Friday, November 23, 2007

gobble. gobble. gobble.

So, Thanksgiving was lots of fun, but a long day. We began the day at my grandparents’ house for the traditional and yummy Thanksgiving feast. The food was great and I was stuffed by the time it was all said and done.

My sister, cousins and I have always enjoyed playing games at my grandparents’ house. Some of the games are newer, but some are the games our parents played when they were children. Little Chief is one of the games we have always liked to play. I think it was my uncle’s game. It involves putting a headband on your head and collecting feathers. When Michael began attending holidays with my family, Little Chief was a right of passage for him. My cousins, Michael, Amy and Steele played it yesterday. I opted to just take pics of the festivities.

The game.

The pros.

Michael with his feathers.

Amy with more feathers!

My very cute Grandy. He was laughing at me for taking his pic.

After we left my grandparents’ house, we went to Michael’s brothers house for Thanksgiving with his family. Several years ago we started the tradition with his family of non-Thanksgiving food. We decided it was too much work to have to each prepare food for two different Thanksgiving feasts (one for each side of the family). We go with a different theme each year for the Morris family get-together. This year was Italian. It was tasty. There were 30 people there. Michael has six siblings. We currently have 13 nieces and nephews, with two more on the way. His aunt and uncle and one of his cousins were also there.

I tried to get pics of all of the kids, but I don’t think I succeeded. Here are some cute pics:

Elizabeth (She is the oldest niece. She is 12, which doesn't seem possible!) and Tabitha (Michael's sister)


Josiah and Jude

Ezra and Michael looking at Michael's new phone.

Lydia (her family calls her Lulu)


Abigail with a cute little kitten.


Aidan got tired of me taking pics of him so he put the lens cap on my camera!

I hope everyone else had a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving Day!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

birthday celebration!

Well, my youngest cousins are legal! Today is their 21st birthday. We had a party for them at my aunt and uncle’s house. As usual the food was scrumptious. They love to entertain and always have a fantastic feast prepared. Matthew and my uncle fried okra from their garden. It was great. Here is a pic of the okra:

They are 7 ½ years younger than I am and the age difference used to seem so big. As we have gotten older the age gap feels smaller and smaller. Here is a cute pic of them with Emily (their sister) and my uncle. Nice glasses, huh? I stole this pic from my uncle’s My Space. Yes, my uncle has a My Space!

I took this pic tonight. Matthew is on the left and Michael on the right.

A birthday tradition in our family is the red “You are special today” plate. Since they are twins, another plate had to be added, hence the “You are loved” plate Matthew is holding (along with his piece of turkey!)

A couple of more pics from the party…..

My uncle and my mom

Emily (my cousin) and her boyfriend, Steele

Monday, October 29, 2007

We're Back...

Well, we are back from Indie Emporium. Michael and I had fun spending time with Amy. We met some nice people and made it through the long hours. We took some pics of her booth. She did a great job of setting it up.

This is the amelia mae side of the booth. The wrapped gift boxes show how Amy's gift tags can be used. She sells them with or without ribbon. The tags are also great for those who like to scrapbook.

This is the Project 8256 side of the table. We sold prints, originals and greeting cards.

This is what the entire booth looked like. You can see the banners from amelia mae in the background. We moved them to the front on Saturday, because they really couldn't be seen where they were.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sweaters and Extravaganzas!

It is sweater weather!!! This makes me sooo happy. Michael and I have been anxiously awaiting the cold weather and it is finally here. I haven’t turned on the heater yet. I like to put it off as long as possible. Secretly, I love it being a little cold in my house, so I can put my flannel pants and hoodie on and pull the covers up to my chin!

