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 ( 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.