Friday, November 30, 2007

I SURVIVED NaBloPoMo 2007!

Thanks everyone for reading my rants and raves for the last month. I am full of hope that I didn't piss too many people off, although it has been big fun. Who knew I had so much to say?! I still plan on posting much more frequently just not everyday. Feel free to continue to send me questions or topics that you think I would be interested in reading and commenting on. I will continue to try to keep my postings as interesting as possible and you know I will continue to speak my mind.

I'm going to take a few days off from posting and get this, posting everyday has even inspired me to start a blog for my company (I'm a gluten for punishment) on living the ultimate life. I'll let you know when I start that blog in case you can't get enough of me! LOL

One last thing. Somebody better send me a prize, a candy bar or something for posting everyday (smile)! Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Family Rocking Chair: Priceless

I probably have one of the best gifts ever to share with Baby I that no one else in my family has used since my grandmother. I have my great-great grandmother's rocking chair from Jamaica! How cool is that? This rocking chair is at least 125 years old. My great-great grandmother used it to rock my great grandmother who used it to rock my grandmother who didn't use it to rock any of her kids because her mother had it. Neither did my mother or my two Aunt's. So, I will be the first to rock their children with this rocking chair since my great-grandmother rocked my grandmother.
BTW...the reason the chair looks so close to the ground is because it is. My great grandmother was only 4'10", I can only imagine how tall her mother was. My knees will be up in my chest when I'm rocking Baby I but, the love I will feel when I rock her: priceless.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cooking a Staple?

For Dominicans the base of any meal made is plantano (plantain). Most people think its rice and beans for all Latinos but, for Dominicans (rice and beans is a very close second though) plantains is the main food source (if you will). We can cook it at any stage it comes and any color-- green, yellow, speckled will have a meal on your plate in a jiffy. I love plantains!

I just figured out the reason why I don't enjoy cooking is because I don't really care that much about food... However, in my house there were very few times we fought over food but, one of those times was when my mother was making plantano maduro (sweet/ripe plantains). This was a treat because I was raised in Cleveland and it was difficult (and expensive) to get plantains and when she did, they went just as fast! Now, I live in DC and the culture is so diverse, I can get plantain anywhere, I think I've even seen it at 7-11 next to the Big Gulps.

I don't fight my little brother for my plantano maduro anymore but I still love them. Does this mean I cook them? Of course not, silly...well, not too often that is. LOL So, the staple of the Dominican culture is plantain and the staple of the Ethiopian culture is injera. Uh, OH, although I love (and always have loved) Ethiopian food you know I can’t make it and I’m a little concerned about trying to make injera because it has a taste that you don't want to mess up. But, I want to make sure that I can make it before Baby I comes home. I keep looking in the Safeway aisles for it and they don't have it. Something tells me they won't be getting injera anytime soon. Hey, maybe I should ask them next time I go. What do you think they will say? That would probably be funny. I’ll keep you posted on this one. LOL Maybe this weekend, in my free time (yeah right) I’ll have my first try at making injera and a little snack to go along with it. What do you think about this recipe that someone sent me? I'll let you know how it turned out. Wish me luck.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups lukewarm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp baking powder
salt to taste
2 Tbsp canola oil

1. add the yeast to the flour and slowly add the water and stir it well to form a thin batter; cover and let it sit in a warm place for 3 days; stir the batter once a day
2. when ready to make the injera, add the baking powder and salt to taste, stir well
3. heat a large non-stick pan/griddle, brush it with some canola oil, set heat at medium-high
4. take about 1/2 cup of batter and pour it on the pan and swoosh it around to spread the batter into a thin layer on the pan (sort of like making crepe)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Really Hate Cooking

I am actually a pretty good cook, although I don't do it often. However I get inspired when I see all of these cooking shows (operative word here is inspired). But, I guess not inspired enough because I still don't cook. But I do call as many of my friends as I can to see who I can bum a meal from. Luckily they love me and feed me. I don't eat much I'm entertaining so it's ok. Sighhh, I guess that will have to change when Baby I comes home next year. As such, I've tried to get back in the habit of cooking again. It isn't easy because I honestly don't like it! It's so easy to go to Whole Foods and buy sushi, nuke a sweet potato, prepare a salad, eat cereal (my personal favorite) or go on a date just for the free food! Yes, people I am not above going on a date with a man I have absolutely no interest in for the food. It's easy! I act very hungry, order extra and then I have meals for a few saves me on my grocery bills! Don't hate, didn't you hear I'm saving money for my adoption! LOL

