Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 3: Wednesday

Before I do the day 3 recap,  can I just say how cool my kids are?  Clay has raised $1010.00 to put towards Sitota's airfare.  His goal is $1500.  He is just so awesome.  He's selling cranes and origami.

Most of my recap is going to be pulled from the email that I sent when I returned to the room on Wednesday night...  I tried to clarify some things and correct some grammar... but it's still a mess.  That's ok...  it was a messy day.


It's kinda weird to journal this stuff to you guys...  but...  it is what it is...  I know at least a few of you wanted updates about how things were going.  Parts of this are pretty heavy and I am just trying to spit it all out so...  you know...  stop reading it or whatever-  or share it with your kids or...  remind me of it when I bitch about the weather...

Today was hard and didn't go as planned.  We spent the day with Tam and Dani,  our guides and translators from my 1st trip.  Our time with Tam and Dani was wonderful. They are so willing to answer our questions and help us to understand their culture-  its beauty and its challenges.

Tam and Dani took us to Kolfe-  the boys government orphanage for boys age 8ish-20ish.  In 2010 I met a boy that I've kept in close contact with.  D. is about 24 years old and has partial paralysis in his legs.  He uses crutches to get around and he has a sponsorship to attend university.  He's studying medicine.  He had just came home from college a couple of weeks before (a 2 day journey), so the timing was great and I was looking forward to seeing him.  He is very well respected among the boys and is somewhat of a leader.  Our time at Kolfe was too short...  even though we stayed too long-  and it's impossible to leave there without being completely... moved, for lack of a better term.

The boys were happy to talk with us-  and our friends helped us to ask lots of questions-  nothing heavy-  who likes soccer?  what movies do you like to watch? what do you do for fun?  what do you like best about school?  we gave out a million hugs and took a bunch of pictures and showed the kids each one.   We at least brought some smiles and laughter into their day.  But how many times did a child tell me as I hugged him hello or good-bye, "Oh, Mom,  I love you so much...." or  "I will pray for you..." Mostly, they call all of the women that come Mom or Auntie.  How many shoeless kids and shivering kids did we hug? (it was cold any rainy this morning-  maybe 50 degrees).  We met 2 kids with epilepsy- 1 of whom had just had a seizure.

I brought about 80 lbs of clothes and shoes for the care center-  but we decided the kids at Kolfe were in greater need.  Enough people go through the agency care center that at least they have shoes and clothes that keep them covered and warm.  The support for Kolfe is different and a story for another day.  I don't know enough about it to tell it.

D. told everyone for days before we got there, "My family is coming."  (He has no delusions that we're bringing him home- he's 24 (he thinks-  but he's not sure) but because I email with him back and forth and check in on him and encourage him...  he has adopted us as his family.  I worry about how it makes him feel that we are adopting this perfect little girl.)

On the wall of D's room there was a hand written message...  Megin=hugger Yup,  my name on the wall of an orphanage in Ethiopia.  D.  Calls me his "sweetie hugger" and once wrote to me, "Remember when you hugged me?  No one ever hugged me like that.  Thank you."  And so,  when we were there,  there were a LOT of hugs.  A lot.
We brought D to lunch-  and another woman who helps him out had sent me some new shoes and professional clothes for him.  We brought him a couple of new Maine T's and a new fleece blanket and a book he needs for school (entitled Diseases), a headlamp for when the power is out and he needs to study,  whatever-  a duffle bag... a duffle bag full of things-  and a little $ from the other woman who sent all of the new clothes, and an itty bitty bit from us (like less than I spend on a couple of pizzas when I'm to lazy to cook....)-  and what is the email I came home too?  Not thanks for the lunch and the stuff, and can you get me some....   no....  "Hello dear mama and sweeti huger Megain , how is today for u? I'm so glad and very happy .Oh thanks God to help me for see and got great hug from Mama . If u can come and hug me . Say hello Rob.i miss u a lot. EWEDSHALEHU"

Ewedshalehu means I love you.  Yeah-  his written English isn't the best,  but all he really said was,  thanks for the hugs and I love you.  I was wrecked, seriously... but back to the day.

So after lunch we went to the care center-  we were hoping to grab Sitota and bring her back to the room for awhile.  When we first got to the center I got an early hug and some snuggling time with Sitota-  but she seemed a little off.  I thought maybe she didn't expect to see Dani and Tam or something...  then she got a little mad about something and ran to the Nannies for comfort (totally appropriate and understandable)... but she didn't "come back" so to speak. In speaking to the nannies,  we learned that she had been looking for us earlier when some other families came to see their kids.  We weren't there.  No us.  Punk was "off" because of that,  and it makes sense.

As a matter of fact I had a Mama moment with her.  She looked right in my eyes and I was very close to her and anytime I tried to talk to her or touch her, she would kind of yell/grunt.   I was saying goodbye for the day, and she sure knew it-  but she had no love for this Mama.  She stayed with me though,  when I grunted back at her and kept close eye contact and said to her...  "You can be as mad as you want,  I love you... " and maybe I said in 100 times.  And the grunting got quieter.  And the nannies didn't butt in-  which was HUGE. I turned to walk away and got teary and when I got to the gate to get in the van,  Rob noticed she and her Nanny were walking over.  She clutched her photo book, but the grunting was done.  More great eye contact when we said we loved her and would be back tomorrow-  and my friends translated but didn't get too involved. No hugs, no kisses,  but maybe optimism?  Who knows what was happening in her little head?

Back in the room that night, I was feeling a little down about a few things that happened, and then I looked through some photos that my friend Dani took. I hope I will forever remember this moment and the 15 second right before the photo was taken- when my newest Punk came charging at me across the courtyard with her arms open wide and flew into my arms.  She had a spectacular smile that completely undid me. And she let me hold her in a tight Mama hug. My favorite kind of hug. 

Looking at the photos reassured me that while some parts of this adoption trip will be the hardest thing we've done,  every step will be worth it.  I had perfect faith.

Also,  we introduced her to the itsy bitsy spider...


Ernestine Edna said...

Totally love this.

IAG Ethiopia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meg said...

Thanks, Jill.