Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gotta love my girls.......

Usually I find myself checking in on the adoption blogs and groups 2 to 3 times per week but I've been neglecting the blog world a bit recently. I'm sorry. You see my new obsession is Facebook. It's great to see so many of my blogging buds already have an account. If you haven't signed up yet you've got to check it out but's addictive.

Rachelle is recovering and doing well. Thank you for your your thoughts and prayers. She is still not 100% but looks good, is getting out a bit and is in good spirits. Mimi was here for a little over a week and we were all spoiled. She spent a day organizing my office and did not leave a piece of laundry dirty or a plate in the sink. The girls were hooked up with bikes, a few outings and some bling. Thank you so much mommy. We miss you and are so stoked you and Tom will be here to bring in the New Year.

The girls are doing great. I'm wondering where my baby has gone. Tsebay is every bit the toddler and wants to do it "by myself". It is so bitterweet. Everything she does and says is adorable but I miss my baby. She is fiesty and is giving her sister a run for her money. K used to be able to run the show but those days are long gone. My goal is to start potty training, any tips? With K I never know what I'm going to get. It seems she is going through all the developmental stages at once. She goes from wanting me to feed her and hold her one minute to telling her sister "it's for big people" (her being one). K's big news is she is going to bed solo. Yippeeee!! For the past nine months I have put her down for nap and bedtime, many times not being able to get back up. This is a huge step and although it wasn't easy K did very well and on a good night only gets up once to have me put her back in. Like I shared in my last post, nothing about this momma thing is easy but I have come to terms with that and have just realized my life will be out of control for quite awhile. I am trying to go with the flow. So this evening when T was crying at the top of her lungs because she didn't want me to brush her hair and K was in time out peeing herself I calmly evaluated the situation and moved ahead. T's hair was quickly put in a puff, K was given a short talking to and the pee was cleaned up. Five minutes later they were both hugging me and telling me they loved me. The prior events being completely forgotten. What a ride!

Here are some pics. I think you can figure out what is going on. At least I was able to get some dishes done and no one was hurt.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Mighty Quinns

If there is anyone out there still checking in, I apologize for not being diligent about updating this blog. It is not fair of me to keep all this cuteness to myself. I have a million and one excuses for not posting, but really there has been a bit of a vicious circle going on. I would start to post; since it's been so long I would not know where to begin; I would give up. I even started a post or two, but they never made it to publish. Hopefully, this one will.

Here's an attempt to get you up to speed.

Let me start by wishing my wonderful Momma, and Kozette and Tsebay's Mimi, a Happy Birthday. You are the best. I could not have made it through this adventure without you. Thank you for being there to listen to every little detail of the girls' days and for giving me pep talks when I need them. I have always known how many sacrifices you made for Rachelle and I, but now that I have some firsthand knowledge of the day-to-day goings on of a single mom to two -- I'm just not sure how you did it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

For my momma's birthday go to: site and give to this wonderful non-profit providing water to villages in Ethiopia. Please spread the word. Be sure to check it out. It will move you and give you insight into what is happening in Africa.

Since my last post we have traveled to the East Coast and back. The girls and I traveled back alone and they did a great job. Fifteen hours traveling together is great for bonding. We were blessed to have lots of prayers coming our way and they really paid off. We sat near wonderful people on both flights. Kozette made lots of friends (as usual) and ended up on others' laps on both flights. While in the New Jersey/Philly area Kozette was baptized, we attended the Lee family reunion and lots of parties, stayed with Grandmom down the shore and visited Mimi's playground daily. It was a fun trip and confirmed my decision to move back home.

Once back on Maui, P-Dawg came to visit and we are so grateful to her for coming out, being an awesome friend and helping out. It is always nice to have an extra set of hands and someone to laugh with.

The girls have had some major changes to their daily routines. Kozette started preschool. She loves going and is even taking the bus to the babysitters two days a week. She is such a big girl. Tsebay started with a new babysitter and is flying solo three days a week. She is in loving, caring hands and I am so thankful for finding Auntie Mary. I have found two great sitters through Craig's List. Gotta love Craig.

Getting up and out the door in the morning is our greatest challenge but it gets better every week. Kozette is very opinionated with what she wants to wear, so between her wardrobe and her hair there are tears some mornings.

