Friday – Day 3
Day 3 – Friday
We started the day by visiting some missionary friends who live by Kolfe and have helped my mama-arms stretch across the world to Biruk. I met DeeDee two years ago in TX. At the time she and her hubs were just beginning take steps towards becoming missionaries and I was dreaming of adopting a sweet 12 year old boy who I met at Kolfe orphanage.
In July, DeeDee contacted me and told me that they just moved to Ethiopia, and asked if I wanted her to check in on Biruk. Her “check ins” we’re amazing, from attending church with her family to taking care of Biruk when he was sick, DeeDee became a lifeline to me. I will forever be grateful for the way she loved my son.
After we visited with DeeDee and her family we went over to Kolfe to visit with the boys. It is always so great to bring new friends to Kolfe. The boys are amazing.
Then we ran out for a “quick” lunch (there are no drive-thrus in Addis), which landed us at an interesting dining establishment, Chicken Hut. Chicken Hut wants to be fast food, but it falls short on so many levels. Chicken Bonee anyone?
After lunch Heather and Tam set out to Suluta for an adventure….to sleep at the orphanage. I can’t describe how much courage this took – especially for someone who is afraid to keep in US hotels because of bed bugs. However, the lure of spending the night snuggling with her daughter diminished Heather’s fears.
Dani, Biruk, Wendy, and I embarked on our own adventure….our 3pm meeting at Gladney to meet Biruk’s birth family.
I could tell that Biruk wasn’t super excited about this meeting, but I was. When we arrived at Gladney Biruk went off on his own and left us standing around in the parking lot like dorks. Finally we followed Biruk into the Gladney office and she escorted us outside to meet the family, who was sitting in a small room.
To the left, Biruk’s older brother (34) – he looked so much like Biruk….an older, more filled out version. He probably thought I was a weirdo because I couldn’t stop looking at him. In the middle, sat his uncle (mother’s brother), who Biruk lived with after his mom passed and before he went to live at Kolfe. On the right, a pretty petite woman, his sister (24). All were smiling as I entered the room, and stood as I walked toward them to give them hugs. As I approached them, I struck a refrigerator with my backpack and knocked a piece of pottery to the ground where it broke into several pieces. Talk about an ice breaker.
Once I recovered from my embarrassment I hugged them all, then the meeting began. It was amazing. Seriously amazing.
They told me how Biruk, being the youngest child in the family, had a very special place in his mothers heart. She loved him so much and had great aspirations for him. As the translator was describing this to me I immediately thought of Joseph, from the bible. I almost said it, but i didn’t want to imply anything about the siblings. They told me that they were so happy for him to have a new family and they gave me their blessing. A few moments later, the uncle spoke for several minutes and then the translator explained that the uncle believed that like Joseph’s family was blessed, so would their family be blessed too.
That was a God-moment. Joseph. Joseph!
We ended the meeting by taking pictures with the family. I seriously could’ve spent the entire day with them; I was filled with love. The amazing thing is that Dani knows this family, they live close by and they go to the same church. I am so sure that I will see them again someday.
After our meeting, we met up with the Lehmans again (yeah, we love the Lehmans), who had rented a van and were taking some of the Kolfe boys out for the night. We went to dinner with several of Biruk’s friends, then to the Sheraton for a light show, then for ice cream at Kaldis.