Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday we spent time with the kids at the guest house. There was an injera cooking demonstration...

And a cooking class...

Remember my bracelet? This bracelet had been pulled and tugged by kid after kid at home in Los Angeles. It never broke. Meazi saw it and immediately plucked it from my wrist. She knew it belonged to her. Recognize her outfit?

While the kids napped, I went to AHOPE.

When I came back, it was time for the goodbye coffee ceremony. All of the other families were flying home on ET air and leaving that evening. We weren't leaving until Friday.

Later, back in our room, we saw a glimpse of what Meazi's personality was like...

Her mood changed quite a bit. She became scared again, so scared in fact that we called the social worker on call. It was Roza. I had fallen apart by this time too. I skipped the exit interviews each family was asked to do. Kiddos finally fell asleep. Roza came by the next morning.

I am leaving some things out. Some intentionally, and some because I just don't remember. I know we went shopping during our stay in Ethiopia, but I don't remember what days we went. If you are going, we found the most beautiful things at the Leprosy hospital shop. (Heidi just wrote about the place on her blog).

It is late and I am trying to think of something significant to say about this day we had in Ethiopia, but my mind is clouded . Today, the 2010 Wednesday, has been a tough day for Meazi. I am continually amazed at how anniversaries throw my children for a major loop. Meazi wore that care package outfit all day and night yesterday. She hasn't worn it in months. She is talking a lot. She seems very anxious. So, nothing profound to say about our last full day at the guest house. We continue to deal with all of it. In some ways I feel we haven't helped her at all.


  1. oh julie, you have. you have to know you have. you have listened and held and laughed and cried together. you have been a safe place for scary emotions, a safety net for the free fall of grief and terror. you are a great mama because of your willingness to bear the pain with her and your committment to walking the path their healing will take hand in hand. chin up, mama. you are doing a great job.

  2. The difficulty, joy and concern is palpable from reading this.

    It just makes your head swirl like a twister.

    I love Meazi's laugh full of high-pitched childish thrill and Melese's legs so so chunky with love.


  3. We had a tough day yesterday, too. I don't know if it was related to an anniversary of some sort, but it was so, so tough.

    Maezi's voice and laugh is pretty much the only antidepressant needed for the day. Thank you.

  4. Oh, Julie! This brought a lump to my throat.I don't know what to say but sending love from afar.

  5. you have helped her. and me. and a lot of us. you have helped her. you're her momma. love to you.


  6. Oh, oh, oh . . .

    I don’t comment much, but had to return to this post hours after having read it because your words are still running through my head . . . “in some ways I feel we haven’t helped her at all” and I think, how? In what ways could it be different or better or changed at all? I don’t know what you meant by that phrase, but it struck me as so sad. Life is never easy and sometimes it is downright crap, but even through the blogosphere, I can see that the sparkly little girl of yours is no longer the lost soul you brought home one year ago.

    Today I had to give two families bad news about their children. It was a bad day. During my difficult conversations, I could feel these two families pulling and twisting away from me in their confusion and denial. I SO wanted to disengage from them at those moments. It is hard (and exhausting) to be present with someone who is feeling so much fear and sadness and I really don’t know if I did a good job. I probably didn’t. But, I also know that the biggest force of resistance comes just before the point of change and that I if I can stick with my families, they will get through this and move forward. In a few months they will probably even be asking what took so long and why I didn’t push them . . . as if there was something I could have done to magically move their acceptance and decision processes along. But that’s the thing about processes, you can’t move from A to C without passing B even if you don’t know it till you get there. And point B sucks! But point B also means change and growth and I know that, as long as we move through point B (and don’t stay stuck at A or try fancy maneuvers to hop over to C), things will get better. So tomorrow, I will take a deep breath and go back and face the icky stuff again and again (and hope that point C gets here soon).

    Wishing you lots of hope.

  7. In some ways no but in more ways than you or I can count matters. keep up the painful, wonderful, hard work.