Sunday, July 31, 2011

Camp week with our Ethiopian church

Look how high her feet are!
Abi Mulu

Addis helping the little ones

Swinging and Swinging and Swinging

Hi Mom!
Once a year we spend a week with our Ethopian church family at a day camp for the kids held at the Ethiopian church. One of our local kids ministry camps comes and trains the older kids on Monday, then Tuesday and Wednesday are games, free play, camp songs, skits, snacks, and lunch together.  Thursday the kids load up in the bus (this year they shared a bus with a Sudanese church) and we all go to the camp for a jam packed day of fun. Friday is only a half-day which is just as well since we are all tired from the day at camp the day before.

I make this a priority in our schedule every year. It gives my girls a chance to be with their people. A chance to be where they don't stand out, but they fit in. A place where they are loved because they are Ethiopian. You should see all the moms and teens giving out hugs and kisses, especially to the younger ones.

It's good for my boys because it forces them to know what it is to be different. They are usually the only caucasian boys in the place. They learn how to get along with boys who they don't know all that well but are fun to be with anyways. It's good for them to see the people that their sisters came from.

It's good for me because I interact with the adults, teens, and kids. I learn from the moms and each time I learn a new name. This year I took in a list of Ethiopian names and one of the dads spent hours with me filling in blanks of the meaning of the names or origin. Sometimes he would call over one of the women and they would laugh-of course, they're speaking Amharic, so I have no idea what they're saying. They laughed at one of the names because it meant little monkey. They couldn't believe that someone would name their baby after a monkey. They figured it must have meant the baby would move and jump around a lot.

It's good for the moms to see me with my kids so they see that adoptions work. They know their children are cared for and loved. One wanted to know how I got my children to respond to me instantly. They see our love for one another. They ask questions like, "What is the requirement to adopt from Ethiopia?" "Do they know their parents?" "Do they know they're adopted?" So in a sense I'm an ambassador for adoption in a different type of circle. Sometimes they want to know about adoption because they have family members in Ethopia that need to be adopted.

When we go I use my girls Ethiopian names all week. They are Addis, Mulu, Mihret (prounced more like Meh-hair-et, and Derartu (Der-are-too). I want them to respond to their Ethiopian names and often call them those anyways, I just don't have the rolling r's that their names should have.

We enjoyed our week and look forward to camp again next year!

John on the spider web rope. He helped one of the girls navigate the web.
Abi Mulu
Wild West Show

Hi Mom!

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