Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More than a Glimmer of Hope - It will be done! Please join the campaign!

Please donate by clicking here.

This is just me, Lori. But below is all copied and pasted from Emily's other blog w/Glimmer of Hope. This is my new cause. Please watch the video and start spreading this around. This goal is big, and I know it will take no time to meet! I'm so proud of my friends. Thank you God. It WILL be done!

We just got back from Dube Bute Kebele, where Eyasu spent the first two years of his life. It’s hard to begin to describe just how overwhelming the experience was. As we look back on the day, and all of the ways that the Lord has worked in order to get us to where we are, I am overcome with excitement at being able to finally kick off this campaign.

The need in Dube Bute is extreme, 4200 people are living in heart breaking rural poverty. But, by the grace of God, we are going to be able to address every aspect of need in the kebele. Water, Health, Education, Veterinary Services – they will all be part of this campaign. Our goal is to raise $284,000, which will provide the necessary funding for a complete transformation of Dube Bute. While the need is extreme, there is hope…

Today, the people of Dube Bute collect their water from muddy, contaminated, unprotected spring sources or from dirty open wells in the town center. It’s unsafe, it’s unlivable, and it’s unacceptable. But we are going to fix that. This campaign is going to provide the funding for 10 spring protection developments and 8 hand-dug wells. These 18 water points will provide the community with clean and safe water.

The health post that we saw, if you can even call it that, is a two-room building with nothing inside. There were no medical supplies, no tables, no chairs, no hospital beds. Nothing. The new health post, on the other hand, will be fully stocked with all necessary health care equipment. One of the eight hand-dug wells will be located just outside the building, providing clean water to the health post. Additionally, the existing health post will be renovated into a two-room residence for the health care workers. This means the community will not only have a new fully supplied health facility, but they will also have health care workers living on site.

On the same compound as the health facility, will be a veterinary clinic. Dube Bute is a very rural community. As we rode horses into the kebele center, we passed dozens of cows and goats and sheep. The livelihood of many of the community members depends upon the health of their animals. We are thrilled that we will be able to provide a veterinary clinic to ensure the health of the animals upon which these people depend so dearly. Placing the veterinary clinic on the same compound as the health post will mean that it, too, has access to the clean water from the hand-dug well. The entire population of Dube Bute – people and animals alike – will be able to access health care in one, centralized location.

As the parents of 6 children, education is something very important to Moody and myself. Our hearts broke when we saw the existing school. There are currently more than 800 children who attend school in seven old, dilapidated classrooms. Seven. Not only that, but their education only goes through the 6th grade. This is going to change. We will add eight new classrooms to this campus (in two school buildings) to provide the students with brand new, fully furnished classrooms facilities. Once these classrooms are complete, the community will use the existing buildings to add on a 7th and an 8th grade to the school. What a beautiful example of collaboration and cooperation. The result? The first complete primary school (1st-8th grade) that Dube Bute has ever had. As part of our commitment to bring 100% clean water coverage to the community, one of the eight hand-dug wells will be located on the school campus, allowing all students access to clean water during the day.

We are thrilled to be getting started with this campaign, but we can’t do it alone. We need your help! We will be posting photos and videos from our incredible trip soon and will continually update you with news from Dube Bute. So please come along with us on this journey as we step out in faith.

There is Hope for Dube Bute…

P.S. 100% of all donations go directly to projects in Dube Bute. Even the PayPal transaction fee is covered by the Glimmer endowment

Campaign Details
Status: Running
Campaign Type: General Fund Raising
Targeted Project Type: Wherever its needed most
Village: Dube Bute
Target Amount: $284,000
Donations: $19,320.00

Thursday, October 14, 2010

True Blood ~

True blood is one of my favorite shows. Yes, I have a thing for vampires. No clue why, but I'm not alone so I don't feel like I have a problem...

But this post is about "True Blood".... what does blood mean? What does it mean to you? Some people (Italians and other nationalities) feel that blood is thicker than water. That is such a dichotomy for me. Because my family is my life, and two because water is my love.... So, I guess that blood and water are my passions. Period.

Not only blood and water, but serving. Serving to those in need. My life has been a struggle for the past year. And it's time, now that we have our own home to start to regain connections with Ethiopia and the community.

I don't want that to sound like Nicholas isn't a huge part of this journey. He actually has a larger heart for Ethiopia than Tessa Bezu, right now.

