Monday, April 25, 2011

A little bit of Ethiopia in our hometown :)

Alyssa, our oldest daughter, shares her Kindergarten class with a sweet boy named Caleb, who happens to be from Ethiopia. There are actually 2 Caleb's from Ethiopia in her class. How cool is that?! Anyway, at all the little class parties and birthdays, I have gotten acquainted with Caleb's mom, Ginet. Of course I pursued her and asked her questions about Ethiopia and talked with her about our adoption and she invited us over to her house for dinner Easter Sunday night. When we pulled up to their house, cars lined the side of the road. We had no idea we were joining a BIG family Easter celebration, and also had no idea how much of a treat we were in for either. Have you ever walked into a place and you didn't know anyone, and everyone was staring at you, and it just felt completely awkward? Well, it wasn't like that at all. I think we learned a few things about hospitality and how to make a person feel welcome, accepted and loved while visiting with these amazing people. From the moment we walked in the door, we were greeted with big smiles and handshakes from everyone adorned in their beautiful traditional Ethiopian clothing. We were served Doro Wott, Minchet Abish, Tibs, Kitfo, cabbage, greens, injera, of course, home made bread, cheese, and cake. To say we were miserably stuffed would be an understatement. It was an Ethiopian feast, and it was all so delicious. Once we couldn't eat another bite, they turned on the traditional Ethiopian music and we got to witness a little dancing outside. It was so great!

The beautiful ladies doing their little shoulder shaking dance :)

It was really awesome to watch our girls join in on the fun and dancing. From the moment we arrived, Alyssa and Aubrey made themselves right at home.

There was a little soccer playing.

And Aaron's highlight of the evening was chatting it up with the men on the back porch. To say he loved it, wouldn't be enough. They talked to Aaron about his farming and thought it was wonderful that he was a farmer; talked to him about their homeland and coffee farming there; and of course about our son. You could definitely sense the pride they all carried for Ethiopia, and they were excited and honored that God had given us a love for their culture. They were eager to share it with us, and were all very supportive and happy for our adoption.
One of my highlights of the evening was when all the men came in, and each one came up to me and shook my hand and told me that my husband was a great man and how happy it has made them to be able to sit and talk with him. Their sincerity and graciousness was so refreshing.

As the evening went on, I couldn't quit smiling. I was just thinking how good God was and how He orchestrated every little detail of this adoption. Even down to putting Alyssa in the same class as Caleb and giving us connections to local Ethiopian people. Our intentions all along have been to teach our son about his culture, and keep that alive for him. We want him to know where he was born and to always be proud of that. I smile knowing that is God's heart as well.
There is just something there. Aaron and I share the same feeling together. It can only be explained as something God put there. It's a new passion that He planted within our hearts for obvious reasons. He gave us His heart for them. He couldn't trust us to be parents to one of His Ethiopian children if we didn't respect and love and understand their culture. It's just a beautiful thing. We are so excited and honored that God called us on this great adventure. We still have much to learn and look forward to reconnecting and soaking in more.

Alyssa with Caleb and some new friends

And as I said before, our children had no trouble at all making themselves at home. Aubrey even decided she would join the littles for a bath :) Greatness!


patti said...

Stacy, this is so amazing. I am all teary eyed reading this. Emotion just welled up in me!

First of all, your description of the evening , I just felt I was there with you. And secondly, God is so good to introduce you to such amazing people. The description of Aaron and the men encouraging him was overwhelming to me!

Wow! I am so excited for yall!!

Scarlett Martin said...

How cool! God is good! Glad you got to have such a special evening:)

The Bauman Family said...

Loved reading the post. Thank you for sharing with us!

Meliski said...

I am so excited to read this. It sounds like the hospitality we experienced in Ethiopia is still practiced in the wonderful people who now live stateside. How wonderful. Your little man sure has a lot of people waiting to love on him!