Thursday, March 8, 2012

"I miss my cow."

This isn't the house that Thomas was born in, but it looks very much like it. Sometimes when we are in the car, Thomas will tell me stories about things he remembers from Ethiopia. This is becoming more frequent now that he is fairly fluent in English.

Traditional house in southern Ethiopia.

Today he told me a very detailed story about the time that the family cow gave birth. It featured many family members and clearly this event had made a big impression on his young mind. There was a happy ending as the white mama cow and the red baby cow all made it through okay.

Some cows I roomed with in Bora, Ethiopia.

I asked Thomas to repeat the story at dinner, which segued into a discussion about all kinds of things the littles' remember about Ethiopia. After the twins had finished eating and gone off to take a bath, Thomas was left at the table with Tom and I, lots of dinner on his plate because he had spent so much time talking. He was telling us about saying good-bye to family members when his little face bunched up and he began weeping sadly. At first, Tom and I were just shocked... we shouldn't have been, of course, but... this is the first time Thomas has cried at all about losing his home and his family. I picked him up and he just sagged into me, clinging for comfort. Also a first; an embrace that felt real. All three of us just stood there together, our hearts breaking.

After just a few minutes, it was over. We reassured him that it was okay to be sad and he could tell us whenever he felt that way. Tears were dried, and off he went, his normal cheerful self, to find his sisters to play with.

I think we just had a breakthrough here.