I am taking a break from recapping to share a little bit of what's been happening since I got home.
The transition has actually been harder than I thought. I found myself in a sort of funk after getting home. Missing those I left behind...feeling like I finished reading a really good book, hoping there's a sequel, but not finding it.
I posted on FB that I was having a hard time getting my head back into the real world and someone posted that perhaps I was having a hard time getting my head OUT of the real world.
I think maybe that's the issue. It doesn't really help that I didn't actually get home to my own house until Sunday afternoon, then got to work on Monday, N's fallen off the deep end in behavior again and life has just ground on ahead as I try to digest all that I witnessed.
My mind keeps taking me back to the morning that I woke up in Addis to the sound of the bus horns, opened the door of my room to breathe in deeply the smells that are only Addis. I gazed across the tops of the buildings to the outline of the mountains shrouded in smog and haze and thought to myself "I LOVE this Country!"
I think back to walking in the leper colony, a child holding each hand and several others surrounding us...singing the ABC song at the tops of our lungs.
The serious young man that did not want me to take his picture, caught in that place between boyhood and manhood, probably seeing more in his short life than I ever will...
I think of my new friend M. (I haven’t written about him yet) He’s 10 and living in Adama waiting for his family from the US to come get him. I can’t tell you what a blessing he will be to his new family. I praise Jesus that he’s going to a home that will love him dearly, even though a piece of me grieves that he will not be mine to love forever.
I remember J, in the Mercy Development center. Sitting on her bed looking at the pictures she had saved and loved. The joy she took in showing me her ‘family’. The questions she asked me about what it was like to be in a family again… wondering about life in the US. Talking to me about her frustration in knowing that she was working towards a job but that in Addis the pay was still not really enough to live on.
I think of Y. She speaks the best English in the compound. She shared with me that she loved music, she liked to listen to her music because it brought back memories…she even liked the bad ones because they are part of who she is.
I think about looking into the eyes of a 1 month old baby girl, abandoned by the side of the road and thinking what a gift she will be to the parents who will get to adopt her, and wondering at the pain the birth mother must be feeling. Musing at the circumstances that make a mother leave such a tiny creature where she was sure to be found…yet not being able to properly relinquish her. I feel no condemnation, only sadness.
I remember the children of Gutumuhma that had no shoes, some had no pants, some no clothing at all…flies on their mucus covered noses… and still the most beautiful children I have seen.
My head is filled with these images. Some I can share with you and some that are only etched in my memory.
God touched my heart in ways I never imagined. I knew He would. I was actually a bit fearful of it before I left. Wondering how He would break my heart.
Now I go to my knees in prayer asking Him what He wants me to do with it…….