Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"Maren, were not in Sodo anymore"


as we drove into our neighborhood with the boys for the first time I said, "Maren this is America" because that is what they are told- you are going to America! and he said, "Sodo." just like that- "Sodo" he said it again- Sodo is the town where he was born. So I said, "Maren- we're not in Sodo anymore" knowing that the reference to Oz was lost on all but a few in the car. Since Maren's Arrival to 2341 Alton Street- he has been outside basically leading the neighborhood children in a lively parade...pushing a stroller with a stuffed beagle in it, trying the scooter, stealing the soccer balls and putting them in the stroller- and teaching the kids all of his favorite words...we now use many Amharic words to communicate- because of staying at the guest house and having translators everywhere- we know much of his most commonly used words- we always say the Amharic word and the English of his favorite things to do is recite the names of the other children and the caregivers in the orphanage- its almost like he is trying to make sure he remembers them all...he will often start chanting over an over to himself- sometimes intelligible words or phrases and sometimes they are words we know- one of our favorites is "Ebeneezerebeneezerebenneezer" a friend from his orphanage who will go home with his family soon. He was doing it tonight listing the names and then gets stuck on Ebneezer- he says it really really fast- its adorable- Shelley- I need pictures of him for Maren! :)

The plane ride went fairly well- a few meltdowns that were short lived- but would cause a panic among the flight attendants- his cries are loud and pretty painful to hear---but he really did well.

Yabsera seemed to enjoy the trip- until we got home when he just crashed from all of the attention.

We arrived to an airport full of children- our children and the children of the three families who have been watching our kids- its was the best thing for our kids to be greeted by this enormous gaggle of kids 12 in all. Then we came home and found that members of our church had come into our house and cleaned and organized and put together the baby stuff- you see we had the new high chair and pack and play etc- but all was still sitting in boxes in the garage...and we starting painting last fall- the living room- but never finished- our pastor came in and found the paint and finished this- I think in finding the paint saw our garage and so the VBS staff who is working hard with kids all morning and prepping all evening came and cleaned the garage and the basement and got everything ready- these are college students from North Carolina- we have never met these people- but will tomorrow when I bring the kids to to come home to such a welcome surprise was so nice- we had my favorite dessert waiting in the fridge and food glorious food from several friends and even a woman I have never met! :)

You all know my family lives far- but they were hear in spirit- Maren's first cell phone call "hello Poppa Hello...I love you!" He later talked to Grandma (Doris) and Aunt Jill- and hopefully tomorrow we can reach Marilyn the unreachable! :)

Maren is just in heaven with all of these kids and this huge courtyard to play in- and he has never seen so many stuffed animals and kept appearing with new ones stolen from Cal or Phoebe's beds...he likes Frogs...and is scared of snakes- we gave a way a book we had with us because there was a snake on one page and when you got to the snake he would scream and shut the book so fast you had to watch out for your fingers.

keep him and yabsera in your prayers- we are so thankful we had the "family" at the guesthouse- they were really our midwives in all of this and I feel that I got the homebirth after all- I feel that even though I was not allowed in their foster home- I had this wonderful group of people who really carried us through this process- they taught us what Maren's common phrases in amharic were and helped Maren and Yabsera to know and trust and love us...the people that God put in place for this journey for us to ease our "labor" were all incredible and there is no way to repay them- but they all feel that just knowing that these two little guys will grow up with us and not on the streets of Sodo is thanks enough for them. And we were able to meet and talk with many of the staff who knew and loved the boys- we had a tearful goodbye (at the guest house) and they shared a lot with us about how these guys affected their lives. I tried to explain that what they do with the kids for the short time they have them here in Ethiopia in CWA's care- has lifetime effects and how important their work is. I think they really got that.

We will visit the doctor on Friday and start the tune up- they both have medical issues that need to be addressed- nothing unexpected- the usual suspects- and one extra finger which is freaking out some kids and fascinating others- we will have to part with that! Mark asked me while in Addis is there was such things as a "finger fairy"- his horrible sense of humor is still intact after this long trip.

Glad to be back in Kansas.


owlhaven said...

Congrats on getting your precious kids home. I've loved reading your stories.

I would love, love love to have copies of any pictures of Sodo that you have. My daughters are from Sodo, and we did not travel outside of Addis, so I don't have anything in photos from there.

email me at owlhaven at aol dot com
no hurry, but maybe when you get time you could upload to snapfish and I could make copies..?

Mary, mom to many, including 2 Sodo girls.

shelley said...

WELCOME HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will email you pictures of ebenezer! :)

Chris Ewing said...

What a great detailed account. Would love to hear more in due time. Rest, rest and rest some more!

Congrats and Happy Day!

Welcome Home!

Anne said...

It's wonderful to hear that you're all home safe and sound from your amazing trip. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences -- hope to read more soon!

Anonymous said...

The resident "pastry chef" would like to know what the dessert was for future reference.