Both Tsebay and Kozette are doing exactly what they are supposed to for their age. Tsebay's favorite phrases are "mine" and "no" and Kozette's fav is "why?" With these three phrases you can write the script of our day:

We pass by K's school

T says: my school
K says: our school (she is using the term "our" as prompted)
T says: mine
K says: ours
T says: no
I prompt them to stop
K asks: why?
T says: no

-- and my friends, it goes on and on. You give me a subject and we will turn it into mine, no and why.

The girls are still loving to read and their language development is amazing. T opens up familiar books and retells what is happening. Her vocab is awesome and she is holding conversations. K is identifying a few letters and is starting to recognize colors and shapes. They are both super smart and it is really fun watching them grow and learn. They are loving each other (1/2 of the time) and carry on like siblings the other half. It is fun to watch the relationship blossom. We are asked every time we are out if they are twins. They are about the same size, but K definitely knows and establishes her role. If you ask her about her sister, she will describe her as a tiny baby. It's funny because T is right behind her but K knows she is the big sister.

She takes very good care of her little sis and it warms my heart to watch.

Like many of you, I am a blog stalker and have read on several blogs about life getting easier. I kept waiting for this magic moment to happen and so far it still has not. I think because of the unique nature of our situation, it will be quite a while before I am writing that it is easier. I now realize these other woman were not first-time moms, they also were not single and did not adopt two. Getting used to being a mom, dealing with adoption issues, sibling issues and doing it solo has been hard. Really, really hard. I now have resolved myself to the fact that it is the toughest thing I will ever do, and now that I am not waiting for the magic moment and am trying to live in the moment -- I am a lot happier!

Nothing much is happening with the house. We are averaging a showing every two weeks but there have been no bites. I know there are people out there who are impacted by this current financial crisis much worse than us, but it would be nice to be able to get off this island. I know we are fortunate to be stuck in paradise, but the girls need their MiMi and Pop Pop.

Congratulations to my BFF, Michelle (Kozette's Godmother), her husband Domenick (Tsebay's Godfather)and little Dom, on the birth of Chase Michael. Chase is doing well, but arrived 6 weeks early, so please keep him in your prayers.

Please also pray for my sister, Rachelle. She will be traveling to Oahu this Thursday for surgery. My mom will be coming out to be with her while in the hospital and will be here for a week or so after to make sure Rachelle has some Momma TLS while recovering. We can't wait to see you, MiMi and know that Rachelle is doing well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.
-John Lennon

We leave for the East Coast on Wednesday and are looking forward to catching up with family and friends. I am most looking forward to being there and having the flight over and done with. The girls are very loud these days and are big screamers when things don't go their way or their demands aren't met fast enough. It should be a very interesting trip. Please pray I don't lose my mind.

When we return to Maui in July Kozette will start preschool and Tsebay will be going out to a sitter a few days a week. I am not ready to give up the control but like it or not, it's time. They are ready to be around other children and are getting a bit bored around the house. They are both getting so big, so beautiful and are so, so smart. They amaze me daily. Kozette is counting to 10, beginning to identify colors and speaking in full sentences. Tsebay keeps up with her big sister. She is doing so many things I could not imagine her doing at this age if it weren't for her big sissy.

The big news is that my house is up for sale. I know the timing is terrible but life doesn't always line up with the value of the dollar. I am ready to leave this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean so the girls can have a relationship with their grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncles. It will also be really nice have the help. These little cuties keep me on my toes. Maui will always be here but these special years will not. If you know anyone looking for an awesome place on the North Shore with rental potential send them my way.

Tsebay and I celebrated our one year becoming a family on the 15th. What a year it has been! I have been blessed.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mimi & Great Grandma in Maui.Happy Mothers' Day All

Happy Mother's Day Maria ~~ Mimi Here

I hope you have a wonderful FIRST Mother's Day ~
Kozette and Tsebay asked me to tell you that you are THE BESTEST!

Hope you enjoy the following two slide shows ~ What a trip we had..
Thanks much and SEE YOU SOON!

Love Momma/Mimi

Long awaited reunion pics

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mimi is coming and we've been tagged!!!

