Friday, September 11, 2009

Melkam Enkutatash

The kids got home from school today and I greeted them with "Melkam Enkutatash!" Luckily I pronounced it correctly and they knew what I was talking about! They were surprised that I knew about the Ethiopian New Year. I asked them what they did on Enkutatash and they said something to do with yellow flowers and a coffee ceremony. One of the twins said they eat doro (chicken) on Enkutatash, but the other two said no, they don't eat chicken on Enkutatash. They showed me how the kids wore drums around their necks and the girls wore dresses. I think maybe there was an exchange of coins or food.

I told them that we celebrate New Year's Day on January 1st. They asked what we do on that day. I went to the pantry and showed them black eyed peas. They said they eat them, too. They asked me, "What else?" I told them no school, no work and usually football on T.V. and good food.

I asked the kids what year it is in America and they answered 2009. I asked them if they knew what year it was now in Ethiopia. They again answered 2009, but I said, "No, do you remember what year it is?" They looked puzzled. I reminded them it was 2001 and today it is 2002 in Ethiopia. They gave me an ah-ha look as they remembered from Ethiopia!

Melkam Enkutatash!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Turning the Corner to Feel a Fresh, New Breeze in the Air

Life is happening around our house. Some good, some rotten, some fantastic and some very, very normal stuff. Some days have been more difficult than I thought I could handle. Others have been filled with beautiful smiles and sweet sharings.

I really feel like we have turned a corner this week... one for the better. There has been an easier spirit around the house, smiles appear without guarded hesitation and laughter has been deeper and richer than ever before. One of our sweet Ethiopian children has struggled with their emotions and had lots of anger, sometimes raging, and major defiance. Understandable. A child. A hurting child. Sometimes a very confused child. (I have to admit it is very difficult to remember all this in the heat of the battle, I mean moment!) We watched as this sweet one started down a road of anger and discontent on Tuesday, we saw all the signs as the situation began to unravel. And yet they were able to use words and share tears and tell me what they were feeling, moving away from the normal anger response. I stopped what I was doing and we just sat in the grass. This child talked a little, but mostly we just sat together as I rocked this sweet one in my lap. Our child was able to recover and move back into the family happenings with cheerfulness. Amazing! Yes, we have turned a corner. One of our other children was able to talk about personal feelings with more freedom shortly after all this happened. I think they, too, sensed change in the air.

Even as tangible as this feels, I am trying not to set myself up for disappointment if we encounter more tantrums. But this beautiful change feels like a glorious spring day after a long, hard, cold winter. God IS good. God IS faithful. God has provided in so many ways and we thank Him for the good work He has done, is doing and will continue to do in the lives of all our children and in ours.

...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

We have our first post placement visit today. Needless to say, our house doesn't look quite as spotless as it did when we had our homestudy. Funny how seven people in the house changes things!