Tuesday, September 27, 2011


JT and I left for work this morning at the same time... that is a big deal in this house.  I had an all day research meeting (it was as fun as it sounds).  As we were leaving, JT leaned over and gave me a kiss.  Tedi was already in his booster seat in JT's car.  About two minutes down the road I got a call from JT to rehash the following conversation:

Tedi: Daddy, why do you kiss mommy everyday?
JT: Because that is what you do when you love someone and you get married and live with them for a long time.
Tedi: I just don't get that.

.....a few minutes later

Tedi: Daddy, your car smells good.
JT: Thanks.
Tedi:  Mommy's car smells awful.

Monday, September 26, 2011


I posted this last week but I wanted to share this again.  Our good friends over at Lizzie Loo Photography are doing their fall mini family photography sessions THIS SATURDAY, October 1.  Afternoon sessions have been opened so be sure to email her at elizabeth@lizzieloo.com or grab her phone number off of the flyer below!!!  Part of the proceeds go towards our adoption!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bullet Points: Our Life (and Adoption)

~  We saw Lion King in 3D this week.  I must admit, there is not much you can do with an old movie when making it 3D.  To Disney's credit, the color quality was better.  I kept having to tell Tedi to put on his glasses because I paid $9 for the "3D" component.... AT A MATINEE!!!!

~  I eat out too much.  There I said it.  I am lazy about cooking. I do not like cooking.  My waistline shows it.  I am working on it.  There.  I said it.  Evidence of this.... my Ethiopian son loves Thai food.  He calls it "Kung Fu Panda Noodles" but love them nonetheless.  I must say I am proud he can even use chopsticks.

~ We mailed our updated homestudy to USCIS on Thursday.  We have our fingerprinting appointment for October 12.  Hopefully, this will go smoothly and we will have our USCIS approval (I-171) before we send our dossier.  Our paper-chasing is almost done.  We have completed the home study.. We have given our agency most of the supporting docs.... Now, just to grab a local background check and copies of reference letters for the dossier....and wait for the funds to send the dossier..

~  I must admit....my biggest weakness is doubt.  Lack of faith really.  Everytime I think of our second adoption I get nervous.  I have this "Where will the money come from?" question.  I don't know why I think like this. With blessings from others (through God), we were able to pay for our first adoption.  He provided then.  I should know better to doubt His ability to provide now.  However, in my doubt, I realize that I want it now...it being my adoption paid for and my child home.  How American of me, how undisciplined me?  In our culture we are taught that we can get things now.... I am working on this.. Praying for patience.  Praying for a heart waiting for His timing not mine.

~ Tedi lost another tooth last weekend.  (A little more evidence that Ethiopian dating may be off by a year or so...)  We were watching the Louisville vs. UK football game.  Tedi walked into a room of 10 adults and announced, "Guys, I have bad news.  I have bloods in my mouth."  It was so so funny.  Then that night he pulled it out himself...  We are running out teeth and need the big ones to get here for eating purposes.  The tooth fairy did come to visit.. He (yes, he) brought a dollar and a sucker (I know suckers are bad for teeth.  Oh well!)

~  We have sold a lot of shirts... I am on call at work so I do not have a count with me.  But they are going great!  Plus, we have ornaments still for sale....to the tune so far >150!  If you are still interested, please let me know.  nataliehenderson21@yahoo.com

Price: $15 each
Colors: Dark Purple, Gray, or White (see pics below)
Sizes: Youth XS (2-4) through Youth XL
           Adult S-2X (greater than 2X add $1)

~  Lastly, this is just my favorite picture.  At least twice per week, I make him stop on the steps and take a picture.  This one is definitely a mommy favorite!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


So I know I have posted a few fundraisers lately.... However, here are the tshirt designs.  We are going to take pre-orders for a couple of weeks before we print them.  I think you will love the design by Lizzie Loo.  There are three colors (see below) and they will be in Adult and Children sizes...

Price: $15 (+shipping)
Sizes: Adult and Children (add $1 for 3XL or larger)
Payment Options:  Paypal (right sidebar) or Check

Gray Shirt Option

White Shirt Option

Dark Purple Shirt Option

TriVita Fundraiser

Man, aren't we blessed that another person is stepping up to help us with our adoption?  Check this out for sure if you take vitamins regularly, are health conscious (or should be), or you just want to see what they have to offer. 

