Monday, February 18, 2013

Good day.

First things first.


I figured her special mothers would do something pretty with her hair but this? Blown away.

Today went SO well! I am so happy about it. I Didn't get a chance to post the prayer requests so y'all must have winged it. You should know your prayers were effective!!

We got to the guest home about 9:30 this morning and the kids were all playing on the lawn. As soon as we got there, Bethie came and gave both me and Walker hugs. I am sure she was told to do this by the nannies, but it was still a wonderful way to start. The last time we came, we brought a stroller for her to play with that was a big hit. On the drive from Austin to Houston I realized that I forgot the stroller so before Walker's dad took us to the airport, I dashed to Target and got the LAST stroller they had. Whew. So when I walked in with it, she remembered instantly and made a beeline for it.

Soon we went inside and they began to feed her a 10:00 oatmeal snack. She was wary of me but did let me feed her a few bites. So much of attachment revolves around eating, because feeding a child is such a parental job.

Needless to say I was thrilled she let me do this. The social worker told me that Bethie only lets a couple of the nannies feed her so she was shocked and happy about it too.

We just stayed in the one big room where she plays. We had brought balloons and bubbles so we took turns with all of them. Addis Ababa is a much higher altitude (contributes to why they have so many Olympic runners - if they can run here, they can run anywhere) which means you get winded just going up stairs and if you try and blow up a balloon? You'll feel insanely drunk for a few seconds. I literally swaggered and almost fell down.  Turns out, in Addis, I am a very cheap date.

The caregivers, who are all so sweet, and probably felt sorry for Mags, who was looking a little FLDS

(I can't do white girl hair) set about to give her a makeover.

Now if they would just come to my house every morning.

At first, Bethie stayed away from us and clung to the ladies. But after about 45 minutes Walker picked her up, and she let him.

Then he cuddled with her, and she let him.

He tried to indoctrinate her into his evil Aggie ways, and she kinda sorta let him but inside she was singing Texas Fight, I could tell.

A few minutes later, Maggie came up to me. I drew her in my lap and rocked her and kissed her a couple of times. Bethie stared at me loving on Maggie, and y'all, it was like a lightbulb went off in her little ringlet covered head.

The caregivers love these kids. They honestly do. Both times we have been here I have been so impressed and so thankful with how nurturing they all to the kids in their charge. They are constantly kissing them, wiping noses, gently disciplining. But they have lots of wild little ones to look after and I doubt there is much time for lingering hugs. It's just not the same as motherlove.

Bethie watched me and Maggie so intently. It was like she was thinking, "Whatever is going on over there, I want me some of it." 

Maggie jumped off my lap. Then I reached out to Bethie, and the same little girl, who last time would not let me hold her, would barely let me touch her, let me pick her up

try not to be distracted by the coolness of me wearing two pairs of glasses on my head
and she sat on my lap

leaned into me, as I held her close


and rocked her, and sang quietly into her ear.

What did I sing? The same song my mom always sang when she rocked me. The same song I sang to all my other babies when I rocked them.

I love you, a bushel and a peck,
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck
A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and heap and I'm talkin' in my sleep about Bethie. 

Yes. It was a good, good day.

Tomorrow morning we will go back to the care center for a coffee ceremony, which is an opportunity for her caregivers to say goodbye. Then she will come with us, forever.

Please pray for her little heart tomorrow. Pray for the Holy Spirit to whisper to her that we are love, forever and ever love.


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