Oh yea, getting back to cooking. So, tonight I had to eat and was determined not to eat out. I cooked catfish with fresh string beans. Don't be impressed...the seasoning was out of the box and the string beans were, well, string beans. The meal was tasty but any idiot could have made that meal and tonight the idiot was me. Poor Baby I. Mommy is going to do better, she really is. She is going to remember those lasagnas, homemade macaroni and cheese, chicken and dumplings, sancocho (a Dominican stew) and other yummy dishes she used to make before you come home, she really is. If not she knows where the local My Girlfriends Kitchen is located!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Don't Give Up

"If you run into a brick wall, dig under it, go above it, or go around it--but don't give up. Either you have to find a way or make one!"-- Payal Tak

Yup...that's pretty much how I am feeling about a month long of posting! I now have to look for inspirational quotes to keep this up in the midst of migraines, meetings, work and more work...I'm tired. Maybe I'll have more to write on Tuesday. Oh, I have a lot to say I just don't have the energy to write it! I wish I could just speak my thoughts into my computer.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Traditions

I was sent this question weeks ago and haven't answered it yet because I was hoping to come up with something very enlightening but instead you get this.

Q: Tami, I'm wondering as an AA woman about to adopt a baby, what kinds of traditions do you envision? I'm asking being a white woman with very little vision about a multicultural holiday, but ready to learn.

A: I'm sorry to disappoint you but, although I've said in many posts, in different ways, I am multicultural, I have no special "multicultural" way of celebrating the holidays. The way my mother raised me was to just celebrate the holidays without thought of any specific culture or race. I suppose we always knew who we were so around the holiday it was just a time to be with the ones we love, be thankful and to celebrate what the season was for. Yes, different parts of my cultural has specific traditions but, because my family was so diverse and maybe because we were in America, we never focused on those things. Around the holiday we just enjoyed each other.
Baby I will be my first child so, as most of you have done, the traditions I will share with her will be those passed on from my family, those I research and that I think I would like to incorporate into our lives. I don't want to start anything too stressful though because life is stressful enough. I'm going to keep it pretty basic to begin with and not focus so much on the "traditions" but more on the experiences, exposure and education. The people I have her around, the places I take her to and the time I spend with her. I don't want to get so caught up and overly obsessed year 1 with every single tradition. Kind of like the hair thing... you know just let the baby's hair just....oh, excuse me I'm getting ready to digress...LOL
I love the holidays so I think it's important to be around those that you love both friends and family. I want my children to appreciate what they have and not look down on others for what they don't have. As such, last year I started working with the homeless or sick and shut in, this will also be a part of our life. I try to attend service on Christmas morning. As far as celebrating the Ethiopian Christmas holidays specifically, I plan to start learning as soon as I can to share with her as well as our friends and family.

Finally, there are many people that read this blog (go figure) that have their children home or are Ethiopian and can share traditions that we can incorporate into our lives not only around the holiday but all year. If you don't mind, please share some of those traditions with us. Selam.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Billboard

I took a picture of this billboard when I was in New York this past summer. I thought a little funny would be a good way to end your Thanksgiving Holiday. Plus, I have absolutely nothing to write about today. Only six more days of writing and you better believe I'm taking a well deserved time off for good behavior!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday or Leftovers?

Today is the infamous Black Friday and I'm a little sad. I'm sad because I have absolutely no money to go join all of the crazy people shopping today! (I know I heard you boo-hoo for me. lol ) Some of the sales today are good and some not so much but never-the-less the day after Thanksgiving Day shopping is/was a ritual for me. I would get up early and hit the stores at 6 am or earlier. For what? I have no idea. I just liked the idea of saying I beat the crowds. I liked watching the mothers fight over the latest toy and men rush to the electronics like little boys that have never grown up. I really got a kick out of this. I rarely bought gifts for anyone else but myself! LOL I'm a bargain shopper or just say shopper period. I buy gifts all year long, when I see the best price or best gift so I'm not stressed out on Birthdays or Christmas...the day after turkey is reserved for me.
But alas, I am sitting in Myrtle Beach not enjoying shopping. Why? Baby I or better yet, reality. The reality that I'm (as I said the other day) a tad low on extra money. I don't really need anything. There are many things I want, but nothing more than having my baby home. To that end, I'm missing 2007 Black Friday. In lieu of shopping (kind of sounds like a death doesn't it?) I think I'll help carve the meat off of the turkey and find some new recipes for leftovers. Don't be jealous about my exciting day, I'm including a recipe for you. But you have to tell me, did you find anything good while shopping today or this weekend?

