Saturday, October 27, 2012

Leaving Eve

It's like Christmas Eve I guess.  We leave tomorrow.  But I guess it's like Christmas Eve Eve because we won't arrive in Ethiopia until Sunday.  But I guess really it is like Christmas Eve Eve Eve because we won't be with Sitota until Monday.

It's after midnight and we are mostly packed.  We are bringing 3 large bags of goodies for Kolfe (the boy's orphanage), the care center, and some friends.  Then we have our stuff packed in carry-ons.  I think we will have 8 bags all together...

We have clothes that we hope will fit Sitota.  We have a few toys and books that we hope will entertain Sitota.  We have snacks that we hope will distract Sitota during our long trip home.

Really,  who cares what we bring?  Ok, except for the shoes.  I am thrilled to be bringing 50 lbs of high quality sneakers for the Kolfe boys.  Thanks for helping me do that!

But really,  what matters is that Sitota, Rob and I will have 5 days together in Ethiopia.  That's how much time we had last time, too.

But this time,  there isn't the cloud of knowing we will have to say good-bye.  No uncertainty of when we will be together again...  (there are plenty of other uncertainties...  but not that one.)  JOY!

There is a weight though.  Yes,  we are incredibly relieved and excited and happy and euphoric, even.  Our punk is coming home.  At long last.  Home to our modest lives.  Home to our tiny house where we have been preparing to embrace her for the past 2 years...  Euphoria...  underlined by melancholy.  By sadness.  She's leaving her homeland.

I love Ethiopia.  This will only be my 3rd trip,  and I've never traveled very far from the capitol, and I don't pretend to understand its complexities or it's history.  It is a complicated country on a complicated continent.  There is a long, long history of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.  Ethiopia is one of the oldest sites of human existence known to scientists.  A history we can't comprehend from America.  There's pain and poverty and loss (oh, the loss) and hurt.  There's joy and kindness and for the love of it all, there is hope and opportunity.  There is Joy and Hope and Opportunity.  Yes, there is a sadness in taking our daughter away.  With that sadness comes a great desire to honor this privilege and recognize the loss while still joyfully celebrating the gain.

I hope that we will raise Sitota to be proud of herself,  her birth country, her name, the color of her skin, the strength of her voice, and all of the the gifts that she brings to her new country and to her new family.  I hope and I truly believe that she will always continue to be the light. 

And I hope and pray, as her second family,  that we will reflect that light right back.

I can't blog from Ethiopia,  but I'll keep sharing on the Facebook ;-)


Stu said...

So beautiful, just achingly so. Thanks for sharing this wish us. It's inspiring, truly.

Ernestine Edna said...

Your heart is so beautiful. Praying for you as you journey, for safety and peace. Love you.

Jessica said...

Beautifully written! I how I love Ethiopia. Sitota is lucky to have a family that loves her homeland too! So excited for you all to be together.