Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Deep Breath


Today is Ethiopian New Year or Enkutatash which means "Gift of Jewels". This marks the end of Ethiopia's rainy season and the Meskel daisies bloom across the hillsides. Historically, it marks the Queen of Sheba's return to Ethiopia after her visit to King Solomon. Upon her return, her chiefs gave her jewels, or "enku". Meskerem 1st, is equivalent to Spetember 11th on the Gregorian calender. Meskerem is seen as a time of transition from the old year, into the new. It is for Ethiopians, just like our New Year celebration, a time to express hopes and dream for the future.

Well. I've done some serious whining here lately. Sometimes the waiting gets to me, what can I say? I feel like mostly I handle it well, with occasional lapses here and there. And then when I lapse, I feel like I need to record it here for some reason, vomiting up my thoughts for a handful of people to see. But mostly to record this strange ride. And so that my future children understand how we hoped and dreamed of them.
Every time I begin to think of how hard it is to wait, how I want to rush this, make time pass more quickly, I'm quickly assaulted by the humbling fact that what I want to rush for myself, means something very different for our child's first family. As I wait, someone or multiple someones are making a heartbreaking decision. Or already have. I do not want to take away the last moments my child has with their Ethiopian family. I do not want to rush my wait and excitement while others are savoring their last touches. And when I think that maybe our child is already in an orphanage, that maybe the decision has already been made to try to claim a more certain future for a child, then I wonder if Erik and I are tied to this family already, all of missing this child that will forever bind us and our families for generations to come.

We made prayer flags to hang in our backyard several weeks ago. Small, white muslin squares strung on thin rope, hung to wave in the breeze. Ava wrote "PEACE" on one, "HAPPINESS" on another. Eden and Safa drew pictures of flowers and family. And because it is fading in the light of the summer sun, and because I want to be sure it is not forgotten, I will share one of my squares. It is a lofty, perhaps impossible dream, but I maintain it nonetheless: "May our future childrens' first families always know peace. May they forever rest in the knowledge of our enduring dedication to their own and our eternal gratitude."

And so I gently suggest to myself, when selfishness and a fast-forwarding mindset try to settle in me, that I remember what others are losing that I may gain so much.

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

Ashley, this is a beautiful post. Your future children will be so lucky to know how wanted they are and how much thought your current family has put into this adoption.