I have been helping my sister prepare for Indie Emporium, which is a “craft extravaganza” in Amy’s words. It is in Tulsa this Friday and Saturday. We will be selling things for Project 8256 to raise money for our adoption, as wall as AHOPE. Amy will also be selling lots of fantastic things from amelia mae. She does a really incredible job. If you can’t make it, you should check out her shop if you are looking for banners or tags. She will be adding more items to her Etsy store in the next few weeks. She has been waiting until after this weekend to restock things, so we can take a lot of great things to Tulsa. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Of Beetles & Angels

I am beginning to read a list of suggested readings for parents adopting from Ethiopia. Most of the books on the list were not at my local library, but thankfully Of Beetles & Angels was. I didn’t know if I would enjoy this book, but it was fantastic. It was well written and a quick read. The book written by Mawi Asgedom, is about his journey from Ethiopia, to a Sudanese refugee camp and eventually to America. He moved to the Chicago area with his family when he was seven years old. This beautifully written book takes the reader on a journey as Asgedom paints a picture of his life growing up in a habesha family. His journey eventually leads him to Harvard, where he received a full-tuition scholarship and gave the commencement speech. Mawi Asgedom is now a sought after speaker, particularly for teens.

His father always told him to “treat all people – even the most unsightly beetles – as though they were angels sent from heaven.” His father said you never know when an angel is sent to you disguised as a beetle. This really makes me think. How many times have I treated someone like they were a beetle? I hope I have treated more people like angels, but even if I have treated one person like a beetle, I have failed them.

I highly recommend this book. It is a book that emphasizes the importance of your own heritage, the value of hard work and education and the power of treating everyone like they are an angel.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Parenting Tips

Okay…I am still here. I have not blogged in a very long time. Michael and I started a business with his brother and sister-in-law. It has been very time consuming, but a life long dream. Now that the business is up and running, I feel like I can really focus on our adoption. When we first started talking about adopting, I was advised by many people to wait until we opened our business to start our adoption and not try to do both at once. Boy, now I know why!

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about what it will be like to raise our child. A friend recently asked me if I had any concerns about raising a child of a different race and culture. Of course I do. I worry about a lot of things, but particularly about what my child will experience as they become a teenager and then an adult. Teenagers already struggle enough with identity and self-image. My child will have to deal with this, plus the feeling that they look different than their parents and were born in a different country. Should this stop me from adopting? Absolutely not.

I have to believe “love conquers all”. I have to believe that Michael and I can love our child and guide them through these difficult times. Does that mean they won’t go through any adversities? No. Although it would be great if we could just “love them through it”, it is not that easy. We have to be educated and aware of issues that will impact our child and our family. Harlow’s Monkey blog recently posted something on this subject. The following was written by Sun Young Shin and was originally printed in the Summer 2007 issue of MN ASAP Family Voices newsletter.

Parenting Tips for White Parents with Adopted Children of Color

1. Live in or move to, if you have to, a multicultural, racially and ethnically diverse neighborhood. Make sure your child regularly interacts with people of color in a variety of ways.

2. Study and learn about whiteness and white privilege. Don't waste time and energy in feeling guilty. Guilt is a luxury of those with privilege. Embrace the opportunity to work for social justice. Study and learn how to be an active anti-racist, and then do it.

3. Understand that even if your child is, for example, ethnically Chinese, she or he will be perceived as "Asian American" or simply "Asian" (or worse, Oriental). Understand the complex and interrelated history of various groups of color in America. Don't overemphasize traditions from the culture of origin at the expense of dealing with race in America.

4. Be prepared to teach your child how to directly respond to racist comments, questions and incidents. (You'll have to learn this from adults of color). Never make excuses for others. Never brush off these incidents as insignificant or isolated.

5. Be prepared for friends and family to be confused or even offended by your anti-racist work. Be patient with them and let them know about your new priorities. Continue to make friends of all races who are interested in making America a truly equitable nation.

6. Avoid saying or thinking that, "I'm ___________ too now that I have a child from __________." That's simply offensive and insulting to all the people who are really __________ and don't get to "choose." Understand the difference between nationality, race, ethnicity and culture -- and how they overlap (or don't overlap) for your child and your family.

