Thursday, November 5, 2015

What's in a name (A Thirst For Home)

I have read a few comments about our daughter's name and why we 'changed' it? 'Were we trying to erase her past?', one person wrote.  For a long time I didn't feel I needed to explain anything.  This was our personnel choice for our own reasons, but it keeps coming up so.....

I just wanted to put this out there.  We didn't change our daughter's name.  We love Alemitu for everything it represents and because it is beautiful just like her.  Her legal name is actually Alemitu Michael.  It is tradition for a child to take her father's name as a middle name.  This is what is written on all of her documents from Ethiopia, her American birth certificate and her passport.

She is well aware of this.  Eva is her nickname.  In no way were we attempting to erase her past.  I don't think we would have traveled back to the place of her birth three times creating a very solid connection to her mother, siblings and people from her community if that was our plan.

When I brought Eva home at the age of 2 1/2,  she didn't speak one word of English.  She was learning a new language and would eventually be attending school with a very unique story to share.  

With the new last name of Ieronimo and all of the mistaken spellings and mispronunciations she would endure, we thought shortening her first name would make her adjustment easier.  Alemitu comes with its own handful of mistaken spellings and mispronunciations.  

As for the book, it is fiction.  I took some creative liberties.  That is what writers do.  It is a made up story inspired by some real events. And my husband will tell you,  he would never wear an apron to grill!

Although I try like hell not to let it,  It hurts me so much when people question my motives without knowing anything about me or the events leading up to our adoption.  

All I can say is that I love my daughter,  I have embraced her culture,  I have worked very hard to keep a strong connection with her roots and family means everything to me. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Gimbichu 2015

Our most recent and third trip back to Ethiopia and another huge success.  What makes our projects successful is that we work directly with Binyam the clinical director (and most special friend), the clinic and our school to decide what projects are needed.  This makes them sustainable!  We have put the ownership of these projects into the hands of the people that live there.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wrap up, Gimbichu April 2015

I wanted to extend a thank you to everyone who in any way helped with our 2015 project in Gimbichu.  It was a huge success.  I don't know how everything always seems to fall into place and become seamless,  but it does.

Michael and I arrived at about 4pm Ethiopia time Saturday greeted by our dearest friend Yishak, pronounced Isaac.  It was a happy reunion.  We were then reunited with Binyam who is the director of the Gimbichu Health center and also our dear friend.  These two people are actually more like family.

So on Sunday, with three purchased hospital beds ready to travel,  over 400 baby receiving blankets, stethoscopes, a new ambu bag, pulse oximeters, dental instruments, dental care products and a large supply of women's sanitary napkins we were off to Hossana.  

Checking into the Lemma International was the next stop on our journey.  I love the tea which is very soothing.  Coffee was wonderful as always (I get the macchiato which is delicious)

We reunited with Desalegn the ambulance driver who seemed to have grown a beard!  With everything packed and off to Gimbichu,  so were we!

Arriving in Gimbichu was surreal.  It had only been two years since our last visit but it almost seemed like we never left.  We delivered everything to the clinic,  met up with the staff and met our first baby blanket recipient.  It was a boy.  The amazing thing was that they were using the generator that we purchased two years ago because they had no power at that moment.    I was happy to see the generator working well and serving its purpose!  We also saw the autoclave.  Happiness.  

Baby blankets
Our generator working hard!
Delivering the beds

Mom picking out blanket getting ready

Its a boy!!

I think the highlight of my trip was meeting the four girls we are sponsoring.  Tigst, Dinknesh, Betelehem and Genet.  They were the sweetest most polite girls I have ever met.  One of the girl's father, who is a farmer told us he was so happy and although he had nothing to give us,  he would offer us blessings.  We are truly blessed!

Another highlight was the purchase of a motorbike for the central office.  This would enable the healthcare workers to travel to areas and administer vaccinations to children who were unable to to get to their local clinic.  This was difficult to do because the vaccinations need to be transported cold and in a timely manner.  Now they can be.  As a nurse,  this makes very happy!
We were also able to purchase a television and school supplies for our school.  I was happy to see the dvd player and cds still  being used but the old tv fizzled out.  

A new television for The Gimbichu Wongel Berhan School
The Gimbichu Clinic Staff
The trip was exhausting as it always is trying to squeeze so much into so little time, but it is one of the most meaningful things I have ever been a part of.  


Buying new sheets and fleece blankets (4 sets)

We even have money left over to put toward the girls' tuition in the fall.  
Thank you for helping us be a part of the lives of these beautiful, kind and giving people.  When we would tell people that this was our 4th time,  they would always smile and say,  "you are Ethiopian".  

School supplies

Ice cream and beer on Lake Lagano to celebrate!