Mimi is coming has been the mantra around our house for the last several weeks and tomorrow is the big day. My mom and grandmom will arrive at 2:30. I am so excited to have 4 generations together. They will be here for Kozette's third bithday. I am trying to keep the festivities simple but it is difficult to not go overboard. Anyone who knows me knows I love a party!

The girls were tagged by the Devine Miss Zoe over at Drew and Carrie's blog. Here is a bit of scoop about the Quinn girls.


K still calls herself Aiyaya. This one might stick. Tefessae, our wonderful driver in Ethiopia emailed me and told me it is a term of endearment in Ethiopia.

T has many nicknames. T-Dawg, Boo Boo, Boo Boo Booinski, Boo Boo Magoo. She has also taken to calling herself Aiyaya from time to time.


T is getting around rather quickly these days. She loves to hold balls and can spot one from a mile away.

K is a baller. She can dribble with both hands and her coach/babysitter, Ange, has high hopes for her basketball career. T can even dribble with one hand behind her back.


K is a fan. She loves men. We have finally gotten to a point where she does not just run up and jump into their arms. We had a few embarrassing moments especially in the airport on our way home from Ethiopia.

T takes a while to warm up but has a few favs. Pop pop is number one of course.


T loves to drum. She will drum on anything. She also has a few little diddies she sings. Happy Birthday to mommy is my favorite. My birthday was a month ago but she still sings to me daily.

K is a big fan of dancing. She likes to sing while I dance and then we switch. Do we know how to have fun or what?


K loves her little sister and smothers her with affection, even when she is not up for it. She likes to feed her and always makes sure her needs are met.

T looks up to her big sissy and imitates her. This morning K coughed so T coughed. She also attempts to keep up verbally and is doing very well.


T is all about the cell phone. She will turn anything into a cell phone, a cracker, a toy, a piece of paper. She will say hello and when I ask her who it is, it's always Mimi or Pop Pop.

K likes the lap top. She will sit and ask to look at the babies. She is already a blogger. Recently she found an old calculator and she makes believe it is her computer. She puts it in her bag and tells me she is going to work.


K likes to chase the cats and try to kiss them. She doesn't understand why they won't stay still.

T is a big fan of our neighbor's dog. She is very in tune to the barking and gets so excited saying "doggie, doggie, doggie".


T can't get enough of it. This girl can eat and eat and eat. The other night she got up in the middle of the night and got in bed with K and I. As we were both dozing off (I thought), she said mommy as sweet as can be. When I said yes she said eat. This little lady has food on the brain 24/7.

K is getting more adventerous with food but her favorites are still oatmeal and cheerios.


K is very eager to have puffs. She point to pictures and really tries to get enough hair together to make it happen.

T still struggles with the wash, so does her momma. I'm surpried the neighbors don't call the cops she screams so loud.


K is a loyal momma's girl. Affection is 24/7. She still needs momma to sleep. We're working on that one.

T has forgiven me for totally disrupting our perfect little lives. She gives lots of kisses but they are always on her terms.

I tag Malia's mom.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008


My bills are piled up and my list of things to do is longer than it's ever been but I still find time every few days to check in on my blog buddies and see what is happening. I've thought about cutting myself off and just can't bring myself to do it. Keeping up with everyone reminds me of the miracles that have occurred in my life over the past year. I am reminded of the ups and the downs of the adoption process and I squeeze my girls just a little tighter and give them an extra kiss good night. Thank you all for reminding me how special this journey is. I am jumping up and down for Renee and Geert and Courtney and Lindsey they begin the process once again. Congratulations and good luck. Please visit Renee's site and check out the tags she will be selling to help fund their next adoption. Everyone needs to buy some and $5.00 is way too cheap. This family deserves some tips! Also, congratulations to all the families that have passed court and received referrals. What an exciting few weeks it's been. Check out this site to see what is going on with the Gladney families but be careful blogging is addictive.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness.........

Aloha Friends,

I know you are all on the edge of your seats waiting for an update on the Quinn Girls. Sorry it's taken me so long but these little darlings are keeping me busy. I am still attempting to find my balance and have a feeling I will continue to work on this. Most parents have shared that this will be a struggle for the next 18 years.