7. Study and learn about your child's culture(s) of origin, not from North American and/or white writers but from writers and historians from within that (those) culture(s).

8. Understand how gender and sexuality operate in your child's culture(s) of origin.

9. Understand that even if your child is disinterested in her or his culture of origin, she or he will be impacted by how the American mainstream perceives that culture.

10. Support the artistic expression and adoption-related professional work of adult adoptees -- if only because your child will eventually be an adult adoptee.

11. Study the history of inequalities in terms of reproductive rights (who gets to have a safe abortion, who gets to keep their children, who is considered a socially accepted mother) in this country before criticizing the sexism or patriarchy in other cultures (or communities). Consider how you can invest in your child's home community so that women and families . . . people who look like your child . . . will not "have to" send their children away.

Sun Yung Shin is the author of the poetry collection, "Skirt Full of Black" (Coffee House Press); co-editor of "Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption" (South End Press); and author of "Coopers Lesson" (Children's Book Press) a bilingual (Korean/English) illustrated children's book for children. She is a 2007 Bush Fellow for Literature for Literature.
For more articles and essays about transracial adoption from MN ASAP (Minnesota Adoption Support and Preservation) you can
download their newsletter or visit their website.

There is so much to learn and to consider, not just for Michael and I, but for our families too. It is our job to educate those who will be loving our child.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


There are several celebrities who are trying to make their mark in history by jumping on the humanitarian bandwagon. Although we will never know the true reasons for their philanthropy, they are, at the very least, bringing attention to the needs of the poor. One of these people is Bono. Bono received the NAACP Image Award’s Chairman’s Award in 2007 for his work. You can watch his speech on the following video:

In his speech he says, “Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die". Think about that. These words impact me. They feel like a heavy load sitting upon my shoulders.

I was born into an upper-middle class family. Hunger and death were nothing that I ever worried about as a child. My parents never had to question from where the next meal would come. As parents, they still worried. Their worries were not of money or food, but instead they worried about my future. They wondered what I would do with my life and they did everything they could to make sure I had every opportunity to be whoever I wanted to be.

I remember, from a fairly young age, questioning the reason for my existence in this world. I remember skiing down the slopes in Colorado and wondering why God put me on the Earth. I have always loved solitude. I loved to go skiing and sing all the way down the mountain. It was in the beautiful, open world that I could really think. I remember thinking that it seemed kind of pointless to be put on this Earth if we were just going to die eventually. I also remember thinking how strange the concept of humanity was in general. What were we all doing here? Yes, I was eight. This just shows the kind of weird kid I was. This thought eventually progressed into the thought of how different my life would be if I were across the world. As I got older and heard stories of little girls getting raped or killed, I always felt so lucky to be born into the family I was. I knew that one of those little girls could be me. Their innocence was taken away at such a young age, while mine remained intact. This brings me back to Bono’s words, “Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die".

As an adult I still wonder why God put me on this Earth. I know God has called me to great things. My life has a purpose and part of that purpose is to help break the cycle of poverty. I have yet to determine what that entails, but I look forward to finding out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


My sweet sister gave me this adorable onesie for the little babe.

I love it and I can’t for there to be a sweet, cuddly baby wearing it. I love that it says Ado(red), because this baby is definitely adored and will be VERY spoiled by Auntie Amy.

Amy has been so amazing. She has worked countless hours creating art to sell on Etsy and here locally at Blue 7 to raise money for our adoption. She is the most amazing sister. I don’t know of anyone else who would sacrifice so much of their time for their sister. I can’t thank her enough for all she has done. It has really touched my heart.

