Lilypie Countdown to Adoption tickers

Lilypie Countdown to Adoption tickers

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

After a long debate...

I finally decided on baby bedding. It has been a struggle to find anything I love because the babie's will be sharing a room so I wanted something that was different for each, but yet similiar. I am usually not a fan of 'themes' but I have to say, I love this theme...Sea Turtles. I am also a sucker for plaid.
What do you think?
Now the debate is what color to paint the room. I was thinking a soft light brown, but now I am leaning toward a light green. The great decisions in life...oh boy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

pre-wedding pull up contest on youtube


We registered at Babies R US on Saturday. It was a unique experience for both of us and provided some intel on where are friends with children spend their money. Babies = $. It's crazy being uneducated about the specifics and registering for two $200 children's car seats.

We spent Sunday morning having brunch with Fritz, Melissa and Stella. Stella was her talkative, radiant self and motivates me through our journey.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I don't talk politics...but

I am going to this one time...

The following has been proposed to reconcile differences between the Senate and the House as it relates to health care reform:

• Adoption tax credit and assistance exclusion will increase by $1,000. The bill makes the credit refundable and extends it through 2011.

Love it, hate it, take it, leave it, or learn to live with it. Either way, this make me happy.

You know what else makes me happy? My friend Kristin and my Aunt Melody, who I love dearly, will have to pay an extra 10% to support their indoor tanning habit. If melanoma doesn't scare them, maybe this will help...a little. The following was also proposed:

• A 10 percent tax will be imposed on amounts paid for indoor tanning services on or after July 1.

If you want to view the whole article – check it out –

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One month of waiting down...whey, that went quick!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Adoption, Birth Announcements, Travels

Yo, we are "officially" waiting to be matched with our two children. Christina just signed us up for a "new baby" class on 5/8 for adoptive parents, new grandparents, etc. After thinking about it, it was a great idea considering I'm somewhat terrified of babies. David and Jodi Gundersen of Fergus Falls, MN just had a baby girl, Faith. John and Jen Schultz just brought a new boy, Jack, into this world and blessed him with a great name. It was on the list.
Wolters Kluwer has taken me to Orlando (FL), Indianapolis (IN) and the MN/Canadian border in 2010. I'm traveling MN and covering North of I-94. Christina has been supportive and I can tell she is minimizing her "honey do" lists on my Saturdays.
Christina is celebrating Elisha's birthday tonight and I'm celebrating John Schultz's 43rd. Go Duke! I wish good health to all. - Sam AKA "The Notorious S.A.M."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Candidate Is Stabbed to Death in Ethiopia

Here is an article that was run in the NY Times yesterday. Most agencies do not let families travel during election time becuase of the spike in violence. This is scary, but I do want to point out that overall Ethiopia is considered to be a very peaceful country.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — An opposition candidate for Ethiopia’s Parliament was stabbed to deathearly Tuesday in what opposition leaders said was part of a widening campaign of repression ahead of May elections.

The candidate, Aregawi Gebre-Yohannes, was killed at a restaurant he owned near the town of Shire in the Tigray region by a group of six men who had shadowed his movements for the previous two days, said Gebru Asrat, a leader of the Arena party, a member of an alliance of opposition parties.

“They cut him, they stabbed him in the stomach, and he died,” Mr. Gebru said. “It’s becoming very difficult to run” a political campaign, he added.

Bereket Simon, the government’s communications minister, dismissed political motives for the attack and said the opposition was trying to tarnish the government’s image.

“In a row with a certain individual, the individual killed him,” Mr. Bereket said. “What they are trying to do is search for casualties and label them Arena. They are not into constructive engagement.”

A different opposition parliamentary candidate was beaten in Tigray on Sunday by members of the Ethiopian Army, and he was hospitalized, said Negasso Gidada, a former president of Ethiopia who has now joined the opposition. Like the man who was killed, the beating victim, Ayalew Beyene, had previously been arrested for attending opposition meetings or distributing campaign literature, he added.

“It is very bad news,” Mr. Negasso said. “My fear is such incidents may be intensifying.”

Government security forces killed at least 193 demonstrators during unrest after the country’s 2005 federal elections, which the opposition said were rigged. Birtukan Mideksa, widely considered to be the country’s most charismatic opposition figure, remains in prison, serving a life sentence issued in the aftermath of the disputed elections. Both the ruling party and the opposition have accused each other of seeking to foment violence around this year’s vote.

In local elections in 2008, opposition parties won just 3 of 3.6 million seats — virtually none of the huge number of local and by-election seats being contested — after two of the major groups boycotted the elections, citing intimidation and harassment, according to the State Department’s human rights report on Ethiopia.

Mr. Bereket, the government minister, who is also a senior official in Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, said that the candidate beaten on Sunday had been pressuring a student who was not aligned with the ruling party to read opposition campaign literature and that the two had fought as a result.

Ethiopia’s opposition has sharply criticized the Obama administration for what it views as Washington’s failure to speak out on human rights abuses by Mr. Meles’s government, which has been an American ally in pursuing Islamic militants in Somalia.

“They are partners in development with the Ethiopian government, but I don’t think they are partners in freedom and democracy,” said Andualem Aragie, an official with Ms. Birtukan’s Unity for Democracy and Justice party, in a Jan. 29 news conference.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 4, 2010
Because of an editing error, an article on Wednesday about the stabbing death of Aregawi Gebre-Yohannes, an opposition candidate in Ethiopia’s coming elections, referred incorrectly to Birtukan Mideksa, an opposition leader, who is serving a life sentence on charges of fomenting violence in the aftermath of the disputed 2005 elections. Birtukan Mideksa is a woman.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Toukoul is the orphanage that we are adopting from. They are a part of the SOS EE organization which promotes many services for Ethiopia in addition to orphan relief. This is something that was appealing to us when selecting our agency, being they work with a reputable organization that is focused on the greater good for the people of Ethiopia. Here is some info about SOS EE and Toukoul:

SOS/EE is a network of orphanages throughout Ethiopia, including the Toukoul orphanages in Addis Ababa. Toukoul works with the following American adoption agencies: Adoption Avenues, AFAA and Dove Adoptions.

Toukoul 1 and Toukoul 2 house and care for children from age 0-14, while proposing them for adoption when fitting. 350 children are admitted per year. Toukoul 3 houses and cares for children less than 2 years old who are HIV+. Approximately 25 children are cared for each year.

Other SOS/EE programs include a Vocational Training and Production Center for youth over 14 years old (children live in foster families, attend school and receive job training to help bring them financial independence), Aware Program (sponsors children and families, including job training for mothers and Kindergarten for children), Cereal Production Farm (admits youth after Vocational Training), Horticulture Farm (admits youth after Vocational Training) and Garage (admits youth after Vocational Training).

SOS/EE also includes 18 satellite orphanages around Ethiopia that each house approximately 50 children who are in the process of being admitted to the main Toukoul orphanages in Addis Ababa. Children usually stay in these satellite orphanages for a short period of time, sometimes a few weeks, at times a few months, before being transferred to Addis Ababa. HIV+ children over the age of 2 currently remain in the satellite orphanages, pending completion of the new, larger Toukoul 3.