My aunt and uncle, Joe and Pam Moody, are very passionate about helping others experience wellness through nutrition and so they wanted to help us! They are willing to donate 50% of all first time sales of any first time customer (so if you ordered before just order in another name.) YES, 50%!! TriVita offers some superior products and pharmaceutical grade quality so it's a company you can trust! Good health doesn't just happen you have to make it happen! Please check some of the great products, a whole food Kid's Vitamin, the B 12 and Nopalea, a natural wellness drink with amazing benefits. TriVita offers over 30 great products, so please check them out!

Please order at www.seekhealthyliving.com and email Pam at pmoodyclt@aol.com to let her know you ordered. Not only you investing in your health, you are helping with the Henderson Adoption!
You can also call Trivita at 1800-991-7116 and make sure you tell them Pam Moody referred you, to insure proper credit. If you have any question please call Pam at 704-243-1695

Monday, September 19, 2011

Adoption Photography Fundraiser

Check out the flyer below.... Our friends at Lizzie Loo Photography are doing their annual fall mini session on OCTOBER 1st.... the good news for us, they are donating part of the profits to our second adoption.  For all the details and to schedule, look at the details below!  Thanks Elizabeth and Nathan in advance.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Real Deal

If we are lucky, we will have many people in our world who are the "real deal."  People who are there....through the med school graduations and multiple moves and poor times and let's eat out times.  I am lucky.... The Henderson family is blessed with many "real deals" in our world.  Friends who stick by us and support us, no questions asked (well maybe a few) Well, today we were blessed to spend the day (like eight hours) with the Fox Family.  Emily and I made our ornments while the men hung out and the kids ran laps around the house....the evolution of a friendship from college dorm sleepovers to referee-ing our childrens tattling and fighting and painting adoption fundraiser ornaments....it really has been a beautiful friendship.  I love this girl and her family.  She spent her Sunday, normally dedicated to her husband and family, helping ME make ornaments for adoption #2.  We made a huge dent in production and had lots of fun!  Check out Em's pictures below of our work.  Email me if you are interested!  nataliehenderson21@yahoo.com

Friday, September 16, 2011

91 Ornaments Sold!!!

It is only September.  It has only been two years since we did this before.  Yet, we are being continually blessed.  Yes, we have sold 83 ornaments so far.  I am so excited because the wood came in today and we are headed to our friends' house, The Fox Family, on Sunday to crank out hopefully our first 150 ornaments with the goal to ship the ones ordered already by mid next week.   Emily and I are going to post pictures on Sunday with the new ribbon options and the completed first batch!

We are so blessed even before getting fully into this adoption and appreciate all the love and support. 
Email me if you have any questions or are interested in an ornament.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Domestic.... I am not.  Artsy would not describe me....  Yet in my lack of home-making, domestic, womanly attributes, I did love art class growing up.  So when my friend Emily proposed the new and improved ornaments for our second adoption (see below post or our Etsy Store), I did not know what mod podge or decopauge or scrapbook paper really was or where to find it in Hobby Lobby.  Well, after creating the ornaments on Monday, I thought, "Hey, why did I doubt myself?  I can try a little more creative stuff."  So, fast forward to today.  I went back to Hobby Lobby (with Tedi, not the best parenting move) to get ribbon for the ornaments (cool options BTW).  I decided since the 2 packs of canvas were on sale that I would try my hand at this crafting thing.  Below are my results.  Not perfect at all, I will be the first to admit it for sure.  You can even see the wrinkles in the second canvas (the first one is busy enough to cover them up pretty well) .... BUT they do look pretty good for a first try.  Other people are much better at this but it was self gratifying to know I could this.  My next project is do a partner for the "adopted" canvas, but for adopted to be written in Amharic.....  I would sell these with the ornaments but I am not sure my skill is worth it

A gift for someone with Tedi's handprints

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Adoptive Family & Blogger Ornament Special

For any of you adoptive families or bloggers out there, I want to offer a deal for you.  If you post our ornament pictures with a blurb on your blog and/or facebook, we will waive the shipping costs for your ornaments.  If you order >5 ornaments, I will decrease the cost to $4 and not charge shipping.  Just comment on this post or email nataliehenderson21@yahoo.com to let me know you posted the pics and a blurb about the ornaments.  If you want any personalization on the back side, that is possible with $1 added and a little bit of time.  You can choose red or gold ribbon as well.  Thanks in advance for the support!

5"x4" Wood Rectangle Ornaments (1/8" thick) with decopauged logo

$5 each (+shipping)
Payment can be paid by check or through PayPal at the right side bar


 Front of Ornament

Back of Ornament

Monday, September 12, 2011


Yes, we are selling Christmas ornaments for adoption #2.  We find ornaments to be fun, easy and appreciated this time of year....plus you can support a creat cause: a forever family for another child.  Now I know the message is similiar to our ones fom two years ago.... Below are pictures of the ornaments. (If you would like to exchange the bible verse for your child or family's name, let me know.  It will be handwritten with a slightly different white template.)

Cost: $5 per ornament (+ shipping ~$1.50-$3.00 depending on quantity)
If you buy 5-10 ornaments, they are $4 each.
Ways to Pay:
1) Paypal via the "Donate" button on the right side bar
2) Check or Cash to our home address

Left: Front     Right: Back

Out with the Old (TShirts that is)

These were our fundraising t-shirts when we adopted Tedi.  Now that we are beginning the process of our next adoption, we wanted to clear out our stock....
(keep in mind I just realized that we still had "stock" today) 

New Price: $10 (includes shipping)

Sizes Available:
1 - 6 month old
1 - Youth Medium
3 - Adult Small
1 - Adult Medium
4 - Adult Large
7 - Adult 2XL
1 - Adult 3XL

Contact us if you want any of these:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Enkutatash: Ethiopian New Year 2004

Yes, Ethiopia's New Year is on September 11 (except on leap year when it moves to Sept 12). And yes, in Ethiopia it only 2004.  Below is a little explanation on their calendar:

The Ethiopian calendar, also called the Ge'ez calendar, is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical calendar for Christians in Eritrea belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Eastern Catholic Church and Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea. It is based on the older Alexandrian or Coptic calendar, which in turn derives from the Egyptian calendar, but like the Julian calendar, it adds a leap day every four years without exception, and begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. A seven- to eight-year gap between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from alternate calculations in determining the date of the Annunciation of Jesus.

The current year according to the Ethiopian calendar is 2003, which began on September 11, 2010 AD of the Gregorian calendar. It has six epagonemal days and so the following year (2004) will begin on September 12, 2011.

Enkutatash is the word for the Ethiopian New Year in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. It occurs on September 11 in the Gregorian calendar, except for leap years, when it occurs on September 12.

So today, we decided to head to our local Ethiopian restaurant, The Queen of Sheba, for an Ethiopian New Years celebration with the Hardman family and several other adoptive families and local Ethiopians.  The experience was fantastic.  It was more than our usual dinner....there were traditional breads (not injera), music, discussion of traditions with children, the popcorn and coffee ceremony, baklava dessert and just a great time.  I can honestly say it was worth the money and despite being tired, it was a fantastic time.  We also got to visit with our friends from Stanford, KY, the Hannahs.  Loved catching up with them and the Gibsons.  I am glad we have the opportunity to festivities like this to help maintain pieces of Tedi's culture and heritage.

 I love this little man.
 Claire Hardman having her hands washed....traditional Ethiopian custom
 Tedi was getting ready to mash some injera, cabbage, alecha sega wot, lentils and beef
 Claire...too cute
loving his whistle toy that was gifted to him today.

My Place: September 11, 2001

Today has many purposes....  the memory of many lost, the Ethiopian New Year (see next post).... I want to briefly talk about teaching about hate....

We all have our "place".....the place where we were when the planes hit.... like people did when JFK died.  I was sitting in the lobby area of the Preston Center at Western Kentucky University.  I was getting ready to start my weight lifting class with my now best friend Emily Godbey Fox and we watched the second plane crash into the tower.  Only a year and a half earlier I was in NYC for the first time for a chorus trip (I don't sing; I just love to travel).  We had stayed at the Marriott....address: 3 World Trade Center, New York, New York.  I was only seventeen at the time.  Fast forward to watching the towers tumble.  At eighteen, a college freshman, I could not fathom the magnitude of the loss.  I knew it was bad...  I knew it was sad....I knew it was devastating for our country.  I still have our college newspaper from that day.  I went to prayer services.  We discussed the Muslim religion in my Religion 201 course.  But like everyone else who did not lose a loved one or friend, I moved on.  It was not until I moved to New York City in 2007 that it really it home.  It was not walking amongst Ground Zero or the church that still stands.  It was meeting my patient....a man who had a lung resection because of cancer.... Cancer he developed after going into Ground Zero for 17 days to cut wires to decrease the electricity.  Or my friend who was an EMT.....he had just finished his night shift and was heading across the George Washington Bridge...too far away to help his colleagues.  Or my rotation at Bronx Lebanon Hospital and having the nurses show me the spot from the 16th floor where they watched it all happen.  Or visiting a loft turned museum in Tribeca ....the photographer was the one hired by FDNY to photograph the cleanup....a piece of the plane sat in his loft.  The stories he had were not really stomach-able but real.  There is a big difference between 18 years old and 25 years old...It was then I realized the depth of the pain from that day.  It was then I realized the depth of hatred it took to do something of this caliber. 

Today, Tedi, my four and a half year son, glanced at the TV and asked why there was so much smoke.  I tried to explain to him in simple terms that some mean people flew big, big airplanes into the tall buildings where boys' and girls' mommies and daddies worked and how this is not nice or what Jesus wants us to do to others.  He asked "so their mommies and daddies died?"  Broke my heart. Yes, they died.  We talked about it simply a couple of times and I think he understood on his level.  BUT here is the real question.  How do we teach our children about hate? And how to overcome it and not be part of it?  We must, but how?  A question I can not answer right now but definitely food for thought on a day like today.

My friend Lee Ann posted this pictures on facebook today from our NYC trip in April 2000.
You probably can't find my 17 year old self but this is taken from the Statue of Liberty.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Race: Our First Conversation

JT: Is Sam your new friend?
Tedi: Yes, Daddy.
JT:  What does he look like?
Tedi:  He is white.  I am brown.
JT: What color is his hair?
Tedi: White like yours daddy.  Mine is black. 
JT: Yeah.
Tedi: Okay, when can I play my new game?

It was as simple as that.  Someone told me recently that kids will get you in the car when you aren't expecting it...and they were spot on.  We were driving home tonight and that was our conversation, the first one on race.  I know two weeks ago in school they talked about what makes each person different....maybe skin and hair came up.. I am not sure.  But as quickly as the thought was in his mind, he was onto something else.  At least we know he realizes the difference....But the beauty is the fact that it (race) really does not matter to him... Sam is his buddy.  Simply his friend. 


I am sure I have may have blogged on this topic before.  My biggest struggle is the intense feeling of inadequacy....as a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a doctor, co-worker.  I love my job and almost every minute I spend in the hospital, yet I find my sincere joy in caring for others' childrens keeps me away from my own child.  I can not dedicate enough time to my friendships because the time spend away from work is appropriately given to my husband and son.  I do not see my parents, whom I love, or my sister very often.  Then in the midst of all of this, I am not leaving enough space to spend time in prayer...and maybe that is why I can't ever get all of the other stuff together.  Well...I know it is. 

At any given moment, I am thinking.... "Why am I fat?  Why can't lose the weight? Why am I not as smart as him? Why can't I spend more time at home?  Why can't I be as good of a mom as her? Why can't I cook?  I want to read a non-medical book.  Does God hear my pleas?  Do those around me know I love them without me saying it?  Should I wake a little earlier so I can get home earlier...4am is early....okay, I can do it?"  This could all take place in one single minute.  I am woman......so this seems natural.... Yet, when I start thinking this way, despite my desire to listen to sad music like Angel by Sarah McLachlan or read Sylvia Plath, the quote below comes creeping into my mind.  I don't really have great commentary on it but feel it speaks to my heart even when I do not want it to.  I hope you get something out of it.

Our Greatest Fear

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


As a disclaimer, I do not feel required to answer to people or explain our decisions.....However, I think it is helpful to others going through or considering adoption.....and just being nosy :-)  You never know who you may convert to adoption...

.......adopt again?

We want to grow our family.  We are called as Christians to care for the "least of these" and we feel specifically called to adopt.  It was never a doubt that we would adopt again....it was just when.


Well, with me in residency through June 2013 (and fellowship from 07/2013 to 06/2016), no time is ever going to be a good time, until I guess July 2016...but then I have a "real" job.  So, really, is there a good time?  Is there a good time to get married, to go back to school, to get pregnant, TO DIE?  There is never a "good" time for anything.  This is I know.  However, having lost seven dear family members to death in the last 11 months has made the brevity of life very palpable.  I do not know if I will ever have a "right time" or tomorrow.  Will I be more tired....Yes.  Will I be stretched.....Yes.  Will I be able to deeply love and be loved..... Yes.  So now is the time for us....we only get back what we are willing to give, if we only take the time to give it.

...... NOT our "own"?

Well, I have answered this before, BUT our adopted child(ren) are OURS.  When you hear my son say, "Hey my mommy..." there is no doubt that he is OUR son.  However, why not biological kids?  Much of the time Tedi has been home has been sans birth control...  Yet, I am okay with the absence of pregnancy in our world.  At times, it will creep into my heart and I will get bitter.... Then, I get in check and hear Tedi's footsteps or sweet voice and know God's plan for our family is not that of typical.  Will we ever "try" again.... Maybe.  Will I be less of a mother?  No.  Will I live unfulfilled? No. 

......adopt from Ethiopia again?

I could simply say, "Why not?"  That is true, for sure, but not entirely.  When we originally began Tedi's adoption in 2009, our USCIS (US government paperwork), form was written for two children, either sex, aged 0-5.  Since we only brought home one child, the paperwork is still good for an extension for a second child less than 5 years old.... So that definitely played a part in our decision to return to Ethiopia, but we also sincerely love this country, it's people and the culture. 

.....our agency?

The agency we used for Tedi was Arise for Children.  At the time they were partnered with Hope, another agency, who was technically Tedi's "placing agency".  Arise went through several changes and was bought by Lifeline Adoptions.  Because the two ladies, Britney and Lesley, who worked for Arise stayed on with Lifeline, we decided to stick with them.  Lifeline is a very well established agency in China and other countries.  That in combination with knowing Britney and Lesley confirmed our decision to use Lifeline. 

So, really...... WHY?
This is why we do it.... this is why we take the harsh words, the doubting, the waiting, the heartache, the joy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Big Announcement

Yes, you are reading correctly.  We are adopting again.  We are adopting from Ethiopia again. 
More details will follow in a longer blog by JT.
We are super excited to start this again.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Next Stop...... Vice President

As I posted yesterday, Tedi went before Judge Paula Sherlock to become legally our son in America and to be an American citizen....allowing him to get a passport.  Passport = Fun Vacations!  It was a special day for our family and I am so glad our friend Elizabeth was there to capture the moments for us.  What a great job she has done with our family pictures in the past and yesterday's special moment.  Tedi was very well behaved and followed instructions.  I think he really liked getting to use the judge's gavel. 

Now my boy can not be President of the United States according to the Constitution, but he could be a Senator or even Vice President.....if he so chooses.   Regardless, yesterday made it possible.  He is ours, yet again.  Below are quite a few pictures from Elizabeth.  Enjoy because pics are the best part

 This really is my son!
Banging the Gavel


 With Judge Sherlock

 With Ms. Jessica, the guardian at litem attorney

 with Elizabeth

 with his new Nemo toy from Judge Sherlock
 Nemo and Daddy fist bumping

Stay tuned for some big updates coming soon!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

American Citizen

Today we went to the court house and finalized Tedi's adoption on the US side of things...  Our good friend, Elizabeth, joined us there and photographed the entire ordeal.  For that we are so appreciative.  I hope to post some of her pics from inside the courtroom... In the meantime, here are a few pics from before and after the big event!  Enjoy.  What a beautiful boy we have?!?!

 Post Court lunch at City Cafe