For the next two weeks I will be on Spring Break and am very grateful to have the break from work. I am loving every minute with my girls. Tsebay and Kozette are doing awesome. They are the cutest, most affectionate , smartest sisters. They fall more and more in love with each other daily and it is adorable. Being able to watch this bond develop is amazing. I am blessed to be their mommy. Tsebay is walking and talking and her pesonality is so sweet. She loves Elmo, brushing her teeth and eating. She really, really loves eating. Tsebay is easy going and is well bonded to her babysitter, Ange and her Aunt Shelly. She is starting to call me momma and it makes my heart melt. Tsebay gives lots of kisses but you only get them when she decides she's up for it. She attempts to keep up with her big sis and her language development is very impressive. The one thing she hates is getting her hair washed. Any tips in this area are greatly appreciated.

Kozette is a super intelligent. She understands everything and her vocabulary is expanding daily. Her favorites phrases are "I see" and "I'll be right back". She likes to act like she is going to work and driving a car. On the flip side she likes to act like a baby. She acts like she is learning to walk and if you didn't know better you would believe she is a baby. She is a drama queen. Kozette will respond to her name but calls herself I-ya-ya. This is a name she picked up at some point in Ethiopia and she is not letting it go. If anyone has any idea if there is any meaning to this name/word, please let me know.

We are having a blast! The pics below are from our afternoon at the beach park, a day at the beach and St. Patty's Day. The one with the computer is the girls and I catching up on our blogging. They are checking out the newest Gladney babe, Abe, being picked up by his mom and dad. We are thrilled for them.

Up until a week ago I was totally ruling out the Blog Union but after seeing how all of my other blog buddies are making it happen I'm hoping to do the same. This is a once in a lifetime and I'm going to do what I can to get there.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Beach Babes

Aloha all and thanks for checking in and being patient. I keep getting called out for not keeping up with the blog. I'm really sorry but we're just having so much fun. Kozette's days have been filled with new experiences and she seems to be enjoying every minute. She loves the beach and doesn't go anywhere without making a new friend. The girls are doing great with each other. It is so amazing to see the bond between them grow. It is the best to watch them laugh together and this is happening more and more frequently. I think they are both realizing this is our family now and it's going to stay this way.

Along with the smiles and laughs there are a few challenges. At the top of the list is sleeping. I look forward to a full night's sleep and promise to post more once I am well rested.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Back in the Swing of Things

It's been a month since my last post. I apologize for being such a slacker (I have some really good excuses but I won't go there). Thanks Mimi for covering for me. Isn't that what moms are for? I have so much to share and don't know where to begin. The trip to Ethiopia was amazing. It was like a homecoming. I was greeted by hugs and kisses and everyone was eager to hear about Tsebay. Meeting Kozette was amazing. It was like I was her momma her whole life. She attached herself to me from the first second and has pretty much been at my side ever since. Kozette is a wonderful little girl. She is sweet and compassionate and very loving. Don't get me wrong there are challenges but we get through them and she is improving every day.

On January 21st Tsebay turned one. We had a great party with family and friends. I can't believe how much my baby is growing. Her top two teeth are coming in and she is beginning to walk a few steps at a time. Her vocabulary continues to increase. Her most recent words are dog and Thank you. Tsebay continues to be a cuddle bug and enjoys having her sister around, most of the time. She has been a real trooper through this entire experience and I know I am blessed to have such a great baby.

The toughest part of adding Kozette to our family has been missing out on my 24/7 time with Tsebay. I am still working on the balance and have heard from many seasoned moms that this is always a challenge. The travel was exactly what you would imagine, pretty tough but we got through it and I'm sure I will be torturing myself again in this fashion sometime soon.

It was great to spend time and catch up with friends and family on the East Coast. Thank you to everyone for your love and support, especially Mimi and Pop Pop. We'll be back soon. We are settling in back on Maui and are lucky to have a super nanny, Ange. She passed the toughest test of all. She traveled with us from Philly to Maui and didn't quit. Ange is great with the girls. She is very positive and very consistent. It has been great introducing Kozette to her Aunt Shelly. I know they are going to be the best of friends.

Here is a slide show with some pics from the past month.

Gladney, what do I have to do to get my blog moved to the top of the page? I've been to Ethiopia and back twice!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Blanket Party

It's Mimi here -- I've had several emails from friends/fam saying they keep checking Maria's blog for updates. We're sorry she has been so busy with the kiddies.

