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Posts: 688
Reply with quote  #1 

Happy Holidays All!!!

I admit to having a pretty busy life these days and contribute to the lack of activity.  I'm wondering  how everyone is doing out there.  Have people moved on to other forums?  Other social media options?  Are we all just moving on? 

If this forum is dying a slow death, I just want to give a huge THANK YOU to the members that made this site possible and continue to keep things going. 

To the larger forum family, I really think we created something special here and on the original forum.  Each opinion, question, comment, and controversy helped make this place such a helpful tool for learning and support.  I feel like my family walked through this amazing journey of adoption with some pretty incredible bright compassionate people and we thank you.

I would love to still hear how you are all going through your respective journeys.  So if the mood strikes and you find the time, please give an update.

My family is busier than ever.  Mihret is 5 years old and just as spicy as always.  She's a social butterfly and energizer bunny. We've learned quite a bit about SPD and occupational therapy of late but feel like we have a good handle on her sensory issues.  We are learning to follow Mihret's lead and advocate for her within the school system.  Our biggest challenges revolve around channeling her energy and helping her to recognize when her "engine" is running high; we've found whenever she is wound up too high, melt downs follow; it can be a delicate balance. 
I look back to when we first brought her home and I'm amazed at where we are now.  I continue to wonder what the next 5 years will bring but know whatever it is we won't lack for a dull moment. 

Hoping to hear from more of you...

Home since Aug. 24, 2008 with Mihret

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Posts: 839
Reply with quote  #2 
Myla -I have been thinking/feeling the same - way - I check in once a week or so just to see what has been posted... but while we were in the process this was SUCH an important part of our experience, full of great advice.

So Thanks from me as well - and Happy Holidays all!

PS - we have a very "spicy" Mihret as well - just over 2 years home, and keeping us busy. I'm sure I'll still need advice from time to time. 

Mom to Mihret - home 11/12/10 at 6 months


Posts: 208
Reply with quote  #3 
I check this forum a couple of times a week... I think the slow down in the number of adoptions has caused all of the adoption forums to slow down.  Plus Facebook seems to be taking over the function that these type of groups once performed.  
Paula S

Married since 1986 to my high school sweetie
Mom to the three bio bigs, ages 23, 21, 18
and the three ET littles, twin daughters age 8 (home 6/09)
and son age 6 (home 7/11)

Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #4 
What is the Facebook forum people use?

Posts: 524
Reply with quote  #5 
Myla!!! Hello!!

I have thought of this forum so much over the past year but have felt too overwhelmed to even post. I hope this community is not disappearing--it's been such a godsend over the years.

James is 5 and doing really well, although we've had some struggles at school--a principal and teacher who don't believe that other children talk to him/ask him about adoption or having a white mom because "our school is so diverse!" Sigh. There was a period where James was asking me not to come to school events because of embarassment related to questions/teasing/something from other kids, but that seems to have passed, and now I am trying to figure out how to advocate effectively (i.e., without being dismissed as overreactive).

Meanwhile, I'm back in school, getting an MSW with the hopes of working with adoptive and foster families and kids. The end is exciting, but the means of getting there have been harder than I had ever imagined. I really didn't think school could be harder than working full time but it is. Going for fewer credit hours and lower expectations next semester--I have to figure out how to last another 1.5 years!

My husband and I separated a year ago and that has been good for me. James only recently began to register some fallout, but we're lucky to have an agency in town that focuses specifically on supporting children in the midst of divorce.

Sending warm wishes for a happy new year to all.


(formerly africamom, then decided there were just so many things wrong with "africamom")

Home 5/9/08 with J. 9 months old

Posts: 721
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Myla! 
I check in too, but most of my activity is now on FB. Even my blog is slow to register life events (but we've got news --- go and check!).
I miss this space as a resource as well.
I leave for Ethiopia in just a week -- we pick up our 8 year old son!

For those of you with kids from Kembata Tembaro and the surrounding area, I have started a very nice and small FB group (not a parenting support group! not an adoption ethics group! Not a hair page! Those are all great resources, but they are already in abundance!). This is a cultural resource page. We are lucky to have Ethiopians from the diaspora AND some local people on the page for great access to resources. If interested, let me know via FB (you can find my ID with my name and location Wisconsin).

I check in here about once a week -- but the pace is slow.
I am grateful for all the ways this community has supported my journey. And so so many friendships!

