As we celebrate the 2 month anniversary of being a family, I find myself looking back to Ethiopia. A family who is traveling for court and another family traveling to bring their son home have agreed to carry some photos and cards to the children at the orphanges and to the in-country staff.
While I has looking through the MILLION photos we have of children at the orphanages, my heart was breaking. The young men at Kolfe were amazing. Polite, thoughtful, ambitious. I told one boy at Kolfe that he had very good English. He said, "No ma'am. I don't. I need to practice." Then I responded, "Have you heard my Amharic?" Seriously, his English was spot on! He wanted to work to be an engineer. Their dreams inspire me!
At the younger children's orphanage, my heart was won by one little, filthy, stinky boy who only had the use of one arm. (He's in the photo above - we can't show faces of the children in the orphanages). I would guess he was 4 years old. One of the ladies in our group was passing out candy. She gave him a lollipop, and having one arm, he couldn't open it. I knelt to open his candy for him, and that was it - we were bonded. He held my hand. I carried him. He laughed. Somehow he got another piece of candy. And, while we were touring the facility, one little girl was lying in bed. I am not sure that she could get up, but her face was smiley and beautiful. My little friend willingly gave her his second piece of candy because she didn't get one. Our hearts broke. This little guy has nothing. Looking through the photos today, I see that his shoes were worn out and probably 2 sizes too big. His pants were probably two sizes too short and about 100 years old. But he gave away a treasure!
Then, as we were leaving, this little guy followed us to the car. He held onto me so tightly. We hugged and kissed. Then hugged and kissed some more. One of workers had to pry his hand off mine. Then he just sat down and bawled, I mean broken hearted wailing. Driving away, my heart broke. I think of his very often, and the photos broke my heart today.
We saw so much loss. So much need. So many little faces who just want a family.
As we were touring the baby room, which was desolate - way too many babies, many without diapers, in a small room, Travis reminded us of the story of the starfish. You know the one - the little boy throws starfish back in the ocean. Someone told him to give it up, that his efforts don't matter. And he replied, "It matters to the one I threw back."
Boy, are we thankful for Zadie Hayat. She loves us. We love her. We laugh together. She comes to me for comfort. In a public place, she holds tighter to her mother. I mean, we are thankful for the progress she has made. I hope we are wise as we continue our attachment. I just really want what's best for the little piece of love.
But, I can't stop thinking about all of those children. All of that need. What is my responsibility? The question haunts me.