Monday. The best part of Monday, though Merkato was great fun, was definitely the hour we spent with Yosef and Mihret...But before I go on, I must correct myself. It is not Merkado! I know, this is probably not news to most of my readers! But it was news to me! I have such a hard time hearing certain sounds when an Amharic speaker is talking. But an Amharic friend let me know that it is Merkato, which makes a lot more sense since it is like the Italian word for Market. Anyway...
When we got to the orphanage, I was kind of disappointed to learn that 5:00-6:00 is homework time, as homework is very serious and quiet business. Oh well. Just having the privilege to lay eyes on my kids in real-life was such a blessing. I was pretty impressed with how well Mihret can read Amharic! She recited page after page in her little sing-song whisper. She was having a snack, kolo (it would be like the Ethiopian equivalent to Americans eating sunflower seeds), and I was most honored when she gave me some of her kolo. After I sat next to her for a few minutes, she remembered what I had told her yesterday. She looked up at me with her huge chocolate eyes and whispered with expectation, "Mom- Gum?" I whispered back, "Oaw. Ye muz mastika tefelagialesh?" (Yes, do you want banana gum?) She gave me her adorable smile that is missing a tooth and raised her little eyebrows to say "yes." Such simple moments like these were so priceless to me. I had already checked with the director of the orphanage to make sure the gum was okay, so I handed it out to all of the older kids.
When I went to sit down by Yosef, he had laid out a picture of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. He handed it to me and said, "Gift!" Again, what a priceless gift. I pointed at each person so he could tell me their name. When he got to Joseph and said, "Yosef", in disbelief I asked him if it was a picture of him. He thought that was hilarious. Oops! Better not make him laugh lest he get in trouble for not doing his homework! :)
As the hour drew to a close the kids packed up their homework and went off to play while they waited for supper. But, it was time for us to leave. Once again, I cried as the gate shut behind us. These kids couldn't be anymore mine, and yet legally, they are not. How I long for the day when the government will catch up with my heart!
Yesterday I spent the day with a very dear friend. She is a lady who is nearly 60 and I have learned so much from her friendship these past few years. She's been stuck at home for a couple of months due to a broken leg, so I wanted the day to be special. I took my fancy djebena (coffee pot) along with my pretty new sini (little coffee cups, but I learned this word from Ma'aza and Abeba who are both Tigray and I think this might be a Tigray word, not an Amharic word, but I'm not sure) and together we sipped shai (Ethiopian tea) and caught up with each other, as I haven't seen her since I went to Ethiopia and in this time, she has had a new grandchild born.
Lucas made sandwiches for us for lunch, as he said to me earlier this week, "Mom, I think your New Year Rev-o-luj-an should be that you will let your son cook." So, I've been letting him be the "chef" for lunch. Then he went off to watch a movie in another room. I had brought my guitar with me and together, we began to sing some worship songs and we spent some time praying for Yosef and Mihret, for Ethiopia, for justice to be carried out for these children and also in their situation. Without a faithful God to fall on, I cannot imagine having gone through the past 2 years! And not only is God always there for me, but He has blessed me with some of the most amazing friends to walk this road with me. Truly amazing!
For any who would like to pray, the Ethiopian person who is processing our adoption is supposed to meet on Monday with the government officials who have authority to license our agency, thus enabling our case to go to court so that the kids can come home. We are praying that she will have great favor with this official and that the matter will be cleared up next Monday so that justice can be carried out for these kids and they can have a family restored to them once again. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers!