Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hanging Up Her Uniform

 I have mixed feelings about Meazi's current school. I could handle the time-out for whistling, and even the dinner table talk of temptation and hell. I really didn't like the 'marriage is between a man and a woman' reminder. I have many, many issues with the Catholic church.

 Things I do like about her current school. Tinkerbell pictured above. She is Meazi's closest friend in kindergarten. Like Meazi, she has been in American for just under two years. They are girls with two countries, and two languages, and each of them have an ENORMOUS brain! We were at her house yesterday and they were talking about how many wings butterflies have, (Meazi was insisting that all butterflies have four wings), what it is like to travel in outer space, and if wild dogs eat zebras. (Is that really what they were discussing Kate? That last part?!) Masha and Meazi are great pals.

Masha's mommy Kate told us we should consider applying to a very prestigious private school for first grade. I thought this school was not even a possibility for us. She said they they were looking for families that were different. She said that they provided financial assistance for many families.

I applied. They invited Meazi to spend a half-day at the school with other potential first graders. I had to go in shortly after this for a parent interview. It lasted for over an hour. Kate watched Melese in the lobby. If you ask him who his favorite babysitter is, he will continue to say Kate. Sorry mom. Sorry nasty ladies at the YMCA.

Meazi has been accepted into this school. It is more diverse than her current school, and Meazi said they 'let her express herself the way she wants', this having more to do with art. At her current school she must use 'real colors', skies have to be blue, suns have to be yellow, etc.

She is ecstatic and I am too. It is an amazing school.

I hope we have found our place. It is described as progressive and developmental. It goes from kindergarten to 12th grade. And well, they have their own swimming pool.

The thing that I am happiest about is the idea that I won't have to see Meazi fall apart about being the 'darkest child in her class'. She spent an evening last winter completely inconsolable, even though I named every child of color in her current school. She is right, she is the darkest child in her class. This will not be the case next year, and in her words, "Mom, even some of the teachers are chocolate."

So off we go! Bring on the gay-friendly whistlers! Bring on the purple cats and polka dotted pigs! Bring back the pink skirts and the shiny silver Tom's! 

I have to say that I am not completely surprised.

Most people after spending time with her, would like to spend more time with her.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Book in Their Hands

Dear Kololo Cuties,

Did you know that not only do you have family in Los Angeles, but you have family all over the country? If family are the people who love you the most, want the best for you, and would do anything to make your life better, then you have family in Maine, South Carolina, Upstate, Tenne ssee, further Upstate, Massachusetts, Washington, New YorkGeorgia, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wisconsin, and pretty much every other state in the US, and in Canada, France, and the UK.

I wish you could have been there. People were talking about you all night; what you need, how they could help you. Ordinary extraordinary people. Mothers, fathers, readers, writers, artists, and educators.

Your school and library are fully funded, well beyond kindergarten. Tesfa and Ethiopia Reads will break ground in your village as soon as it stops raining, most likely in October.

Get some rest. You are going to need to be at your best to absorb all the new and wondrous things you'll see. Dust off your small hands, you're about to hold your first book.

Don't worry, I'll thank your family for you. It will be my pleasure.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


It's a warm, sunny day in Venice! See you tonight!

Oh, and if I forget to say it...

Thank you. All of you are building this school.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Can Meet the Artist, Get to Know Him Personally-Kris Persson.

 Kris Persson has contributed the above photos for our auction on Sunday. I think they are incredibly moving.

Kris traveled with Amy when she met little LT.

LT loves her Uncle Kris.

We love him too.

Thank you Kris, for these absolutely beautiful  shots.

See you Sunday.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

When Asked...

 When his Nana asked about what kind of creature he saw in the yard, the one they named Alexander...

 His eyes got big...
He shouted, "ALLIGATOR!!" and ran away.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Online Auction Starts Tuesday on Facebook!

Here is the Facebook link. This auction is to coincide with our event in Venice on April 17th. It will last for one week. Not every event participant wanted their work online, so I am offering as much as I can. Here are the rules: Pieces will be posted one by one with their descriptions, comments are bids. Please bid in at least 10% increments. Last highest bid on 4-19, 8:00 pm PST, wins. Bidder/buyer agrees to pay for shipping costs. All sales final. Payment can be a check to me, or possibly, (If I can figure it out) the Paypal on the Eyes of My Eyes Shop blog. Based on your preference the money will be donated to Tesfa for the Kambata school OR can be used to become a sponsor of a Kololo cutie for their second school year. Sponsorship is $252 a year. (Obviously bid would have to be that amount or higher). I will start posting items now, but bidding is not open until 4-12 at 6:00 am. Thanks for your continuing support for this exciting project. I will be adding more items as I get them!

