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Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Category

Julia

Julia, a beautiful writer and beautiful soul who shared her experience as an adoptee eloquently and without judgment, passed away this week at age 25. She had leukemia, needed a bone marrow transplant, but because she didn’t have access to biological family, a match proved to be impossible.

Wishing peace for all those who loved and cared for her.

*Double rainbow photo taken on my deck on the date of Julia’s passing.

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Overheard

I teach Spanish to preschoolers a couple of times a week.  Dawit came with me to class yesterday, and played and read quietly as I conducted class.   I overheard this quiet conversation regarding Dawit between two four-year olds, one from Guatemala (D), one white (E):

D:  Who’s he?

E:  Senora’s son.

D:  He has darker skin than me.

E:  So?

D:  You know, I have lighter skin.

E:  My skin is the lightest.

D:  Yours is the best.

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A perfect match

Mrs. G., Dawit’s Kindergarten teacher, stopped us this morning to tell us about a class discussion.  While learning about Abraham Lincoln, the 5 and 6 year olds talked about slavery.  To demonstrate the idea of owning another human, Mrs. G. took one boy (his mother was in class volunteering) and pretended to pay his mother for him.  Now this boy was the property of the teacher, and she could make him do whatever she wanted.

The kids understood this idea, and talked about the fact that you can’t own people.  You can buy groceries, cars, clothes, but not people.  One little girl added “except if you adopt a baby.  Then you pay money for a kid”

As if the discussion on slavery wasn’t dangerous enough…now Mrs. G is in an adoption minefield.  She explained that adoption is an act of love, not an exchange of money.  That sometimes children need a family to love, and adoption allows that to happen.  It doesn’t have to do with owning or buying anything, it is about love.  The mom volunteering also happens to be an adoptive parent, and she added that sometimes the new parents help pay for diapers and food, or to help some of the children who are still waiting to be adopted.

Dawit raised his hand and said proudly “I am adopted.”  And Mrs. G said “and your parents love you very much” to which Dawit said “I know.”   He participated rather matter-of-factly, as if to demonstrate that what his teacher said was true in his experience.

How did we get so lucky as to have a teacher who was willing to take that on?  It would have been so easy to avoid that topic, or ignore the comment from the little girl.  But she chose to go there, and to be sure Dawit was safe.  It takes a village.

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Center Stage!

In Kindergarten, each student has the opportunity to be on Center Stage for one week.  It’s Dawit’s week!  We made a poster with photos of him with friends and family and pets, the classroom is displaying a full-sized Ethiopian flag, and he brought in a favorite book and music.

Today, his classmates gathered around as he described the photos on his poster.  He included 2 photos of his father in Ethiopia.  I’ve let him take the lead in how much of his story to share, and he was very excited to include his father in the presentation.  I sent a “heads up” email to his teacher and asked her to tune in during his presentation to see if he needed assistance.   This email was put together at 6:00am, after I had been up for 2 hours worrying about it.

The situation is so normal for us.  We talk about Dawit’s family as our family.  When I imagined the room full of 5-year olds asking potentially difficult questions, I wondered how Dawit would handle it.  What if they asked who the guy in the photo is?  And then why isn’t he living with him?  And then where is the rest of his family?   

They did ask, and he did fine.  He told the class his father’s name, and then said “and he’s also my dad”. His attentive and intuitive teacher helped guide the questions,  and Dawit was proud of how well he did.  Me too.  It’s going to take some practice for him to learn to navigate these types of questions and situations.  How much information to share?

On Thursday we are presenting a special snack.  I’m going into the classroom, and we’re going to eat as a class around the mesob.  Dawit has a snack of doro wot and injera planned.  Should be fun!

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The Latest Addition

I spent the morning with the latest addition to the Purple Folder gang.  Her Sweetness has been home from Russia for 3 weeks, but her parents have been waiting for 2 years.  Three trips to St. Petersburg later, she’s finally here.

She adores the pets.  She has an intuition about them, and is sweet and gentle.  Actually, she’s sweet and gentle all the time.  She’s just plain delightful.

We tried on every hat in the house, squealed with glee at each dog and cat sighting, played with the TV remote, and placed many phone calls.  She helped me prepare a red sauce, and wandered around the house to find little things to put into the garbage.  A great helper. Oh, and when the dog barks…she laughs this big laugh…hard to believe it comes out of her. I don’t have her Mama’s permission to show her to you, but here’s a glimpse as she helps Willow make a call:

I’m so glad she’s here!

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The Purple Folder

is in St. Petersburg!  Go check it out!

They are there for a short stay, back in the States for a week and a half, and then back to Russia for the final court process, and Her Sweetness will be on her way mid-November.  It’s been a long, difficult process.

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Picnic

We spent a lovely day in Masschusetts with a couple of families who have adopted from Ethiopia. Actually, it was held at “the other” Dawit’s house. And he pronounces his name DA-wit. Our Dawit is da-WEET. There were several kids there about the same ages as Dawit and Lily–they had a blast. All of these kids have been home for two years now, and Dawit for 1.5 years:

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