First of all -- all is well. The Quinn Ohana is back on Maui as of last Wednesday. (Well all is well except for our empty nest here in Jersey -- but it's not about me, so I'll stop). Maria and Tsebay are recovering from bad head colds etc. which Rachelle managed to pick up as well. Kozette is doing just wonderful and Angie, their Nanny, is being loved by all.

I'm writing without Maria's permission, so I'll not go on. She's at work (her first day back today so I'm not checking in with her to see if I should be doing this :).

My reason for blogging is to share a project I just read about on another blog.

and join the party! It is so wonderful to be joined to this community and have the knowledge that your contribution will go directly to the purpose stated. Providing a blanket to a new born baby -- can we play a simpler part in life than that!


I'm adding a pic to hold you over til Maria gets back in the game. And by the way -- I just love my Granddaughters! They are precious, sweet, witty, full of personality -- and just a a little bonus - they also happen to be beautiful.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Kozette's First Day in the USA!

All is well with the Quinn girls! Everyone is very tired (especially Mimi - well maybe especially Mommy who made the trip). I'll leave the details for Maria to post but I wanted to share the local news coverage of the girls' reunion! (link below -- you may recoginze some Ethipian pics that I stole, I mean borrowed from the Daileader's -- Thanks Heidi!)

I received a call at about 11am that the local ABC affiliate wanted to cover the story. Maria was due home at about 3:30pm. The well thought out plan was for a very low key environment for the arrival.

The best laid plans -- a house full of friends and family and a news van! In hindsight we decided since Kozette is used to living with about 300 kiddies, she would have been very bored with a small family welcome! She flourished with the crowd.

Kozette is pretty much joined at the hip to Maria -- but she is branching out a little more as time goes on. She is loving and sweet and witty - just like her sister. She practically sleeps on top of Maria, so my poor daughter is dreaming of the day she will get a full night's sleep. The girls are loving on each other. They are both great sleepers, so that's sure helping a lot with the transition for everyone.

There is stilling unpacking and repacking to do before they head to Maui next Wednesday. The problem is when the girls are up -- all we want to do is play. They are both great fun!

Tsebay will be one year old on Monday January 21st. We've planned a terrific birthday celebration at the Children's Discovery Museum where 20 of their little cousins and friends will help celebrate this joyous occasion.

Monday, January 14, 2008

You Gotta Pick Your Battles ~

The Bathing Suit Went on Backwards ~ And that's the way Kozette wanted it!

Hello All ~

Things are running smooth here in New Jersey. I'm finally beginning to get into somewhat of a routine with my new responsibility and wouldn't you know it's about to come to an end! My time with Tsebay has been priceless and I will never forget what a special litte baby she is. We're planning her First Birthday Party for this Sunday (her BD is Monday the 21st). I started singing Happy Birthday to her and when I get to the part where you say "To Tsebay" she gets all smiley and excited. And when it's over we ask "How old are you?" And our little genius puts up one finger! Yes she does! So she's all ready for the celebration. How over-the-top special that she will have her big sister there to share in the joy! Thank you Mommy for such an amazing birthday present. XO

I certainly have been honored to be a part of this Ethiopian Adoption blogging community. It's been a real pleasure to be a blogger and not just a blogee! Thanks again for checking in!

Mary Ann (Mimi)

Maria Writes:

I am so ready to be back in NJ to kiss and love on Tsebay.

We are all doing great here. We're feeling good. I took Kozette to the doc yesterday and her ear is most likely a fungal infection. We can get it treated when we get there this week. She will need antibiotics. She is not in any major pain. Perhaps just a bit irritated and annoyed because it is draining. The airplane should not be too much of a problem with her ear. She somethime spits out the Tylenol so we'll see how that goes. Please pray for a smooth ride. Sometimes her crying fits last 30 min +++. This could be a problem for the other passengers on the plane.

Kozette continues to give me a run for my money but let Anna know I am not backing down. I am the boss and through some crafty negotiating usually can get her to do what needs to get done.

We did some souvenier shopping yesterday and I did a lot better than last time. I hope to pick up a few more things today. Everything is so inexpensive and I would like to give many of the things to the girls for years to come.

