Friday, January 21, 2011


As I write this, I'm not sure I will even post it.  Remember Him?  Tsegaye Mamush, our Ethiopian adopted 'son' through Compassion International.  He is 22 now.  He has aged out of the Compassion program.  Something we were expecting.  But when I got the 'official' call the other day, informing me that he was done, I was stunned.  And embarrassingly teary with the woman as I asked her many questions.

How will he complete his final 2 years of vocational studies without the programs' support?  Who will pay for it?  She wasn't sure.

Ethiopia has a very high unemployment rate(30% for his age bracket) so if he doesn't finish school, how will he get a job?  She didn't know.

His last letter mentioned his Grandmother was ill.  Will he have to care for his younger sister instead of school?  How old is she and is she supported by Compassion?  She could not answer.

I am finding it hard to let go of someone I have never actually held.

So in my emotional state I threw an e-mail to my friend.  She knows people.  Actually, she was lucky enough to meet Tsegaye in our stead.  Maybe she knows a way.

Compassion allows for a last gift of money that will go to the child 100%, however, his area is so poor, how safe would that money be with him?  How could a young 22yr. old make it last for 2 years?

My friend knows someone, he is trustworthy, but busy, very busy.  She advises it would be better to pay the school than to just hand over a large amount of cash to Tsegaye.  But it is hard to arrange by e-mail.  Ethiopia, it seems, does not work like that.  It works better face to face.

My friend is going in May, and has invited me along.   There, I could arrange things for him.  Ensure as best I can, that he finishes school.  Meet him and his sister and Grandmother.  Have a cultural guide.

I cannot imagine leaving my girls.  (I cannot imagine telling them I am leaving either)  I am typically not so good without them.  I am ok for the first few days, but after that I tend to go a little wonky.  It's for about a week.  What would I do with the girls?  Wayne works at 5am.  What do you do with 3 kids at 5am?  Clearly I would need to either send them to someone else's house, or have someone come and stay while I am gone.  And who, knowing the sleeping habits of my baby, would sign up for that?

Here's my dirty secret, I think sometimes, occasionally, every so often, that Motherhood is...boring.  There.  I said(typed) it.


It's just that the consistency that kids require in regards to their schedules is so routine that it makes it hard to have many adventures, at least in the age bracket mine are and have been for the last 8 years.  And so I feel like I am lulled into this false sense of living.  I know that as they get older, we and they will be up for bigger things.  But right now everything is so much the same, day to day.  Sometimes, occasionally, every so often, it feels like I might be missing the point.

But what if?

What if I could arrange it and I could part with them for a week.  What if I could set this up and finish what we have started with Tsegaye.  He has asked in every letter for us to come.  The thought makes me teary and nauseous at the same time.  What is better for my girls?  To stay here and keep their environment constant, or to see me leave to advocate for someone who has nothing?  Would they get it?

If all the moons and stars align(that is a big if), would I regret not going?  Will I look in the mirror satisfied with the effort I put into this small boy who is now a man.  Can I justify the significant money it will take to make it happen?  If he were actually my child, would I even hesitate?

All this sounds grandiose as I reread it.  But the logistics are daunting.  I got panic attacks the last time I scheduled a flight without my brood.  Denver will likely cry for a good 2 weeks before I leave, daily.  Adalyn still wakes in the middle of the night calling for me, though she would survive, of course, would her fill-in caretaker??  We finally have a beginning to some financial footing, is it smart to use so much of it for this?  Is there no other way to arrange it?  And how to arrange it with him, a young man with no resources that does not speak English.  He has no phone, no e-mail, though I am praying he knows someone who does.

So I will ask you, dear reader, to comment.  I hardly ever do that since I'm kinda scared no one will and I'll feel weird pangs of cyber-rejection.  But I need the wisdom of elders, or others at least.  So even you non-commenters, what do you think?  Not that I will be obligated to do as any of you suggest, I want to make that clear.  But I have made mistakes in the past in part due to my reticence to share or ask for advice.  And this might be too big to mess up.


  1. If you can swing in financially, GO.... I seriously doubt u regret it! And think of what it could teach your girls about caring for others. YOU live by family. Take advantage. They'd probably love helping you do such a grandiose thing.