Black Friday Turkey and Poached Eggs (serves two)

Ingredients: 2 tbsp. white vinegar 6 oz. of stuffing or dressing 5 tbsp. butter 4 oz. turkey 1 lb. spinach 2 large eggs salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Bring pot of water to a simmer and add white vinegar.
3. Shape the stuffing into two patties and saute with 2 tablespoons of butter.
4. Put turkey on top of patties and place in oven (so they stay hot).
5. Saute spinach with remaining butter.
6. Poach eggs for three minutes.
7. To assemble, put stuffing/turkey on plate; top with spinach and eggs; season with salt and pepper.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It's 4:00 am and I'm running out the door to drive to Myrtle Beach to visit my mother for Thanksgiving. I wanted to tell everyone to have a blessed day with their friends and families. Who knew I would have become addicted to waking up and even sometimes going to sleep checking on everyone's progress on their journey to family (the highs and even the lows). I have found a new family on the net in many of you, even though we have not met. So, today in addition to all of the other things that I am thankful for I wanted you all to know, I am thankful for you all! Thank you for supporting me these past months during my ups and downs on my journey to Baby I. Virtual Kisses and Hugs! Selam

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Help World Hunger Today

Remember those emails you occasionally received from that annoying friend about going to a particular website to save the world? Well, the email is now a blog posting and the annoying friend is now me (hee hee)!!!! Check out Free Rice where by simply playing a vocabulary game, ten grains of rice are donated for each right answer selected to the United Nations World Food Program. The World Food Program is working with more than 1,000 organizations in more than 75 countries.

Since more than 25,000 people die annually from hunger I think I can be your annoying friend today and I give you permission to goof off at work and play this game. Hey, you are goofing off anyway and reading blogs so go ahead and play, it's okay! Oh, and you will have a much better vocabulary to wow your supervisor with. Maybe I should play, then I'll stop using urban language like WTF (I was just told this is important nomenclature), holla and whateve. Even more importantly maybe I can beat my mother at Scrabble. Yea...WHATEVER!!! Is that better? LOL

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Reasons to Believe What You Read?

Today the UN released the 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update Reports on the latest developments in the global AIDS epidemic. The 2007 edition provides the most recent estimates of the AIDS epidemic and explores new findings and trends in the epidemic’s evolution BUT GET THIS, the top UN AIDS scientists were only pulling our leg about the enormity of the epidemic. That's right folks! The scientists "said" they were overestimating both the size and the course of the epidemic, which they now believe has been slowing for nearly a decade, according to the U.N (Washington Post article).

One AIDS expert, James Chin (author of "The AIDS Pandemic: The Collision of Epidemiology With Political Correctness") even had the audacity to say, "the numbers are more at 25 million not 33 million ... (the epidemic) It's a little high, but it's not outrageous anymore." Yup...I bet those 33, 25, 15 million or xxx million people feel LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY, LUCKY!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Kiddie Domain Names

I just heard that parents are buying up Website names for their newborns or preborns (Does that even make sense? I just came up with that.) So that name you are thinking of, you better reserve it now so they can have a facebook page of their own. You don't want them to feel left out do you. Sighhh...what happened to the good ole' days of teasing and taunting with the simple things like ice cream or stealing (oops I mean borrowing) each others doll babies? Now we have to worry about buying domain names even before the little brats (oops again! I mean luv bugs...hee hee...just jokes) get here. Now they walk around saying I have my own domain name what do you have? Or just contact me @ http://www.missygirlwhatev/. See my face page, self page, space or WHATEV!

Geez... well Moms get your credit cards out and start thinking about those names because little Pacey, Madison, Parker, Gabi, Arriele will hate you forever if you don't have a domain name for her. I mean Mom what were you thinking?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Cure for Telemarketers

I don't answer my phone when the caller id. shows unlisted or unavailable. It could be someone I don't want to talk to like: an ex boyfriend, one of my colleges asking for money, a bill collector (of course I pay my bills, but it could happen right?...LOL), my aunt (I see her name, I just don't pick up the phone because she talks entirely too much), one of my credit card/mortgage companies with a great offer or the dreaded telemarketer (I put my name on that opt-out list but somehow I keep getting calls!). For the past few days my phone has continued to ring and the caller id. kept showing unavailable. This morning I decided to answer the phone to see what was so important. The conversation went something like this:

" Hello"

"Good Morning, I'm Tim calling from Eastern Marketing Company, yesterday you started a survey with us. Would you like to continue today?"

