Thursday, January 31, 2008

LOST


My work colleagues tell me I don't watch enough tv for someone in the film business. They are right. But, I do watch LOST. And, I have been following the countdown on my friend Laura's blog for months getting ready for tonight.

We record it so we can watch straight through.

A few minutes ago, as I was reading Dr. Seuss to Alden, when David walked in an announced, "We have a serious problem."

Zion stopped the recorder.

I'm so bummed.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kenya Update

Just got this update from our missionary friends in Kenya. Must be two days old. KAG stands for Kenya Assemblies of God.
The count is up to over 100 churches lying in ashes completely destroyed. 70000 KAG members are displaced and living in temporary camps. The violence continues heavily. This morning a member of parliament was murdered and this will probably resurge the conflict. 400 KAG churches are NOT having service currently for fear of death and burning.

The pastor in Eldoret was beaten and cut with pongas (machete) the mob thought he was dead and left him there. He was taken to the hospital and for 3 days laid in a coma. When the General Superintendent came to see him he awakened and has been given new vision from God. No pastors have lost their life but the death tally is more likely between 1 and 5 thousand people.

We are currently getting ready for a big push. We will be headed into Eldoret, Korikocho, Narok, Navasha ... basically the sights of the worst violence. We will also be preaching in these refugee camps .. please pray that we will have the right words to say to bring peace to all these hearts. All is well. Feel free to pass this info along it is from the mouth of the General Superintendent.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Masai character

In light of all that is cruel going on in Kenya, I went back to some interviews I did there with a Masai last year. He told me about his circumcision, and about women's circumcision ceremonies.

Man or woman, when you are circumcised, you should not show fear or pain. During his circumcision, he stood with arms stretched out from his body, hands flat. Because he did not show fear in his eyes, and his hands did not shake, he was given a cow as a reward for his bravery.

Here, he talks about the value of bravery in the Masai culture. He also discusses generosity. I think this dialogue is a nice follow up to yesterday's post.

Here are the audio clips:
Bravery
Generosity
Generosity - results


When you visit me, I will show you the knife this Masai is holding. He was kind enough to let me take it home. I later received a letter from the Masai I visited and was able to send them a photo album of my time there. I hope desperately to return and see them all alive and well.

Slaves - is it my job to free them?

I'm on a shoot this week, a video that teaches people with diabetes how to shop for food. George, the actor, is also a producer for the World on CNN, so you can imagine I'm having a lovely time chatting with him.

Tonight I looked at the CNN website and ran across this story about sex slaves in Britain.

For years I've had a feeling that a house near Sarah's old school was a brothel, and have wondered if girls worked there against their wills. If so, why would the police not clamp down on it?

Well, after unsuccessfully begging police to close the crack house next to my rental house for over NINE MONTHS now, I imagine that brothels and possible trafficked girls are low priority.

When I tell police we saw 10 drug deals go down in broad daylight in the space of 4 hours and they say there is really nothing they can do, then what will they say when I tell them that I suspect a brothel with possible sex slaves in an unmarked house with blackened windows and a privacy fence where only men visit at all hours?

On the way home from work today I heard a story about women losing freedom now in Iraq. During the story, I kept thinking, why aren't we women standing up for our sisters?!

There are many examples of brave women who stood up (or, thank you Rosa, sat down) for others. What made them do it? What made them step out and face fear to fight injustice?

I'd love your comments on women you admire and on what you think it takes to stand up and help save the lives of other women.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fascinating Blog


I discovered a wonderful blog today by a journalist in Chennai, India. I flew there by accident once, courtesy of a Charles DeGaul airport representative. His blog is luring me back.

Here is a link to Scott Carney's blog. Check out the post on organ selling -- intense. When I clicked on his complete profile and watched the you tube video of his apartment, the sounds in the background took me back to my too-short time there.


I want to live in India!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Whew, it's over


David's company, ACS, is pulling out the last of the Obama and Edwards gear and my kids can't wait to see their daddy at home.

