Sunday, August 29, 2010
On Friday I got to speak with Gedese in Ethiopia. Again with her limited English and my very limited Amharic, I tried to explain that I would be there in Ethiopia on November 1st. It's so hard to believe it's been 18 months since I kissed her and Christiana goodbye and sent them on a plane to ET. I was trying to tell her I would be there for Christiana's second birthday and I was bringing a group with me who wanted to meet her. After all she is not only an Olympic athlete, but she was Because Every Mother Matters first mom AND my best friend! Gedese was excited to tell me that Christiana speaks three languages(Oromio, Amharic and English)..yeah she's not even 2! Then Christiana gets on the phone. The last time I saw her..she was 6 months old. I was there for her birth and poetically labeled at the hospital as her dad:) I felt her first kicks, was there when we heard her heartbeat, I spent sleepless nights waiting for her arrival. I never left Gedese's side. I was there when Christiana was ripped from Gedese's body lifeless, I was her advocate when the Dr's thought she had physical deformities and chromosomal abnormalities. I held Gedese and Christiana and prayed for a miracle when all around us was darkness. I fought for them, sold my possessions for them, loved them and then watched them leave. Many times since then I have promised Gedese and Christiana I would see them in Ethiopia and every time I have had to cancel. My body was sick..my spirit was willing,but my flesh was weak. So, when I talked to her on Friday and told them I was coming..her first words, "Please come, don't not come again." Funny thing is..once again I find myself at the mercy of my body. I have big medical tests this week, but have remained silent. Again my spirit is willing....THEN Christiana got on the phone...and she said(not yet 2), "Hello. I love you momma Steffany...Amasecanalo(thank you) for my life". Um..Yeah...Screw my body...I am counting down the days until I see them again!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Is Ethiopia calling your name?
Because Every Mother Matters is going to Ethiopia November 1-13th with doma on an epic adventure and we want YOU to come with us!
Go to Ethiopia this Fall with doma!
The average Ethiopian woman will give birth to over 6 children, and 1 in 11 women in East Africa will die of childbirth related causes. When a mother dies, children are orphaned; and there are 5 million orphans in Ethiopia. Doma digs to the root of the problem. Why are these homes grieving and broken? Why is it that they have no access to simple healthcare? Their days are spent in survival mode. In Ethiopia, growing healthy families means removing obstacles to peace and joy, and preventing that which leads to more orphaned children and vulnerable women.
Doma will establish a Prenatal & Early Childhood Care Center in Bora, a village in the mountains of southern Ethiopia. At this center, the mothers and mothers-to-be in and around Bora will be trained in simple healthcare practices and have access to prenatal and postnatal care, as well as pediatric care for their children.
Dan Clark and Amber Kaufman from doma, and Steffany Boster from Because Every Mother Matters, are leading a Vision Trip to Ethiopia from November 1-13, 2010. On this trip, you will travel with pastors, moms, activists, medical professionals, and business persons who are passionate and share your interest in Africa, orphaned children, and vulnerable women. You will see real needs first hand and meet these needs in simple and immediate ways alongside of one of doma's medical teams. You will experience the first stages of the center doma is establishing. You will build relationships with Ethiopians and come away with life-long friends. You will have the opportunity to give to this and other projects, as well as come home inspired and informed to connect your families, churches, businesses, and communities to the adventure of generosity and compassion on behalf of orphaned children and vulnerable women.
The team will travel from Monday, November 1st to Saturday, November 13th. The cost to cover all your needs while in Ethiopia is $1250 per person. This is a tax-deductible gift to doma, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. You will also need to purchase airfare in consultation with a doma staff person. Additional cash for souvenirs, tips, and snacks is recommended. If you are even considering this opportunity, please be sure that you have a valid and current US passport as soon as possible. Go to www.travel.state.gov/passport for more information.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The Because Every mother Matters website is coming together and to celebrate I am having a giveaway!
What will you win? Your very own Tacky for Africa Headband! What do you need to do?
1. Visit the website. Go to the contact us tab and leave me a message.
2. Grab the button and blog about us. Help spread the word.
3. Buy a Tacky for Africa bracelet.
Leave me a comment on my blog and tell me what you did. If you do all 3-THEN YOU AUTOMATICALLY WIN A TACKY HEADBAND! If you do any of the above you will be entered to win one:)
And, like always...100% will be given to the mommas in E. Africa!
