Friday, June 27, 2008

An Essay

This is an essay I wrote recently. More dramatic than you will usually hear from me, but thought I'd share it here...

Almost Astounding

Having just returned home from Ethiopia, the weight of the experience has been heavy at times and at other times, light and just chalk full of all sorts of mixed emotions that boil down to hope, sadness, longing, and love. While we were there, along with meeting our adopted son for the first time, we visited several of the state run orphanages One institution struck me in particular – an older boys orphanage, where boys who have ‘aged out’ of the adoption system reside. There are young boys living there from the age of 14 and up – some smart, full of life and attending school: trying to turn a desperate situation into something positive and some who have lost hope.

Getahun, a young boy who falls into the optimistic category made a special impression on me, right away upon entering the grounds. He was one of two boys (out of 160) who was in the room they call the library, one of the nicer rooms at the facility with aqua blue walls and a few tables and chairs, studying his books – going against the grain of the day and tackling his schoolwork. As soon as we walked in the door, he approached us and greeted us politely. There was a group of about 8-10 of us Americans there invading his space, and he was kind to us all. He was serene and had such a peaceful spirit; it was almost astounding to see here.

As we walked around the campus, we spoke to Getahun about his aspirations, his dreams, and his knowledge of Ethiopia and the small town of Nazareth, where our son was born. What struck me more than his intelligence, mastery of the English language and kindness, was the deepness of his soul. I could feel the depth of his experience, his past in my core and yet it was a light, almost uplifting feeling that prevailed. This is the heavy/light phenomenon I grew familiar with while I was there.

As our trip to visit the boys grew to a close and we had to say goodbye to our new friends, I noticed Getahun’s shirt and I told him that I ‘liked it.’ Well the truth is I had noticed it right away when we met him – it was a bright, vibrant, turquoise color with some beautiful and colorful embroidery work on it. Quite an uplifting shirt for such a potentially dark situation. It looked so nice on him. So I let him know.

My husband I returned from Ethiopia just over a month ago, with our incredible son and a whole lot of change in perspective. So much about this trip blew us away…not the least of which was this orphanage and these boys – their ability to somehow make us feel hopeful as we stare at their stark circumstances. They gave us so much.

And then the most amazingly intense thing happened. A few days ago, a package arrived in the mail addressed to me from an adoptive family that had traveled after us and visited the boys at the same orphanage. It was sent from Getahun. And it was his shirt.

He gave me the shirt off his back, out of nowhere, so unexpected. I have a hard time putting this experience into words. I only know that it was a beautiful, simple and peaceful thing for him to have done – and that it’s not about the shirt. It's about the gift of friendship, the irony and the small worldness of it all. Getahun’s shirt represents his soul: bright and colorful, rich and glorious, passionate and peaceful, magical and light.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Meeting Abe

Noah and Abe met last week - what fun they had. I also got to meet Abe's mom, Lori, and that was a treat as well - since she had met Noah Arone in Ethiopia, for the 3 of them, it was a reunion. She was so good with the kids, since I had the camera in front of my face most of the time, she played with them and asked Abe where Noah's ears, eyes and nose were (smart little guy, he knew!). Noah was obsessed with Abe and everything he did, and most especially his beautiful curly head of hair. I tried to narrow down the photos to a few, but they were all too cute so I gave up. Enjoy!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Been too long...

and still so little time to I'll just share some photos for now of the last few weeks.

Life is swell. One more week with Noah before heading back to work. Going to try to enjoy every moment. And I'll try to share more pictures of that enjoyment and some more stories that I've been wanting to share this week too. So stay tuned!

Some Photos

Oh, AND believe it or not, of all things, Noah learned the "da" syllable this weekend, just in time for Father's Day. Pretty incredible to pick him up from a nap and walk him in to change his diaper on the eve of Father's Day, only to hear him spouting over and over again "da-da" "da-da" "da-da-da-da"...Anil tries to pretend his heart isn't melting because of it, but I can see the goo-goo-goo. Adorable. I've tried to get video but as you can tell from his photos, he's a little camera shy. So also coming soon, I hope. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Meet the Parents

Finally, my post about meeting Julie and her know, Julie with the 2 snakes, 3 kittens, 2 fish and 2 bunnies that lives in the purple house and has 3 of the most adorable children I've ever met, the youngest of whom she has already made arrangements for to wed our son. And boy, would he be a lucky dude if that actually happens!!

The first slideshow above shows some candids that were taken with my sister's camera including shots of Marlie and Noah's getting to know you sessions where she would point at him and say 'baby Noah' and near the end of our visit, she was comparing their feet which was ADORABLE. Also in this slideshow are a series of photos of Noah laughing himself silly at Marshall, Julie's husband and a fine man, who had him spinning out of control with drool and giggles, hysterical. And of course the always funny faces of Seamus and Haven, to top things off. Such cool cats, those two.

We had a blast with them as usual and Marshall took some incredible shots of Noah and our family - the guy has got skills. If you haven't seen his photography blog, go now. I've included a slideshow below of a few of the pics he took while we were there; but I'm holding off on several of them because we *may* be using them for a card we're creating at the moment to send to family and friends.

Suffice to say, it was quite a treat for Noah to meet his potential future in-laws and potential future bride. Love was in the air, I know that much.