Sunday, May 11, 2008
Biniam at Layla House, 14 mos. old, from Nazret, Ethiopia
Kevin prayed today at lunch for Yosef and Biniam's first mom, who we know by name. Then Anna said she wanted to add something, and proceeded to pray that their first mom would feel better. After we were done praying Anna started talking about how their birthmom is sick, and and asked some questions about HIV--she wanted to know what it stood for. We explained about immune systems, about how in many places like Ethiopia, people don't have enough money or good medical care, so they are very ill, while the prognosis for HIV in OUR country is good, because we have access to medicine and doctors. Anna then proceeded to say "we could go to the pharmacy, buy some vitamins and medicine, and send them to Ethiopia so people can get better."
It is really, really neat (and extremely convicting) to see such a tender heart in my four year old daughter. I told Anna that yes, we really should put together a care package that we could send to Ethiopia.
Honestly I feel so conflicted about the orphan crisis sometimes. I feel so far removed from the adoption process, the terribly urgent needs of so many around the world. Yes I have two sons from one of the poorest countries on the planet, with a tragic background and who met American soil with nothing but their names and the clothes on their backs. But all of that seems so far away, and distant.
Thursday night we went out for Ethiopian food, to our little hole-in-the-wall restaurant here that we like to go to. (You know the food must be good if actual Ethiopians are eating and hanging out there!) The place is small, and you sit at an actual mesob, and there's Ethiopian music playing and pictures of Ethiopia on the walls. It smells like berbere and the injera is good and sour. We ate our shiro and tibbs wot and drank our honey wine and I felt like some small part of me was "home"...something that I don't feel every day, or every week, or even every month. But for those sixty plus minutes, I felt like some part of me that had been lost, was found, and I remembered the joy, and grief, and helplessness, and urgency that I felt in Ethiopia, and that I felt for so long after returning home. But that I don't feel as tangibly anymore.
I remembered that Ethiopia is real. My sons' birthmom and her HIV are real. Poverty is real. And the millions of orphans left behind are real. May God show our family how to respond.
I have two prayers this Mother's Day: first, for my own sons' birthmother, and second, that we all might find a way to help the world's orphans. No, not everyone is called to adopt a child, but each and every one of us can help. And perhaps we owe it to these children, and ourselves, to ask the tough questions, and consider whether we might have a place in our hearts and homes for a child in need.
Posted by Brianna Heldt at 4:33 PM