Friday, May 2, 2008

Taxi Cab Confessions: Ethiopian Style

Over time I'll reveal a bit more about the drastic changes that have impacted my adoption. Let's just say this week began on a crash curse towards a brick wall. I'm reminded to it's not always where we start that matters but where we end up. This morning things changed the moment that I got into Abel's cab.

I was in Boston the last few days on business and struggling to focus on the many meetings that I had. Today, all I wanted to do was make it through today and head home. Abel met me at the curb with a smile. As we tried to pull out into the intersection, he grumbled a little about the traffic and said, "I don't mind Boston but the traffic is terrible." I asked him where he was from (the accent was a give-away). Just as I thought, he told me he was from Ethiopia.

I mentioned to him that I would be traveling to Ethiopia. After seeming very surprised he told me that he was born in Bahir Dar but grew up in Addis. He was shocked that I had even heard of Bahir Dar. He told me that when I travel his brother works at a hotel and could provide us rooms.

Abel: When you go there I want you to be prepared for what you will see. There are many poor people in Addis and it will be hard for you. They are your people, they are black people like you and me. When you see their condition it may make you sad.

Did he say that they were "my people?" He included me and thought we shared some common bond. He told me that his family lived well by Ethiopian standards and that he wanted me to meet them so he gave me his telephone number. I hesitated as to whether or not I should tell him about the adoption. I didn't know how he would react. But I said it quietly, "I'm adopting from Ethiopia." He literally hit the brakes and stopped the car. I took a deep breath.

Abel: You are Ethiopian!

He turned around to face me and smiled really big. He hadn't really heard me and I told him that I was not. He thought I said that I was adopted, so he told me that if I was born there I am still Ethiopian. I explained again that I was not born there. He understood and started to drive again. I told him that I WAS ADOPTING children to bring them to America. He stopped the car again. I knew he heard me but what would he think?

Abel: My sister has children in Ethiopia! My sister died and her husband died. They left behind four children. She left them to me, but I cannot bring them to this country. Is it possible that you could meet with my family and consider adopting her children?

I held my breath again, I just wanted him to say that the children were in my age range. He told me that he was only concerned about the youngest. I was thinking how young?

Abel: Her son is 12 and in the eighth grade. For the children it is difficult and we only want the best for them. We want them to go to school and be well and have a future. God is going to bless you well for caring for the children. Please call me and talk to me before you go to Ethiopia. My family is good and they will be kind to you and your father.

He gave me his number again for the second time. He told me that he was glad that I was one that he picked up this morning and again that I would be blessed.

Abel: When you come again to Boston, I will take you anywhere that you need to go. You will not pay me I will always drive you now for free. When you do this that you do that makes us all family and we believe in helping our family!

He got out of the taxi and hugged me before I walked away. I understood that he was my confirmation that I'm on the right path and even closer than it might seem right now.


graceling said...

Wow. How interesting, the divine interventions in our lives:)

Nancy said...

That is an amazing story! I'm not saying to move on it, but the Lord works in mysterious and amazing ways. As the new mom of 8 year old twins, I can say that the older kids are simply amazing and such a joy. I am totally in love with mine! I wait with such anticipation for your referral.

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

Hey Nancy. Seeing pictures of your kids has been so much fun. I'm definitely not looking at bringing home a 12 year old boy, I was just happy to have made the connection to a family in Ethiopia. I'll keep you updated.

M & M said...

Valarie - I read your blog now and then and love when you chime in on the yahoo group. When I read this I thought, "oh my God." It truly hope you find a way to navigate this conundrum. One thing I was thinking is how much the needs of "the people" will continue to call to us when we open ourselves up to listening. You, clearly, are there and ready. Good Luck!

Beth said...

Thank you for this story. I am blinking away the tears in my eyes. I check in on your blog every once in awhile. We both have been waiting for a referral since the beginning of February, so I like to check in to see how you are doing.

Julie said...

Hi Valarie- I found your blog through Katy I think.

What an amazing story. I, too, am waiting for a referral. Best of luck in whatever you choose to do. Your cab ride gave me goose bumps and tears all at once.

Aimee said...

I love to hear stories like this. My hope is always that the Ethiopian people will not have negative feelings toward adoption. Whenever I meet someone who is Ethiopian, I try to convey to them that it is me who is thankful to them.

Tami said...

that is one of my favorite songs! What a great story! Keep moving lady, keep moving.

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