The picture below is a print she did of two sisters. It is based on a picture of the two of us when we were little. I am the one on the left looking very unhappy about wearing a dress! Our mom loved to dress us up, which included dressing my prissy sister in lots of sailor dresses…

The pic below was taken the night before my wedding, four years ago (I probably could use a few updated pics). Anyway my cousin, Emily, is on the left, I am in the middle and Amy is on the right. Amy and I always laugh about this picture because my head looks so abnormally small, not to mention the pound of lipstick I have caked on!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Suffer the Little Children

I am constantly blown away by those who can abandon the life they know and follow God. This faithfulness is such an admirable and humbling quality. As Christians this is what we should all seek to do, but do we? Are you willing to get out of the boat? What would it take for you follow God with reckless abandon? What are you being called to? I have to ask myself these same questions too.

I love following the lives of those doing the nitty gritty work. You know, those people who can live their lives without the luxuries we take for granted every day? Andy and Lisa Langdon are two of those people. I do not know them, but I like reading their blog, Suffer the Little Children. They have picked up their lives and moved their family to Malawi. They felt called to start a crisis nursery for infant orphans through Ministry of Hope. They have been there for a year and their blog is a testament of their faith. You can feel the heaviness on their hearts for these babies. They got out of the boat and followed God with reckless abandon.

These are the Langdon's with five of the babies in their care!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Posts from previous blog

I decided, don’t ask me why, to start using this blog instead of my old one. The following are the posts from my previous blog:

i carry your heart - Originally posted on 5/2/2007

It has been a LONG time since I have written in this blog. I have been very busy and would love to go on and on about the craziness that is my life, but I'll try to stay focused here.

It is very important to Michael and I that we have the majority of the money saved and/or raised for our adoption before we start this process. We don't want to start our homestudy until we are 100% sure that we have a way to pay for all of the expenses. Things have been pretty slow on the fundraising end. We are extremely grateful to those amazing people who have purchased items from Project 8256, but we are still are a long way from our goal.

We know in our hearts that God has a plan, but it is very hard to wait. We want to hold our child in our arms today. We don't want to wait. The wait hurts.

So, on to something more positive! Through this process, we have received some really encouraging words from people we don't even know. A very sweet lady just bought two copies of the print below. She said she is an adoptive mother and is buying the print to give her sons' birthmothers for Mother's Day. Doesn't that just melt your heart? I almost cried when I read her note. She was so supportive of what we are doing and she doesn't even know us. I am so thankful for people like her.

Available from Project 8256

The section of the poem in the above print is by the late E.E. Cummings. I think he captured love in it's purest form in this poem. Does loving someone mean you must carry their heart? You must carry their burden? Isn't that what Christ does? He carries our hearts. He carries our burdens. The other thing I like about E.E. Cummings was his desire to push the boundaries. He did not stick to the cookie cutter way of writing. I like to think that adoption pushes the boundaries. We are not building our family in the "traditional" way. Adoptive parents carry their children's heart in their heart. I cannot begin to imagine what it will be like to see our child for the very first time, but I am so excited to find out!

To my little babe somewhere in Ethiopia: I carry your heart. (I carry it in my heart)

The following is the entire poem:
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
~E.E. Cummings

A Little Trip To The Show-Me State - Originally posted on 3/27/07

Michael and I went to Missouri this past weekend to visit his brother and sister-and-law. We had a great time. Our nephew, Aidan, is now 18 months old. We had so much fun with him. He is so cute and extremely smart. I must admit, I’m a little obsessed. Here are just a few of the MANY pictures his Uncle Michael and Aunt Katie took of him!

Michael and Aidan

Sliding is so much FUN!

I know I can make this work

I love this pic

Thank You!!! - Originally posted on 3/21/2007

When Michael and I decided to adopt from Ethiopia I was nervous about telling others. I wondered what the reaction from those I loved would be. On one hand I wanted to tell everyone I knew, but on the other I wanted to keep it a secret. The first person I told was my sister and the first Michael told was his brother, Tim. They were both unbelievably supportive. It is because of their support that we felt confident to begin telling others. I hope my writing this does not make anyone feel we were at all ashamed or embarrassed to tell. We were so confident and excited about adopting, that we did not want the insensitive comments and lack of support to vanquish our desire.

