Archive for the africa Category

today sucked

Posted in africa on July 10, 2009 by Avery

OK, today was an absolue doozy at work, it was just terrible. BUT it gets worse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got caugh on the way out the door, and wound up stuck at work till about 5:40 when I decided to sneak out the back way and around anyone who may have wanted to discuss the millions of problem I dealt with at work today. (and those that are still waiting for me on Monday)

So on the way home I came up to the train tracks around the corner from my job and the tracks were on fire. No lie, the wood was there on blaze, not bad, I was able to stomp it out, but it was smoldering under the tracks bad enough I knew it needed a bucket of water to put it out all the way. So i parked the bike on the side of the road and walked across the yard to some guys house to get a pail of water. On my way back across the yard I hear my motorcycel getting run over. NO LIE. I run across the yard in time to see the HR director from my company get out of her car, she just backed over my bike!!!!!

It took close to 2 hours for the trooper to get there. Yes, I did put out the fire, at the cost of my bike, but it’s out.

Man what a day!!!!!!!!!!


taking a poll

Posted in africa with tags on March 22, 2009 by Avery

recently we underwent some chaos around the house, no electricity for a few weeks.

Of course it had to happen when the temp outside was dropping into the teens, and inside our house hit a low of 32. Well in all the chaos we lost a few appliances as well, when the power surged through the house and made us think we were in California for a while (our entire living room was turn off, it was the middle of the night, and the lights started to come on in a strobe pattern and the room started to shake)

Well one of the items to bite the dust was the TV. There were some others too, but that is the big ticket item.

So Yeah Insurance!!!!!! we got the letter yesterday, and home owners is covering it!!!!

So I’ve limited my choices down to 2.

What say you? those that have my blog on RSS feed as I havn’t updated in forever.

I will post some this week… I hope
Samsung (it states 20000:1 contrast ratio, is this true?)

Vizio (brags about 5000:1 ratio, but being so much lower than Samsung what is the deal?)

Family with Steven Curtis Chapman

Posted in Adoption, africa, family on April 17, 2008 by Avery

Family with Steven Curtis Chapman

The kids got to meet one of the huge benefactors of their adoption last weekend.

We had a really cool opportunity to go and work with Shaoahanna’s Hope on their Show Hope campaign in Roanoke Rapids. It was fun to meet some ot the other adoptive families from the extended community, and it was such a blessing to be part of an event that blessed another adoptive family with a $4,000 grant.

Heather worked with the girls, having them hand out panphlets and carry around donation buckets, and I did the same with the boys. We stayed with teh kids and answered the questions people had, including the ones from families considering adoption.

The family was from a town right down the road from us, and all of the money raised in that concert went towards that family.

I spent a good portion of the evening chasing two Chineese gilrs around the crowd as they waddled with their donation buckets making a LOT of money for Show Hope. I mean seriously, who can say no to cute little 3 year old faces? Of course everyone assumed they were mine, but no, they weren’t even together, they were just kids that met there at teh concert and developed an immediate affinity for each other, then suprisingly enough, to me. Yeah, they were given the choice of hanging out with the girls and my wife, or with the boys and me, and they decided I looked like the better choice!

I was as shocked as you are!


Seriously though it was a really fun night, and if you hear the Steven is passing through you r area I encourage you to contact Shaoahanna’s Hope and volunteer your time to help them out at teh concert. It really is worth your time!

Lucas is fine

Posted in africa on March 25, 2008 by Avery

Just thought i would let teh 10 people that still read this know, lucas is fine, we are all home, and everything is back to normal

Sunday, the retreat

Posted in adopt, Adoption, africa, ethiopia, ethiopian adoption, family on May 9, 2007 by Avery

Sunday morning went by in a blur. We knew ourselves, and had no idea what the two extra kids would add to the mix, so we told the driver taking us to Debra Zeit to come at 11:30. It was a good thing we did as we were still trying to get everything ready at the last minute. It’s funny how going from 2 kids to 4 kids more than triple the amount of time you need to get ready, not to mention the fact that it’s like herding a bunch of cats.  


For breakfast we tried a spoon of peanut butter (protein depravation), papaya (fresh), mixed fruit cobbler (canned), and coffee cake. Not one of the kids like the papaya, Mihret only would nibble the peanut butter, the two American kids wouldn’t eat the coffee cake, and the two Ethiopian kids didn’t want the mixed fruit.   They all drank their mango juice though. 


Well Debra Zeit is at least an hour ride away from Addis, an hour and a half from where we were, so we didn’t want to go heavy on the lunch as two of the kids get carsick, and we had no idea about the other two. So bananas for all and some small cookies as well.  Let me mention at this point I have yet to eat anything.  


We had no birr as the banks have all been closed so far since we got here, and we had run out of the 700 birr we had left from our last trip. So when the driver shows up we tell him we need to go to the Sheraton as they have a bank open all the time there. He tried to talk me into the black market, but when I told him I would give him the money and let him trade it in the black market he quickly changed his tune. I guess jail time was ok for me but not for him, and for the .1 birr difference in the rate (maybe a penny?) it wasn’t worth the hassle.  


