The days on the long road of one families Ethiopian Adoption

This blog started out as a way to record the twists, turns, highs and lows in my families journey to adopt siblings from Ethiopia. Now our children are home and we have just finished celebrating our first year as a family.

I'm Kimberly (or Fendesha), an adventurous person who aspires to be a vagabond- but for now- I spend all of my free time travelling and my down time thinking of travelling. I'm a mom of 3 (the oldest being my gorgeous canine companion), a IT project manager, and on occasion I find myself the primary writer of this blog.

Happy Reading and thank you for stopping by.

Friday, August 8, 2008

stepping back into America- from Ethiopia

I have been home now almost 1 month and day to day life is finally feeling normal again. It is difficult to explain normal unless I explain my wonder at my life as I walked back into it.

When I walked into my house it was as if I had never left. Magazines in the same place, my eye glasses where I left them, even my winter clothes (some dirty) sitting where they had been placed- but inside I felt totally different.

I was amazed at the size of my home- having thought it was small when I left I was shocked by how "large" it was on my return. How open our home is to other peoples homes- there are no gates and there is much more to be aware of to look at with out the gates.

I was surprised by how "kid" ready/friendly my home is. But wait- I don't have kids, It's been months since I considered having children- and yet my home felt sad - ready for children but with no children in it. In fact- there's no one but Geneva and I in it during the day..with Denis joining us in the evenings.

Lonely- after living in a community it is lonely to walk around this big house- find only the dog to chat with- occasionally a husband :-) and then have to alone - get in my car to drive and see somebody after calling them to make arrangements to get together. There are no crowded buses- no one to visit with when you walk around your house- and no children outdoors playing in the neighborhood (even though there are 26 kids on our street and it's the middle of the day). People don't leave their homes unless they are in their cars and they wave as they drive by. Most even drive up to their mailboxes.

It's also amazing how the food here- has little flavor, of course when compared to Ethiopian food, giggle. The texture of our chicken/ meats was strange on my tongue. Our veggies are so pretty - but they taste different too, perhaps it's the wax, their age- I'm not sure. Our fruit-I bought a mango the other day and wanted to gag-it was terrible. The banana's here are sweeter and huge. Apples though- boy did I miss our variety of apples.

Clean- there are no smells either- life in America feels sterile when compared to live in Ethiopia. Not that I miss the diesel.

Overwhelming- the choices we have in our stores both in product and in the number of stores and in the size of the stores- it's all overwhelming.

But now that it's been awhile- I'm getting back into our life and find a sense of enjoyment in this peacefulness that also feels so lonely. Now the noise from the heat bugs and the hum of the distant highway are becoming noticeable again (even perhaps a bit annoying-laugh). I even noticed the light from the street-light last night- as I went outside to look and figure out what light it was that I had left on.

Man shopping here is great though- can I tell you how much shopping in Ethiopia sucks? I use to hate shopping here and now it feels like an oasis!

What all of this has me thinking about is I think I now have a slight idea of how overwhelming this is for adopted children. Only they didn't make the choice to be here- they are not in control of these changes that just happened to them-sometimes don't even understand them. They go from leaving their rooms and seeing tons of people to hug them, pick them up, love them or just another child to play with (this would be at home or at the orphanage) to our lives which are much more isolated, smell free, noise free, taste free and well shockingly different.

I just want to point out that after 4 months with little contact with home and life here- that I was not prepared for the difficulty or challenges that re-integrating into my life would come with. Because I was not prepared (at all)- it seems to bring me closer to understanding the experiences our adopted children will have. And that, although it is difficult, I am thankful to have experienced these difficulties. It's all a part of the process our children are going to face.

Life in America is really amazing folks- we have so much- and we should be sensitive to the immigrants and adopted individuals as they try to integrate into our culture. I grew up here, it was all I knew minus some extensive traveling in developed nations and if I'm having difficult imagine the wonder you would experience if you were someone who has never seen a sprinkler system the sprays our veggies in the grocery store- never mind a grocery store itself in all the size and wonder that ours contain.

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