The plan is to head to the Gladney baby house today. I hope to get lots of pics of all the babies for families with referrals and those that will get them in the future. We were there on the first day but I only made it to one of the houses. I was able to love on the Breedlove's Nathan. I will send pics when I return.

Kozette is starting to warm up more and more to Cristen. This will help on the plane. Cristin has been super awesome. She has given us our space to bond and is helping by just being there. Kozette is a crack up. She keeps Cristin and I entertained. Last night she was holding my beer up to my lips and making a drinking noise. She loves to feed others and is pretty insistent you eat. I've had my fair share of Ethiopian food.

Cristin gets tears in her eyes when we talk about the trip coming to an end. She is really going to miss Kozette and is such a special part of our story.

Kozette loves to say Shelly and says it over and over. It's like she knows who her ally and best bud will be. (Hope you're ready for us Auntie!)

I feel bad putting Kozette through so many transitions but she needs to meet her East Coast family and I defintely need the break before heading back to Maui.

Things are going great. It's a challenge but pretty text book. She is exhibiting the behaviors I anticipated. She says mommy all day everyday and even said it in her sleep this morning.

It won't be long now before we get to see Tsebay and Kozette together!


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tsebay & Mimi & PopPop are doing real well in New Jersey. Tsebay is sleeping like a champ and playing like one too! She is a dream baby, lots of fun and personality. Not sure how I'm going to handle our upcoming separation -- trying to stay in the moment and maximizing the time with her.

Maria & Kozette seem to be bonding and staying healthy in Ethiopia! It won't be long now before we are all together.

Thanks for checking in
~~ Mary Ann (Mimi)

Maria Writes:
This little cutie is doing great considering everything she's been through. Here are some updates:

Sleeping-Kozette is a very good sleeper but will only fall asleep with me. I have a feeling she will be in my bed for a month or two. While faling asleep she is a cuddler. She gets so close to me it's hysterical. I have managed to move her to her crib once or twice during sleep but most times she wakes up during the move and cries so I put her back in bed with me.

Communicator-Kozette makes sure all her wants and needs a met. She pulls you, points and uses verbal comunication until you figure out what she wants. Her receptive language is great. At times it's even like she understands English. She says mommy and it is so cute.

She also imitates many things I do. We were going out the other day and I put on sunglasses so she went and put hers on. She insisted I put deodorant on her the other day and also likes when I put a little makeup on her as I'm getting ready. She likes buttons, switches and the phone. She's had a few meltdowns but most have been when she is tired. A few Ethiopians have commented on her being so active and by their meaning that is smart. As a teacher I know what that means, if she is bored she can be a rascal. I will have to make sure this little smartypants is challenged.

Eating-Kozette likes all things carbs; bread, pasta, and crackers are getting us through the trip. She likes her Ethiopian food and it's a crack up to watch her eat it. She is used to powdered milk. I gave her whole milk yesterday and she spit it out. Her table manners need some work. If she doesn't like something she throws it on the floor. We have started a discard plate.

Clothes-Kozette loves all her new things. She especially likes shoes although they do not stay on very long. I'm getting plenty of dirty looks here since they want their children totally covered up. She will fit right in on Maui.

Yesterday we went to Kozette's foster care center. She loved seeing her old friends and definitely ran the place. They are very well taken care of and she was a princess. I got to spend time with her care givers and they were so wonderful. We then went to Belay's house to wait for a ride and got to meet his son. He is 1 year younger than Kozette and twice her size. We came back to the hotel and had lunch (Kozette was a bit of a challenge). We went back to the room intending to take a nap but slept pretty much through the night. It's now 5:30am and we're all up and ready to go but there is nowhere to go.

Cristen is teaching Kozette "meow" for cat and she is repeating it. It's very cute. I gotta go play with my baby.

Love ~ Maria

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Special Little Boy

Maria asked me to write about a special little baby she encountered during her orphanage visit today.
Maria writes: Please post about a special little boy I met today. He has Down's Syndrome but didn't seem to have any other issues. He had great finger grasp and eye contact. He seemed to have good muscle tone. I asked Belay if he will be referred and he said most likely not unless a family asks for a child with special needs. He will most likely be put in a home here in Ethiopia for children with disabilities.