I just took Alden by the Obama victory party to see the uplink trucks. There were 40 or so in the parking lot. I get a rush walking by trucks, mostly feature movie trucks, but uplink trucks spark me a bit, too. Alden must not have felt it. He told me he was feeling a "little tired." I'm sad he didn't get the "truck rush" but, it is still good that he was there, because tonight South Carolina wrote a new chapter in her history.



Inside, the show was coming down. One of the union guys saluted my camera, and I laughed, so it is blurry - probably for the best.

Harry Palmer is the tallest person I know. I've heard his wife is exactly 1/2 his height. She volunteers as a lawyer for the ACLU and I've wanted to meet her for years but never have had the pleasure. I just want to see a woman that can put up with Harry. The first time I met him, he bellowed - Harry's voice is always at least 6 decibels above any other sound - something about ACS, referring to it as Anti-Christ Sound. I'm sure just to get under David's skin. Didn't work. David is not easily ruffled, and he likes Harry. I do to. I've always held a sneaking suspicion he's got a heart of gold.

When David read this blog entry, he got to the part about Harry's voice and commented, "Yeah, 6 db above ANY sound -- jet engines, for example." Tomorrow, I hope David sleeps half the day before starting the craziness of putting things away and dividing/returning all the rental gear.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Dying Room

This is a photo of my son, taken outside his Chinese orphanage a few years before he came to join our family. I've been to this orphanage, it is a beautiful place with loving caretakers and excellent facilities. I can not say enough good things about this orphanage, it is in the top two of those I've I have visited in 5 countries. The other was the Ark, in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.



My friend Jen told me about this short documentary, though it was made more than a decade ago I had not seen it. We actually adopted Sarah a year or so after it came out and China closed many of it's orphanages to outsiders.

Truly, my hat is off to the filmmakers. It is my opinion that shooting this film was quite dangerous.

Click here to find the page, then
click the link on the right called the Dying Room.

Reactions to this documentary interest me as both a filmmaker and an adoptive mom. Some people are angry about it, feeling that this film was the reason they could not go to their child's orphanage. Others feel it helps them understand their child's story. Others deny that there is any truth to the film, or the truth is only in the distant past, and all has changed now.

The Dying Room film is powerful in part because it boils down the Chinese orphan problem to the implementation of the One Child Policy. Succinct, tangible.

It is my desire to distill my work, apply the principal of Occam's razor, but, my mind does not work that way. I look at an issue and see a thousand threads, and I struggle to cut any of them off because they could lead somewhere important.

Are there reasons outside the one child policy that contribute to the orphan crisis and abuse in China? Certainly. But, does the documentary filmmaker have a responsibility to show all facets of a story? Please comment and let me know what you think.

And, if you want to know why I posted a picture of Addis on the post just before this one, it is because I was feeling internal pressure that my blog photos were only showing one side of Ethiopia, that of a rural, poor nation. When writing, I felt those photos fit the post content. So, why do I feel an obligation to expand the visual conversation and let people know that I realize Ethiopia has modern areas and wealth? This nagging worry that I must paint the entire picture or I am not showing the truth can and does paralyze my work.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Coming out

When planning my second trip to Ethiopia in 2006, a woman called me. She was adopting from AHOPE, the orphanage for hiv positive children. We talked a long time, and she asked me to visit her son-to-be while I was in Addis, and take photos of him, and give him photos of his new family.

That visit to AHOPE began my journey to better understand HIV, AIDS and the orphan crisis in our world.

Here is her story, beautifully written and tremendously thought provoking as well. Here is a line from the article to whet your appetite.
“I don’t want to hide it anymore, Mom.” Alee lay stretched across my bed, arms propped behind her head, staring at the ceiling. Her face was set with determination . . . .



