Friday, October 26, 2012

Two Years in the USA

Two years ago at this time, we were in Dulles International Airport, wandering around, finding our feet again after eighteen hours in flight from Addis Ababa to Washington, D.C. I have a lot of memories of coming home, not all of them good ones. It was hard to leave Ethiopia. So hard. Setting out on the road to adopt Zinashi, I had no idea how grieved I would be to leave Ethiopia behind with one of its littlest citizens, who would become a US citizen instead when we landed in the US. At the same time, it was good to come home. I think that Zinashi felt some relief at being in America at last after hearing for so long that she would be living there. I'm sure she wondered, during that month we spent together in Addis, if we were ever really going on the airplane. She had new confidence in the airport, and we captured that on video:

She was so tiny; all her clothes in that video were 18 month size. Now she wears a 5T and is threatening to outgrow that size at any moment. She was a baby, really, and now she is so big.

Stunning ensemble from Village Thread. You should order your own.

I will never think that my children growing is a bad thing, but I do miss certain things about her baby self. I miss her accent, a combination of Ethiopian accent and childish inability to pronounce certain sounds. But she is a pretty fabulous bigger kid, too, and I wouldn't trade that. I am proud of who she is becoming and the ways she is growing and what she is learning.

lip trick
Like this lip trick! She didn't know that before!

She is still very much herself, the same girl that we brought home two years ago. Still breathtakingly beautiful.

ice cream!

And if I look hard enough, in the morning, in a certain light, she still looks very much like a baby.

sleeping baby (she's still my baby)

I may have mixed feelings until the end of time about bringing her to the United States, and thereby pulling her away from Ethiopia. But I don't have mixed feelings about loving her and mothering her. She is and always will be my first baby, the girl who made me a mother, a joy and a delight, pure magic. No matter where life takes her, she will always be that to me. And I am grateful.


  1. That striding ahead and checking back for you in the video - how beautiful and perfect and wonderful.

  2. I too, remember crying on the plane ride home, grieving for the loss of my children's country. (Or maybe, crying in anticipation of that looooooonnng flight home?) Amazing the growth in just 2 years!

  3. In the love we have for our children, we find divinity. There is no other emotion I have experienced that is as powerful, induces as much gratitude, and such a fierce and self effacing desire for another's joy. Happy anniversary and much joy to you and Zinashi.


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