Anniversary

Three years.

Wow. What the heck were we doing all those years before? I can barely remember not having Her.

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Three years ago:

  • I had just returned from Ethiopia after meeting my little girl
  • Although the wait for our Embassey appointment wasn’t terribly long, it sure felt that way.
  • My neighbor had a baby shower for me. I wore a pillow under my shirt.
  • We were finishing up getting that little room ready. Straw colored walls, Pink & green trim, princess blanket (which has always been her favorite), cute pictures on the walls, shelves full of books.
  • Jet lag. Seriously, I didn’t see it coming, it took a long time to recover from!
  • Pictures, pictures, pictures. I couldn’t stop looking at them!

The first pictures we saw of Addis she looked stunned & worried. When we met her, her expression was flat. In fact, she had that flat look to her eyes until she had been home for about 6 weeks.

First dayThis picture is from the first daw we met her.

 

Refferal

I was tutoring at school 2 years ago today. I ran a volunteer program at the elementary school & tutored one-on-one twice a week. That morning I had been texting H’s niece, who’s first baby had just been born. We were excited for her. Our dossier had only arrived in Ethiopia barely 6 months previous, so I had settled myself to waiting at least another 6 months before I got anxious.

So you can only imagine how stupefied I was….

When I got home late that morning, H was home. In fact he was standing in the driveway waiting for me. I was worried, him being home when he should be working usually meant bad news. However, he was so excited, he was bursting! Silly me, for a minute I thought it was about his niece!

He got The Call. They sent an email, which he hadn’t opened yet, he was waiting to do it with me.  It would be another 5 1/2 months before she came to live with us, but instantly we adored her.

I am So Easy To Please

If one cannot enjoy reading a book over & over again, there is no use in reading it at all. -Oscar Wilde

 

I had been in a book-drought. I couldn’t find anything really good. And then, I ended up with 3 winners in a row, & a stack more which are promising.

No Biking in the House without a Helmethttp://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9972050-no-biking-in-the-house-without-a-helmet

Yes, this is about adoptions. Yes, it’s about Ethiopia. But it is mostly about family…and it is totally hysterical. I kept having to read sections aloud to my family, usually through tears of laughter. I told my daughter that I had to put the book down & send the author a “friend request” on FB, because we were obviously meant to be BFFs! I mean, who else has a Squirrel Story? Good stuff, & some really deep stuff too. Don’t miss it just because your children are all biological. Some of my best friends have only biological children.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lackshttp://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6493208-the-immortal-life-of-henrietta-lacks

I have been meaning to read this since I first heard of it from my aunt. I even suggested it to my book club before I even read it. Or got it! Eventually it DID make it’s way onto our list, via someone else, but as of yet we haven’t had the discussion. Very thought-provoking book. Falls into the catagory of Things I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know.

Oryx and Crakehttp://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46756.Oryx_and_Crake

I’ve checked this out of the library before. Maybe even a few times! And only just read it. What was I waiting for? Appocolyptic, Biblical, and Funny. In case you don’t know, “funny” isn’t typically something I want in a book. But it was so unexpected! Long story short: 2 friends growing up unsupervised in the near future, the internet is a free-for-all, with easy access to genocide, gang rape, stonings, mass destruction, ect., and leads to the inspiration of one friend’s creation of a new “human” race. Instead of “progress” (whatever that is), Science is now for recreation & consumerism. I was so suprised by this book, I can’t believe I hadn’t read it sooner.

I felt like I hit the jackpot, finding so many good books!

 

Postcards from Ethiopia

Monkey in EthiopiaEthiopian Woman with kindling

Some People You Never Forget

It is the one year anniversary of when I took custody of Addis.  Once I got her, I was in Ethiopia for another 4 days. It was a bit odd, going out in public, with her…especially since I was by myself, my husband wasn’t on this trip & I was staying at a guest house (http://www.ethiocomfortguesthouse.com/) instead of our agency’s hotel with the rest of my travel group. Still, I enjoyed being out…I wanted to soak up as much of Ethiopia as I could.

Several Ethiopians questioned me…was I adopting her? where were her parents?…and I am sure there were many many more that would have liked to question me but didn’t. Everyone who asked I gave a short answer to and was very friendly with…I wanted to give them a good impression & have them know that a)this child was much loved & b) her new family had a love & respect for Ethiopia.

My very last night in Ethiopia I met a woman who I think about every single day. I gave her 30 (maybe 50?) birr….WHY did I not give her more??

In the city, especially on Bole (THE main street), many people congregate at places where they are likely to encounter foreigners (ferengi). Ferengi=$$.

I was leaving my agency’s house where I had spent the evening, stopped to buy diapers, & was waiting on Bole for my ride. As a white ferengi with an Ethiopian baby, I was getting a lot of attention. One young woman approached me asking about my baby…a man was trying to clear away people from me (which I suppose I should appreciate his concern, but I did not need it) & I had to be bold to make it known I chose to interact with her.

She looked about 18, but, those Ethiopians!, they often look younger than they are (and they are beautiful!). She was dressed in rags. Her hair was very short & not braided or “done”. She had a fine layer of dust all over her. After asking her questions & speaking to my baby, she told me that she would give me her baby. I asked her what baby, & it was only then that I noticed she was pregnant. She pantomimed giving birth to me, to ensure I understood her! & told me the baby was coming in one month. She told me she lived “there” which I understood as the street corner (and we did indeed see many a mother living on the sidewalk). She told me the father didn’t know of the baby “sex one time” & she couldn’t keep the baby.

About then, my ride appeared. I had to go. My head was spinning…I didn’t know what to do with this information. So I did. Nothing. I gave her some $$. I put my hand on her stomach & asked her to love her baby & said I would pray for her. Her baby would be 11 months old right now. Please pray for them both.

How did we get this lucky?

I am certain that when we were all handed our babies at the care center, each parent looked around & thought “The other parents must be jealous, we obviously got the best one!”!

She’s been home for 10 1/2 months. Every day, several times a day, I think of how blessed we are. This is one amazing little girl! Yes, she is beautiful. Yes, she is healthy. Yes, she sleeps throught the night & is reliable napper. But what is amazing is how much she loves life!!

Every song she hears, whether its on the raido, from a commercial, the theme song from a tv show, at church, a ringtone, it is her favorite! It doesn’t matter what language or genre it is, she always announces “oh me like this song”, or “this a good song”! She loves food, not just the expected stuff like meat & noodles. She loves carrots, broccoli, fish… okay, she’s not crazy for canteloupe or sushi. She loves water. To drink, or to splash in. She loves having friends, she LOVES babies (Toukoul people: I have reason to believe she’s seen babies being well cared for & cherished!). You name it, this girl loves it!

She loves being Ethiopian, which I am thrilled about & feel an obligation to nurture. Often she will ask “Opian eat?” (asking to go to the Ethiopian restaurant). And she often asks/demands us to play Ethiopian music. If I pull up Ethiopian videos on youtube she will sit & watch them longer than anything else (excluding Annie, the Babies movie & Sesame Street!).

Above all, she has gratitude in her heart. I doubt you’ll ever hear someone say “thank you” more, or with more conviction, than this sweet girl. A hundred times a day I hear “oh Thank you Mommy, thank you so much!”

Ethiopia, Thank You! Thank you sooooo MUCH!