I took this photo from the window of the international church, Beza in Addis. Hard to believe in a city this beautiful, with the best weather on earth, is home to so many AIDS orphans. I'm humbled by those I know who have taken on the paperwork and cost to bring these terrific kids into their homes. I also long for the day when a self-employed person can afford the medical insurance necessary to do the same thing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wegener Media, a short history

Computer whiz Wedge.

Between Wedge and Robert, I think we have finally achieved success and I hope to be editing tomorrow sans constant lock ups.

I met Wedge the same night I met my husband. It was late, and the guys were installing a lighting system into a church when my friend Scott and I showed up, looking for a place to crash before our Charlotte film tranfer the following day. I'd heard that church is a good place to meet a husband, but that is a story for another post.

Suspecting nothing, I got into the back seat of the car Wedge was driving and immediately found myself screaming as he did donuts in the street. It was 1992.

Despite his nearly wearing my dinner that day, we've remained friends. Wedge spent much of his time overseas, running sound for a music group with Proclaim. At times when he called, we would hear booming sounds in the background. He would be a mile from the front lines of some Croatian battle, but the sounds of the bombs still came through the cell phone. I envied his life of bribing border guards, drinking bad beer and staying with people in other countries.

When occasionally State-side, Wedge lived in our guest room. It was there that he started his Mac computer business, supplying rebuilt machines for people around the globe and helping me build my first edit system. Eventually, the computer parts stacked precariously to the ceiling pushed out the door and he moved with them to a small house. He married a woman who really did not appreciate wading through piles of mother boards in the bathroom. So, Wedge rented a building the size of a Piper airplane hanger, and filled it with Apples.

Whenever I visit Wegener Media, I fight an intense desire to ignore my computer issues and instead create the mac daddy of installation art.

an amazing woman

Last night, a friend dropped by to return some Cuba footage. She told me some news about the missionary, Marigold Cheshier, whom we worked with in Kenya. Marigold battles cancer. She has fought cancer for many years. Lung cancer, breast cancer, and I'm not sure what else. Doctors constantly tell her to stay home, take chemo. She won't do it. She goes back to Africa and people pray for her, and she makes it through yet another trip. While in Africa, she lives in cheap hotel rooms or tents. She works with people in the slums, and she builds churches in Masai villages that want them. Last night, I learned that two tumors broke through her skin and that her trip to Kenya is delayed because of the open wounds that she must pack and dress daily. Her son and husband went back to Kenya, and she hopes to follow them in a few weeks.

Marigold inspires me.

I interviewed her for hours in a jeep one day while we traveled South of Nairobi. This morning I played some of the interviews while feeding Zion breakfast. Please let me know if you like it and want to hear more.

Click here for interview.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Montgomery, AL


This morning, we headed out to Mongomery, AL. More interviews, and a chance to go to a city where our family would not have been welcome in the recent past. Seems an appropriate trip for Martin Luther King Day.

I was blessed when our big group of Chinese, Ethiopian, African American and white friends and family walked into a lovely country club, and were received with smiles warm greetings for our dear hosts,Joy and Cole. After a fabulous meal, the day continued with some interviews and LOTS of kid fun. My children did not want to come home, and have been talking about our trip to Altanta and Montgomery non stop.

When we did finally pull into home, we raced over to the State Museum for the Martin Luther King student art exhibit, where a piece of Sarah's art was displayed. Alas, we missed the event, but did have a lovely afternoon with our local artist friends, the Cooks.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

of snow and fish

Since political shows consume the first 21 hours of David's every day, the kids and I decided to take a short road trip.

Last night, Atlanta, home of Laura and Brian. I did some work, a video interview with our friend Mindi, to validate the rental car as a business expense, and then we all stayed up way too late talking.

Following morning waffles, the kids started screaming and dancing when giant white flakes began dropping out of the clouds. We eventually pulled them out of the back yard and loaded them up for a trip to the fantastic Georgia Aquarium. Then, a late lunch at my favorite store, IKEA, where we did some shopping for the Dominican Republic pack.