It is because of you that phase 1 of the maternal/child development is almost complete and that Because Every Mother Matters has 704 fans of Facebook. Thanks for your support and spreading the word
Friday, August 20, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
And Adam? Working 20+ hours a day. We miss him. Me? that's another story
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Mon-I woke up from a 18 hour fast to get blood work done. My sitter(awesome Miss Kelly) arrived at 10am. I had just spent the previous night throwing up. I went to my appointment. Then checked on my parents house and came home around 12ish. I walked in the door and Miss Kelly informed me Diezel was sick and having a hard time breathing. I started an albuterol treatment. Half way through I realized it was not going so well and drove him to urgent care. After 2-3 hours, X-rays, more breathing treatments they were still unsure if he needed to be hospitalized. The y let me go home for a few hours. When I got home I found Jace in extreme pain. I promptly took him to our chiropractor. His neck was swollen and in knots. I then rushed home gave Diezel another treatment and took him back to urgent care. He was diagnosed with pneumonia complicated by asthma. I was instructed to watch him through the night. I came home only to remember the girls had tennis. We had a late dinner and Adam left to go work some more. I stayed up with Diezel until 4:30 am, then Adam came home and I went to sleep. I woke up at 8am to take Diezel back to the dr. I was still vomiting.
Instead of boring you with the rest of the week in detail...I will give you the highlights
6 more doctor visits.
1 toddler having steroid/albuterol rages all week
1 night of what was to be pure bliss(my man sent me to a B&B for rest on Thursday.
1 call from Miss Kelly on pure bliss night informing me toddler w/roid rage had to be subdued by my oldest and 1 kid having heat exhaustion/breathing attack that might require an ambulance.
Being sick all week
and then followed by Xia breaking her nose at the pool.
You know what though? In the cracks...I saw beauty. I watched siblings care for each other, I witnessed 3 little kids learn how to swim, I saw my 6 kids playing with each other in the pool completely oblivious that other kids there age were too busy being "cool". I was the recipient of my man's love trying to help me rest, I found out my family can handle a ton of garbage and still laugh.
I love my life. I love everything about it. The messy, sick, complicated....I love it all:)
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I am NOT going to stop blogging..
For me...honestly.....most days this is true. The first place I go in the morning is my gmail and coffee machine. I get a smile on my face every time someone comments on my blog. Somewhere along the line I forgot why I was blogging. At first it was to connect with other adoptive parents for support and encouragement and to chronicle our journey. Then I think I blogged to keep sane and connect with people at a deeper level. After a while I was committed to blogging as a way to journal my families lives since I pretty much stink at the whole baby book/scrapbooking thing. In the middle of all of my reasons, I was getting wonderful, heartwarming, inspiring and humbling messages from people all over the country telling me that something I posted changed them, helped them, uplift them, give them a much needed slap, etc....In the midst of all the reasons I started blogging(family, adoption, connection, journaling) God showed me the real reason He wanted me to blog. We are meant to reach out, to speak truthfully, openly and shine His light in us. This, my blog allows me to do that. I am not the small group kind of woman, or the club type of woman, I really don't like the phone and I am terrible in most public situations. I put my foot in my mouth more than I should or is acceptable. My blog has allowed me to show God's love, be vulnerable beyond my comfort, help people in some unexplainable way, speak truthfully about the trials of life and not only meet but find some of the best friends I have ever had. To me my blog is a gift not an idol, but that is me. Leah's post was profound and beautiful. I admire that she realized that her blog was not where the Lord wanted her. I shared her words because there was so much wisdom. To say we don't have idols would be a lie. Maybe your blog is not your idol, maybe like me your blog is a blessing.....but truth is truth and for me I want to seek out my idol and flee with all my heart just like Leah.
Wise words. Thought provoking words. Words spoken in truth.....(from Leah)
Saturday, August 7, 2010
I do know this Africa. I am not naive....yet, this is not what I think of when my heart wanders. The Africa I love, the Africa that beats within my heart, the Africa I know and choose to see...
Is the Africa that taught this mother of 4 bio kids to be a mother of 6. The Africa that showed me what it meant to be a mother. Yes, I knew how to kiss booboo's , give birth, do play groups, change diapers....but when I traveled to Africa to pick up my 10 pound two year old twins..everything changed. I sat there quietly with tears pouring down my cheeks and watched as their mom kiss them goodbye. She possessed a strength I have never seen. She cried. I cried. We cried for two different reasons. Both of us cried tears of gratitude...
yet only one of us cried the tears of a true mother. So, when I get frustrated at real life...life with 6 kids..two who are very needy...I see her..their mom and I take a deep breath and remember what it means to be a momma.