I can officially say we have not been defeated. Instead, we have been so encouraged. Everyone has been extremely supportive. It has been a joy to tell our friends and literally be able to feel their excitement. The hearts of those who have supported us have been exposed.

As many of you know, Michael has six siblings and I have one. Our families are considerably different. After all, the dynamic of a family of nine is quite different than that of four! Although the environments in which we grew up differed, there is one significant similarity. Michael and I were both raised in Christian homes by parents who exposed us to the truth and the heart of God’s word. We were taught to be faithful and trust God. We are really having to rely on our faith right now.

I am not a person who functions well without a plan. I make lists for EVERYTHING. I often assign a timeline for tasks I must accomplish. I have been known, on numerous occasions, to assign specific time limits for each task I need to accomplish within a given day. Are you seeing how neurotic I am?!?!?! As much as I would love our adoption and fundraising to coincide with my very specific timeline, I know it will not. I am learning to be patient and put this in God’s hands. As perfect as my plans may be in my mind, they are nothing compared to the plans God has for me!

Once again, I just want to thank everyone for your support. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. For those of you who have supported us financially by purchasing prints or greeting cards from Project 8256 (our etsy shop), THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!

Knock ‘em dead!!! - Originally posted on 3/12/2007

I decided today to write a little something about my cousins. I know this is supposed to be a blog about our adoption, but our family is a very important part of our adoption.

Everyone is molded and defined by many things. Whether we like it or not the family we grow up with has a huge influence on who we are as individuals. Having grown up with the most amazing family, both immediate and extended, I feel grateful for my family’s influence. I know I would not be the person I am today without the strong heritage of those who have come before me, as well as those who stand beside me.
So, back to my cousins…! My dad is an only child and my mom has one brother. My aunt and uncle have three children. They are the only cousins Amy and I have. Emily is 23 (almost!) and Michael and Matthew are 20. They are all three very different from one another, which I think is fantastic. In my opinion, they are all at a very good place in their lives right now. I get excited when I think about their future, because they are all three smart, articulate and compassionate people, who are bound to make their mark on this world (at least they better!).

Matthew, Katie (me), Michael, Emily and Amy

Emily and Amy

Emily and I
So, to Emily, Michael and Matthew…….thanks for being the goofy, unpredictable, supportive cousins that you are. Knock ‘em dead!!!

Simply The BEST!!! - Originally posted on 3/5/2007

I recently finished reading There is No Me Without You, by Melissa Fay Greene. I must say, this is one of the best pieces of literature I have ever read. This is one of those books that haunts you for days. It made me smile. It made me cry. It made me wonder where my place in this world is. What am I doing for those who truly have nothing? How will I respond to the AIDS crisis?

Melissa Fay Greene is now high on my list of favorite nonfiction writers. Her work reminds me of one of my favorite authors, Jonathan Kozol. They both write works that are honest and raw. They immerse themselves into the worlds where most of us have never been and tell stories we never knew existed.

The Journey Begins! - Originally posted on 3/4/2007

So this is my blog! Exciting intro, I know. I have never blogged before, so this is all very new to me. My name is Katie, I’m 27 and have been married to Michael for almost 4 years. We are excited to announce that we are ADOPTING!!! That’s right, we’re adopting from Ethiopia. It is so exciting to write this.

This may come as a surprise for many of you who know us. I know people think we are “giving up”. For those of you who don’t know, we have had two miscarriages in the last year. The first one was late term and they had to induce labor. We did not decide to adopt out of fear of experiencing another loss. We have always talked about adopting internationally. We assumed we would do this after we had biological children. God had a different plan. We now know we are being led to adopt first. Our hope is to be able to build our family through both the miracle of adoption and the miracle of birth.
I will be using this blog as a way for our friends and family to follow our journey, so check back for updates. Thanks for visiting!