My new friend, LW, and her husband just returned from their trip to Ethiopia to meet their sweet daughter and go to court. They had to leave her there but will return in 8-12 weeks for their embassy appointment and to bring her back to Portland.
I'm not a crybaby but (coupled with a high emotional state and low physical state) I was bawling on the couch. Fun times, these post-parent Friday nights.
I'm not sure I adequately summed up certain parts of our trip to my Little Babes' homeland but this is the comment I left LW tonight:
"Where do I begin? I am literally crying as I read this post and I am so not a crybaby. But it reminded me so much of my experience too. I think that only people who have never witnessed a developing country ask questions phrased, 'Did you have a good time?' but when you’ve witnessed abject poverty and beauty the question is more like, 'How was the trip? Tell me about it.' all the time knowing you really can’t. When I came back from Ethiopia (and Haiti) there just wasn’t room or space for me to talk about it. Anything I wanted to say seemed inadequate, like I didn’t have the right words to explain the feeling that comes from the smell of a coffee ceremony or seeing a baboon on the road or hearing TK laugh for the first time with us. Words seemed to diminish thoughts that are larger than life inside of me.
I’m not a religious person. At all. But when Ben and I were able to take our sweet boy for a moment of solitude I honestly thought that is what reverence must feel like. This is what devoutly religious people feel when they have the sense that there is a greatness beyond their place in the world."
I still feel that way when I'm putting Little Babes to sleep. In the quiet of his room, when it's just the two of us, I'm in wonder of this small person for whom I've been trusted to care. There is an awe there that is more than just "My baby is great!" awe.
It is a feeling that there is a larger purpose to my life. This mother, with an atheist's heart, senses something more important than herself in those simple, serene moments.