Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Yosef at Layla House, 14 mos. old, from Nazret Ethiopia

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.


sarah said...

What a sweet & amazing heart your daughter has, and what a beautiful thing for her to say.

I so wish that Y and B's birth mother could see the loving home that her sons have landed in. She would be so incredibly proud!

Happy Mother's Day - i do love keeping up with your family, and am glad you are back to blogging regularly! :)

shell said...

Oh her little heart is so sweet. SHe sounds like my Hunter. When I told him the people lying on streets had no homes, he got this great look on his face and said "they could sleep here mom! we have room!". Right now he is collecting things in a box to send to Africa, which includes many drawings, toys and his prized soccer trophy. Kids can teach us SO much! THanks for sharing your story.

Joanie said...

Kids just get it. Nothing complicated about helping out, is there? I had no idea about Yosef & Biniam's first mom. The word that keeps coming to mind is courage. She had such courage to make sure her little ones would not be left alone, you and Kevin and Anna had such courage to open your hearts and home to not just one baby, but two, and of course, Yosef and Biniam have courage they don't even know about yet! I would not forget Kaitlyn - it takes a lot of courage to love gnomes!


Joy said...

kids are so pure in some ways--life is simple and they aren't bogged down by the knowledge that comes from growing up. couldn't we all use a dose of that! i always appreciate your thoughts, brianna, i feel they are truly challenging. i agree with one of the above comments about courage being a common theme. i am thankful that God is using your passions to educate, inform and challenge others and thankful that yosef and biniam are part of your family.


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