Seconds after we landed back at my friend Laura's home, the big kids were back to the cold outdoors, making snow angles, snowmen and I have no idea what else because I do not venture out into cold snow. At Sarah's request, I did race out to snag one photo to prove the white stuff was not a dream.

Please Vote

Okay, CNN just called the SC Republican Primary result, so this post is not to encourage you to vote today for someone here. Rather, please vote for my favorite project on Ebay Giving Works.

I'm campaigning for the Heart for Ethiopia project. To vote, you click on the video for a project you like to help it win $5000. The video for Heart shows a woman against the brick wall and is second to the left under "non profit."

This project provides water to people in Ethiopia. They dig wells for $200, so if they win the ebay contest, it will do a LOT of good. I've stayed in their home/guesthouse and have really enjoyed getting to know the people behind the work.

I'll post a pic when I'm back at my big computer. Here is a segment from their last newsletter:

. . . Ermias wrote that two wells were drilled the first week of January.

"This week was a week of digging. The second water well which we dug at Awash Belo in Ato Sorsa's compound has attracted the attention of the community. All the community are using only that well for drinking. The chairman of the kebele (commune) has called me so many times and begged us to go and asked us excuse them for their first disinterest.

Yesterday I was there to dig the second well in this week. I saw a lady was taking water from a hand dug well. I went to her and I saw the well. It fell in on all sides but in the middle it had water. I saw the water and it was not clean. I asked her what they are using it for. She replied that they use it for cooking. When I asked about drinking she said, "There is one water pipe in our community. We use that for drinking." The water she speaks about was the one we dug before.

Ato Sorsa's wife also said "It is holy water. Since the time we got this water all our family has become healthy. We are grateful for your helping us to have this water."

Please vote often and email your friends to vote. Every vote enters YOU into a $1000 sweepstakes as well.

Here's a pic of Kidist's husband, who lives at the guest house. ALWAYS studying, in this shot a book on English.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Keep the conversation going

I decided not to post anything new today because we have a good conversation going in the film post below and I would like to continue it for another day. Thanks to those who have submitted comments, I would love to hear more . . .

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Save our film jobs!


South Carolina's Secretary of Commerce Joe E. Taylor pushed our film industry off the roof last year. Though I can certainly understand Mr. Taylor's concerns regarding the price of business incentives, I believe he has taken it upon himself to interpret the proviso offering those incentives to filmmakers in a manner diametrically opposed to the intent of the legislators who drafted it.

What I'm stating here is the TIP of an ice burg not affected by global warming. We are a small industry (only bringing around 64 million dollars into the local economy last year), so apparently few think to investigate further. If they did, they would immediately see the brain drain going on over at Commerce. Lasting implications for SC in MANY areas besides film? Sadly, yes.

Here is a shot of me working on the movie Death Sentence. And, no, Mr. Taylor, contrary to what you might tell the governor, I did not make $8 an hour doing this!





Subject: Film SC, a grassroots organization, formed to promote South
Carolina film industry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FilmSC, Grassroots Organization, Formed to Promote the Film Industry

FilmSC, a grassroots non-profit membership organization created to promote the film industry within the state of South Carolina, announced its formation today. Comprised of working film industry professionals as well as members from the business community who have an interest in growing movies within the state, FilmSC is dedicated to advancing the film industry in South Carolina through education, professional training, networking, and advocacy.

FilmSC will focus its efforts on four main areas: creating high paying jobs in the motion picture industry for South Carolinians; strengthening South Carolina's motion picture and television production infrastructure; developing educational opportunities to help residents find jobs in the motion picture industry, and establishing an environment where creative talent and new media industries can flourish.