"Good Morning. What perfect timing because I'm conducting a survey also. I'm adopting a baby from Ethiopia as a single parent. I'm having a few issues trying to figure out how to raise money to finish paying for the adoption. Also what color do you think I should paint the baby's room? At what age do you think I should put her into daycare? Do you think I should work full or part-time? But I really need to work full-time...Oh I forgot to tell you about my business. Hello.... Hello... Tim? Are you still there?"

I laughed hysterically. I don't think Eastern Marketing Company will call me back again. The point is, start asking them a lot of questions and see how they like it!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fittin' In With The Adoption Trend

I interviewed someone the other and at the conclusion of the interview we were just chatting. She started talking about her kids, I mentioned my adoption (there is no surprise there). She said "oh, how nice, it's so trendy these days, that's the in thing." I was floored. I said "well, no, it's not an in thing to do. People adopt because they love children." Everything else is a blur. But, I still like her, and she understands that adoption is not "trendy" and is very embarrassed by her comment. I guess I will contract her.

Adoption trendy? Very funny, I'll be sure to remember that as I am saving, scrimping and trying to figure out how to pay for my adoption. Trying to be the best single mom I can. I have to fit in with the Jones ya' know!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ethiopian Jungle Crud

What is "Ethiopian Jungle Crud?" Beats me but on an adoption board this phrase got thrown out and I was sent an email about it from another PAP. It looks like I have become the Diaspora Adoption Diversifier (for a lack of a better term). This particular family was pretty annoyed about this email that was going back and forth from this family that just picked up their daughter from Ethiopia. Apparently the husband got sick and the family said he got the "Ethiopian Jungle Crud." Well, the PAP that emailed me said Addis is not in the jungle...true...and was concerned about what they would teach their child about Ethiopia--truth or fiction?

I was curious so I went to board and read the email. I felt bad that the man got sick but I was disturbed by what he called his sickness and really wondered why he would call it the Jungle Crud? Ummm...anyway, you know I sent the board an email and did I get backlash. Probably, many are reading this blog this morning...oh excuse my impoliteness...GOOD MORNING! :-)

So, this is what I said:
What is this Ethiopian Crud? Is this what the doctor called it (because I looked it up online and couldn’t find any medical definition for it) or is this what you and your husband have decided to call it? I can tell you it does not sound very nice to me and I am offended by it. Addis is not in the Jungle so to me this has a very negative connotation of what you believe Ethiopia to be and your understanding of Ethiopia. Furthermore, when I saw the word "crud" and I saw “hassle”… like see what I had to go through to pickup this little baby. Traveling anywhere and simply getting on a plane can be a hassle. When I travel across country I get sick so again, this just didn't sit well with me (you can say it is just me but this was brought to my attention by someone else on the board.). I have said this on other boards, I say this on my blog, and I will say it on this are now stepping into a new world where you are not only adopting an Ethiopian child but you are adopting a Diaspora. You now must think about the subtleties of the words in which you speak and write. Those things which may not seem like such a big deal to you are very offensive to others. Selam

Guess what happened then? Someone threatened to call my adoption agency on me! They said I was ridiculous! It was just a few words and yes maybe they were not the right words but this was simply ridiculous. Who is this Tami person...I sent them to my blog. This was my response:

My name is Tami. The purpose of my email was to let you know exactly what I said, how words come across to people and how they can come across as racist. This is a forum for learning and trust me you better learn some of these lessons now, while your babies are young. Race is a very touchy issue and people don't like to hear it or discuss it, I force people to see it and talk about it...many people don't like me because of it...sorry. I live it daily. I am actually pretty friendly, I talk about this, I can laugh about it...many others won't. If any of you feel the need to call Gladney about me please do but I think you are over reacting. Trust that they read my blog just like everyone else. Selam.

Just another day in Happy Blog Land for Me! Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blogging While Brown

I think I'm in trouble. I may need to commit myself. I need some serious drugs: Twizzlers, M&Ms, Ding-Dongs, Kit-Kats, Reece's Pieces...oh, these aren't drugs? Well, I just need them anyway because I really like them and they make me happy when I eat them...but I digress. I found out about another blogging event, the International Conference for Bloggers of Color. I think I may attend, it's in Atlanta and an opportunity to see my friends and do some business. I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do there and what purpose my blog will serve but I may be there. Possibly by then I will have a new blog name and more purpose. I think the blog purpose is becoming clearer though...I annoy as many people as I make happy! LOL

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ebony or Michael?

