Today was a better day for me with the kids. To start with Roza was looking at me again and overall they seemed to relax some. I’m going to share a secret with all of you who take the time and love to follow us……..
On our fist day at the TH home we had been there maybe 25 minutes when Craig looked at me and said “ you know how I said we would never adopt again…… I’d reconsider for her.” and points at a precious little girl who had been hanging around since the moment we met Roza and Sada. As we spent our afternoon there Craig at a different point looked at me as we watched the children playing and breaking toys just so they could share it with the other children and said to me “I feel so selfish that we live the way we do and we aren’t doing more here” Well the BIG secret is that we have no firm plans at this moment but we are looking into returning for that precious little girl and surprise she has a little sister!!!!!!!!!
The reason to share this tid bit of information is because we had a busy day today at the TH. First order of business was spending time with Roza and Sada, then we were invited into a small office to meet with the kids physiologist and social worker. Sada seemed very connected to the physiologist and I couldn‘t help but feel the tiniest bit jealous. He has done a lot of work with Sada to help him be more interactive and dependent on others. “Sada is very independent.” he tells me “And it takes time for him to form a bond, but when he does it is solid and strong, he may not want to be away from you.” As for Roza the social worker told us how when she arrived they thought she couldn’t speak and had her tested but turns out she just chooses not to. She is very shy and has only really connected with one nanny and a few of the other children. We took this time to ask about ways to better bond with the kids based on their personalities and background and then to ask about adopting in the future. At first they physiologist was concerned that it would need to be the right child for us to adopt, one that would be a good match for Sada and the social worker agreed. He even suggested that he pick the child out, when we told them the names of the little girls we had in mind they were overjoyed. The social worker said she would write a letter of approval for us and that this would be a perfect match. These little girls, especially the older one is VERY close and bonded to both Roza and Sada. Craig then showed Sada on a map of the U.S. where he would be living and Sada made sure to point it out to all of us.
It was because of this conversation with the social worker and physiologist that led to one of the most unforgettable moments of this trip. The Social worker asked if we had met the youngest of the two sisters and when she learned that we had not she insisted on taking us over to the other TH, the one our kids actually live at to meet her and our kids nannies. The last house (or more like compound) on the road stood the un-marked gates to the second and older children’s home ( age 3 and up). The second we walked in 10 or more 3 and 4 year olds swarmed us, pulling on our pants yelling MOMMY! DADDY! MOMMY! DADDY! No way for those little voices not to break your heart right then and there. They wanted picked up, held and loved, a family to call their own and to feel the warmth of safety and security wrapped around them. In all of the chaos of our first moments in the door I noticed a little girl standing back a bit from the crowd of toddlers. As the social worker and two other nannies helped pull children off of us I knelt down and a beautiful smiled appeared on a chicken pox covered face of this little girl and I knew right then that this was THE sister we had come to meet. She gently wrapped her arm around my neck and smiled as she met eyes with Craig. If he wasn’t already convinced at that exact moment every string of doubt in his mind was snipped. Being careful not to undermine the bonding we had already done with Roza and Sada we slipped away from the group of children as they were being seated for lunch and held our kids hands tightly as we were escorted around the facility to see the rooms and beds our kids slept in. We also were able to see Roza’s pre-school room, which was a treat and meet two of the nannies. As we made our way back towards the gates they asked us if Roza and Sada could sit down and eat lunch with the other kids. I had no idea that by us being at the TH our little Roza missed her normal lunch time by an hour and ended up eating with the older kids which then cuts into her nap time. As we agreed they sent Roza and Sada away to wash for lunch and Craig and I were seated at a child’s size table away from all the other children. When Roza and Sada joined us they were served a plate on injera with a red sauce poured on top. Then a second nanny came by with a pot of cooked carrots and potatoes, it smelled and looked delicious!!! Sada turned down the vegetables but ate 4 helpings (and not small ones of injera) Rosa had three helpings of the carrots and potatoes and two of the injera with red sauce. Somewhere during all of this the social worker suggested to the kids to share their lunch with us. Roza’s little hand scooped up a bite of injera wrapped red sauce and as I ate it I was surprised at how spicy it was. Sada shared a bite with Craig and Roza gave me a carrot which WAS every bit as delicious as it smelled. We received our first lesson on Ethiopian culture as the social worker nicely scolded us for not leaning in for the kids to put the food in our mouths. It is a sign of love here for someone to feed you and apparently husbands feed their wives often. I have yet to hear of another family getting to join the kids for lunch and it is for sure a special day for us.
I feel so overwhelmed right now at how blessed I feel by being here and sharing these moments with Roza and Sada. Thank you to the family and friends who have loved and supported us, thank you to NLO and the strangers who felt moved to stand with us and most of all I thank God for matching our hearts with his and providing every step of the way. We were never without, love, guidance, emotional support or financial support because he carried us as we have and will keep making this journey.