Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Saet Lidjyae- "My daughter" Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn at Mudcats Stadium, NC

Originally uploaded by Heather Ababa.

Saet lidjyae means "my daughter" in Amharic. Now, my firstborn child, Kaitlyn is American, but in an attempt to cram as much Amharic into our minds as possible, I refer to her as my saet lidj and I am emaiyae (mommy). What can I say about her? Kaitlyn is the most beautiful, intelligent, wonderful little girl you could ever meet. When I tell her that though, she says, "Mooommmmyyyy. You can't say that. I'm your most beautiful peach daughter and ***** is your most beautiful brown daughter!"

In the winter when her hair is darker, I'm sometimes asked what ethnicity she is. My husband has a little bit of Catawba Indian (Native American tribe located near Charlotte, NC) in his ancestry. The genes must be dominant though, because last year when we went to visit the Catawba reservation, the similarities between Avery and Kaitlyn and the other people was uncanny. Some of the older Catawbas on the reservation would approach us and tell us what family Avery and Kaitlyn looked like. I've never seen so many little "Kaitlyns" in my life! I constantly am stopped and told how beautiful and unique she is, but on the Catawba reservation, she was just one of the girls!

Kaitlyn lives in this fantasy that even though she gets irritated with her little brother, Lucas, that she will never fight with her new sister when she comes home. I think the logic is that because they're both girls they won't fight?! That's insane to me though because Kaitlyn can't even get along with her girl friends for an entire day! Oh well, who of us doesn't live in a preconceived fantasy world at least part of the time???

Recently, my best friend found out that she is pregnant. I told Kaitlyn that my friend was going to be having a new baby soon. Kaitlyn's reply was, "Oh! Is Stephanie adopting a baby?" Sweet little thing. When strangers find out that I'm adopting two kids, they often ask in reference to Kaitlyn and Lucas, "Are these ones your own?" My response is, "All four of my kids are my own." Kaitlyn really understands that she was born in my belly, her sister was born in my heart, but that I love them both beyond any comparison. She was 4 when we started this adoption process. We asked her how she would feel about having a sister who was dark brown (Kaitlyn describes a person's race based strictly on which crayola crayon best matches their skin!). She gave it some genuine thought, then replied, "That's okay. It does not matter to me." If only adults could see the world through her eyes!


Bek said...

Hi there...I came here from your husbands blog...

Your kids are very beautiful. Those eyes!!! I have a little white haired daughter as well, and a "brown" son (my daughter get so mad when people call him black...and her white ... she likes to tell me that she is "white-ish, brown-ish, pink-ish"). It is fun to get YOUR side of the story as well. :-)

Speaking of Crayola. Did you see that they sell a package of markers and crayons now called "skin" or something like that. It has everyshade of white, tan, brown, etc. YOu can finally pick the shade that matches you..... it's about time.

I loved the Ethiopia dolls you made. I think we are getting a boy, but if it ends up being a girl I will be giving you a call. I look forward to reading more...

Niki said...

Um . . . I thought I was your best friend . . .