This months Ebony is filled with great information about Africa you should pick up a copy however, that is not what I really want to talk about (of course not). When you pick it up look at the cover, it's Michael J.! Dang, whatever happened to Michael? I still feel bad for him (did you see the movie?). He was such a cute kid and even a decent looking man then he became...well, very interesting...okay, I'm not quite sure what he looks like now but I still love his old music. Back to my original point: Ebony has a pretty good magazine out this month about Africa you should go pick up a copy! LOL

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

African American Support for Your Adoption

Believe it or not, I did receive a few questions in my I Help Where I Can post. I have just been trying to come up with a witty response so here is my first response. We still have 16 days so I'm accepting questions! LOL

Question: Your perspective on how white adoptive parents can work at gaining support from the AA community in adoption (in terms of trust). I find that many of my AA friends/ acquaintances aren’t to keen about my adoption. I want to work at finding that support in my local AA community. I want to meet folks where they are I’m not expecting them to come to me.

Answer: Well, this is quite a dilemma you have here. Don't feel bad because you are not alone. I'll let you in on a little secret, a lot of African Americans aren't too keen on us (other AA) adopting African, Haitian or any baby of color that is not "African American." I get criticized regularly for my Ethiopian adoption so, my first point is: you will not be accepted by all African Americans simply because you are adopting a little brown baby. Now, once your little bundle of joy is here he/she will clearly be American and be considered African American through most eyes. So, how do you get the adults to understand you want to meet them where they are and you don't expect them to meet you where you are? Simply put, lots of hard work and effort.

Don't use where you live, your family, friends, work, community or any of that as an excuse. What I mean by all of that is, it takes a concerted effort. Let me give you an example. In Cleveland my Aunt has a friend who is white who adopted a black daughter. They live in an all white community yet weekly she drives 35 + miles (one way) to make sure her daughter can play and socialize with another black child and family. The mother has made friends with my Aunt who, in turn, has introduced her to other families. Her child may live and go to school in an all white community during the week but, on the weekend she is part of an African American community and activities (The irony of this is my Aunt lives in a white community also but hers has a few more Blacks). The mother joined a black mother's group and no they were not too keen on her joining at first. She said she joined for her child and kept coming back, they eventually got over it (she had a lot of "balls" and my Aunt had to fight for her). Ultimately, you simply need to have very, very, very thick skin and keep the course. Eventually, the community and your acquaintances will come around. And then the honest truth is some of them never will. I have lost some friends on my journey to adopt my child(ren) and you know what? That is fine by me! If they can't accept this new part of my life and that God has called for me to be a mother to 1 or 2 children from Ethiopia then they are not meant to be in my circle.
So, you have to continue to expose your child and make sure it is all about your child. Be clear, what they are saying under their breath is "uh hu" sure...we'll see...but is that really any different from what I would get if I decided I loved hockey and am now a huge fan. I want to know everything about it and go to all the games and become part of the community. I want to be accepted and I want everyone to love me. Nope! Probably not. Hockey is a predominately white sport. Are there any blacks that play? I'm sure there are at least 1 or 2 we are everywhere (heehee) but you get my point! Eventually, the people at the hockey ring would see I really am serious about hockey because I keep coming back every week...then I can speak the language, I know the people and I'm comfortable in the arena, nothing is made up.
Becoming part of the African American community will be the same for you. However, whatever you do please, please, I beg you as you try to meet AA where they are do not speak Ebonics or say one of my best friends is black, neither are cool at all! LOL

Monday, November 12, 2007

Worth More Dead

Ford Magazine just came out with their Top-Earning Dead Celebrities List. The 13 legends grossed a combined $232 million in the past 12 months, can you believe that? You know the King Elvis was on the list, along with Dr. Seuss, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Einstein and my boy Tupac but I swear I saw him last week!

This list actually made me think and realize (I don't know about you) but I REALLY am worth more dead than alive (scary but true...sorry Mommy)....let's see:

-there's the house (I live in DC you look at real estate here!)

