guest Blogger Edition.