One Year as Us

January 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm 8 comments

It was Monday morning, January 26, 2009, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Just an hour or so before we met the other families from our agency who were meeting their children on this same day.  None of us had slept the night before, anticipating what was to come, our last nights as the families that we had been, the eve of the families we were becoming.  The clock ticked past the time our children were supposed to arrive and closer and closer to our futures, futures we had probably imagined a million times, futures we had no idea of, really.  I ran upstairs to our room for something – now, I can’t remember what – and in that one minute, the van with our children arrived and they all unloaded into our courtyard.  Running back down the stairs, I crossed the doorway into the common area. 

“They are here,”  BF told me.  Even now, I tear at this memory:  I am standing in this common area, not yet at the door.  This is the last moment of never having laid eyes on my son, one more step and I will know his face for the rest of time. 

I moved towards the doorway and my eyes darted over the older children, each one a picture of sweetness, of shyness, of hope.  And then, there, in the middle of the courtyard was a nanny that I recognized from photographs and a baby boy who was our son.  I stopped, paused on that doorframe, suddenly struck by the metaphor of crossing this threshold: our baby boy so beautiful, so healthy, so joyful, just steps away from me, and I on the precipe of hoping I could be the mother he deserved.  I made my way towards him, towards his nanny, and in Amharic that I had practiced for days, I told her how healthy he was, how strong he was, how thankful we were for all the care she had given him.  We knew how small he had been when he was brought to the care house; it was evident how much she had done to make him thrive.  To meet us, she had put him in pajamas we had sent two months before.   I cried.  I marveled.  I reached my fingers out to him.  And that baby boy, magnetic, charismatic, magic even then, reached right back.     

That is it, isn’t it?  The magic of how families form– whether they are biological or adoptive or married into or assumed over time.  We make gestures, we extend, we reach, and, in the space between feeling and knowing, someone reaches back and a finger, a palm, pressed lips, something, becomes a life line, the umbilical cord of sustenance, making the union complete. 


Entry filed under: Life at Home. Tags: , , , , .

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer Kramer  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Happy one year. Crying tears of joy for you. What an amazing moment it is when a family is formed. I am so blessed to know you and BF and to have our paths cross.

  • 2. Jillian  |  January 28, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Beautiful! I needed this today :)

  • 3. Liz  |  January 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    The is the most adorable chubby little hand I’ve ever seen. Congratulations on your first year as a family, and best wishes for many more.

  • 4. Holly  |  January 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm


  • 5. Jenny  |  January 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Rosie, this is so beautiful. Congratulations to you all!

  • 6. jennifer Fowler  |  January 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    tears to my eyes, so happy for you three!

  • 7. Camille  |  January 30, 2010 at 1:01 am

    I got chills reading your beautiful story! Thank you for sharing…

  • 8. suezette  |  February 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Ayyyye woman…you get me all choked up!!!! Seriously! Love you all and congrats on the 1st year of family!!!


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