Saturday, September 13, 2008

We're gonna party like it's 2001~

With apologies to the guy who may or may not be Prince now, I'm not sure.

Well, Happy New Year, a few days late! On Thursday, the Ethiopian calendar changed from 2000 to 2001. I think. I'm pretty sure, anyway. So, Happy Enkutatash to everyone.

We have been invited to share in the celebration of the new year with some Ethiopian folks in Yellow Springs. I am not being purposefully vague, I really don't know who they are, aside from the fact that a lot of people in our Ethiopian Adoptive Families group know them and have attended this get-together in the past. I'll have more to say about it after tonight, you may be sure.

In my own little white bread American way, I'm nervous. One of the things the Ethiopians frown upon is our changing the names of Ethiopian-born children to names of our choosing. Kinda hard to know what to think about that, along with what to think about the plethora of other issues that adoption raises. I'm afraid that I waxed a little too strident about it at the dinner table the other night when discussing with the Big Girls what to expect tonight. I still get angry and very sad when I think that David and Keziah might have been able to stay with their family in Ethiopia if it weren't for the scarcity of drugs that we take for granted. David has been on one drug regimen or another pretty much since he came home 3 years ago. Without them, he probably would have developed TB or would have died from his nephrotic syndrome. I have to believe that their Ethiopian family wants the twins to have more than they have materially (at least the access to food, clean water, and medicines that they did not have at home) but I've got to believe that they also miss them. I wish there was some way to connect with them to tell them that the twins are ok.

Ok, that was a tangent. I'm nervous about the fact that, although we retained their Ethiopian names in their American names, and we do in fact call them by the names on occasion to keep them fresh in their minds, that we didn't use them as the first names. I'm afraid we'll catch flack about that. I'm afraid that they won't approve of the way we dress/treat/educate/train/whatever these children from their homelands. I'm afraid we'll do something stupid and not know it (or worse, know it and can do nothing about it). I've got to believe that it will be ok and my interest in celebrating is certainly higher than the sum of my fears or I wouldn't even have brought it up. But I am still afraid.

It should be fun for the twins, though. They get very excited to see people with brown skin, no matter what the ethnicity (or even tan Caucasians for that matter) and there will be a room full of them tonight. There is supposed to be music and probably dancing and lots of yummy food. Oh yeah!

As most people who have read this blog for a while know, I love to cook ethnic foods. I cook Indian food probably about as often as I cook "American" food, whatever that is. But I have never found a really useful Ethiopian cookbook, so my Ethiopian dishes are limited. I am very much looking forward to having some homemade Ethiopian food tonight.

So, that's what's up with us tonight. Last night was also very exciting. After taking forever to finally settle down and while we were attempting to figure out where we had left off in watching John Adams. Dave was settled in on my lap, Kez was on the floor next to my feet and Sarah and Friend Husband were across the room. After blinking on and off a few times, the power completely went off. And stayed off. Man, was it dark. After the first set of blinks, I sat up, ready to grab Keziah because I thought (rightfully so) that she'd freak out once the power went out. I got both twins up on my lap as the lights blinked on and off the last time. After it because apparent that no one else could find the matches and candles, I handed the twins off to Friend Husband and went on the hunt. With Rachel also searching, we finally came up with two sets of matches that would light (one that would not) and lit a bunch of candles in the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, and living room. After talking a little bit (and I will admit that I pointed out that the people in the book on Ethiopia that we'd been reading had no power in their house), we attempted to put everyone to bed. After about an hour, the children were settled down, if not asleep. All five opted to sleep in a makeshift nest in the living room. It was very sweet.

The power finally came back on, then went off, then stayed back on again. I have no idea what caused it to go out (we had some rain last night but nothing big) but it gave us all pause to think about various things. Like that a lot of people around the world aren't on the power grid. That we can't cook without electricity, unless we want to dig the gas camping stove out of the garage. That we are very much wedded to our air conditioning, now that it is installed again. That we like the way the house looks lit only by candles. That life is a lot slower by candlelight. That it is very very dark on a stormy night in late summer.

I'm straying again. But hey, I've managed to blog most of this week. That's a big switch (perhaps good, perhaps not) from previous weeks. I so appreciate your thoughts and comments this week. I'm hoping that next week will be better. If not, it will be much worse. One of the draconian measures in place if Rachel and Abby don't catch up on their schoolwork is that they'll be pulled out of their extension classes, including the drama one. This will not make them at all happy. They don't seem to be working, so I guess we'll see.

And I'm off to make sure that I get my papers graded and try to find some keen clothes to wear tonight. I'm going to shoot for clean, not for massively terrific. I'm sure that I will not shine amongst the beauties we will see tonight.

See y'all next week!

1 comment:

Ohio_Momto3boys said...

I can't wait to hear all about this evening! WOW! How fun!
Try to relax and enjoy yourself. I want to hear all about the food!

When we first started adopting boys of color, I worried that the black community would frown on us for a billion different reasons. You know what? In 5+ years, we have had nothing but support! I had one lady comment on Oz's hair and I knew in that minute, I had a chance to be offended and say something rude OR ask for her advice as a woman of color. I chose the latter (trust me... it's more like me to be RUDE LOL). She was genuinely surprised and made several good and useful recommendations.

Since then, I find myself almost "showing off" my boys whenever we out in public. I don't mean that in a bad way but I mean I try to keep them dressed neatly; I try to keep their hair nice; I let them sing and laugh in public (Ok "let them" is too much... endure them...). Invariably people look at us and we smile right back. I ask all kinds of questions and people seem genuinely interested in helping with my stupidity (skin, hair, nails...). Believe me, pre-adoption, I was always worried about saying the wrong thing or offending somebody; now I just smile, make eye contact and say hello.

I hope the Ethiopians showed you that they are THRILLED with how you love the twins as your own. The fact that you even give a hoot about their culture should give you huge bonus points! They know what the consequences would have been had those babes stayed with their birthfamilies... My boys' birthmoms miss their babies every single day. BUT ... knowing the boys are having a chance at a safe and healthful life seems to make them more sure about their decisions.

You are a GREAT mom, doing GREAT things, one little footprint at a time. I hope you had a wonderful time and came home full of ethiopian breads. I also hope you took TONS of pictures to share!