Friday, April 4, 2008

Taxi Cab Confessions No.1

I just came off a week of business travel and had several interesting taxi rides -- interesting in a good way. There were a couple that made me laugh out loud.

Cab Driver:
(As we made it to the first corner) What about the politics? I know you must know and understand what is going on in America and the politics and I hope that you know about this man Obama!

This driver was from Somalia and has been living in the US for six years. He told me that he lived in Kenya as a refugee for 11 years before coming to this country. We had a fun conversation about "the politics" and then ran through the normal particulars. I mentioned that I had no children but was adopting from Ethiopia. "Adopting" was a word that he did not understand. So he told me a story.

Cab Driver: Do you know what happens with children there in Ethiopia? My friend was traveling through the country, he boarded a plane and it was filled with Ethiopian children and white parents. They went there to buy the babies. You are not buying these children are you? Can you really buy children in Ethiopia?

He took an extra long time at the stop sign so that he could turn around and ask me the question. I assured him that I was not and that I had gone through a long process to prove myself worthy of adoption. I rattled through the list about fingerprints, the FBI, paperwork, and immigration. He shouted, "You will be their sponsor!" It seemed like that made more sense to him so I told him that he was exactly right.

Cab Driver: That is how someone should come to this country. My parents sponsored me and now you will sponsor these children. I think this is wonderful thing. Blacks in America have done so much, they've come so far, they are very smart and filled with education. This children will live with you and you can make them strong like the black people in America! This will be a better country for them if we vote for Obama. He will do more to make this country better for all the people.

He seemed very happy with his statements and kept smiling and nodding. At this point I was sure that we had circled the area a couple of times, I think it was maybe to extend the ride. Then he asked me if the children would live with me forever. I told him that they would.

Cab Driver: You are a good lady and I can tell that you are educated. You will make a wonderful home for them of this I am sure. I must say that people here in America have been so generous they are always willing to help their people. I am glad that you will do this thing.

When I got out of the cab he told me to be good to the children and to "remember the politics".


Katy said...

So interesting. The planes filled with Ethiopian babies and white adults is an image I have heard of before. One woman described it as the country "hemmoraging its children." It makes me so sad to think of. And the perception that so many E. Africans seem to have about "buying babies" makes me worry about the future of ethical adoption from Ethiopia. It always comes back to the politics.

VALARIE - Single, mother-to-be of two bright-eyed Ethio children. said...

Katy, you are so right. This is the first time that I wrote about it but he is the second cab driver from Somalia that shared the same thing with me. I think formal legal adoption in the way that we talk about it in the US is a foreign concept in countries where families and villages raise their children. The other cab driver was very concerned that my children would grow up "not knowing their people." He thought it was an awful tragedy. When I told him that I would have a family visit in the village he told me that made him very happy.

Tami said...

I love your taxi cab confessions. Continue taking taxis. :-)

Original Court Date: April 18, 2009
Final Court Date: May 18, 2009
[607 total days & 165 days w/IAN]