Africa taught me to worship. I have never in my life seen true worship until I went to Africa. If you have been to an African church then you have been touched by the people who live outside the walls. To me church is active. It is living the gospel. It is believing. It is reaching out. It is love. Inside the church, it was alive. People were praising, believing and worshiping with all they had. It was beauty in motion. I was lifted and moved. They had nothing...yet everything.
What changed me was not what was in the church, but it was those clinging to life outside. Outside one church I went to people were dying. I remember coming across what I thought was a dead man (I had seen a few). He was prostrate in front of a cross, under a sheet. I went to him, covering my nose from the smell of death...he moved. We sat him up. He knew his life was at the cross, he was surrendered. Ready to die. We lifted his head up, gave him water and prayed with him. Yeah, I learned how to worship in Africa.
Outside the same church..I met a mom to 13. She need not tell me her history. All kids looked different and some were considered, "unclean" due to disabilities. She lived in a concrete structure outside the church. They were all beggars and outcasts. I visited with the kids and got slobbery kisses from the "unclean"...They welcomed me with open arms and undeserving smiles...they taught me humility.
And many of you know the story of Gedese..the pregnant mom I met there. She had just lost her baby due to something very preventable here...pregnant again, scared and hopeless(even though she was an Olympic marathon runner). I brought her home with me and my very sick twins. The twins almost died while Gedese received care. 7 months later she delivered Christiana and they both almost died. After living with her for a year..I learned about perseverance. In spite of everything...you fight. You fight for the life of your baby. Even if you move halfway around the world with a stranger....
Just a few ways that Africa Schooled me
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Welcome to another day at the Bosters
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
1. Did I feel like my family sacrificed a lot?
I had several people and my awesome family worry that my kids maybe had to give up too much or they were deprived of food. Well, they did have to give up certain things and yes they were deprived of food. Our drinks went from occasional soda and juices down to water. I am sure they felt like they were suffering. Truth is drinking mostly water is not only FREE, but a lot healthier anyway. Soda and most juices are just empty calories that produce more waste. But they like soda and juice....yeah, and I like mochas. Same thing...both are not needed. They were deprived of food too. They did not raid the pantry freely for snacks. Snack food is typically expensive and not needed as well. They would get a snack, but I prepared them. I discovered that I can actually pop my own pop corn...get this..on the stove! Cheap and again healthier. So, yes we did sacrifice what we were used to for a healthier and less expensive life style.
2. Is this something I plan on implementing permanently for my family?
I would love to shout out a resounding, "YES"! Truth is...I'm not that disciplined. Again we wil chalk this up to life that Steffany imagines in her head. In my head..my family lives on a commune. We have our own livestock, garden, chickens, alpacas and goats. I would wake up at the crack of dawn..collect eggs, milk my goat, choose my veggies from my garden, sew my outfit from my alpaca, school my kids, kiss my husband who works on the farm, and not have internet.
Since we know Steffany's world and the real world never collide...I am learning to find happiness in the areas that I can control. I absolutely want to make changes that fit into my families life.
3. How did I feed my family of 8-9 on $50?
The first week was awesome. I simply used what I had bought w/ what I already had. I realized I had WAY more than I thought I did. I used what I had in my cupboard and freezer. The first week was easy. The second week not so much. We had tons of company and that threw me off. I felt like they needed to eat certain things or a certain way. I also made the mistake of buying all my produce up front. By week two..I was out and when I don't have fresh fruit an d veggies I panic.
Bottom line-It is do-able. It does take planning. But it also requires re-learning. I was amazed to find how much I felt my family needed to eat. For me...I plan every meal around protein, veggie, grain and dairy. Unless I see all the food groups on my plate...I feel like I failed. In my mind a good meal has all of them. Truth is...my family really could survive and thrive on just one of those for a meal. You don't need all of them for every meal. We could have smoothies for breakfast made with fruit and dairy, grain for lunch and protein for dinner. I think our expectations of meals are way out of whack.
So...yes, you can feed your family on way less. You can give more to charity. It is hard. It does take discipline. You really don't need what you think you do. And Yes, I will continue to cut back, reuse, and rethink what I think my family needs