Friday, July 29, 2011

Chuko Ethiopia

In the horn of Africa sits a beautiful village/city called Chuko, Ethiopia.  Take a look around- enjoy the lush landscape and the beautiful people.  Take a peek inside a mud hut- but don't be fooled by the lush green area depicted here. There is starvation here- serious starvation mostly due to the unseasonable rains over the past 3 years.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

This week- we went out for a little "Fresh Air"

My mom, I, the kids, Z and a family friend got out and enjoyed some "Fresh Air" in Western Massachusetts.
Attempting lunch time-Coleman style.  Z'

Z's first trip to a Six Flags

Zonked ... on the way home from the Six Flags water Park. 
 A little pool time before paddle boating at the campground.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting a bit of "Fresh Air" with "Z"

Today our Fresh Air friend is coming to visit!

This is his second year. Last year "Z"  left his family for a week to come and stay with us.

Last year,his mom, nervous I am certain put him on a bus to stay with a family she had never met.  "Z" is an African American boy that boarded a bus in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the Brooklyn crossed 3 states and got out in Suburban Massachusetts to spend a week with a family he did not know.

He had never seen pictures of us and had no idea who we were.  There was a short telephone call with his mom-and that was all.  I don't think I'd be brave enough to do this with my son- I don't care what the circumstances were- I don't know if I'd be able to put him on a bus and send him to strangers at his current age.  I look at Habtamu now and think- that's nuts and laugh.  I'd worry about his attention "issues", how he doesn't always clean up after himself, how he leaves his toys out.  How would he sleep with out daddy reading books to him and I admire "Z"'s mom for being so brave.   There's so much focus on the children in the Fresh Air program- but I wonder about the families too.  How amazing they are to start trusting their children at such a young age.  I admire his mom - her bravery, her desire for more for her children-but also for the trust she has in them at such a young age.

As for "Z" (I'm keeping his full name out of this) - he had a tough start with us last year.  He was really home sick for a night- and needed a few days of extra attention-but he stayed, and enjoyed being with us.I was amazed daily with him -and yes in my eyes "Z" is an amazing boy.  The day he left our eyes were full of tears regarding his departure, we were excited about his adventure and busy planning for his next visit with us.

It's not just "Z" that changed and grew last year- we also grew and changed.  He provided us with the insight of a world that I know little of.  Sure his life is full of concrete, police, and guns but it's also filled with lots of kids in a close neighborhood to play with, sprinklers or fire hydrants opened up for the kids to play in and music.  It was amazing to see his home through his eyes having never been there myself.  He also gave me an amazing gift... the gift of seeing our life differently and with much joy.  After all- his adventure-that he enjoy  so much- was simply a week in our home.  Photographing that week, all of the smiles and being able to look back on them- leaves me with a real "life is good" feeling.

He called us through out this past year, we sent him a photo album of his week with us for Christmas and today he returns.  For a young man whom I have only spent one week with- I can't believe my enthusiasm as I await for his bus today.  I can feel my eyes whelming up as I write this and the hair on my arms raise with excitement as I mention the bus.

If you've ever thought about hosting a fresh air child I can only tell you our experience.  We are all in love with "Z" and can't wait for him to get off that bus today!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

a new blog- a new beginning

Fendesha means popcorn in Amharic. It is a name I was given on my first visit to Ethiopia and it very much defines who I am.  This blog will include the adventures of Fendesha's life (mine) and I promise it will be a lot like popcorn popping with many ups and downs!  Life is a constant and ever changing adventure.

For those of you who are interested in adoption or in the process of adopting from Ethiopia- you can find information regarding it and stories of our life as we became parents at the following url:

For those of you who are new to my blogging- Welcome!