3 biggies; 20.22.24
little boy: Ezekiel Lirenso 5/27/08
Court success 6/18/08
Travel date 8/7/08
Home 8/16/08
medium boy: Reshid Abdu 8 years WIC Ethiopia: court passed 10/22/2012 and home 1/21/2013

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Posts: 232
Reply with quote  #7 
Just writing to concur about how vital this forum has been to me, especially during process.  When the old forum closed I completely panicked.  I needed this interaction and input daily, several times a day, to see me through the impossible task of waiting, the helplessness, the not-knowing.  This community of people saved me time and time again, and this forum led me to one of the greatest friendships that I've known.  I check in now and again, and would love to participate in a way to continue and revitalize the forum, but come what may I wanted to express how much I appreciate the opportunity to participate in it.  Carrie and Morgen-words can't express what you did for me (and so many of us) when you took this project on.  Thank you.
Michelle & Michael
Officially waiting 5-14-08
Referral 7-16-09 for gorgeous 4mo baby boy!!
court date: 10/22/09 Passed!
Thrilled to be home with Max: 12/11/09
Began Congo Adoption process: 10/22/10
Congo referral: 5/12/11 beautiful 7 week old baby girl
Picked up Mackenzie Kabibi in Cincinnati:2/26/12

Posts: 688
Reply with quote  #8 
It is so nice to hear some of you are still out there!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'd like to think we can continue to support each other as I know the journey isn't over yet.
I'll be thinking of you and your family Meghan as you return to Ethiopia. 
Julia, Hang in there!  You may feel like you are pushing a boulder up the hill right now, but your studies will be over in the blink of an eye.  I'm sure you'll bring a wealth of experience and insight into your new field.
emily, Michelle, and Michael, couldn't agree with you more!!!

Home since Aug. 24, 2008 with Mihret

Posts: 172
Reply with quote  #9 
Hi All,
I am still here.  I check in periodically.  I have relied on this group a lot for a variety of different things.  I have appreciated all of the efforts to maintain and keep it going.  Thank you so much for all that you've done.

If there are any groups out there that anyone recommends for parents who have had their kids for years, but are still struggling with attachment, I would really appreciate any leads. 


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Posts: 1,061
Reply with quote  #10 

Kirsten- there is a couple fb groups that are very helpful- Are you not on fb?  If you are friend me (shannon coiley) and point you in the right direction. Not sure of the names of the groups... Moms of Sensory Kids?  or Forever Families and an actual Ethiopian Adoptive family support group. There are some regions specific groups like Meghan said- cultural experience ones-- not supportish.

I'm not sure WHERE we would be without this group. Seriously. I'm not exagerrating when I say this forum (and melatonin) literally saved our family. God, and the support here, worked miracles in shaping me to be a mom my child needed. Which, as it turns out, was vaaaastly different than who I was, or what I thought he'd need. And we are still growing and changing.

Next week will be 3 years- (oh my goodness!!) since traveling and meeting my dear wee one (who is no longer wee! He's 5.5!) I loved our travel group(most of whom were here at one point) and we still stay in touch although we're spread all about the country. Next week, to celebrate our family day- we'll meet up with one of the other travel group families outside of Boston- (our kids were tight in the care center) and just let the boys be boys. This will be (hopefully- it WILL HAPPEN) the 1st time in 3 years we've been able to celebrate this day. Each year has been triggered and ended up in hospital from some unsafe behavior and triggered regression. Traumaversary is real people! Its taken me 3 years to learn how to just roll with it and let him have his pain. It's his. I can't take it away or heal him.

I do check in here at least once a week. My blog is slow to update (probably changing to new format). mostly because- I'm busy doing that thing I ached for, for so long. Parenting. I love this forum and the people here. Some very critical people in our 'village' I 'met' here. You have made impact and changed me, motivated me, and encouraged me. Thank you.