The divorce (finally wrote it) is starting to show it's ugly head with the Tessa. Tessa Bezu is starting to have meltdowns. Why wouldn't she? So many changes in such little time. Her recent behavior has been shocking to me because this change in our lives began last December... And she has adapted so easily to everything thus far since coming home, until now.

I'm not surprised. I can't imagine the pain and grief and loss that she's gone through. And now, it's happening all over again (for her). The past few drop off's (daycare/school) have been nothing short of disgusting.... I haven't seen her temperment like this since we first met her and she didn't want me/us to touch her. The violence in her came back out when they tried to pull her away from me. It was impossible to hold back the tears and it brought me back to when she didn't want me AT ALL..

They kept saying, "she'll be fine, just let go".... then I looked in Tessa in the eyes when they were pulling her away from my arms.. I couldn't take it. I said,  "NO she's not going through this again (at my hand) I'm not leaving her here, this way". I told the teacher;  "I've seen this face and reaction before", we left. There was no way I could let her be ripped out of my arms hysterical. Kicking and screaming. She doesn't do that normally, so I knew that this was different, and needed to be treated different (by her momma)...

We got in the car, (me bawling hoping she didn't see)... and I brought her to daycare, she was seeming fine...

We got out of the truck, everything was good, we'd talked about mommy coming back etc... Then it happened again, but worse.....I was literally ready to call my boss and quit my dumb ass job. Seriously, does my baby need to be here ALL this time while I work almost as a volunteer? NO!

I had no choice but to leave her, but would not let them take her from my arms. I put her down, crouched and hugged many times telling her I'd be back soon (which wasn't true because I worked til seven). I said to her, "I'm your Momma and ALWAYS will be, I will see you later..") It killed me. She said she was scared I wouldn't come back..... Needless to say I walked into work a mess. And it continued for quite bit... After an hour I called and they said she was "better". I was hoping for "great, normal, fine".

Blessing in disguise - I thought I wanted to start my business up again... I have my motivation. I need to be here for my kids a lot more, and of course make money to support us and so I can become a part time/stay at home mom... :)

So, as a single momma of two, my main goal is finding balance. For myself and my children. One of the reasons for taking a hiatus from FB. I'd rather blog every few days or less, and keep up with my adoption peeps. New goals, new priorities... Thank You Lord.


Me again...

Quick post (at work right now) to let my blogger friends know I'm on FB hiatus to focus on family, and other things. So I will be blogging instead FB'ing! Much more productive and cathartic. PLUS I want to connect and follow you all again in writing instead of status updates! I'm eager to start fundraising for June 11' trip to Ethiopia!!! ;)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It doesn't go away - how foolish of me ~

Tessa Bezu and Ethiopia will forever be connected. And I love that. I try to use the little Amharic that I learned during our wait. We talk about Ethiopia, but not too much. I honestly think that some people over do it with the cultural aspect. I am Sicilian and Greek. There are aspects of my life that represent that etc, but my life doesn't revolve around it. And for me, it would be wrong to plaster my entire home with anything and everything Ethiopian. BALANCE! I believe that is key.

Sadly because of this past year, there hasn't been the balance I planned on having with her. We haven't gone to Ethiopian restaurants, events, actually nothing other than talk about Ethiopia at home and look at pictures. I'm ashamed of that, but can finally admit it because it's all going to change soon!

Here is the grit of this post.... because of the extreme changes in our lives Tessa is now rejecting everything that has to do with Ethiopia where before she embraced it and would get excited when we talked about visiting in a few years together.

Gee, I wonder why.... NOT. Mommy went from being basically a stay at home Mom other than a few hours a day at pre-school, now Momma has a full time job, Daddy and Mommy don't live together, we have moved once already since she came home. That was only nine months ago, and we're moving again.

So, the other night when tucking her in I said "betam "Eh wed eh SHAH lehu" (I love you very much)..... my baby started to cry and said; "NO"! I don't want to talk Amharic, I don't want Ethiopia. We talked about it for several minutes, I questioned, probed to find the reason behind it. She just kept saying she didn't ever want to go back there and didn't want to speak Amharic. :(

I left her bedroom and cried. What a failure. I know we will recover together, but it sucked. I cannot wait until she is ready to embrace Ethiopia again. She's obviously reacting to all the changes in her little life and deep down the pain from the past are emerging.

Cannot tell a lie - as a parent - makes you feel like shit. But who cares about my feelings. The most important feelings are those of my babies. And I will make up for all of my shortcomings. We will get back into a routine that they get used to with me working. And I will refrain from ET talk with Tessa for a bit.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Who wants change, cuz I'm done with mine!!!

Finally - I can say that the question marks that I've lived with for close to a year are all answered. The house is sold, the family dynamic has shifted, I have found a lovely home to move into, and also have a job!

Talk about a ton of change.... I feel very content, happy, and know that while these changes have been very painful to many people in my life, they are changes that needed to be made. Changes that I pray will make me a better mother, human being, and server to those I love and allow me to chase my passion.

My priorities have changed ever since that little trip to a small place called Ethiopia! ;) Now that all this mess is just about done, I can concentrate on drinking the most important things. When Momma's happy, kids are happy. When we stop and really think about the importance of happiness and how it permeates throughout everything we do every single day. When we are happy, really happy, it is contagious. And I want that to spread it into my babies, I want to spread it to everyone around me. It's kind of like "pay it forward"....

Because together we can accomplish so very much. I know that Team Alexander has some super exciting plans to share soon. So, once I'm 100% settled, you can just imagine I'll be ALL over that! I know what you're thinking... "shit, here comes Lori with her stupid videos"... YEP!

I'm feast or famine, and I really want to get back into blogging and throw my passion to my babes and to Ethiopia, I need to be patient, it can't happen yet! I want them to learn early how critical it is to look beyond themselves, be good citizens of the world and honor their country, the best one on earth.  I can feel the GIANT wave of greatness that is just around the corner. I can't wait.

The next month is going to be living hell... but I'll get through it and once I'm on the other side I can really focus on the important things. I have been selfish in my free time, that is going to change too. Having a normal routine again with the kids is something I am craving. Getting back to planning dinners, reading every night at bed and most importantly, not being impatient with them because of my stress. Kids feel that. And they don't deserve too, but it happens that way sometimes. Not for much longer... nope.

This fall will be the best fall ever. Settling in, nesting and getting ready for my favorite holiday. CHRISTmas!

The biggest challenge for me is bucking up and learning how to operate heavy equipment. Should be a sight to see. The lawn tractor/trailer and snow blower! I know how to "ride" on the tractor, but I've never mowed with it! Should be fun....

That's all I got for an update -

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What defines failure and success?

As of my last post there were so many question marks still in our lives. I'm happy and sad to report that change has blasted into our lives this week! Ummm, yeah, crazy how life puts you on hold for so long and then BAM!

Yes, you read it correct, in just this past week; The couple unit is officially no more (not saying the word).... I began a new kitchen design job for a company other than the one I owned  for the past eight years, AND the home we're currently in has been signed off on and sold.

Now the mad search is in full speed ahead mode for a new abode. It's all so freakin scary, exciting and wicked sad. The logistics will be a living nightmare, but God is good, and we've had struggles before and will easily get through this final stage.

Ethiopia is coming back stronger and stronger in my mind. The closer I get to the end of this chapter, the closer I get to wanting to dive into what my passion is... what I feel motivated by, what I feel God wants me to do, to serve others. It's just going to take a lot longer to get that on the plate than I thought. Which I've come to terms with. The need will be there even if it's two years before I can put my body and mind around getting back there or doing something here....

One things that breaks my heart is the fact that I've basically left the blogging community that was so powerful to me for so long. I've stopped reading the daily updates, and frankly don't know what is going on in most lives of the people I fell in love with during our adoption process. It is one of my goals (at some point) to reconnect and become part of the blogging family once again. It was such a source of wisdom, strength, and faith for me. We all helped each other along the way. And I miss seeing all the families I came to love along with all the beautiful children as well.

One thing we can always count on in life is constant CHANGE - and as scary as it can be, you have to stand up and not just "take" it, but say;  "I WILL do this... and I WILL be better from it".

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Update 101...

It's been a bit since I've posted. There are reasons. One, I'm too busy on FB writing silly updates or taking down mobsters! I need my distractions people, cut me some slack! :)

There have been several things going on in my life that haven't been blogable, but I think the time now is ok to tell you all what's happening in this neck of the woods.

Many of you already know b/c of FB or because you are part of my life. We are selling our home, yes, the one we just moved into mid December because our family dynamic is shifting. I can't say the word still in written form. Our family will soon consist of two households though. So we've been trying to sell the house and find two new homesteads.... not an easy task.

