I knew the FIRST time, last July, that I stepped on Ethiopia soil that I was changed from the inside out and I also knew I would be back and that somehow this place felt like home. Definitely a different kind of home than we are accustomed too, but a kind of home that just felt right and that a kind of home that was part of my soul. It was like I was catapulted back to the days of the Old Testament in many ways and oh how my heart yearned to love and to serve like we did. It was just like going home somehow and it just felt RIGHT. Ethiopia is one of the most beautiful places, yet most desperate places I have been to in my life. A little help here from the fancy Americans goes a long way, and I am not just talking about adopting. Here I am referencing seeing, loving, feeling and serving.
AND THEN CAME MAMO.
and 2 more trips back to Ethiopia last year. Each trip had me yearning more for the next. We were now making friends and learning the geography of our son's home. At least his home where he and his friends were in an orphanage. Our son is from a village called Asosa, which is 12 hours from Addis where his orphanage was located. We met his father briefly and discussed what we thought was everything that we would need to know at a later date to tell Mamo. To be honest, we barely touched the surface of what we long to know and is beginning to haunt my soul. We "assumed" a lot in our conversation with his father. When you have cultural differences you are curious yet don't want to be insulting. You try to take the American curiosities out of your questions and tip toe around some important information. You also can gleen a situation that you believe is what you are seeing and later question what you saw and what it means as time goes along. This mama has a hole in her heart of unanswered questions that runs so deep. I feel so badly for his father who loved him sooo much to make the heart wrenching decision to allow us to parent his precious child.
I read Mamo a story tonight that talked about his native Ethiopia that I bought a long time ago and he shared a little bit more with me tonight about his past. Gut punch me already. Hyenas are real. Coldness is real. Ethiopia is real to my child. He was scared a lot. And his father was his protector. He didn't know of Jesus in Ethiopia. He wanted to read the story again;I promised to read again tomorrow night. You see this was his LIFE and he does remember it. He remembers some Amharic..thank you Jesus..as he translated for me.
I vow to keep as much as his Ethiopia alive for him as I can as we sit here comfortably in America, aside from the Hyenas. I wish I could transport the smells, the sounds and his culture here. I wish I could see his father and thank him for this incredible gift of love. I wish I could be there to comfort in his time of loss for this beautiful boy who he is so amazing and so full of love. I promise to keep injeria on the dinner table and allow him to taste that Ethiopian spice that burns our tummy.
Tonight I simply feel broken for his fathers love to share this precious gift with us......adoption is a gain of love for some ,yet a loss of love for others and that is soooo real to me right now in this moment. It is a decision that I don't know how anyone could ever make unless they are in a really tough situation. Go visit a 3rd world country and see how 95% of the world lives. We are blessed beyond measure. and not to sound like my kids but it just doesn't seem fair.
There are times that we comment (our family) that Mamo is negative.If you ask him if he likes something he always first says no, even when is so happy and enjoying himself, It has kind of become a joke around here, that having the time of his life that if you ask him him if he likes something that he will automatically say no. I couldn't really understand this but as he shares with me, I am beginning to gather perspective of how he feels. Mamo had many moments of helplessness or hopelessness in his little life and those effects are lasting. He has been home with us a mere 6 months and he is still learning that bugs wont bite him, that doggies are okay and that his mommy and daddy will be here tomorrow when he wakes up. There are things about his Ethiopia that he wants to remember, and that I believe he LONGS to remember. and there are those things like hunger, fear and loss that he doesn't.
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