Ethiopia has changed me. I knew this as soon as I was back from trip one. (When we visited our daughter and attend our court date.) I just don't think I could even being to imagine how much. Sadly, I must say that since we have returned home with our daughter, I haven't had much time to think about much other than my daily mothering duties, so Ethiopia has been on one of the back burners in my mind.
Yesterday, I ran into a family from church who is also adopting from Ethiopia. They had recently returned from their first court trip. We visited about the trip and, of course, I viewed photos of their beautiful Ethiopian daughter. Now they are waiting to receive a confirmed embassy date soon, so they may bring her home. As the mother was leafing through the photo book and sharing some of their trip with me, it brought back many images of Ethiopia. We had experienced many of the same things while in country. The praise and worship team had began to play, so our conversation was fairly brief.
When I entered the sanctuary and found a seat, I became immediately overwhelmed with many emotions and images I had not thought of since returning. I thought I was going to have a complete breakdown during the service. I asked myself, "What is wrong with you? Why are you bawling?" I was able to stop the tears and participate in the rest of the service, but continued to question myself throughout the day and into today.
My conclusion was a variety of ideas. When we had to leave our baby girl in Ethiopia to return and wait for our embassy date, I thought I was going to crumble. I must admit those were some of the most difficult weeks of my life. So, I believe I was empathizing with the adoptive couple. One of the other reasons was that while Ethiopia is a beautiful country with such welcoming people, the poverty is quite overwhelming. There are images that will permanently be with me. I realized the person standing in front of me had seen many of the same images. She knew what I had seen as I knew many of the same images in her mind. I felt like it was someone who I could share my experience with without any reservation. She would understand what I experienced more than anyone other than my husband in this area. (I only know a few families who have adopted from Ethiopia and most live many hours away.)
I am so thankful to have met this couple. They have biological sons and soon an Ethiopia daughter. We are biracial families, there are going to be many situations that we will have to deal with that others simply do not understand. Our children will see there are other families that look like our family, which I believe is so important for both of my children.
So tonight I say a prayer for this family as they wait for their beautiful daughter to come home. I pray for an embassy date to come soon and that their family transition will be peaceful and secure.