Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Finder

Matt sent another message and for the sake of privacy of our little one-- I am editing a little.  It's still a wonderful read.  It makes me feel all over in love with my guy (s) and thankful for the path that has led us here. *

Some updates on our story. All is well. Our hero has his Ethiopian passport with a US visa  and all is clear for us to leave tomorrow night! He ended up going back to the orphanage for a couple nights (for reasons below), and we are again getting to know each other. He is the type of guy that quiets down when he is uncertain or scared, and we are just seeing him open up some. He did have a great time playing with one of the other orphans who was being adopted with him – there were three who have been together through this process for their whole lives, and there is a great bond between them, something we hope to foster in the years ahead. He is asleep now, and cute as can be, not quite knowing the upheaval that awaits him on the flight and in a new land with a whole new way of life. We are planning on going in hiding a little when he gets home to give him some time to know where he is and bond with his new family before venturing out into Americana.

In regards Ethiopia, Nana and I spent yesterday going down to visit Simon’s finder. She is living about 200 miles or so south of Addis Ababa.It is a small, poor village nestled in the mountains and overgrown with corn, banana, and coffee plants. It is also the raining season, and our car could not pass on the narrow dirt (mud) roads to her house, so we forded streams (Nana ever the trooper) and hiked up muddy hills in caked shoes to reach her humble domicile.
She is a wonderful, smiling woman who was walking to church one September Sunday morning when she heard a baby cry by the side of the road. The child was wearing a brown sweater (some reports have him also in a plastic bag for warmth). She was scared and picked him up, running to her friends house before heading to the police station. There they estimated him to be about a month old and asked her what his name was (this is a common practice, although odd to me as she could no possibly know the child’s name). She decided to name him Tirfe, as he was saved by God from the wild elements and animals. It is a beautiful name, and very fitting except that it is generally a feminine name. According to the woman, they held town hall meetings and asked around, but no parent could be found. Often, the children are abandoned because of parental illness, poverty, the mother is unwed, or a combination of the above. Over the next several months, efforts were made to locate the parents and to find a possible adoption site within the country. When these proved futile, he was allowed to enter the international adoption sphere, where we just playing got lucky. After seven months in the orphanage in the south, he was moved to the capital. He has been there since, and will go on his first plane ride tomorrow!

As for our discussion with the finder, it was one of the greatest moments in my life. I am still not sure how to deal with, much less describe, the emotions. She and her family were incredibly hospitable and loving. And were so excited to see how he has grown and developed. They seemed so proud of him, and I hope one day to bring him here to meet them. God willing. Sitting in her mud hut with its pockmarked thatched roof, it was easy to recall all of the wonderful things that we have at home. But was struck me more this time was some of the things that they have that we are too often remiss on – namely kindness, openness, spirituality, hospitality, and generosity. I left feeling blessed that this poor, weathered, uneducated farm-woman was such an integral part of our lives, and hoping that this spirit of gratitude continues for some time

* In college I would relate to God through a sunset.  I used to believe that God would give me a beautiful sunset as a way to to say,  Dana, you are where you need to be.  Some see God in a lot of different ways-- I see it as a hot orange, poking out from behind clouds-- casting beams that guide my path.  I haven't thought about this imagery as much in recent years but tonight on the drive home a familiar landscape struck me.  Let's just say Minnesotians-- tonight the sunset was brilliant.

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