I've had so much fun these past few weeks getting the girls' room ready for Karis to come home! Rebecca has put in a ton of hours on this with me...I wonder if she regrets the Christmas gift coupons she gave me for "Color consult" and "Painting one room in your house!" Seriously, we've had such a blast with this! There are few things in life more exciting than nesting for a new baby!
For the "stencils", I printed on transparency paper the animals/tree we wanted to use, and then with the overhead projector, we enlarged, traced, and then painted over our lines. I couldn't be more pleased! Rebecca did much of the giraffe free-hand, and lest you don't take time to watch the video, check out the Africa spot/Ethiopia heart on the giraffe! Anna is delighted with her room, and is even more excited for her sister to come home now that we have the crib ready and her baby toys in a basket! The only thing really left to get are the letters K-A-R-I-S for the wall. I was so excited about having a girl before Anna was born that I splurged at Company Kids and bought the pink gingham wall plaques to spell her name. Silly me. Now I have to get them for Karis, too...and at $10/letter, well, there aren't that many really nice girls' names with only 1 or 2 letters. Lesson learned. And we still have to bring up the bin of baby clothes from the basement...I can't wait to do that!
Interestingly enough, someone insinuated that this whole room makeover wasn't fair to Anna, like "This is all well and good for Karis, but what about poor Anna who now is unfairly subjected to this African-themed room?" Granted, they didn't say it in so many words, but that's exactly what they were saying. I was glad they asked, because it really helped me articulate some thoughts on the subject matter, as did finishing the book "There is No Me Without You." More on that later, but the ending is perfect for this situation.
Yes, Karis is being adopted into an American family, and she will be an American citizen, and the culture she will "fit with" is going to be overwhelmingly American. But that is only one side of the equation. We are also adopting into an Ethiopian family, and Ethiopia is becoming a part of our culture (to the best we can manage), and it is just as right for us to integrate Ethiopian heritage into Karis' life as it is to integrate it into ours. She is as much American as we are Ethiopian. Will the scales always be balanced? Probably not...but you can bet that we're going to try.
I thought I should include a "Before" picture and video to give you an idea why I'm so excited about this room makeover!
Another view of "Before":