Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ethiopian Christmas

A few weeks ago our family had the joy of attending an Ethiopian Christmas celebration hosted by a local Ethiopian church.  That's Kaitlyn, after her hair was braided, with one of the church members.

I cannot begin to describe how precious, touching, and amazing this event was.  The church is wanting to reach out to adoptive families with Ethiopian kiddos, to bridge that gap.  We were so humbled by the fabulous day they planned for all of us.

There were lots of games, there was hair braiding, there was an INCREDIBLE feast of Ethiopian food cooked right on site, plus the traditional coffee ceremony, and many kind words and smiles.  I have no words to describe the dear hearts of these precious and generous people.

Our kids of course had a blast.  We hadn't had Ethiopian food in way too long and they (and we!) ate a TON.  Especially Mary Lu, who was literally gobbling it up.  They loved the games, and our girls LOVED having their hair braided.

Part of our motivation in moving to Denver was to be in a place with a sizable Ethiopian population.  I want my sons' birth culture to be an accessible, normalized part of their lives, not something we have to bend over backwards to include to the point where it never feels comfortable.  (Note that the plates are all cleared away, but Mary STILL appears to be eating.  Ha!)

And oh how we have been blessed beyond any of our expectations.  Incredibly, our boys have SIX Ethiopian children (including them) in their Kindergarten class (!), Ethiopian food is a regular part of our diet, and we are blessed to be hopefully making some friends in the Ethiopian community.  Not to mention the many friends our kids have who have also been adopted from Ethiopia.  So yes, it is seeming quite normal, and natural, and I love it. 

The church said they are wanting to make this an annual tradition.  We will definitely be there, and I look forward to building some relationships in the years to come!

***There appear to be, uh, NO photos of Yosef from this event.  Sad!  You can, however, see a small glimpse of him in the photo of the kids playing the Ethiopian version of Duck, Duck, Goose.  He has on a grey sweatshirt.  And next year I'll make sure to do a better job of photographing my Ethiopian kids at the Ethiopian party.  Total mom-fail!


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