This little baby boy needs a family. He is such a cutie.

Please ask for prayers so this little boy will find a home. Children with Down's Syndrome can lead very long, healthy and happy lives. There are many special resouces for these special children in the US.

Anyone wishing more information about this special litte boy can email Maria directly at:

Thank you!


Kozette's Back Pack Has Arrived

Of all the items among the missing, Maria clearly voiced the most concern over not having Kozette's back pack. She was so excited to find one just the right size, and thoughtfully choose what would go inside. Only a Mom would put this above being in a foreign country without her own clothes and personal items!

I actually had my first phone conversation with my new baby this morning. Kozette was saying "Momma, Momma" over the phone while Maria giggled in the background. My heart continues to melt.

We've been trying to get Tsebay to say Momma but the "M" words seem to escape her for now. Pop Pop is the only name she is currently calling out! One of Maria's last thoughts before she left for her trip was the fact that Kozette actually may be able to say "Momma"!

Love to All ~ Mary Ann (Mimi)
Maria writes: Please pray for a smooth bond between the girls. Kozette is very, very attached. We'll see how this one goes. I'm hoping they fall in love from day one.

Kozette is an adorable little angel filled with smiles and personality 90% of the time. The other 10% is a bit crazy but is to be expected. We just went through a 1 hour melt down. Poor little girl. She is going through all the typical behaviors of a 2 year old going through such a tramatic experience. Don't worry about me. I'm feeling good and am up for the challenge. Every behavior is something I anticipated and have dealt with before.

Our bags arrived yesterday evening. This morning was like Christmas and Kozette was excited with all her new stuff. She is definitely a shoe girl. She loves her back pack. I put it on her when she was still in her PJ's and diaper and she had a bit of a melt down because she wanted to leave the room. I also had to force it off her back before her nap.

We went to a traditional Ethiopian dinner last night and enjoyed awesome dancing. Kozette was shaking her thing and loved the Ethiopian food. She eats like a champ when she likes the food. She is pretty picky and makes a very funny face when she doesn't like what you give her. She also throws it on the floor but we're working on that.

Cristen and I are doing well. We had a relaxing morning. Cristen napped and I took the baby to the playground. We will head up to Crater Lake this evening. Tomorrow we will hang at the hotel and sit by the pool.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hi Mommy!

No pics from Ethiopia today, but here is one from Tsebay checking in on her family.

Maria Writes:

Kozette slept straight through the night the first night! How amazing in a strange room away from all she knows but she played hard and seems very comfortable.

She is doing well. She is napping right now and I am going to join her. She is so sweet but when she gets over tired, look out.

We are going to the traditional Ethiopian dinner tonight.

Still no luggage --- let's hope it comes in tonight.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Gotcha Day!

Quite The Lady!

PIcs: We Are Blessed!

The pics are giving me a fit -- some how I managed to get this one up. I can open them from Maria's email, but they don't seem to want to post. I'll keep trying.

Kozette and Maria -- Together Forever!

Well, my girls have been joined together. I am over the top with joy ~
Maria Writes: What a day!
It was love at first sight. We met Kozette at her care center this morning and she dove into my arms. I could hear her in the next room giggling before they brought her to us. She is everything we've dreamed and more. She has so much personality. She is so social and loves everyone but made sure to check in with me and get her cuddle on. Kozette is a total love bug. Her smiles light up the room and she is smiling most of the time.

Here are a few highlights of our Gotcha Day:
I tried to feed Kozette apple sauce but she didn't like it too much. She took the spoon out of my hand and started feeding me.

She said mama several times. She knows who I am and definitely knows who she is.

As we were walking to the Embassy she was waving to everyone. She gets quite a reaction. She and Tsebay will be the social butterflies and talk of the town.

She is potty trained. We did not have one accident all day. I put her to sleep with a diaper. We'll see how it goes.

She will give Pop Pop a run for his money. She has some fiesty behaviors (Pop Pop loves the fiesty ones!) from the orphanage. She spits, pinches and hits. The good news is she is easily redirected and eager to please.

Kozette is now sleeping. She took a mini nap this afternoon and fell asleep around
7 this evening. Pray she sleeps through the night.

