Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Honshe

The bunny rabbit is asleep. The Papa is off to the drug store to fetch her giardia prescription. The cats are sunning on the back stoop and Tulip is asleep at the foot of Ava's crib. Grandma Dog is making tortellini soup. (And the night before it was chicken cacciatore, and the night before tilapia, and the night before spaghetti and MEATBALLS. And every meal comes with chilled water and wine and a salad and folded napkins. I sit there and shove food in my mouth and drool and fall asleep in my plate and when I wake up the table is clear. I love this woman.)

Well, we're back but the world is different. That's all I have to say for now. We've seen so much. Meeting our daughter was one thing—overwhelming, happy, scary, heartbreaking, heartmaking, easy, hard. But that was all part of our lucky little life. The bigger part of the trip was meeting Ethiopia, and hearing and seeing and holding and saying goodbye to the children in the government orphanages. That was world-cracking. 


Meeting Ava's uncle Honshe. That was a real whammy of beauty and pain. As soon as we pulled up he ran out to her, murmuring her name. He was handsome and elegant and calm. We sat for an hour with the social worker and two translators (from Sidamo to Amharic to English). We found out how her parents met and that she is beautiful like her mother and funny like her Dad. Honshe is a farmer and he spoke a few words about that life. He and his wife have five children, plus Ava's four older siblings. His great wish, if God wills it, is for his niece to be well-educated, to grow up and be a famous doctor. His great wish, if God wills it, is that we will come back to Ethiopia so she can meet her siblings. 

Tim promised him that the next time we all meet he will be proud of the girl she has grown into. I promised him that we will love her always and infinitely, and that we will love and honor her Ethiopian family. I like to think he seemed relieved to have met us. By the end I dare say we were all relaxed a little and having a laugh here and there. Ava fell asleep in his arms and so we moved into the waiting room so she could finish her nap. Honse pulled a side of his blazer over her head so she would not be cold. My chair broke and I splatted to the floor and we all laughed some more, even the beautiful and sad young girl who was waiting to meet her son's new parents. Oh dammit, I'm always crying now.






24 comments:

msl said...

Welcome Home beautiful Ava!!!

You're so right, meeting the children at the orphanages, meeting with the birth family - bittersweet and beautiful wrapped up so tightly together. Can't wait to read about the rest of your trip.

(Also keeping my fingers crossed for you that the first round of giardia medication works!)

los cazadores said...

Velsey!

Beautiful Ava is home. You are home. Your trip sounds incredible. How was Ethio Air?

Cindy

Calmil2 said...

Oh geez...I'm crying too...Welcome home.

Julia said...

Accck, me too - especially at the thought of Ava coming back to meet her siblings as Dr. Ava. Something about the hopes and dreams of a farmer...

I'm sure it has nothing to do with the thought of meeting Little Bit's aunt next week.

ps - you have to change your "about me" to include the Ava puppy in your pack.

Evelyn said...

IN-CRE-DI-BLE. Thanks for sharing this!

SOUCYQ said...

Happy Belated Mother's Day and Upcoming Father's Day! Your story sounds so much like Zenash's. We too met her Uncle who was from the Sidamo region and we had to have a translator. She too has four siblings that are staying with her Uncle's four children. Maybe one day they can meet. :D Welcome Home!

Julie said...

Wow. Just wow. Thank you for sharing this man, her uncle, with us.

filoli said...

I feel...I feel the way you look in that last picture...or at least a fraction of it...if God wills it.

if God will it

namaste

courtney rose said...

That last picture made me cry right out loud. Right out loud.

HeidiD in CT said...

Welcome home (thru my tears) :)

Christine said...

You in that last photo. You kill me, girl, and I'm crying, too. I love that you said "heartmaking" and "world-cracking." In one paragraph. I want to hear anything you have to share because it means a lot. I'm so glad we got to see Ava's uncle.

Christine

Meagan Brown said...

I've been obsessively checking your blog these past few days and was thrilled to see a new post which quickly became a blur through my crying eyes. I am SO glad you're home and can't wait to meet your sweet little girl! Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your time with the uncle. A memory worth all the riches in the world.

Julia said...

Back again, vodka in hand (or belly, or both) celebrating the most excellent of causes, that of families, at last, united. I am not ashamed of my tears.

Cry all you want, we'll make more.

Julie said...

I just came back to look at that last picture again. It is a really intense picture. There is so, so much going on in it.

Little Ethiopia(n) said...

wow. what an amazing post. What amazing pictures. Does Miz Ava look like Uncle Honse? Cause he is a BEAUTIFUL man...and it sounds like that's not just surface beauty. So glad you are home!

Hey--thanks for the sweet comment on our referral post--it does make me feel better. And fret not about the photos, we've actually been lucky and someone has already sent us some. But be prepared, cause on some phone number of yours (attained by forcing Julie L-O to give it to me) I left a LONG rambley message on the off chance that you could hear it in ET or a relative in TX heard it and could relay the message. what can I say, it was a chance. :-)

SOOOO glad ya'll are home..can't wait to hear/see more! xoxo-kat
ps-we need to be FB friends!

Tracy said...

Wow. What a story.

You've got me crying right along with you. Welcome home!

Stacie said...

Ah! I'm crying too! What powerful images!! Welcome home to all of you - especially your sweet baby girl.

Renee said...

HI! We made it home and I MISS you guys! Kidus has become suddenly attached to me (literally) so I haven't really been able to do much of anything. We're headed to the drs. this afternoon and will hopefully see what we can do about the puking and stinky poopy! We had so much fun at Bejoe and looking forward to keeping in touch for a long time!
Much Love,
Renee
wewillbringthemhome@gmail.com

Jen said...

It is way too early to start the day off crying, yet I am. Her uncle is beautiful. I love the picture of him using his blazer to cover her head. I love the dreams that he has for her.

Welcome home sweet Ava!

Doo said...

Beautiful post Momma-dog! Sounds like Tulip is in love with Miss Ava already!? give Ava kisses from us and kidus!

Sarah Saffian said...

Ohhhh... So beautiful. Mazeltov!

Ted and Lori said...

I'm so glad you made the sad mother laugh by falling on your ass, so so glad. I have no other words. Incredible post.

filoli said...

This is just such an important post. I keep coming back - it is just...well to use your words "world-cracking." Oh, and I agree with Lori thank goodness your chair broke and you brought levity with gravity...

Erica said...

Absolutely amazing post. Your daughter is gorgeous.