For the past few days I have been ignoring my partially unpacked suitcase in my room...avoiding it really. Maybe if I never completely unpack then I won't have to deal with what's inside. I can just keep all the stuff zipped up. I won't have to see the two neatly wrapped presents at the bottom of my suitcase. I won't have to remember what's inside of them. I won't have to think about who they are from and who they are for. I won't have to deal with reliving one of the most heart wrenching nights in Ethiopia. If only......
But it's time to unpack. It's time to once again open the two neatly wrapped presents. It's time to relive the heartache. What's inside is beautiful. Hard, but beautiful.
On our 2nd day in Ethiopia we were driving into a small town. We had already made arrangements to stop there and spend the night. I chose this town for one reason only. This is where my twins are from. As we are pulling into town I see a beautiful woman in a bright blue sweater standing in the street. I screamed to the driver to STOP. I jumped out of the window or where the window should have been (It had fallen out hours before). In the street holding flowers were my twins parents. They had been standing there for hours watching every car drive by knowing I was coming. I walked hand in hand to the home(concrete outhouse) the twins were born in. I was greeted by smiles, hugs and warm cola. I was then physically dressed by them in a traditional dress they bought me. Then they showed me two wrapped presents. One for Diezel and one for Xia. They were concerned I might not know how to dress them, so..they unwrapped the gifts and Fekede ever so carefully showed me how to dress Diezel properly. He stood there with the tiny clothes draped on his body..a mirror image of our son. He then took Xia's clothes and lovingly laid them on Almaz to show me how to do it. She sat there covered in the very clothes and jewelry that they hand picked out for our/her daughter. We all just sat there. I was in the middle, dressed in a beautiful traditional dress that they put on me....to my left was Fekede rewrapping the clothes for the twins. To my right was Almaz watching him wrap up the gifts with tears in her eyes. On the presents they wrote the names we gave them: To: Diezel...From Fekede and Almaz. To Xia...From Fekede and Almaz. You can see where the ink smudged from tears.
....and now I will open the presents with the twins and try my best to dress them with as much love and care as I was dressed. I will show them the pictures of their parents giving me the gifts. Then I will quietly go to my room, put my suitcase away and cry.
I spent the next night with them as well and at dinner they handed me a typed proposal of the needs in their community and ways that Because Every Mother Matters can help....but that is another story.