Baby Nyah Is........

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ethiopian Feast

Today the family tried many different Ethiopian recipes. We made Yataklete Kilkil, Ethiopian Beef Stew in Berbere Sauce, Injera, Ethiopian Honey Bread, Lentils, and Ethiopian Punch. We spent nearly 5 hours in the kitchen but it was well worth it. There isn't an Ethiopian restaurant here in Boone so we decided to try it ourselves. Great way to spend time with the kids.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Congrats to the families who received referrals today. It's nice to see that the list is finally on the move again. Meanwhile, we continue to wait for our little Nyah.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One Month Waiting for Nyah

It has been one month since our family was placed on the
waiting list. We think about and pray for Nyah every day.
Although we don't know who she is yet, she has already
become part of our family. Nikolaus bought her a small
blanket and her first stuffed animal for Christmas this year and will tell anyone who will listed about his sister that is waiting for us....
We also pray for her family and the difficult decisions they
will be struggling with in the coming months. We ask God to grant them peace, patience, strength, health, and safety.

Haiti Needs Help

The orphans of Haiti need help. Please pray that all those adoptive families who have been waiting to take their children home are united with them soon. Most of the paperwork has been buried or destroyed and these families may have to start over and/or face substantial delays. It is unimaginable to think about the number of children who survived the earthquake but have lost their families. Our family is praying daily that God will grant them all patience, peace, health, and safety.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas in Ethiopia

Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church's celebration of Christ's birth is called Ganna. It is a day when families attend church.

The day before Ganna, people fast all day. The next morning at dawn, everyone dresses in white. Most Ethiopians don a traditional shamma, a thin, white cotton wrap with brightly colored stripes across the ends. The shamma is worn somewhat like a toga. Urban Ethiopians might put on white Western garb. Then everyone goes to the early mass at four o'clock in the morning. In a celebration that takes place several days later, the priests will dress in turbans and red and white robes as they carry beautifully embroidered fringed umbrellas.

Most Ethiopians who live outside the modern capital city, Addis Ababa, live in round mud-plastered houses with cone-shaped roofs of thatched straw. In areas where stone is plentiful, the houses may be rectangular stone houses. The churches in Ethiopia echo the shape of the houses. In many parts of the country there are ancient churches carved out of solid volcanic rock. Modern churches are built in three concentric circles.

In a modern church, the choir assembles in the outer circle. Each person entering the church is given a candle. The congregation walks around the church three times in a solemn procession, holding the flickering candles. Then they gather in the second circle to stand throughout the long mass, with the men and boys separated from the women and girls. The center circle is the holiest space in the church, where the priest serves Holy Communion.

Around the time of Ganna, the men and boys play a game that is also called ganna. It is somewhat like hockey, played with a curved stick and a round wooden ball.

The foods enjoyed during the Christmas season include wat, a thick, spicy stew of meat, vegetables, and sometimes eggs as well. The wat is served from a beautifully decorated watertight basket onto a "plate" of injera, which is flat sourdough bread. Pieces of injera are used as an edible spoon to scoop up the wat.

Twelve days after Ganna, on January 19, Ethiopians begin the three-day celebration called Timkat, which commemorates the baptism of Christ. The children walk to church services in a procession. They wear the crowns and robes of the church youth groups they belong to. The grown-ups wear the shamma. The priests will now wear their red and white robes and carry embroidered fringed umbrellas.

The music of Ethiopian instruments makes the Timkat procession a very festive event. The sistrum is a percussion instrument with tinkling metal disks. A long, T-shaped prayer stick called a makamiya taps out the walking beat and also serves as a support for the priest during the long church service that follows. Church officials called dabtaras study hard to learn the musical chants, melekets, for the ceremony.

Ethiopian men play another sport called yeferas guks. They ride on horseback and throw ceremonial lances at each other.

Ganna and Timkat are not occasions for giving gifts in Ethiopia. If a child receives any gift at all, it is usually a small gift of clothing. Religious observances, feasting, and games are the focus of the season.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Travel

Well..... finally home from a long Christmas visit with family. We put on over 2000 miles in less than 10 days. Next year... we are flying. Had a wonderful visit with family and friends. The boys always love to visit with their aunts, uncles, and cousins. Hopefully next year we will have a new addition to the family to introduce. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to the adoption fund. We are slowly moving toward our goal. Have a wonderful 2010.