She had a piece of Philly pretzel this afternoon and loved it.

Cristin is an awesome help and is totally in love with Kozette. She sounds like Rachelle when she says Kozette is the cutest and totally means it. She also says she would love to adopt but wants Kozette.

My bags are still MIA. I'm hoping they will arrive on tomorrow's evening flight. Attached are some pics. See em and weep.

Shelley, I hope the last day of your project went well. I look forward to taking pics of my two little ladies in front of the art.

Miche, thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

Thank you to everyone for checking in on us -- we feel the vibes!

Maria and Kozette

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Safe Arrival -- In spite of ---

Maria and Cristin arrived safe and on time in Addis Ababa earlier today!

Maria's trip started out in the stressful+ category. Her initial flight from Philadelphia to Dulles was postponed by about 4 hours. From the time she arrived at the airport, reports of her flight being delayed began. The time changed about once an hour and it eventually seemed that she very well may not be making her connection in Dulles. She quickly learned that the next flight was not for two days and that her Embassy appointment scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday) would not be rescheduled until the following Wednesday. With her dear friend Cristin already in Washington (she is from Texas) there were decisions to be made as to whether Cristin should continue on or wait in Washington for Maria.

After many phone calls and prayers Maria finally arrived in Dulles with minutes to spare. Maria was told (I think through Cristin) that they were holding the flight for her...I'm not sure if they actually did, either way it was a close call.

Unfortunately, Maria's luggage did not arrive with her. She wrote that she would be going on her first mother and daughter shopping spree with Kozette tomorrow -- as neither of them have any clothes. Hopefully they will arrive Thursday night -- so sad since she put so much into the packing, particularly Kozette's sweet new wardrobe. But all things considered -- this is small potatoes (easy for me to say!)

I am so looking forward to seeing (hopefully the pictures will transfer) and hearing about Maria's receiving of our little Kozette.

Tsebay is doing quite well -- she is beyond perfect! She is so much fun -- a lively, playful, smart, beautiful Grandaughter! I could go on and on about her antics, but I will spare you. In the picture above, she is waving hello to her sister's picture on the frig during her lunch today.

Until tomorrow ~~ Be well!

Mary Ann (Mimi)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Where's Zeet?

This is the question we ask Tsebay 10-15 times a day. She responds by pointing to her sister's pictures, talking baby talk and kissing the pics. From time to time throughout the day she says Zeet, Zeet, Zeet. Tsebay is definitely picking up on the energy of the house and I'm sure knows something big is going down. I'm off to Ethiopia tomorrow and Tsebay will stay with Mimi and Pop pop in New Jersey. She is in wonderful care and I'm sure will do better than I will with the time apart. It will be difficult to not wake up with her and have her cute antics, bright smile and giggles brighten my day. I told her today I am going to Ethiopia and will be back with the best souvenir ever.

I am so thrilled that the time is finally here to pick up my darling Kozette. The wait has been tough and I can't believe I will be holding this sweet little girl, my baby's sister and my daughter in a few days. Packing has been fun keeping her in mind. Knowing that soon she will be wearing the cute little clothes and shoes and playing with the toys has made it a joy (for the most part). Hopefully the bags go through as is tomorrow. I know they're a bit over weight.

Once again, thank you to everyone for your awesome support. I am so blessed to be a part of so many wonderful communities. I would not be walking down this path if there were not so many of you walking with me. Thanks for all the comments, phone calls, emails and words of encouragement as well as the financial assistance to make this adoption possible. Ask and you shall receive.

I will make every effort to post from Ethiopia. My mom will be trying to update as well. I gave her a quick blog tutorial yesterday. Let's see how she does.

As of tomorrow I'm outta here. Prayer is greatly appreciated.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Way to go Sissy!

Those of you who know me know how close I am to my sister, Rachelle. While I am traveling to Ethiopia to pick up Kozette, my sister along with local high school students and a famous Philly artist will be creating art on Maui. I am so disappointed that I will not be there for this awesome project but am so proud of her. Way to go sissy, we love ya. Check out her mural project, Every Day Light. The dedication of this project to our father, James Quinn and the day I hold my little love bug in my arms for the first time will be one and the same. January 9th will be a very special day for the Quinn sisters.