Ethiopia: a journey of love

31 08 2009

So for those of you who know me (melissa),  you know I come from a very *lively* family. Yeah, we’re loud, we eat a lot, we talk with our hands, we speak spangliharic…but we our family is full of love. For those of you who know my family recently, you know that six years ago my parents first adopted my brothers Jeremiah and James. Two years ago, they added Josiah, Keziah and Keren to the household. And all along the way there have been others who were not legally adopted, but were “adopted” in love. Solomon Bekele is one of those boys. My parents met him in November 2007 at Kolfe Boys Orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He stood out to my mom immediately, and she got his email address and began mothering a young man through email, letters and care packages. This boy was orphaned, and entered the orphanage at the age of ten with no living family.

Long story short, my mom went out to Addis to be there with Solomon for his graduation and help him transition out of orphanage life into living with a family we came into contact with through their son, who was studying here this past year. Our cousin George went along to video/photograph the trip. I can’t wait to see the footage! Solomon was the first boy from Kolfe to be accepted into Infonet College, and he not only graduated as a top scorer in his marketing division, but he succeeded as valedictorian for the entire school! Read my mom’s blog for the latest. It’s a tearjerker post. Amazing.
Check out this slideshow my sister made from their first trip.
View this montage created at One True Media
The Kolfe Orphanage, Ethiopia


Emily & Andy: THE WEDDING

26 08 2009

I met her on the first day of school. It was 7th period acting class—I was a bucket of nerves, and she was a bucket of smiles. Emily has a gift of making anyone feel at ease. She has a magnetic vibe, she draws people in…she really listens. She really cares.
Hearing Andy’s friends recount the first date he had with Emily, it was obvious that Andy, too, was drawn to her immediately. Emily was none too sure about him at first, but Andy’s charm, smarts, and good looks won her over in the end. I remember Emily calling me just giddy about Andy, and I knew a wedding would be in store.

I was even more thrilled when she asked me to photograph the big day! Emily & Andy married in a quaint chapel on Topsail Island, and danced the night away at her parent’s home on the sound. To see Andy and Emily together, you just know that they’re a great match.

Thank you for having us be a part of your beautiful, beautiful wedding. I’m not just saying that. I’ve got proof:












Here’s to the best LOVE TRAIN I have ever seen. EVER.







Check out more by watching their SLIDESHOW.


16 08 2009

Ahh. I know I owe some more photos of Emily & Andy’s wedding, and I hope to have them done soon, but it seems like it’s always one more thing stacked against me sometimes. I am a pessimist, I know it, but I find I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed any day. Anyway, I’m sick. Vaden’s cold is worse and Cana has one, too. Randy, who had it first, is just feeling better now. So hopefully it won’t last too much longer for the rest of us. I haven’t been to church or small group in what seems like forever, and I miss it! I stayed home with the kiddos today and last week was Emily & Andy’s wedding and the week before Randy let me sleep in after a long night with Cana…and before that, who knows?!

I am having a hard time of it lately. I am still overweight and don’t have too much time to exercise.  (I wish I kept track of when pounds fell off with Vaden! I know I was back to normal at 5 months postpartum.) I need new running shoes. Mine are old and a little snug. And they do nothing to support my shin splints and Achilles tendonitis. I am getting gray hairs. I still haven’t finished my degree and have classes resume starting tomorrow for my online class and next week for the two on campus. And I am still behind on my independent study. I wish I had finished school long ago. I just have four classes left. And I can either quit now…or suffer through one more semester and be done forever. FOR-EV-ER. I don’t know how it will shake out yet. But the thing is, I want to homeschool my kids. And someday down the line, if it becomes law that you need to have a BA to home educate your children, I will cry that I was four classes away and didn’t finish. You see, my degree program no longer exists as it did when I enrolled a bagillion years ago, so if I quit, I would have to mostly start over.

I wish I could do it all. And know what to do.

Anyway. Next time I post, it will probably be with delicious photos. Until then, here’s some of my kiddos. Vaden stuck the little horse into the picture, thinking, no doubt, that she might not cry if she had a toy.



Emily & Andy: A Preview!

14 08 2009

What a wonderful day it was!! This is just a sneak peek… more to come later!