Apr 29, 2010

Diamonds Are NOT My Friend...Part 2, Day 1 with Kaleab

I use to laugh and tell my mom that in order for me to settle down and get married would require a trifecta: 2 karats and the perfect man. She told that to Le when he announced his plans to ask for my hand. I got what I wanted.

The third gift I brought Kaleab was a wooden cross necklace. I chose it because I didn't want anything too fancy. I didn't want it to be taken from him on the street. Months before we left for Ethiopia, I started wearing it. I wanted him to have something tangible that had hung close to my heart. When I took it off and put it on him, he smiled and said thank you. But he never took his fingers off of it.

After the pandemonium over the photo album, the care givers ran the other kids out so we could hear one another talk. Kaleab had changed positions and moved to sit right beside me. I noticed that he kept fidgeting with a bracelet on his wrist. I thought it had come untied. I took it hard when I offered my hand to help and he shook his head no. One of the workers said he wanted to take it off. He wanted to give it to me. As he tied it around my wrist, I turned my head so he didn't see me and I let two tears gather in my eyes until they were gargantuan. It was too much. He told me in translated Amharic that they had made the beaded salvation bracelets that day and had learned all about Jesus' love for us. And my son, gave it to me.

From the moment we arrived in Addis, I stared into every ten year old boy's face, searching for my Kaleab. I know it's stupid and extremely Hollywood, but I knew that I would see him while we were driving. Leaving the care center and entering our car, we were surrounded by street kids. In the dust and the halos of filth that covered these children and we were bombarded by a sea of hands and grubby faces asking for candy and money; I lost sight of my son.

As we pulled out of the care center, my son had crossed the very busy intersection with no lights, no crosswalk and no crossing guards. As our car drove away from him, I rolled down the window and screamed his name. He turned and waved at me. And smiled. Hollywood had nothing on Addis Ababa. My rock star lived here. And he was at least curious enough about me that we would see each other again in the next few days.

I sat back in the car and touched my beaded salvation bracelet. I told Le I needed a new trifecta in my life: none of it involved diamonds.


Erin Moore said...

Precious! It's funny how those little gifts are so meaningful to us! I still have a dried up rose that Biruk gave to me!

Does Kaleab live on the street? ..or does he live at the care point? How devistating for you to watch him walk back onto the streets alone.

I will keep him in my prayers - Lord, please protect these precious children!

Debi Jenkins said...

Your blog is my favorite. You always leave me hanging by a thread wanting to hear the rest of the story. If you write a book about your experience, I'll buy it! :)

Beautiful Mess said...

I am just a mess between your post and Amy Savages---I am a WRECK!

God is so good! Thankful for HIS lessons about what is important!

Thank you for sharing!

Vanessa said...

Oh gosh. This is the first time I've come to your blog and I am literally in tears.

Triple J's Girl said...

I have been trying so hard to control my tears as I sit in my office, but this just sent me over the edge. I can't even begin to pretend to imagine how you and Le feel and felt. It is truly amazing and I can't wait to hear the rest of your story of your trip. I pray Ruta and Alazar are still adjusting well. Hang in there momma, you're doing great!

Sarah Wallis

Amy said...

Linz...Sitting next to Kaleab on Easter watching him lght up at the pictures of you I'd brought made my heart ache and made it full. Regardless of which role you will play in his life, he loves you. It was so obvious to me. I know the plans God has up his sleeve for Kaleab are good and I suspect they are big. :) I love the journey God has you on and can't believe I get to tag along for the ride. I'm so grateful for the Easter I spent with your son. It's one for the books. Love you!!

Gayla said...

Oh, Linz! You are killin' my heart!!!! :-) LOOOOOOVE this story!

Tracy said...

Please tell me you're a professional writer!

Even a short entry like this post has tears streaming down my face! I hope this new trifecta comes to pass in your life!!!

Angel said...

I'm trying really hard not to break into tears here.... hold it together Angel... HOLD IT TOGETHER!!!!!!! What a precious little man.