It has been a little over a year since EOR was founded, and since I’ve been lying around the house with a chicken pocked baby for the last few days, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the ladies who helped make this dream a reality.
Kim Pasion. Kim has been my right hand since day -1 of EOR–she was there the minute the idea to form a non-profit popped into my head, and she’s been there ever since. I really don’t know if people nicer than Kimmie exist–she’s so nice, I often poke her to make sure she’s real. We received our referrals on the same day, our daughters lived in the same room at Toukoul and we met our girls in Ethiopia on the same day at the same moment. We took turns taking pictures and video of one another, we had rooms at the same hotel, we shared meals and embassy appointments. Kim helped me form EOR, helped me come up with and execute pretty much every idea I’ve ever had, she handles all of our banking, writes tax letters and she’s co-chairing the Lights of Hope Auction in Portland on May 9th. She’ll try to lie and downplay her various talents, but she’s full of it–if I didn’t know how much she loved being a SAHM, I’d beg her to work for my for profit business as well–I can’t think of someone I’d rather have on any team. She was a fabulous hostess with the mostess for our first Annual Board Meeting in Portland last summer, and I am giddy with excitement to have a pre-auction sleepover at her house in May. There will no doubt be pillow fights and girl talk and planning for the future. Thank you for everything, Kimmie. EOR wouldn’t exist without your pasion and hardwork.
Paige Chapman-Layland. Paige has been there since shortly after EOR was formed, when we began to build our Board of Directors. Paige is a riot and although I don’t always “get” her literary references in jokes or blog tags (cough) or the references to dead Presidents on Facebook, she always makes me laugh. Paige met my daughter before I did–and took beautiful photos and video of her for us while we were waiting not so patiently to travel. Paige is the brains behind our Annual Fund campaign and the brawn behind our online store–if you’ve ordered something, she’s the one taking orders, packing and shipping. She finds time to do so with a husband who works out of state 4 days per week, while homeschooling her son, dealing with two-year old meltdowns from her daughter and covering all her books in brown craft paper. I can’t wait to see her new dress and shoes at the Auction in Portland (and possibly drag her to Ikea with me…). Thank you for everything, Paige.
Lauren Andronici. Everybody loves a Jersey Girl, and Lauren is no different. She’s tall and not afraid to tell you what she thinks and I love that about her. Kimmie and I took photos of Lauren’s daughter at Toukoul when we travelled–baby Meron was tiny and ill, and poor Lauren was home with a newborn and scared to death for her little girl–Meron has since been diagnosed TB-free (WHOO HOO!). Lauren is co-chairing the Lights of Hope Auction with Kim, and from what Kim tells me, she’s been an absolute superstar in terms of getting donations. There’s a rumor she’s hosting some sort of after party for us after the Auction–and she has a pool–so I’m pretty stoked about that. There will no doubt be copious amounts of celebratory synchronized swimming. Thank you for everything, Lauren.
Dawn Finley. Dawn has the greatest, loudest laugh ever. You can’t help but join in. I’ve known Dawn the longest–we began the adoption process around the same time, and “met” each other via our blogs. She has a son who could be my daughter’s twin! Dawn has been working on grants and she produces our quarterly newsletter–all while raising two young kids, teaching, running a business and completing a Ph.D. program. Dawn won’t be joining us in Portland for the auction due to her demanding schedule (*sob*)–I’ll miss hot rollering her hair and forcing her to wear makeup. Thank you for joining our team late in the game, Dawn. We’re lucky to have you.
Jane Gregorie. I knew I was going to love Jane before I even met her, because she left me what may be the funniest voicemail of all time (and I don’t even think she was trying to be funny). She attended the very first EOR Introduction Event, held at my home in Evergreen. She was waiting not so patiently for her beautiful baby Ezra to come home, and expressed an interest in organizing a fundraiser for us. We invited her to join the Board shortly thereafter, and she was the driving force behind our incredibly successful Art for Ethiopia event last November. She chaired the committee after being home for just a short time with her son and running her own successful business. Jane won’t be joining us in Portland due to work committments, but she will be missed. I guess I’ll have to settle for meeting up at the park with the kids on our “stay at home mommy days.” Thank you for joining our team, Jane. If you weren’t in my life, I’m not sure who I’d talk to while on the treadmill 🙂
Ladies–you kick all sorts of butt. I know none of us are being paid, all of us have demanding lives outside of EOR and all of us want a better life for the orphans left behind. I’m happy we’re in this together.