"From July 2006 to June 2007, the film and television industry in the state of South Carolina was an amazing success story," said Martin Bluford, President of FilmSC. "'From Army Wives' in Charleston to 'Leatherheads' in the Upstate, 'Asylum' in Rock Hill to 'Who's Your Caddy' in Aiken, our state was selected for six feature films, two television pilots, as well as numerous commercials. Over 7100 high-paying jobs resulted, with more then $64 in direct expenditures invested in our state's economy. Since early summer the pace of film production in South Carolina has plummeted and FilmSC is working hard to turn that around."

FilmSC's Board of Directors is comprised of Bluford, Manager of High Output, a motion picture lighting company in Charleston; Tom Morris, a Construction Coordinator from Sullivan's Island; Geoff Herbert, a feature film and television Key Grip from Greenville; and Todd Stuart, CFO of Mad Monkey, one of South Carolina's leading commercial production companies based in Columbia.

Contact: Cara White, 843.881.1480,
Cara.white@mac. com

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

AHOPE, needs list

Those who know me well know how much I love carting donations to places I visit. I start "the pack" weeks in advance. I have big, lightweight luggage so I can cram in a full 50 pound loads. I'm Queen Duffle-stuffer. And I adore my silver medalion status on Delta because with it, I can tote even more internationally.

This week I've been holding a carrot to encourage me to edit. I get to start packing for my Feb 7th flight to the Dominican Republic as soon as I log 12 hours of footage. Today is that day, hurrah!


So, I was even more excited today to get a letter from my friend Lisa, detailing the needs of AHOPE orphanage for hiv positive children in Ethiopia. I've visited AHOPE three times, and I can promise you, you give to God when you give needed items to these children.

If you love collecting things to give, like current medical books, craft supplies, toddler boys' clothing and more, please read this post!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Yellowstone

This past summer, Alden and I went on our first trip to Yellowstone. We flew into Salt Lake, home of David's favorite basketball team. Because the Jazz are so far away from SC, we had to buy a special monthly cable sport thing so David can watch EVERY game. After checking out the Mormon tabernacle in Salt Lake, we decided to take the scenic route to Northern Yellowstone. For the first 5 hours of the trip, my gps kept telling me to go back to Salt Lake and start over. The trip I told my son would take about 5 hours, took 11.5. Alden kept asking sweetly, in his limited new language, "Mommy, it five now?"

I got pulled for speeding at one point. 70 in a 35. I had no idea, I thought I was on some sort of long on-ramp, certainly not a road to a trailer park. The Idaho cop was really nice and gave me directions rather than a ticket.

Scenery though the park that day was lovely. On the other side, we met up with our friends Sandra, KT and Emily and their families at Sandra's cabin. It was so strange to me that I had never seen the meadows and their wildflowers, which are just stunning. All growing up I read about meadows covered in wildflowers, but I had not imagined the scene to be as lovely as it is in person.

We got close to a moose and her baby, too close to a bison, saw an eagle and a wolf and a bear and were near enough to almost rub the antler fuzz of a resting elk.



On the way home, we camped. Setting up the tent proved Dave Barry's point that a three person tent means that it takes a minimum of three people to set it up. We were setting up a three person tent with two people who didn't speak the same language, and found ourselves trying to stuff the rotted elastic back into the "super-easy-quick-snap-together" poles. A nice Canadian in a massive motor home provided a roll of packing tape that made it possible to sleep inside that night.

All in all, fantastic trip. I really wish the rest of the family had gone, but I'm not opposed to going again as soon as it gets warm.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Absolute Power, anyone?

I was going to write a post on the price of bananas in the Dominican Republic because I was talking to my friend Jennifer there who said the price has tripled since the recent massive rains. Though everyone eats bananas and plantains, the poor literally survive on them. I'd heard an story, I thought on NPR, about a possible serious problem with South/Central American and African bananas last week and went to their site so I could link it. Before I found it, I ran across this sentence:

"the Chinese government announced that as of the end of the year, only government-owned or government-controlled Web sites will be able to post Internet videos. All Web sites containing video must obey a "socialist moral code" or risk being shut down."

Remember how I said the other day not to get me started on Communism? Well, that article got me started.