- two life insurance polices (I won't tell you how much they are worth but Baby I will be chillin' on the French Riviera when I'm 6ft under)

- the business (it will be worth financial planner says it is worth $xxxK if I sold it today...any takers? LOL)

- the car (it's a depreciating asset but an asset none the less...LOL)

- jewelry, artwork, furniture and other stuff (you can still make money at yard sales you know!)

Oh well, since I'm still alive and happy I should continue to work on trying to make it on the Gladney's Mommy list first...I'll be happy with that!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Nothing to Say!

After 10 days of posting I am having a very difficult time of finding something to say! But guess what? Many people are also. I went to chou-chou, Jaime, and Katy's blogs and they are all saying the same thing, this posting everyday is hard! Now, mind you, we are all women that ALWAYS have something to say, yet we are at a loss for words. I guess it happens to the best of us. I'll do better tomorrow, I promise!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Spring Trophy!

Everyone loves the Spring because it signifies the start of something new, something fresh. spring flowers, spring cleaning, spring freshness, spring air, spring clothes and a spring foot ball league! We'll bring home the trophy in the Spring!

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Things Mothers Do

I forgot to mention my flag football team made it to the playoffs! That's right Jocelyn, I'm a football star --I may need a manager after all! My family is still a little perplexed as to how I am on a winning football team, I told them I'm a good luck charm. HEEHEE. Yes, I actually play (offense and defense).

Our playoff game(s) is/are this Saturday, 9am. My mother is so proud, so much so she has driven 7 hours from Myrtle Beach, SC to DC to see me play football. Now, that is supporting her baby girl! LOL I suppose these are the crazy things mothers do for their children. I know I would do the same for Baby I...okay, I lie. I would get on a plane, not drive, but I would go see her in the playoffs even if she were a grown 'ole woman!

Keep your fingers (and toes crossed) and wish my team (Wolfpack) winnings for Saturday...we want to come home with the trophy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A New Appreciation For Food Today

I don't know about you but, I can get caught up and forget how blessed I am. However, I am trying to be more present in my life and to my blessings. To that end, I was on someone elses blog (sorry I can't remember which blog, I was jumping) the other day when I came across a wonderful reminder of one my blessings that I knew I had to share. Time Magazine put together a photo essay on what the world eats and it really made me stop and think about how blessed I am and blessed to simply be able to have food (okay to have the ability to purchase it because my refrigerator is normally empty...I'm still single after all!). And to not pay the prices in Europe...YIKES!

As I am typing this I am also thinking about how little my daughter's family probably has to eat right now. I wonder what my daughter's mother and father are doing right now. How they are feeling. Since my daughter is not yet born (I'm moving at a snails pace) it makes me a little sad to think they may be hungry and possibly sick. Maybe my daughter has other siblings that are crying right now because they are, this is a humbling thought while I am sitting here at my laptop drinking a soy latte and getting ready to go to the gym for yoga. After you look at these photos I'm sure that you'll have a different appreciation for the food you eat today also. Selam.

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07
Favorite foods: fried potatoes with onions, bacon and herring, fried noodles with eggs and cheese, pizza, vanilla pudding

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week: $341.98
Favorite foods: spaghetti, potatoes, sesame chicken

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53
Family recipe: Okra and mutton

Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09
Favorite foods: pizza, crab, pasta, chicken

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03
Family recipe: Mushroom, cheese and pork

Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55
Family recipe: Potato soup with cabbage

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23
Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Blog Name Change

I have posted over 90 rants and raves. Who knew I had so much to say? Well, my mother and many of my teachers I'm sure would say "we did." Now, it is time for you all to know the truth about me...I tend to have a short attention span. I need to have frequent change (that is the Gemini in me or the Attention Deficit Disorder...heehee). So, now I'm bored! Not bored with posting, but bored with my blog name. What made me think I could pick one blog color and remain happy for a year or more? What was I thinking? I'm sure it was the excitement of the moment! Well, I need to change something about the blog and the most obvious is the name, it just doesn't reflect my current state. My adoption is and will forever be a blessing however, it is more than that. I am more than that. I want the name to be reflective of me, my life and our (me and Baby I) life. I've seen some really cool blog names out there, please help me find a new blog name.

WARNING...this is something like picking a baby won't be easy! LOL OKAY...I'm open to suggestions.

Monday, November 5, 2007

What is he thinking?

