Lately D has been talking a lot about Burji. Mostly it's minor variations on the basic story of his life: "When I was little I lived there. Now I live here." We also talk a lot about how "I have two families." He's pretty proud of how much family he has. He often asks me what time it is in Burji and what his family is doing, and I tell him they're making lunch, or bringing the cows in, or getting ready for bed.
A couple of months ago we
started looking at more pictures from Burji and last week we watched
part of the video of us meeting his family. I was thrilled that when he
asked me, "Was I born when the sun was up or when the sun was down?" we
could go back to the video and find the answer.
Any time D and I look at new pictures or discuss anything new,
I make sure to catch A up when he comes home from school. A doesn't
talk about Burji as much, but he's more likely to offer new thoughts. He
sometimes tells me when things here remind him of Burji or how things here are
different from Burji.
I always try to stress how much both their families love them and how proud of them we both are.
We made another phone call to the neighbor in Burji to
report that A started school. This time we told the boys ahead of time
that we would call, with great excitement and talk of how excited their
family would be to hear the news. They did not want to participate, but
were definitely interested.
We sent a photo album to a
family who will travel to Ethiopia soon, to deliver to our agency who
will eventually deliver it to Awassa, six hours away from Burji, where
it will await someone from the village to come and get it.
all feels very positive, though I think the reason behind that is not
great: they're forgetting. When they first came, most things related to
Ethiopia really stressed them out. Now Ethiopia is getting more
abstract. They've lost their Amharic and I think their Burjinya too. At
the same time, they're starting to enjoy the Ethiopian church more.
They're fine looking at pictures of their family. They like reading
books about Ethiopia and Africa. Because it's becoming distant and
disconnected. I don't know how to change that, or if it's inevitable.
Should we be trying to call more often? Should I give them stronger
encouragement to talk on the phone? How do we do that if they no longer
share a language with their family? I'm interested to hear what other
families are doing to have a more "open" adoption.