And, since I'm not going to an un-named communist country again next month as I'd hoped - a country that might post billboards saying things like, oh, "Patriotism or DEATH," and "We will Conquer," I feel a bit more "free" to start a conversation here.

I'd love to hear your personal stories that have shaped your views on communism. Then, I'll share some of mine as well - as long as they don't endanger anyone's life. Because, if you live in a communist country, your life is worth equally as little as anyone else's. Well, except for the pigs, but only because they are more equal.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Christmas 2007, part B



I like Christmas traditions. One of my favorites is Game Night in Pennsylvania. Aunt Judy’s games differentiate this Game Night from any other. Last year, she had all of us drawing, per her specific directions, on plates on top of our heads. Sarah won that art contest.

This year, we had to tear out a Christmas tree from construction paper, while holding it behind our backs. Then, using only tape and ribbon and box lids full of decorative (and fought over) items, we decorated our trees. David’s tree was “interactive” and received many laughs. We then divided into teams and had to build reindeer out of balloons and panty hose. I think the winners of this game might have been the people that did not volunteer to BE reindeer.


Friday, January 11, 2008

How to speak 12 languages in 12 days

My good friend Laura called from Bucharest, Romania yesterday. Her name is pronounced something like Laugh ruh - like a Southerner would say it but not exactly. Her timing was great because Sarah was busy researching Nadia Comaneci for a school project and we were discussing communism (don't get me started) and the abusive regime of Nicolae Ceausescu.

Laura is another one of my truly brain gifted friends. She fluently speaks five languages and has a smattering of others she can speak better than I speak Spanish. To give you an idea what that means, I have attempted to "study" Spanish for at least 5 years, plus high school, and when I try to hold a conversation longer than "turn right at the corner," people still smile politely at me or just look confused or do that Dominican nose wrinkle thing that means they have no idea what I just said.

Laura's five majors languages are: Romanian, English, Spanish, German and French. Minors include Russian, Turkish, Italian, Hindi and Gypsy (which is probably called something else, anyone know? Roma, maybe?).

Here is how she learns a language. I witnessed this when we went camping together in Italy, so I'm not making it up. Hour one, plane lands. Laura looks at the airport signs and deduces what they say so we can find our way to the rental car. Hour two, she then says hi to some people in the new language. They assume she can speak their language and she learns the basic small talk in about 15 minutes. Hour three, we are hopelessly lost in Rome. We stop the car, she jumps out and asks directions and then laughs and talks with the guy in fluent Italian.

Language aquisition, accomplished.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Our friends in Kenya

I got this email, and I wrote my friend asking if she minded if I posted it, but I must have missed her on her way back into Kenya. Anyway, I think it would be okay to post a few lines so that if you want to, you can answer my friend's request:

"Our church in Eldoret was burned to the ground killing 50 people and seriously wounding the pastor. Please pray for him."

The rest of the letter is full of similar horrible stories, many of which you have seen or heard on the news.

My heart breaks for the people there and for the political, tribal and economic issues that currently tear them apart. I guess it has to do with my not knowing the situation that well, but, frankly, I was shocked by what has happened and the speed at which it shifted into such brutality. Looking back, the energy in the slums of Nairobi where I spent time shooting did have an edge - close to the edge you feel when a crowd is about to bolt, but not quite that electrifying. I attributed it to poverty and stuck close to my local contacts.

This paragraph really hit home, as I spent hours with Moses recording the stories of his childhood as in the Masai village:

"We spoke with Moses Sayo, one of our Masai pastors in Narok and he told us of more than 300 gunmen who came into the city and just began to shoot anyone moving. The grocery stores were burned, shops were burned and people are hiding indoors for fear for their lives and they are unable to get the basic necessities of life and are running out of food. The stories go on and on. Please pray."

My friends are back in Kenya now, lending hands, wisdom, prayers and encouragement. Here is an article with more info.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I dedicate this post to Robert

And I will tell you why as soon as he finishes helping me fix my editing computer.