Woo Hoo!

I Can Meet the Artist, Get to Know Her Personally- Heather Cox

My dear friend Heather Cox has donated this print for the event.

She is another one of our friends who just happens to be an amazing photographer.

Imagine how lucky I felt when we met Heather and Chris, and discovered that they live around the corner.

Heather is a wonderful friend, caring, kind, and generous. She is a great mom to her two girls.

 She has M&m's too.

Thanks Heather, for this beautiful print, and for so many other things. We love you!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Is This...? Is This...?

If you have I-Photo on your computer you may be using a relatively new feature there called Faces. The program magically scrolls through your photos and helps you categorize them using facial recognition.
I have folders there of Meazi and Melese. You can tag your photos, just like Facebook. Is this Meazi? It asks me, Is this Melese? Meazi may also be in the pictures below,  it tells me.

If you are like me and you traveled to Ethiopia you may have all of your trip photos in your I-Photo. If you are like me and you are just sitting there, organizing your stuff, you might find yourself suddenly overcome.

Is this Meazi?
Is this Melese?

 Melese may also be in the picture below.

It is a bit jarring to see these pop up amid some bright colorful pics of a friend's recent birthday party. Sometimes I have to look twice. I wonder about these kids, and how their day is going. I wonder if they have eaten, or if they are sick.

Just something I noticed. Try it. Batch your trip photos with your everyday photos, and start searching for the faces of your kiddos. Is that them?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


What are we so excited about.... Look Here!

I Can Meet the Artist, Get to Know Her Personally- Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox is a blog reader living in the bay area. She created this beautiful quilt for the Fundraiser. How cool is she?

Andrea has a son from Aleto Chuko, who is almost two. Andrea and her sister-in-law Dawn have worked for months on this quilt. Don't you just want to wrap yourself up in it?

Thanks guys! Truly beautiful!

This quilt will be listed in the online auction that will accompany the event.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Can Meet the Artist, Get to Know Her Personally- Heather Foster

(I should have definitely had a "guess the amount of ugly cries" contest). Heather Foster is my best friend, and an extraordinary painter. I have already featured her here  on the blog.

One of my most favorite new mom moments happened this past November in Santa Fe. Meazi and Melese got to attend Heather's latest show.

They also saw Heather's studio, and got a real feel of what it is like to be an artist. This link, from Heather's gallery, has a great article about Heather and her work. You can also see many of her paintings. She has had great success over the years. Her paintings sell for thousands of dollars.

Heather has donated the above painting "Reading" and the one below "A Selection" for our auction on the 17th.
'A selection' will be featured in the online auction that will accompany the event. (More to come on that if Melese takes a nap today).

I could go on and on about Heather and her generosity but I really want you to see these so I will hit publish now.

Thank you so much Heather. Incredible.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I Can Meet the Artist, Get to Know Her Personally- Lori Precious

If you live in Southern California and have adopted, or are in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia, you have probably heard about Lori Precious. She is our community leader and organizer- a one woman powerhouse welcoming committee. Lori manages to find all of these new parents, and with a great openness and warmth (she's from Michigan), she makes everyone feel like they are a part of this incredible community. Steven and I attended the monthly lunches she organizes for well over a year before we ever received a referral. Lori always made us think that we were exactly where we should be on those Saturdays, surrounded by extended family.

Lori Precious is a famous artist. Her work is totally unique. Her medium...

Butterfly wings.

It is with great excitement that I announce that Lori has created a piece for our fundraiser auction. It is an abstract Ethiopian flag, made entirely of butterfly wings. You are going to have to wait to see it.

You may have read something about Lori recently in the news. Lori's ideas have been, how shall I put this, STOLEN, by the very famous artist Damien Hirst. Check out this amazing video...

Lori is not the kind of person who lets this sort of thing slow her down. She continues to create her art. She is also a director. (I know right? All of these double, triple, hyphenated, talented types!) Lori has an amazing idea for a documentary that I hope comes to fruition (or just to a Kickstarter page near you), very soon.

Lori is also responsible for starting and maintaining this charity.  She and her incredibly talented husband have two kiddos, Miles, and Silanchi (Amharic for 'pistol' I think). They are a great, giving, family, and I am so grateful that she decided to give to our school and library as well.

Thank you so much Lori. See you on the 17th.

Friday, April 1, 2011