to do this week.

-I have to learn all new material for my 3 classes. That means memorizing 3 hours of moves, cues, etc. I like to wait until the very last moment. Makes me feel alive.

-Some work for Water. I know I’ve said this before, but you should be excited about what’s to come. ‘Cuz ladies and gents, it’ll rock your world.

-Zach and I did some budgeting tonight. Budgeting also makes me feel alive. Alive and poor. Which sounds like a joke but it isn’t. Because I know I’m not poor but that I am alive. In other words, Zach and I are dedicated more than ever to stop the madness.

-My mom-in-law is getting her hip replaced tomorrow. So I plan on making some food, having the kids do some crafts and praying lots. Terre, act surprised when you receive these things. 🙂

-I need to get tax stuff together because that money will make me feel more alive when it comes to the budget.

-I just noticed Zach recorded “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” on the DVR. Oddly, it makes me love him more.

-Last night Tariku and I were talking about Ethiopia. Zach and I were re-enacting the first time we saw Tariku (which he loves). Then Tariku says, “I don’t remember anything about Ethiopia but when you got on a bus and left me.” Yup, that’s what he remembers. The first day we met Tariku they only let us stay for a few hours and then we had to leave (it really does make sense). Tariku was crying so the nannies were translating that we would come back.

I’m fairly certain he held on to that memory to protect himself. I think he kept that in the front of his mind so that, in the beginning, when he’d feel happy or start to fall in love with us he’d go, “Nope”. “Don’t do that, they’re just going to get on a bus and leave you.”

He’d never told me he remembered that. Broke my heart. But I think the fact that he told me is a good sign. Right?

Man I love that kid. He cracks me up.

-That’s it. Oh, and take pictures of the kids. I think it’s been weeks.

A Picture

So for the adoption they needed a picture of the front of our house. For most of you, this is probably not a big deal…for us, it really is.

Because you see we don’t have a garbage system, thus we certainly don’t have a recycling system. My “system” is boxes on our front porch marked things like “plastic” “paper” “cans”, etc. Note: Zach hates this system, hates, hates, hates this system. As he says, “I’m happy you want to save the environment but seriously.”

And seriously, I deserve that. From time to time I let it get out of hand so much so that our front yard has a random Tombstone cardboard loitering around. Again, Zach hates this.

To my credit, I’m saving the flippin’ planet.

I digress, they needed a picture. I searched (half-heartedly) for a picture of the house in better times. Preferably with green grass, kids and dogs running amok with smiles on their faces, things like that. No luck. So I trotted my happy butt outside and took one today.

When I looked in the viewfinder I noticed 2, rather large, empty cases of beer.

“Tariku, can you move those silver cases off the table?”
“You mean the beer cases?”
“Yes, Tariku, the beer cases.”
“Where should I put them?”
“Behind the tires, just hide them.”

You’ll notice there are any number of things wrong with this scenario. Which, my dear friends, is more troubling to you? That my son knows what a case of beer is, that we have a table (and chairs) on our porch or that I have 4-count them-4 tires on my front porch?

And it’s a 70-ish year-old structure. And it’s at camp, where no one sees my “recycling center”.

Do you think they can put a note on there: “May not look like much but this house is home to a family who is saving the planet and having a crapton of fun doin’ it?”

How would one translate that into Amharic?

For your viewing pleasure (after the removal of alcohol consumption evidence):

Where Have I Been?

I’ve gotten a few emails asking where I’ve been and why I’m not telling all of you.

Well, put simply, Zach’s been gone and I’ve been missing him. So if I would’ve blogged more than I did last week it would’ve sounded like this…

Waaa, waaaa, waaa, poor me, feel sorry for me, it’s crappy outside and I haven’t gotten out of sweatpants in 4 days.”

And, seeings you all clearly think I’m perfect, I thought it best I let that inaccurate illusion hold.

But Zach’s back, which in essence means the best part of me is back too, so I blog.