I called one of my neighbors yesterday and he was spending the day with his daughter. Ordinarily I would have said great but, I said "isn't it Monday and shouldn't she be at school?" He said "yes, it is but, it is her birthday, she is turning 10." "Oh, okay I get it, it's a holiday." "Exactly" he said. "Okay, I'll talk to you later." I said

Okay, are you ready for my comment to this conversation? WHAT THE F#$@? Since when is it okay for a parent to take their child out of school to celebrate their birthday at Chuckie Cheese? Yes, yes I know a parent can do what he/she wants to do with their child but, what values are we instilling in our children when we show them that we can take them out of school at the drop of a hat to celebrate what most people celebrate on the weekends. Let's be serious, it's not a religious holiday, Christmas or even President's's a 10 year old's birthday for goodness sakes. I wanted to tell my neighbor to get a grip, go buy some cupcakes, goody bags and drop his kid off at school but then I remembered a few things.

First, I heard my mother saying "Tami mind your business." So, I didn't say a word instead I'm complaining to the blogosphere. Next, I remembered this is the same person that gets his kid a personal shopper at Nordstroms. Yes, a personal shopper! The first time I heard this I said to him "Excuse me? Haven't you ever heard of TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack or Potomac Mills (the outlet mall)." He said "Oh no, I've never taken my daughter to one of those stores." I laughed and said, "hmm...silly you. My kid will love them, be happy and very cute. What she will never see is a personal shopper from Nordstroms unless it is her own money!"

SIGHHHH...what is he thinking or maybe it's just me. Maybe Baby I will be deprived because my mother had this theory unless I was dying...I was going to school every single day!!!!!!!! She did allow me to miss senior cut day though. I didn't want to cut so I told her it was senior cut day and she let me stay home. That was nice. Oh, and it was the time when I wore a mini skirt to school (when they were not allowed...yes, I'm dating myself here) and they sent me home to change but my mother was mad because she said it wasn't too short and let me stay home all day...that was it! I missed two days from school (let's not talk about the days I was suspended that is another post LOL)...the other days I missed I was dying! Lesson for Baby I: it's school or you better be dying.

Are you Ethiopian?

This past weekend I went to my favorite Ethiopian restaurant (Addis Ababa) in downtown Silver Spring. Every time I go I get asked "are you Ethiopian?" This is how the scene usually goes (and how it went on Saturday night). We entered a crowed restaurant, the hostess comes to me and says something in Amharic. I smile and say hello. She still doesn't get it, then says something else in Amharic pointing to two different tables. I choose one table, my friend says no choosing the other, we sit down. The waitress comes back smiling at me and saying hello to him politely. She gives us menus, I proceed to explain to him the food selection and he just says for me to order whatever is good. The waitress is standing behind him while he says all of this. I place the order, she smiles as I order him an Ethiopian Beer and myself Ethiopian Honey Wine. I think the waitress finally started to pick up on the fact that I was not responding to anyone in Amharic...hmmm.

My friend said the hostess and the other waitresses were taking bets on if I was Ethiopian or not. I said I know, it happens all of the time. It never fails, in DC it is pretty much assumed I am Ethiopian only ocassionally do I get Dominican (I'm not offended, it's kinda cool). Finally, my waitress comes and asks me "are you Ethiopian?" I say no. She looked a little shocked and disappointed. She walked away quickly and that was that. I didn't get anymore big smiles from her all night. sighhhhhhhh I didn't even have a chance to say my proud statement..."I'm in the process of adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia!" I love saying that!

My friend had a huge laugh, made lots of jokes, and said I better learn Amharic fast before I'm accused of not being proud of my heritage. I guess I better find an Amharic class in 2008!

*Sidebar: In my heritage research I found out that DNA from the Fulani tribe shares some of the same DNA from that of Ethiopians some more some less. Maybe when my daughter comes I'll get tested more to find out if we share similar DNAs.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Holiday Time Again?

This year is going so fast. I can't believe I am seeing commercials for Christmas already! Every year I say I am not going to be Ebeneezer Scrooge but I'm not going to lie, I feel myself starting to get in a blah mood already. I remember how much I loved Christmas as a kid growing up, it was awesome! We always had a big tree, lots of food, family and of course I had lots of toys/gifts! I'm so tired of it just being me on Christmas!!!!! I want to play Santa Claus, fix big dinners and create my own family traditions.

