Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Year Ago Part 6

Here is the last chapter of the series. This series of posts are for Mezmur and it is part of our journal I call Blinkin Blog.
We feel so lucky to have Ethiopia in our lives. The culture, the history, everything about Ethiopia is beautiful. We plan on continuing our education about Ethiopia for our family. Mezmur deserves to know all she can about where she was born and about her birth mother's culture.
Oh, and have I mentioned the coffee?

This was the very first thing I saw as we passed through the gates of House of Hope. It was full of children whose eyes were huge watching our van pull in. One little girl had her hair half braided, getting ready for her reunion with her family the next week. One day as we pulled in the children were enjoying a treat of lollipops while they spun around on the merry-go-round. Some of these scenes I will never forget.
House of Hope. The House of Hope is the reason I would choose CHI again. Tsegay, the director was wonderful. The nannies truly LOVE the children. You can see their sadness while they watch "their" babies go home. Although, it is still an orphanage. The children aren't getting all they need, but when compared to Mezmur's first orphanage...it was wonderful. HOH runs like a fine tuned machine. The babies get bottles popped into their mouths every three hours, the older children eat and get their lesson at a certain time everyday, as Tsegay claims, the children are bathed every morning at 9:am, there is laundry being done all day long (literally), and while all this is happening they still were able to feed us lunch everyday complete with a coffee ceremony.

The people of Ethiopia...my first thought was how hardworking they are. The people on the streets we saw were all busy working. Working hard for their families. Selling fruit, hauling bricks, working in their stores and stands, carrying a pack full of sticks for fires for cooking...
The people of Ethiopia are not all suffering. Yes, the hardships are many, but if they are suffering they do not show it. The lesson that this gave me is, to love my life. Ethiopians love their life despite their hardships. When life gets hard or I get stressed I'm reminded of the resilience of the people of Ethiopia. They have more strength in their day to day lives than I could ever have in a lifetime.
It was absolutely heartbreaking to visit Mezmur's orphanage...the place she stayed after she was found and before she was taken to the House of Hope. There were a couple of little boys who the director kept pointing out that didn't have homes yet...this little boy was one of them. Obviously we would've taken them home in a heartbeat, but unfortunately adoption doesn't work that way (for obvious reasons). It was hard to see this orphanage. It didn't have the resources that House of Hope had. The children seemed taken care of, but not happy and care free, like children should be. There was one little girl..tiny, malnourished, and absolutely terrified. When she saw us she screamed in fear. I wanted to hug her and hold her and tell her it was going to be ok, but she was so terrified. I will never forget that orphanage, where Mezmur spent some of her time before she became part of a family.
Coffee ceremony at the orphanage.
Door at the orphanage.
Traditional dresses on our shopping day.

The coffee shop we visited.

This is my very favorite photo from our trip.
Closing thoughts: Children have one basic need in their lives. A family. Ask any child with a family who the most important people are in their life and they will say their Mom and Dad (or their primary caregiver). Every child deserves to have someone who loves them. Every child deserves a family. With the risk of sounding too pushy or "preachy"...anyone can adopt a child who doesn't have a family. Anyone. Get a loan, get some education, ask for donations at your church, ask a stranger in the grocery store about their adoption process, save your money....honestly, if we could do it...ANYONE can. Children are all the same in every country. They all want to be loved and cared for.
Let me add, adoption should NEVER be about saving a child. If someone says how lucky Mezmur is I say, "We are the lucky ones." Or, "We are blessed because of her." We adopted for selfish reasons, we wanted another baby. We always knew we would adopt and WE feel so blessed to be given the opportunity.
If adoption isn't something you can do...help an orphan by donating or sponsoring a child. Help an orphan get an education and grow up in their country. Help them to grow up in their own country to help solve the orphan crisis they face and so many other children are facing.

12 comments:

Julie said...

Oh what a wonderful post, every bit of it. I will be back to read it again, with kleenex this time so I don't have to use my shirt.

Christine said...

I have loved this whole series of posts. Beautifully written. My little man is such a fan of your two kids!

Duncan said...

When your heart strings are ringing it truly does give meaning to it all . . . You have been an inspiration and once again there are no words to what that means to me. As to the World as a whole, Mezmur will always show me what a huge and beautiful step "one step" can be. You are absolutely right in your words and perfectly clears in your actions. You both make a great team for your family. And to Rhett way to go "BIG BROTHER"!! Please pass around the hugs for ME. . . Love dad-gramps.

Ted and Lori said...

So well written, and with such beautiful photos. The one of the boy holding the ball is one of my favorite photos of Ethiopia ever.

lori lls said...

Wonderful recap of a phenomenal life experience. I can't believe a year has passed.

I so resonate with your sentiments on adoption. Kids need families, a place to grow up, to be treasured, to belong. It is in my heart to give that gift to a child or children and receive back the gift of their presence in our lives; I hope it can happen.

Also, this set of photos is remarkable, Autumn. You have such a good eye.

April said...

I FINALLY got the time to read All your recent posts- and I LOVE them! We are all so lucky!

courtney rose said...

I so love all these posts. SO LOVE THEM. I do hope these are printed off for your dear beloved daughter (and son)- such a treasure. Thank you for sharing with us....

Eryn said...

Autumn, what a treasure for your little Mez.It was so fun to see your family on Saturday, and how happy and healthy and wonderful Mezmur looks...it made myheart all warm and fuzzy! We have so much to look forward to!

Julie said...

Beautiful post Autumn.

Viv and Pete said...

Very touching post...and your pictures are incredible!

Viv and Pete said...

Very touching post and incredible pictures!

Rayna said...

This is a beautiful adoptions story! We are also a transracial family- I have twin girls and we used to run into you and your son all the time- do you remember me? Last time I saw you you were waiting for you referral, I can't believe it's been a year. Thanks for sharing your family's journey with everyone and for being such a positive and loving voice for adoption!