Seriously though, everytime Zach’s gone I find my awe in single moms just intensify. Because it’s exhausting. It’s fun, worth it, but flippin’ exhausting. So to the single mommies reading right now, I salute you, and am humbled by everything you do. Seriously. If you need a break, let me know, I’ll give you the much needed break you deserve.

In other news, over a week ago we had our adoption classes for our newest adoption agency. Good times. Though we’d obviously been through it and heard most of it before, it was different having “been there done that”. Some good reminders in there to be sure.

And, it gets us closer to our newest babies, which is exciting.

That’s all I have for tonight. I hope you all have had an amazing, and infinitely more productive week.

Oh, and apparently when Zach is gone for a week, upon his return we dress alike and brush our teeth together and-in general-are the cutest couple you’ve ever seen.

The Beginning

Yesterday was a looooong day. Ice storms hit our area and covered everything with a nice inch or so of ice. So we weren’t just stuck inside, we were literally stuck inside. All day. Together. Even on days when it’s really cold I make them go outside for a few minutes. Fresh air does wonders for people. I also have a huge aversion to kids just watching TV, playing the Leapster or playing the Wii most of the day. So we randomly broke out in dance every hour. In summary, it was the longest day I’ve had in a very long time.

But today, well it was a different day entirely. I got exercise, so did the kids. They were perfect, I was not…but as close as I can be. Tonight I picked them up after my last class. The boys told me a story.

It was a story about a caucasian kid telling my boys they couldn’t be brothers because Trysten was white and Tariku was black. Then this happened.

Trysten said: “Yes he is my brother, we adopted him from Ethiopia, Africa.”

Stupid kid: “There is no such place as Ethiopia.”

Tariku: “Yes there is, that’s where I’m from. I flew on a plane to come to America.”

Stupid kid: “I’m in 4th grade, I know there’s no Ethiopia. If you were brothers you would have to be white (pointing at Tariku) or you would have to be black (pointing at Trysten).”

Tariku: “No, because I’m from Ethiopia and Ethiopians are black and my family is from America and there are white people in America.”

Trysten: “He’s my brother, so stop saying that.”

Tariku: “And he’s my brother.”

Trysten: “How about you and Tariku race and whoever wins is right?” (yeah, that probably came from me, racing used to be my favorite form of competition too).

Well Tariku being the superb runner he is kicks the older kids’ booty. The kid tries to say he won and then ran off.

When talking about it later, Trysten says, “It just made me mad that he is older than me and doesn’t even know about the world.”

Oh buddy, it only gets worse from here.

Then, just to prove he’s been paying attention, as I was laying Trysten down to sleep he said.

“I guess that kid doesn’t even think Martin Luther King, Jr even gave his speech yet. Because if he knew about his speech he would know that black people and white people can do things together, like be in a family.”

Then we talked about how things didn’t change completely since Dr. King. How some white people still hate themselves enough to throw that hate on whichever minority is closest. That this is just the beginning of sticking up for his brother and for our family.

It’s just the beginning of having each other’s backs. Of defending each other against the ignorant and the hateful.

It might be a long road for them but I saw them tonight after their “battle”. They were closer, they loved each other more, there was something there that wasn’t before.

And it was simply beautiful.


Today the kids and I talked about Martin Luther King, Jr. We talked about what things were like then and how they’re different now because of it.

We talked about different schools (Trysten listed the friends he would be missing), buses and water fountains.

Then we talked about our family. And how we wouldn’t have been possible without him.

And tonight as I was double checking on the kids as they were falling asleep I heard Trysten praying.

“And thank you for Martin Luther King, Jr for giving me my brother.”


Everything Changed

Everything changed when we started the process to adopt Tariku. Little things and big things, they all changed. We are completely different now than we were almost 3 years ago.

3 years ago if the earthquake would’ve hit Haiti I regret to admit that I would’ve done little but cry over the pictures and the babies.

Today is so different. I haven’t slept well since it happened. Restless to help in any way I can. But everything I do doesn’t feel enough. There is a huge part of me that wants to jump on a plane and go help. To physically reach out and help our Haitian brothers and sisters.

But I can’t do that right now. So instead I go places like:

here and here.