My best friend invited me to LA to spend Christmas with her and her family (btw she had her baby last Tuesday, they named him Christian). I may or may not go, I haven't decided yet. However, I do know one thing, this is my last year of having a solo Tami Christmas. Next year will be my first year of a Mommy and Baby I Christmas. It will be the beginning of my family traditions.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I Help Where I Can

I thought I would try something new. I've received several emails (some nice and some not so nice) from current mothers and other PAPs saying they appreciate my straightforward comments, I provide them a view they need for raising a child from the Diaspora. Okay, I said that, they said Ethiopian, black or African American child. LOL Anyway, I thought this would be a good month to open up my blog to questions. The kinds of questions you were afraid to ask someone else, didn't have anyone else to ask or simply wanted another opinion.

When you send me questions they don't post automatically (I have to approve them first) so you can either send them to me anonymously or you can include your name. I will not post your questions in the comments section if you ask me not to. I'm not trying to "out" anyone for their questions. I'm actually looking to be helpful and simply looking for something to write about for these 30 days! LOL If I don't get any questions...I'll make something up!!!!! Just kidding. I'll think of something witty to write about (as usual).

So, what questions do you have??? I'm sure there is something that you have been dying to ask but you didn't have anyone to ask, here is your opportunity!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Education is Key

A few weeks back on the adoption boards a conversation took place where a mother was having a difficult time making a decision as to whether she should place her Ethiopian child in a public charter or traditional public school. Neither school was ranked extremely high academically but the charter school was located closer to her job, primarily black and had a slight gang/violence problem. The traditional public school was located closer to her home but was almost all white. She was torn. She felt she had an opportunity to provide her child(ren) with a black experience and wanted to do so since neither school seemed to be any better but she was concerned about the violence...AND RIGHTLY SO.

My friends and I have spent time debating where the best place to send our children to school is. I live in DC and we definitely have a number of educational challenges, as well as choices: charter, public and private schools. But you better believe I want nothing to do with anything that is segregated. As much as I love who I am, I know who I am (and I will make sure that so does Baby I) so I don't need an all Black grade school for my child to know that. I want my child to know and appreciate the entire world of diversity - other cultures, foods and languages - it is who she is, who I am and who my friends are. However, I understand this is an issue for some families.

We are in a time of crisis in public education but, there are great things going on in every city and don't let anyone tell you there is not. Also, don't let anyone tell you bad things about good options such as charter schools. Charter schools are good options for our children but not every charter school works but guess what? Neither do all public schools and many haven't worked for say 50 years now. At least if a charter school is not performing they shut it down, I can't say that for traditional public schools.

Don't let the race card stand in the way of your child's education. Fight for what you believe your child deserves. This is your child's future. Don't just put your black child around some black kids during the day because you feel guilty for being white or living in an all white community if the school you are going to send your child to is substandard and the environment is not safe--you will be doing your child a disservice (and I know you don't want to do that). No one can learn in an unsafe environment. It's sad to say but, it is very difficult to get gang activity and violence out of schools and to get high quality teachers that will tolerate unsafe environments. So, just remember when thinking about where to send your child to school, the best education isn't just about academics but, it also includes factors like violence and ethnic composition of a school (scary we have to think about these things isn't it, but we do). Yes, so much to think about.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Duped by National Adoption Month

Yes, today is the first day of National Blog Posting Month and also the first day of National Adoption Month or is that National Adoption Awareness Month. I know what the first one means (I have to write everyday for 30 days) but I don’t really know what the second one is so I did a little research. I found out there is a National Adoption Day, National Adoption Week, and get this I thought National Adoption Month was to bring awareness to the issue of adoption in general but silly me “while all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care.” Oh, I’m sorry then shouldn’t we have a National Foster Care Month? What’s that? May is National Foster Care Month.

Okay, before everyone sends me hate mail I tried to understand the difference of National Adoption Awareness Month. I wanted to see if someone unofficially did this to include all areas of adoption not just foster care. As you may or may not know National Adoption Month is actually recognized by the President. I want to believe that someone was thoughtful enough to realize that National Adoption Month was simply divisive to the adoption community and did not include international adoption or even those that never went through the foster care system. However, I kept finding the same definition even for National Adoption Awareness Month so I can't help but feel a little duped by the title National Adoption Month. This month really isn't about me/us...the focus is about adopting out of foster care and oh yea... we know you are adopting also but...whatever! I'm sorry, I just don't get a warm fuzzy feeling from the definition of National Adoption Month.

When I talk about adoption, I speak about it for all children domestically and internationally, my choice just happened to be internationally because it worked better for me. I guess I thought this is what National Adoption Month or National Adoption Awareness Month would be...something inclusive of all facets of adoption.