The private blog. It is temporary, I think. I needed a place that was safe for just a while. Kevin and I have been under attack recently, unfortunately by members of our own family who have feigned support for over a year now. About six months ago I was blindsided by one brother and two weeks ago, blindsided by another. Much to our surprise, they do not agree with our adoption processes. One equated letting his children play with ours to letting "his kids play outside in a lighting storm." The other said that "we are adopting our children to gain attention for ourselves." We were also told that we are doing a disservice to Esen and Marissa by adding more children to our family. This coming from people who have never taken a moment to get to know them, who have found Marissa to be too overwhelming and too difficult - not worth their time. They have passed judgement, blame, charged us with tearing our family apart when it is actually they who have opted out. It is my job to advocate and educate, but I cannot cure ignorance. I am at a place where I need to surround myself with people who can provide genuine love and support for us and for our children.
We have a motto in our home - "Families are Forever" - It's a book we read often and anytime anyone's sad or worried, Esen repeats this mantra. I intend to keep this motto going and I won't subject my children to the negativity and ignorance of others. If people choose to isolate themselves, it is they who will miss out!
So, I needed to limit access to our family's story, to our childrens' stories, but I didn't want to stop sharing and I didn't want to stop chronicling our journey. I feel like I have an important story to tell. This blog isn't written for entertainment purposes. It is first and foremost a journal for my kids. It has also morphed into a support system and educational forum. I have never forced anyone to read it, but I guess they couldn't help themselves and were frequently offended by the content. In an effort to spare them, it'll be private for just a while. For those who have stuck with us, Thank You!
Our time in Ethiopia was totally amazing. I can't convey what it was like to be there, to experience the country, the culture; to see and meet and touch the people. Simply telling you about it doesn't really mean much - you have to experience it. I was talking with a friend about our experiences today and what I said to her was that we were long overdue for a life-changing trip. We had one in Kyrgyzstan nearly 5 years ago and I didn't fully realize the backslide that had occurred in our lives until we went to Ethiopia. Again, we have been reminded what life is truly about. Our tiny, overpriviledged, little corner of the world is so insignificant in the whole scheme of things. We met some amazing people, held some amazing children, and a piece of my heart will forever stay in Addis Ababa. You will hear more in the coming weeks about some of the children we met there. I have committed to doing more for them.
This Holiday Season, we have been unbelievably blessed by the generosity of some very kind-hearted souls who have supported our adoption through financial gift and prayer. We are grateful beyond words. There are times when "Thank You" seems so inadequate and we have had several of those moments lately. I am continually amazed by the selflessness I see in others. You know who you are - you have to know that you have changed the course of our lives and of our childrens' lives and we are and will always be eternally grateful!
I think that's it in a nutshell. Merry Christmas to each of you. I hope the Holidays bring you peace and love, happiness and strength. I hope you all have good health and take the time to remember what is truly important.