Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two milestones (Warning: Very Sappy)

Sophie has let go of one of her signature baby things and I am a mess.
Ever since Sophie started making noises, there was "Dee". Her first letter sound was D, and her word for yes became Dee.

Today, for some reason, it is over. She is saying "yes". ONLY. She has used both words interchangeably for sometime, but tonight I was even testing her, asking her questions that she usually says Dee to. Do you want some more milk? Yes. Do you want to read some books? Yes. It just did not sound right.

This did not happen to me after she gave up bottles or diapers or crawling... but for some reason, as I was rocking her tonight, tears were just streaming down my face.

I am sure this is not the first time I will wish for time to slow down.

Also, tonight, Sophie did something else I have not heard her do until now.
Here it is.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Finally...the COC...

Pardon me while I gripe.

I mailed in our application and money to apply for the Certificate of Citizenship for Sophie in November, 2007.

Check (for $400+) was cashed that same month.

I received the document on March 20, 2009.

Ridiculous.

It was very exciting to finally have it in our hands. For those who don't know about what this is, here's how I understand it.

Sophie became an American citizen when we adopted her, according to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. (She had to give up her Ethiopian citizenship, sadly.)

However, her only form of ID we had up until this point was her Green Card (Permanent Resident Card). The Certificate of Citizenship seems to be recommended so that you have absolute proof of her citizenship for the future. It is not a required step but one that we definitely wanted to take. The Certificate of Citizenship is the only real proof of citizenship our children have, since passports expire and the CoC does not. This also makes sure she is registered as a citizen with Homeland Security.

Here's another interesting fact for you that is related to citizenship: At this point, Sophie cannot become the President of the United States. To become president, the Constitution states that a person must meet three requirements: be at least 35 years old, be a citizen born in the United States, and have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. During the election there was a lot of talk popping up in the media about McCain since he was born in the Panama Canal Zone on a US military base and about whether he is a natural-born citizen. The Senate (and everyone else) resolved that he is. However, McCain's daughter Bridget, who was adopted by the family in 1993 from Bangledesh, will be not be eligible for the Presidency, I suppose. Also anyone who immigrated to the US such as Arnold Schwarzenegger is ineligible. Several constitutional amendments have been proposed over the years to try to change that, usually to promote a specific person, some as recent as 2003, so you never know what could happen by the time Sophie is 35. But that is what it would take: a Constitutional amendment. There's your trivia for the day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Epeeopia"

Today I got to participate in Cultural Awareness Month at Sophie's preschool. I was to talk about Ethiopia - or Epeeopia, as Sophie says - with the kids in her class (about 12 little 2-3 year olds who are just adorable). It was really fun! I laughed because they were all really attentive except for my kid. She just doesn't want to do what she's supposed to do when I am there. Like I am the license to forget the rules. Anyway, I wore my new AHOPE tshirt, which has the outline of Africa on it. I showed them some slides on my computer that I had made of different interesting places to see in Ethiopia, like Lalibela and Blue Nile Falls. The nice man at Abyssinia Restaurant in Memphis gave me some injera to share with the kids. I taught them about the coffee ceremony and how coffee is the largest export of their country. (What is a good way to explain the word export?) I showed them pictures of what typical Ethiopian food looks like, and then we each tried a piece of injera, while I played some Ethiopian children's music in the background. Lastly, I taught them how to say thank you in Amharic (main language in Ethiopia) - "Amesegenalu!"


Next time: I will print these pictures out BIG and laminate them, so I can pass them around. I will bring the Ethiopian headrest and Sophie's Ethiopian traditional outfit. I will teach them a few more words, like mom, dad, school, etc. I will try to bring some real Ethiopian food and let them taste it if they are brave. This was at 8:30 in the morning, so I didn't think it would be best time to try such spicy food!


I really enjoyed doing it and I hope I will get to do some more of this in the future. Of course it is also hard, because there are so many things about Ethiopia that I didn't share that are on my mind... like about the many people who are homeless, people with HIV/AIDS who are not receiving treatment, people in dire poverty and in need of clean water, about the stories of the past famine, about the tumultuous politicial history, or about their current tension with Somalia. But today was about the positives. In Ethiopia, we had several people tell us to share with Sophie about all the positive things about their culture. I think that is because we in the West tend to only remember the pictures of the famine when we hear "Ethiopia". So I feel good about telling people the little bit that I do know about Ethiopia so far!

Feel free to click on the AHOPE link to the right and see what they are doing to help HIV+ orphans in Ethiopia!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Laugh

This is a bunch of nonsensical talk between Sophie and me the other day. The good part is her laughter. That laugh is the sweet part of every day.