  2. Well...speaking as "the friend" I think you should come. Jeremy asked me last night how you and I would get through it considering I burst into tears (and Tsegaye cried during our entire meeting) when he brought out your photos to spread across the table last June.
    Is he really 22? Goodness. He struck me as having the emotional maturity of a 16 year old. Not in a bad way, just young and scared. VERY worried about life after sponsorship.

    Korana - I think you know in your heart what you want to do. I think this is a logistics question only. IMHO.

    PS. Did I ever blog about our time with Tsegaye? If not, let me know. I can post a blog with photos for your friends and family to read. That would be fun!

  3. Wow....Kor.....This is a big opportunity....very very big opportunity for you. I think yes you would regret if you didn't at all make the effort to go. I think you get on your knees and ask God what he thinks is best. Only he will make it happen. And girl if I lived there...I would so help you out. I'm up with my guy I'd survive the waking in the hours of the night. I'm not sure who you could get to help you out, but man...what a wonderful ending to a be able to meet him would be great. Yes I think it will be SO hard to leave the girls...and I think that right now they may not fully get it, but what an example to them in the future to know what Mommy was able to do. I think if you can you should go. :o) But again, it's God's will....he will provide and make things happen...just need to ask Him what he wants you to do. :o)

  4. I would agree that this is an opportunity that will not occur for you and this young man again. The power you have to make a difference in someone's life is a gift not only to him but to you, your children, and those who share your world.

    Although it does sound as if the logistics are really the primary issue, your children will not use drugs, run away from home, or become serial killers because you leave them for a week. In ten years, or five, or one they will not even care one smidge that mommy left them with some wonderful caregiver(s) so she could make a world of difference to someone a world away.

    Actually, that is not accurate. Maybe not in one year, but maybe in five or ten or twenty your children will have their hearts filled with pride and love for a mother who showed them what humanity truly means. And if you are really lucky you just might find that your children are running off to their own foreign country for a week to nurture the spirit of another.

    Good luck with whatever you decide, and I will watch to stay posted about your adventure.

  5. You know me, Kor and I hesitate to say anything at this point but I guess I am going to anyway. The girls will be fine like everyone seems to think but I would like to share a story with you just the same. One year I took my mom to Ohio for a second opinion with a very good eye doctor. I planned to be gone two or three days and Mary was in charge of the kids after school until Dad got home. Our time away ended up being a week and my baby, even though he was in school, 1st grade I think, just fell apart the day before I got home. When he almost missed the bus she went and got him and he just cried and said I want my mommy. Is he okay, of course but do things like this scar kids, not always but they can and I could tell you a more personal story about myself but I just wanted to give a different perspective of what others seem to be saying. I could go on but it's not my place and your friends might hate me if I persuaded you against their advise. Just know we love you and listen to Kelli and let God guide you in this decision.

  6. Hi Kor, It sounds amazing what you have done for this young man and continue to do. I agree with your friends, what an amazing experience for you and your family. They I believe will be so proud of you for continuing your journey with this young man. Yes, they may be sad that you went away, but I believe they will understand in time, that my Mom is so caring and giving. I am sure that he has made many a conversation on your dining room conversations that he is in part , part of the family . This is something that Mom needs do do for the family. I know you will prepare the children well, and you will be given many pictures and such to bring to him through you. I suggest, talking to Wayne naturally and the girls and see what they say. And as always, ask God what he suggests you to do. If it is ment to be, it will all flow flawlessly and then you know your answer, Love and Prayers.

  7. call me. we need to catch up anyway.... i'm certain to have nothing to say that hasn't been said, but a chat might be good, no? :-)

  8. When God puts something on your heart so strongly and then provides a way for you to do it, you still don't HAVE to do it. He is such a gentleman like that. He won't make you. But I know that I know that I KNOW, if you don't go, you will be missing out on a tremendous blessing (and probably MANY more, that you can't even imagine!).
    Your girls will be OK. And so will you. You said after a few days away from them you usually get "wonky", but you've never been away from them for something like THIS, have you? I have a feeling you wont have even 2 seconds to feel wonky.
    It will grow you in ways we can't imagine. It will make you a better Mom, wife and friend. Your girls will (one day) admire you and be so impacted by your selfless act that it will no doubt affect the kind of women they too will become.
    Just go. Praying for you!
    Your new cyberfriend,