Well about 10 seconds into the ride I realized my driver didn’t know how to drive. Well not shift at least, especially from a stop going uphill. It was at one of these stops that he totally destroyed the clutch, and stalled out in the middle of a major intersection.  Well a cop showed up, demanding money for this “law break” there wound up being a major fight for about 5 minutes between the two, then we left. I found out later he may get a letter later as the police have a tendency to just mail the “fines” to the address on the license. Well I was glad to get to the Sheraton, I hopped out and ran to the bank. Apparently this really upset Yosef, as I forgot to tell him what was going on and left him behind. I met some people from Germany and from South Africa in the bank. To get into the hotel you have to pass through a metal detector and a pat down from security, of course they were a lot more lenient to me than they were to the Ethiopian in front of me.  


When I came out of the hotel the van was gone, so I started to meander around the parking lot, looking for my family. Yeah, that was a bit nerve racking coming out to find your entire family gone. Well the driver had put the van in the shade and called for a new driver as this van wasn’t going to make it.  


The ride to the resort was enjoyable, the kids enjoyed seeing the countryside, that is until they fell asleep, and it was great to get out of the city. An hour into the ride my driver asked me if I knew where I was going!!!! Great! We wound up pulling over and using a phone to call the resort for directions, but it was so typical to get that far to find out they thought we knew what we were doing! 


The resort was a beautiful place, it was a crater lake inside the mouth of a dormant volcano. There were several in the area, but this one was the only one deep enough to be cold enough to kill the bacteria, thus you could swim in it. Of course it was better to not look at all the cattle also swimming in the lake with us, yeah.  


We had a small two bedroom one bath room to stay in, it had a small porch and a bench that overlooked the lake out front. There was a playground for the kids to play, and the family that ran the place had kids the same age as my kids, they all enjoyed spending time with each other.  It was awesome to watch the 4 kids play together, there was a cycle of shifting who was playing with who, a sense of familiarity that comes from family, that these strangers shouldn’t have. They loved each other as brothers and sisters even though they had only known each other for a day. 


About an hour into our stay we were playing on the playground with the kids and Mihret decided to jump off the see-saw at it’s apex, knocking both of her front teeth loose. Shortly after that Kaitlyn decided to fall off of one of the retaining walls falling about 5 feet to belly flop on the ground below, to be followed by Lucas taking off his shoes to play soccer, and ripping off his big toenail on a rock. At least Yosef wasn’t injured, I thought it was hysterical that we made it just over 24 hours as a family until our first injury, and then all but one managed to get hurt, beautiful.  


Honestly the highlight of the day would have to be dinner. Dinner was hamburgers, French fries, and lasagna, and desert. There was SOOO much food it wasn’t funny, and we were the ONLY people there. Well as I made the kids hamburgers I handed the first one to Yosef, he looked at it and looked at me, saying ‘My hamburger is beautiful, so, so, so, so beautil, very, very, very beautiful, beautiful, beautiful” Heather and I were dying laughing, the kid likes hamburgers (and this hamburger was small, and on biscuits) I was loving it, definitely one of those moments we will carry for all time.  


Well the day, for the most part was very smooth, the resort was very relaxing, and it was great to be able to start off as a family, away from it all, just us, and in a place like this. If you are on the same journey I definitely recommend it if you can manage it. The resort is run by the SIMS missionaries, it’s a retreat center for the missionaries primarily, but they were very happy to have us there.  


As the night concluded I went over to the lounge and bought a “cold” soda (it was slightly cooler than room temperature)  and we sat on the bench watching the lake trying to process our new life. As we sat there, in awe of God’s beauty we watched a thunder storm roll in over the hills. We could listen to the rain as it was a torrential downpour, but miles away. As it crept closer and closer on it’s slow but determined path we simply sat there in silence, drinking our sprites, watching God’s creation in awe. Finally it hit the lake, and we listened as it started to creep across the lake, just like a rain stick that picks up volume as it picks up inertia, the rain became louder and louder as the storm took over more and more of the lake. We could see the wall of water moving over the lake headed at us and we stayed, sitting on our bench, watching, waiting, until the storm engulfed us. At this point Heather darted into the room, but I continued to stay where I was for a few moments, letting the rain wash away the dust from the day, bringing a freshness that the shower earlier was unable to do.  


Standing there in the middle of God’s splendor, in the land that I love, in the rain that I love (don’t ask me, I just love a good rain) wishing that I wasn’t on a resort because I had this primal urge to find a drum and strip down to just me to play with the beat of the storm and dance with God’s rhythm. Of course I could have done it here, but I’m pretty sure the guards who where watching me already though I was nuts enough standing in the rain in my shirt and shorts.  


Unfortunately this is the last time I recorded any notes on my day in Ethiopia. I will continue the journey, but it will be from memory. I’m sure much has been lost, but I promise to try to fill in as much as possible.

We’re Back

Posted in Adoption, africa on March 27, 2007 by Avery

We are home!!!

jetlag has me beat, so give me a bit to recoop to get you caught up. But everyone is finally home.

We now interupt our regularly scheduled program.

Posted in Adoption, africa, ethiopia, family on March 14, 2007 by Avery

cartoon family

Keep us in your prayers, but I will see you all on the flip side. My next post will be that of a completed family, a family of 6, full of photos of all 6 of us in Ethiopia.

Pray for the kids, this will be their first flights.

Pray for us, we are doubling our kids.

Thank you all for all of you prayers. This journey has been so long, but we have finally entered the next chapter.

Thank you for everything.

We are so happy to be making this trip.  It is such a blessing to have all the kids with us as well. It will forever alter our biological kids world view. And our hope is that it will help in the bonding process that the initial time together is spent in Ethiopia, the family “newcomers” home ground.

 It will probably be April before I get around to posting the journal of our third trip, but you should hear from me in the last week of March.