Except, that may be tomorrow because he lives in a developing country and I think his power just went off because I lost contact . . . .

Okay, bad news. Robert says I have to dump everything off my computer, go buy a new hard drive, put it in and completely rebuild everything. David thinks we should buy Robert a plane ticket to come do it for us and I agree. I wonder if he can be here by tomorrow?

Robert is one of the smartest people I have met in my entire life. Once, he fell for a girl who could only speak English, so he taught himself English in like two months so he could talk to her. You would NEVER know that he has not lived here for years, yet he has never even visited the States. He actually lives in a ghetto, because he works for a ministry, and we all know how they pay:). Anyway, when you go to his house, you find all sorts of computer parts everywhere - well, that has changed a bit since he got married, now they are more or less stacked up. But, you can picture it, I'm sure.

Walk inside and find that he is likely talking to a friend, chatting with ten people on line while translating a book and fixing a laptop. At the same time, there is a video playing in the background teaching him to program in some computer language mere mortals like us have NEVER heard of, and he is absorbing it while he does all this other stuff. He also enjoys basketball, is married to one of the most beautiful woman on earth and has a cutie of a daughter and another on the way. His favorite snack is Jelly Belly jelly beans.

So, if you have a computer emergency, and happen to be able to get in touch with Robert, just promise him some jelly bellys and a video study seminar on the merits of programming in Perl or Fortran, and you may just be in luck. But, don't expect me to help you find him. I'm even keeping the country he is in a secret. But, this I will say. You know Wade, the computer guru in Kim Possible? The guy behind the plan to out think the villains? Yep, entire character sketch based solely on Robert.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Mommy, why didn't you help my birth family?

How will I answer this question, if my child asks me one day, "You knew my family in Ethiopia was starving, why didn’t you DO something to help them?”

I planned on waiting until after my Christmas posts to discuss connections among adoption agencies, birth families and adoptive families, but today someone sent me an email that made me realize it is an issue that can not remain at the back of my mind.

In an effort to not overwrite this post, I want to open a discussion in the comments about whether adoptive and birth families should have the right to know one another if both agree to it, and also discuss how adoption agencies can facilitate adoptive families choosing to help birth families if that is desired.

I know this is a muti-faceted issue and I look forward to conversing with you all about it.

As those who read my blog know, I spent 3 weeks in Ethiopia in October/November, and while there, researched birth families for some friends. Feel free to click on the Africa link to the right to peruse those posts.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Christmas 2007, part a

There are many photos to cull before I can properly present Christmas. But, this is one that stands out. My parents gave the kids scooters this year. Zion insisted on wearing her Lighting McQueen helmet, even though it didn't really fit over her hair baubles. She loves all things related to the movie "Cars." Some mornings, when she is sitting in her high chair, she gets this really serious look on her face and says, "I. am. speeeed!"

You have to have seen the movie to truly appreciate. My kids saw it 366 times.

Why has this been on my desk?


Some things about the clean up make me really question myself. Why, for instance, did these four items take up space on my desk for a year? The flames, created by my brother Glenn are going on my camera body this week (check out ebay for your own set, including some big flames for bigger items such as mixing bowls, You can find them by searching "EZ Flames"). But what is the right thing to do with two fake eyeballs? And why did I have TWO different fake eyeballs on my desk? And just what does this mystery key open?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Maybe it was a good thing




So, I've spent a few days rearranging and cleaning and organizing. My office is now darker, which is a minus, but, I won't have a clear view of the construction site and I have a seating area close to my desk. I figured out we have a LOT of stuff related to two things we want to do but don't - exercising and art. I now have a space to do those two things, and since that space is now in the nicest room in the house, I hope we spend time there! I've asked David to hang plastic up from the ceiling to the floor before he begins the renovation to the last 10 feet of this room so I don't have to dust constantly.