I am a bibliophile. I admit I have this problem of needing books, hence why I love my Nook. (Can I just say this has soooooooo helped with bookshelf space?) Even though I love my Nook, I must admit at times I do miss the smell of reading a paper-formatted book. (To me it is one of those great smells in life, like chocolate chip cooks, chocolate, baking bread, the smell of snow in the air, burning leaves, pizza, spring, and steak. Luc just got done reheating his steak from last night, it smells great.) 

Hopefully Lando will be a bibliophile. He/she/they have a great collection of books amassing in his/her/their bedroom. Lando’s collection started during college with the children’s literature classes I took as well as the closing of the University Bookstore at the Bone Student Center. This collection is somewhere in our house, we just are not sure exactly where these books are right now. (I am pretty sure these books are in plastic tubs in the basement. I just don’t know which tubs. . .) It also helps that I highly enjoy attending the Scholastic Warehouse Sale. 

 Last weekend Luc and I added to Lando’s library during our adventure up north by getting him/her/them Good Night Chicago (this way we can pre-teach our first trip to Chi-Town and Lando can learn about the Shedd, sports teams, and the orange street sculpture you see in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and My New Family.  

Yesterday brought about a trip to Borders (so going to miss you) and adding more books to Lando’s library. (We also came to the realization that a list might need to be created with the books Lando already owns on it.) We added some of the classics to Lando’s bookshelves, at least classics according to Luc. We can now say our child(ren) has on his/her/their bookshelves, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, The Story of Babar (I love Babar!), The Little Engine that Could, Bear in Underwear, and Walter the Farting Dog. (I am thinking Joey will be reading Walter to Lando, Joey thought it was great when I read it to him last night.)   



The Connecting Hearts with the Forgotten Conference was good. Luc and I only attended two of the three breakout sessions and thought our second session was better than the first. It discussed challenges we will most likely experience when Lando comes home with us and gave tips to help deal with these challenges. It was also nice because we got to meet some AGCI families in this session, including one family who were in Ethiopia during January. We really enjoyed talking with them and hearing about their experience and tips while in country. We also learned about the possibility of bringing home 20 kilos of coffee. . .

I have no clue what 20 kilos of coffee looks like. . . 

I can also say we have never laughed so much, related to adoption, than we did during the opening session. Ted Kluck, who wrote Hello, I Love You: Adventures in Adoptive Fatherhood, spoke during the opening session. He shared his family’s experiences from their two separate adoptions of their sons. He shared how prayer supported them many times during their experience, as well as being able to laugh (many times after the fact). Who knew adoption, machine guns, needles, waiting “5 minutes,” and walking through a foreign country could be so funny. Luc is looking forward to reading this one. :) 

We did make it to Chicago for dinner at Ethiopian Diamond. (I do have to say, I was very disappointed in our Garmin’s, Daniel, directions. He so didn’t need to send us on the Dan Ryan and Michigan Ave at that time of day. Lake Shore would have been way nicer, aka the way he sent us home. Not sure what he was thinking. ) So far Ethiopian Diamond is at the top of the three Ethiopian restaurants we have been to. Our waiter was really nice and corrected my pronunciations with the food, instead of asking me to say the number. The berbere sauce for the sambusa tasted more like sweet and sour sauce, but was really good. (Okay, I love sambusa. I have yet to have one I didn’t like.) Luc really enjoyed his Yebeg Tibs Alicha and thinks he will go with the Yebeg Tibs Watt (spicy)  next time. I highly recommend the “Tour of Ethiopia” combo platter. We also experienced, for the first time, Ethiopian coffee. Yes, even I, the lover of Diet Coke/hater of coffee, drank it (multiple cups). It was amazing and not bitter like every other coffee I have tried. It was way better served black than adding sugar.

What trip to the Chicago area wouldn’t be complete for us than ending with a stop at Portillo’s. Luc got his ribs and I got my hot dog and Diet Coke.  



Connecting Hearts with the Forgotten

Not much to say, Luc and I are attending the Connecting Hearts with the Forgotten conference on Saturday. We are pretty excited. We are then going up to Chicago and either going to Ras Dashen or Ethiopian Diamond for dinner. We will be able to celebrate our (almost) 7 month mark on the waiting list eating Ethiopian. 

Luc is also excited because we got opening day White Sox tickets today. Lando already has some White Sox gear waiting for him/her/them. Thanks in part to Aunt Kristi!

Lando also got some more Chicago sports gear this past weekend courtesy of my mom. He/She/They got their first Blackhawks hoodie!  



The Meaning of Numbers

It is amazing how much we rely upon numbers without even thinking about it and their meaning. (This was also a carpool discussion last month, thanks carpool buddies!) We look at the score of the game to determine who is in the lead. We count down the number of days remaining until a break, I am told 66 school days until Spring Break. We measure our weeks during a pregnancy, to get to the elusive 40 week mark, and count down the days until a wedding. I have always considered myself a number person. I have counted the frequency of follow classmates saying “um” during a lecture, figured the latency between a student saying “I don’t get it,” and today determined a student’s percentage of attendance (60% by the way). I have rejoiced with friends going through infertility treatments when hormones and follicles were within the correct range, celebrated making par in putt-putt golf, cheered when my mom increased her range of motion, wondered in awe counting increases in the number of steps taken/words spoken/milestones reached for nieces, a nephew, and children of friends, reveled with friends over test results, and counted with Luc how many “funny signs” we have seen while traveling (the “Mullet” license plate and the Nessie sign are still favs). We put so much stock in numbers increasing and decreasing. It is difficult to see numbers stay stagnant. It is difficult to see the goal and the end, but not knowing how long it will take to get there.  

Our case manager this month reminded us about the importance of “awaiting God’s timing for this journey.” She is right, it is in God’s very capable hands and we will get there. Lando will come home when he or she or them is meant to come home. As she reminded us, “[our] waiting is not in vain!” As we approach almost 7 full months on the waiting list, it seems like forever, but our child(ren) haven’t been brought to Hannah’s Hope yet and it is okay. Until then, we will continue to prepare for Lando by cooking Ethiopian, learning Amharic, reading about the culture of Ethiopia and international adoption, and collecting awesome stuff for Lando. (I know Lando is going to love his/her/their newest book Z is for Zamboni. Yes, Luc picked it out.) 

Luc and I have experienced many interesting journeys together. It also helps that Luc tends to make up a story about where we are visiting if we don’t have a guide book with us. (Next time you see Luc, be sure to ask him about why the Smoky Mountains are smoky.)  We are going to continue our journey waiting for God’s plans to unfold. So with no further ado, here are this month’s numbers! 





Injera 2.1

I have made injera! Same recipe as last time, slightly different technique. Now I have this down, the goal is to make Ethiopian every other week. For dinner tomorrow, we will be eating Alicha Minchet Abishe and maybe some Gomen. Now to wait for our new numbers this week. :)