Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
We use labels everyday, for all kinds of reasons. Labels make it easier to find things... like the correct spice for a recipe. Labels make it easier to organize things and easier to understand things.
Then why is it so scary when someone puts a label on your child?
This happened to me many years ago, when my oldest was just a preschooler. I started hearing the acronym ADHD quite a lot; and indeed, in kindergarten that label was applied to my son. There was a sense of relief that there was a name to his difficulties, and also a sense of panic that this was going to affect him for the rest of his life. Well, it has. Some of the effects were from the ADHD itself, and some were from the label that he carried with him through school.
The other day, our therapist referred to my daughter as an "attachment disordered" kid. Obviously this is no surprise since we have been going to therapy for months. But somehow, hearing it out loud like that really shook me and brought back those same feelings about my child being labeled. That horrible feeling of not knowing if everything will be alright.
I don't know if it will be alright or not. I don't know that many people with adopted children at all, much less internationally adopted attachment disordered ones. I do know that ADHD was hard, and it's still hard... but my son is wonderful and I love him very much. I don't fear ADHD anymore, it's just part of my son's make-up and something we have to work around sometimes. "Attachment disorder" sounds very scary to me right now... but I love my daughter and I hope that we can work as a family to give her the security she needs to open up to us and love us back just as much.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
BEMM partnered with Doma to help fund a clinic for women and children that will be located in Bora. There are about 7,000 people in the Bora area who have no easy access to medical care. The closest clinic, in Chencha, is a six mile hike down the mountain. The town elders estimate that about 1 in 4 women in their village dies from childbirth related causes... so the clinic will be a tremendous benefit to the people.
We also participated in a clinic in the nearby town of Chencha. We saw women and children come in with all kinds of illnesses, from the mundane to the serious. Two notable cases included a severely malnourished one year old baby who was the size of a three month old and an old woman with malaria. Many women complained of back pain, which is not surprising when you see the loads they carry on their backs.
We were also able to relax with a tour of the lake at Arba Minch, where we saw crocodiles, hippos, pelicans and baboons. This was followed by a visit to the cultural village of Dorze, where we enjoyed some traditional dancing and a delicious meal that included many of the local favorite dishes. Some of our group members tried their hand at fire-jumping, but I was not one of them. :)
I feel like I really got to see and know Ethiopia on this trip. It is so much more beautiful than pictures can show. I feel profoundly grateful to have had this opportunity.