I haven't yet posted about any of the issues surrounding international adoption, as I am trying to make this blog a place for friends and family to see the smiling little boy they love. But there are many things that some friends and family (those who are not familiar with international adoption and all of its "issues") don't know or think about; one of them is the life long connection I now have to a country and man half a world away.
Today my heart is very heavy as I am thinking about Ethiopia and its people; especially Marley's birth family. I worry about Mathewos, Marley's birth father a farmer, and how he must be struggling in the midst of one of the worst droughts his country has seen. I worry about how he is managing to care for and feed Marley's two older brothers. I think about Mathewos often, trying to empathize with the hole in his heart created by the many losses he suffered in such a short amount of time. I pray for him daily and include him in the prayers I say with Marley...hoping that hearing Mathewos' name will help keep him close to Marley's heart. I felt joy this morning hoping that upon receiving our first post placement report he will be releived to see how happy and, most importantly, healthy Marley looks (and is) and perhaps he can take some comfort in his most difficult decision.
The picture in this post is of Marley on the day he was admitted into the care center. It is hard to even recognize the smiley, chubby boy I call my son and so easy to see why Mathewos was forced to make an adoption plan. When asked what Mathewos wanted for Marley and his new life, he simply replied, "To live." In another photo (which I decided not to post because I don't know how Marley would feel about it) Mathewos is looking at the picture of Marley that was taken only days before we met him. A picture that shows a healthy, chubbier, smiling boy; this boy made Mathewos cry tears of joy. I like to think that in the photo of Mathewos with Michael and I taken in Hosanna, there is a glimmer of a smile upon Mathewos' face; perhaps some relief in his decision knowing that as difficult as it was, his very selfless act saved the life of his youngest child.
And now, to juxtapose his selfless struggle, I worry that because of this drought Mathewos won't be able to feed his other two boys. I worry that he will again be faced with the most difficult decision of placing his child(ren) for adoption, a last and desperate attempt at saving their lives. I worry, not only for Mathewos and his boys, I worry for Mike and I. I worry because I know we will be the ones contacted if they do come into care. I worry about making the most difficult decision that Mike and I would ever have to make about growing the family we are so content at keeping to a threesome. I worry about how I would live with myself and us if we didn't adopt Marley's brothers; I worry about how we would all live, and how dramatically our lives would change if we did.
As I said, I pray daily for Mathewos, but lately my prayers have included some other sentiments and I don't know if what I am asking for is worthy of prayer. So now I am doing the only thing I know how and that is taking some sort of action, so at least I don't feel completely out of control. In addition to praying and meditating on the health of Marley's birth family, today I wrote not only to all of my friends and family, bit also to my state senators. I told them who I am, a mother of an Ethiopian who still has family alive and struggling in his birth country. I asked them to what they can to ensure that Mathewos won't have to lose his entire family to drought, famine and poverty. If I were able to send Mathewos aid myself, I would, but I can't, so I did the only thing I knew to do. And now I am asking you to do the same.
Please write your senators and urge them to send aid to Ethiopia. Here is the link to the letter template I used, it is from my agency's forum.
And here is the link to find the email address for your senators.
And if you would like to donate to UNICEF's Ethiopia program, you can do so here:
Please take the few minutes it will take to help in getting aid to a country and its people who are forever a part of your life as well; if you are reading this blog, you are a part of Marley's life. And a very large part of Marley needs you to act on his behalf.