If you don’t like those places go here, here or here.

Just go somewhere, do something. Because seriously, these things need to disturb us to the point of action. You don’t need to adopt to finally figure out that your humanity is and should be directly linked with the humanity around you. I did but you don’t because you’re better people than I am.

So let’s just do this together, alright?

Dreamin’ of Boys

in the motherly sense that is.

Exciting news on the homefront, Zach got a computer just for work, so hotflawedmama finally has her own computer at home. I know, I know, hold your applause-very exciting stuff.

Anyway, with that comes great responsibility and by “responsibility” I mean backing things up on a portable hard drive and fun things like that.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. Capturing my some millions of photos on a portable hard drive. And do you know what I found? The transition of Trysten and Tariku from “buddies” to “brothers”, and what a beautiful transition it is!

Thus, I’m dreamin’ of boys today. I wonder if our next adoption will consist of boys or girls or a combination of both. I see my husband with his brothers and I can almost feel that ache for my boys, my hubby and his bros are so close and have so much fun together.

Then I see my brother who clung to almost every boyfriend I had growing up, looking for his future brother. When meeting Zach something clicked and, I like to think, Marcus found the brother he had always wanted and Zach found the brother he never knew he wanted.

But I want my boys to have that. Probably to make up for my poor brother who had to endlessly be put through make up trials and such with me. Who only 8 years ago found a “real” brother. Since you all know I have a weak spot for my little brother, perhaps that’s why I’m overcompensating, I don’t know.

All I know is, you can’t fake love like this.


Early 2009 (P.S. I have no idea why Tariku has no gloves on nor why his hat sits atop his head rather than over his ears, call it “personal style”, if you will).

Late 2009

To Loc or Not To Loc?

That’s the question with Tariku. He hates getting his hair combed in the morning, so when we was looking at pictures of various styles that would require less combing, he picked loc-ing.

I did lots of google searching and ascertained that I could probably pull it off, with a little help and a lot of concentration. I’m too cheap to pay someone to get it started (upwards of $75, no way!)

So that’s what we did last night. Me with my pajama pants and he with his Leapster. It didn’t turn out too bad. I actually used loc-ing gel stuff this time so I didn’t have to do too much this morning to prepare it for the public. He was excited to show his friends.

Dailah asked me upon completion if, “When my hair turns black would you twist my hair too, please?” Though I didn’t feel I could promise such a thing, I did promise I’d curl her hair today.

Anyway, we’ll see how long this lasts. If this doesn’t work I’m shaving it off, which he DOES NOT want. 🙂

Melkam Ganna

or Gena or Gana, it’s spelled multiple ways in English. Merry Christmas in Ethiopia! Celebrated on Jan. 7 there, it was celebrated Jan 9 here in hotflawedmamaland.

Our 2nd annual Ganna celebrations were a success, if I do say so myself. It’s morphed a bit into a celebrate-all-of-Tariku’s-favorite-things day but I think he likes it better that way anyway. 🙂

With all of Tariku’s favorite foods: doro wot, pizza, brownies and ice cream, and most of Tariku’s friends we brought in Ethiopians Christmas and New Year in a fantastic way.

A veggie dish, I can’t remember what it’s called.

Doro tibs. Chicken and some veggies.

Doro wot. Spicy chicken stew.

A little bit of everything for dessert. A cream puff dessert, brownies, french vanilla ice cream, cookies and cream ice cream and sprinkles galore.

Some of the people, notice the pizza on the table. We’ve gotten pretty good at deep dish-style pizza.


Zach and his mom, Terre.

Tariku and his friend, Thomas, enjoyed each other immensely.

This is the picture I call “lotta men on the couch”. Papa Smurf, uncle Frank, Jared and my dad, John.

Russell, or “twin one”.

Dailah reading to Papa.

Papa also entertained Elliot or “twin two”.

The calamity.

Thankfully Logan and Kara were thrilled about helping in any way possible so my hands stayed clean.

Here Elliot shows how excited he is for little sister to come home from Ethiopia.


Dailah set up shop painting nails, she will soon be charging.