Shannon & Teg

Started wait 12/31/08
Referral 8/12/09 for 28 mo Boy
Passed Court 10/21/09
Embassy 1/20/10

Posts: 92
Reply with quote  #11 
hi everybody, glad to see people "re-connecting"--although I adopted my daughter from Uganda, not Ethiopia, this group has been very helpful to me over the last 2 years...I'm the only single parent in my group of friends, living in a small southern town, so sometimes I feel like I want to reach out to a larger community of adoptive families for support/advice/suggestions/ideas.  Right now, I am struggling with the question of co-sleeping, and wonder if anyone has input on this situation.  My daughter's "issue" has always been sleep (night terrors, struggling against sleep, night waking and inability to self soothe)--so at one point, around 2.5 yrs old, I chose to have her sleep with me and that helped us both to sleep better.  At around 3, she started disrupting my sleep AND I had started dating someone.  it was just hard to have any adult time when A. and I went to bed together and slept together every, in the spring we fixed up her "big girl bed" and the transition was EFFORTLESS.  From the first night, she slept well in her own bed and for about 6 months never came into my room or asked to sleep with me UNTIL this fall when she started having nightmares (about panda bears?!?!) and alot of anxiety...she'd wake up screaming and begging to sleep with me.  My sense was that her fear was real, and I was willing for her to sleep with me.  Problem solved, and since then the nightmares/anxiety have subsided.  Now, I'm considering trying the big girl bed again...I actually LIKE sleeping with A.--I feel like we are very close, and that the co-sleeping has helped create that emotional closeness and trust.  Generally, she's sleeping well and peacefully, so we both get a good night's sleep.  The problem is that now she's gotten used to sleeping with me, she senses when I get out of bed in the morning for my only solo/quiet time of the day (coffee and internet time) and she's getting up earlier than I want her to.  During the week when she naps at daycare, she stays up LATE (10-10:30 pm) and I just need 30-45 min. to myself which I can only really get in the a.m.  We've started talking about her birthday (Feb.) being a time when she'll start sleeping in her own room again...she doesn't really WANT to, and since I myself have mixed feelings about it, I'm trying to figure out how to make it work and follow through even if it doesn't go as smoothly as it did the first time.   Any suggestions?  Anyone been through the transition from co-sleeping to independent sleeping and have ideas? 

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Posts: 238
Reply with quote  #12 
I'm still here too! I check in about once a month just to keep up on the latest news. And partly b/c I just can't let this forum go! I was one of the "original" forum members waaaay back when...7+ years ago.
Owen-now 7 years old is as a whip, athletic, handsome and most importantly has a very, very sensitive and kind heart. He is in first grade....we are almost 1 year in to him growing dreadlocs and he and I love them!
Tesfanesh-now 4 years old is extra that girl is spicy!! sassy, full of energy, super social. deep down she has a very kind heart also. .
In addition to our older 2 bio boys, we had a new bio baby 2 years ago. Katherine Grace...
We would LOVE to adopt from ET again someday. Just waiting and watching to see what happens with this program. We are planning a return visit in about 3 years with  both kids. I CAN'T wait!!!
Love and Blessings to all.

ds samuel-8 bio
ds drew-7 bio
ds owen-5 home from ET 2-06 at 10 weeks old
dd tesfanesh-3 home from ET 9-08 at 5 months old
dd-Katherine-born nov 2010 bio

Posts: 65
Reply with quote  #13 
I am still here too. I never posted much, and still don't, but I still check in regularly to see what people are posting and what is going on. I'm so thankful for this forum and ALL of the information it has provided me! I too would not be the mom I am today without wisdom and insight from so many of you. So, I really hope it will continue because I need to stay connected in this way!

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Posts: 123
Reply with quote  #14 
I have not been able to replicate my experience on this forum with other groups....I too desperately hope that we can "hang on" as a group. It is so nice to hear updates from all these familiar names! Shannon, just the other day I was wondering how you guys were doing!!

I am on some FaceBook groups but the dynamic has been like the one that has existed here in the past! I am hopeful we can continue to support each other. This forum was my LIFELINE during the wait and challenging first year!


Ann & Tony
Minneapolis, MN
Referral 11-19-09 for 4-month-old baby boy!

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Posts: 266
Reply with quote  #15 

This forum has helped and supported me so much on many occasions. I truly don't know what I would have done without it, and without the friendships I've made here!

Our sweet, beautiful son is the light of our lives.  We feel so lucky and proud to be his parents.  He'll be 4 yrs old in two months-- where does time go??  We're still co-sleeping and eventually will be transitioning him to independent sleeping, so I'm hoping to see some suggestions in response to Sarah's post above!

Like Melanie, we can't wait to go back to Ethiopia!  We are hoping to go back in two years.

708 views currently on this thread - I guess there are people still out there!

dh Casey
Started adoption process 7/06 for China, LID 4/07
Concurrent adoption from Ethiopia, dossier submitted 6/08
Referral 12/21/09 for precious Melkamu who passed away 1/14/10
Referral 1/26/10 for sweet Mamush, home 5/28/10
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