Because of the economy (housing) my kitchen business pretty much hit a wall last year and I haven't been designing. Obviously with the turn of family events (that began in January, actually last October) I need to find work. Something that is NOT working out well. I only have one talent. I've been a kitchen designer for nineteen years. It's all I know how to do, and do damn well I might add...

For the most part my chin is up. But boy when the moments hit, they hit really hard.

The kids are fantastic - healthy and happy. So for now, until I do find a job we are enjoying our pool and the summer sun.

That's the update - I may start another charity:water campaign with videos again... :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Do you wear protection?

No, not that kind. Get your head out of the gutter.

UPDATED - 4-9-2010

It's spreading, the flu. It's that time of year... When we boarded the plane to go on our trip we saw about ten asian people board and sit behind us all wearing these masks. I didn't know if I should be insulted or scared! But soon the drink cart came and I didn't care anymore.

Then we saw this man in front of them. Maybe this was his way of protecting the air flow into one nostril. He certainly couldn't do both or he's suffocate, right? And see the woman behind him. For crying out loud!

Here's my two cents on the whole mask thing.

1. If you are infected, stay the frig home please
2. If you are frightened of others infecting you enough to put one of these on, stay the frig home please
3. If you just want to look cool by wearing one, get a life
4. If you were dared by a friend, ditch your friend
5. If your company mandates it, quit
6. If you are doing it because everyone else is, be original, don't jump on the bandwagon, and get a life
7. If you are pregnant, you should have worn another kind of protection and then you wouldn't be forced to be huge and look stupid at the same time
8. If you are going to Asia, just don't
9. If you're just obeying all the damn signs around every corner about wearing one, be a rule breaker
10. If you need this list to decide if you are going to wear one, stop reading my blog, you won't get me

Monday, February 15, 2010

Some quick recent pics!

Nick's first snowboard lesson - He goes everyday next week and Tessa will learn on skiis first, everyday next week!! Can't wait for those pics too!

Mr. Handsome!

The Queen!!!

My guys!

Watching TV (with dog hair in her fro) - love her hair!

This little girl is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen inside and out - her profile is just amazing, isn't  it? I am biased though. I could (and do) eat that little nose ALL day! She is my angel. My family is my happiness!

Monday, February 1, 2010


As some of you may know, our stunning daughter (inside and out) is from Arbegona. Arbegona is southeast of Awassa in the mountains. It's breathtakingly beautiful to travel through the mountainous countryside on dirt roads for hours to reach this town.

I have told you all that I want to find a new mission/project. Without going into detail, I've decided to try something quite different than anything you've seen. I like originality. You will to, trust me!

So, right now this is what I'm looking for. Do you have kiddo's or know of families with kiddos from Arbegona. If so, you will WANT to leave a comment or send me a private email. So excited!

In the future I hope too be looking for children from other towns/villages. Arbegona will be used as the model of this venture to see if it's possible and if it works how I imagine it could. This could be huge!

And lastly, I hope to do a normal update post soon, maybe during martini time tonight!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We're still alve and kicking!

Wine tasting at our home and first day(s) at new schools!

Erica and Larissa! Engaged!!!

Lisa and Michael!!!! Wine Expo coming soon!

Me and Erica - yes, my hair appointment is this Friday - I know!!!

First day at new kindergarten...:(

Kitchen in progress... not my best work! A great facelife!

We're all moved in - there are still some rooms that are to be finished but it's three weeks today and we've had the first floor painted, cabinets painted, and appliances ordered. We're feeling at home!

There is so much to talk about. I want to share what's been going on with me, but I really can't. Tessa and Nick are another subject alltogether.

I'm going to wait to post again until I can add pictures to go along with the update of the kiddos.

Tessa and Nick started their new schools recently... things were going fine. Tessa Bezu seems to be having a setback/emotional issues due to the move etc. She is insecure with her place in the family and even told me the other day when doing drop off that she was afraid that I wouldn't pick her back up. There are a few things that could have caused it, but who knows what's going on in her little head. I've been reassuring her like crazy and we left her pre-school to come home and snuggle and talk since I didn't feel comfortable leaving her there. Tomrrow is another day of pre-school, we'll see. If she recoils as she did the other day then we'll come back home. The last thing I want is for her to feel abandoned.

More later... this new laptop is kinda hard to type on! :)

Other than that... we're very, very happy in our new home~~