Thursday, October 13, 2011

There is no one but us.

I am over in Ethiopia right now working for Glimmer - I'm in Addis, but I've been in the south and around Gonder in Amhara, heading to Tigrey this weekend. It's been a while since I posted - as you can guess, adoption news has slowed way down. This trip has meant much to me -- and I have fallen in love with the people over here.

 Below is an Annie Dillard quote that I have been thinking about a lot while on the road over here. Mainly there will never be a perfect time - that's not awkward - when you have your crap together to follow God's path. We are all broken people, and his people have always been that way. It's really empowering when you start thinking about it. Totally inspired.

 “A blur of romance clings to our notions of “publicans,” “sinners,” “the poor,” “the people in the marketplace,” “our neighbors,” as though of course God should reveal himself, if at all, to these simple people, these Sunday school watercolor figures, who are so purely themselves in their tattered robes, who are single in themselves, while we now ae various, complex, and full at heart. We are busy. So, I see now, were they. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? There is no one but us. There is no one to send, nor a clean hand, nor a pure heart on the face of the earth, nor in the earth, but only us, a generation comforting ourselves with the notion that we have come at an awkward time, that our innocent fathers are all dead – as if innocence has ever been – and our children busy and troubled, and we ourselves unfit, not yet ready, having each of us a chosen wrongly, made a false start, failed, yielded to impulse and the tangled comfort of pleasures, and grown exhausted, unable to seel the thread, weak, and involved. But there is no one but us. There never has been. There have been generations which remembered, and generations that which forget; there has never been a generation of whole men and women who lived well for even a day.” – Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm

Blessings, C

Friday, July 15, 2011

Want to Know What's Going on in Ethiopia & the Adoption Slowdown?

Jamie Dean @WORLD Magazine does a good job of explaining the cause of the slowdown in Ethiopia for American's waiting to adopt. There are a lot of false information out there.Take a look at this article that came out today in World Magazine. It does a good job of explaining where things stand and how they got there. It also addresses the lack of facts to back up the corruption rumors. Tell me what you think!
WORLD Magazine | Life or death | With international adoptions harder and harder to process and a slowdown in Ethiopia, the second-largest source of hope for American parents wanting to adopt overseas, the outcome can be heartbreak, or worse | Jamie Dean | Jul 30 11 | 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Child Brides - National Geographic June Issue

Photo taken by Stephanie Sinclair

Here is a link to a series of photographs titled 'Too Young to Wed' of child brides that appeared in the June Issue of National Georgraphic. While child brides are illegal in many countries the practice of marring children still takes place often in the wee hours of the night.

It's hard to imagine what it would be like to be married at 5, 10 or even 14 years old.

Are you adopting?

Or have u already? Hooray! I'd love to follow ur story. Please leave ur blog or twitter handle. My Twitter handle is cleighholder.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What's your answer?

What's your answer to @NickKristof's question about how to report on hard things in Africa without promoting a grim view of all of Africa?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Austin's 1st Ethiopian Culture Day June 18th!

Love Africa? Or better yet, love Ethiopian food?! Come out to Austin's 1st Annual Ethiopian Culture Day! Scott and I will be there if you want to meet up.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Need a BIG smile? Watch 'Whip My Hair'

You know Will Smith, but have you met his 10-year-old daughter Willow Smith? Check out her fun hip hop moves as she sings 'Whip My Hair'. You gotta love that spunk and hair!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summer in the Sun, Here We Come

A busy last few weeks, but we're back.  Scott and I both were traveling for work last week -- Dallas for me, Denver for him. This weekend we kicked it closer to home exploring the Pearl's farmers market and the art museum in San Antonio with some friends. Now its time to make some fun in the sun plans that will keep the baking heat at bay, especially since it looks unlikely we'll be jetting over to Ethiopia anytime soon.

Last summer we spent most weekends figuring out how to dry wall our half finished apartment behind our house. This year's summer plans? more outdoor adventures. We've already begun playing with the idea of going camping in New Mexico for Memorial if anyone know of a good park in the mountains let me know.

Here's what's on my hit list. Let me know what I'm missing!
1. Swimming in Comal (all summer)
2. Camping in Marfa
3. Lavender Farm in Fredricksburg
4. Lakehouse with my sister's family
5. Seaworld -- can you believe that Scott's never been! really want to pet some sea creatures.
6. Kayaking the Guadalupe River
7. Footloose play at Zilker Park
8. Fishing somewhere...
9. Some 10K races..any suggestions?
10. Old movies at the Paramount (yes, it's not 'outdoors' but it's a summer must!)
11. Amy's ice cream
12. Rock Climbing in the Green Belt
13. Dancing at old dance halls like Coupland
14. Others???

Friday, April 22, 2011

Video of Ethiopian Orphans

Sometimes we need to put a face to the idea of 5 million orphans living in Ethiopia today. This video shows footage of a number of orphanages in Ethiopia, including the Kolfe Orphanage for boys in Addis.

Ethiopian Orphans from Simon Scionka on Vimeo. put out this video in 2008. 

My sweet friend Shanna reminded me this week of Psalm 23:13, and it's stuck with me.  It reminded me that God's goodness will be seen in this life, and in the lives of the poorest, and weakest. Please join me in praying for these children. As God cares for the sparrows, he also cares more for these. 

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 23:13

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We could, you know. We can live any way we want. From Annie Dillard

"We could, you know. We can live any way we want. People take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience -- even of silence -- by choice. The thing is to stalk your calling in a certain skilled and supple way, to locate the most tender and live spot and plug into that pulse. This is yielding, not fighting. A weasel doesn't "attack" anything; a weasel lives as he's meant to, yielding at every moment to the perfect freedom of single necessity.

I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you. Then even death, where you're going no matter how you live, cannot you part. Seize it and let it seize you up aloft even, till your eyes burn out and drop; let your musky flesh fall off in shreds, and let your very bones unhinge and scatter, loosened over fields, over fields and woods, lightly, thoughtless, from any height at all, from as high as eagles."

Passage from Annie Dillard's Living Like Weasels in her book Teaching a Stone to Talk

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Summary of USCIS' April 6 debriefings on the adoption process in Ethiopia

If you're looking for a good summary of the recent USCIS April 6 debriefing provided to key players in the adoption world on the status of the adoption process in Ethiopia, check out this blog. I expect the timeline for the adoption process in Ethiopia will continue to shift as gov't agencies look to provide better oversight. There may also be hope that the slowdown could be temporary.  All in all, things continue to look up.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Artist Sara Lathan! Check out her new website.

Highway by Sara Lathan

My dear friend Sara launched her new art website -- which I love! Check her out. Sara has a gift at capturing the spirit of a thing -- whether it be a night or a person. Below is Cinco de Mayo in St Louis that she nailed, and caught both our friends in their element. Sara -- it brings it all back!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Joint Council Update on Ethiopia Adoptions

This is an update copied from the Joint Council website:


Various blogs and listservs are reporting that the Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs has announced a revised plan which includes the processing of 20 adoption cases per day.  While Joint Council has also been provided with this information, it is our understanding that no decision has been made or announcement published by the Government of Ethiopia.
We believe that it is premature to speculate on the intentions of the Ministry but rather seek to continue to partner with the Government of Ethiopia and use this opportunity to increase child and family protections while continuing intercountry adoption.  Joint Council fully supports the government’s efforts to increase the capacity for regulatory oversight of service providers, strengthen the review of each adoption case and expand social services to Ethiopian children and families."