Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Phone Call from ...

Today is September 29th, 2010. The morning has been filled with washing clothes, cleaning house and tackling putting our dossier paperwork together so that we can be put on the wait list to bring home our child from Ethiopia.

And then ... the phone rang. Seeing that the number was a 1-800 number I hesitated to answer. I am feeling behind on my "to-do" list and didn't really want to be interrupted by a "pesty" telemarketer ... and then have to listen to their long sales pitch on why I should donate to "their" cause. Pridefully, I justified where we have donated money and why I didn't need to even listen to what the person on the other end of the phone had to tell me about.

But, I picked up the phone. The conversation started like this, "Hello, Ma'am I'm calling for the _______ _______ and would just like 90 seconds of your time. Would you please let me share a little bit about what we do and why we need donations, as well as how you can help?" The organization that he works for helps raise funds for athletes with Downs Syndrome. Downs Syndrome is very close to my heart as I've been following a website of orphans in the Ukraine that have downs syndrome and need a forever family. I've even wondered at times if we are supposed to be looking at adopting a child on this website as I sit at my computer and the tears stream down my checks looking at these beautiful faces.

But, I have to admit, my tone was a bit harsh as I replied to this man on the phones request as I said "Okay", thinking how I was wasting my time and probably his by even listening to what he had to say. After he got done sharing I said, "I need to pass at this time". And he asked, "why?". Now, not thinking I really owed this guy any explanation, I explained that we had already decided where we were going to put our donation budget hoping this would force him to say "goodbye" and hang up. Then, I told him that we were adopting from Africa. To which he started really talking ...

This man on the other end of the phone started sharing with me that his wife is adopted from Korea and how adoption is close to their hearts. Then he asked, "where in Africa are you adopting from?" So, I explained that we are bringing home our child from Ethiopia. The man, who was nameless to me still at this point said ... that's cool, I'm from Ethiopia - have you thought about what you are going to name your child? I'm thinking at this point ..."why on earth is this guy asking me what we are going to name our child. He is supposed to be getting donations for the organization he is working for!" I was silent, he continued to share with me that the first day that he was born his parents named him Ephriam. His mother didn't like that name. So, the second day after he was born they named him Alexander. His father didn't like that. The third day he was named Benjamin and that is the name that he goes by today. At this point I was a bit speechless. I blogged about how God's has already used Benjamin here. I managed to tell him that we are open to a child aged up to 4 years old and had really been thinking about how to rename a child, what that meant to the child and how to include the Ethiopian linage etc. Benjamin was not speechless. He continued to share many more things with me. Like that his name translates to Biniam in Ethiopia. That his middle name is Melese which he said means "return". He explained that Melese was his fathers name and in Ethiopia they like to pass on names to their children and that in Ethiopia children are often named because of an event that is happening at the time they are born. When his father was born, his grandparents had been separated and just were reunited. It was a "returning" of their love. That is how his father was named Melese, meaning return. He talked about how sometimes Ethiopian children are named a name that means "Until something happens" when they are born. He said the name, but I didn't write it down. It sounded something like "Momal". Then when something happens, their name is changed to a name whose meaning describes whatever happened. He laughed as he joked with me that some children grow old with that name that means "until something happens" - like his grandfather - because nothing must have happened.

Then he shared that he has a half sister in Ethiopia still that is he trying to bring home. Her name ... Rachael. He told me what Rachael meant in Ethiopia, but I didn't catch it. It was an amazing phone call and I was overwhelmed. I was taking as many notes down on the scratch piece of paper as I could.

Benjamin shared with me that I need to see the movie "The Athlete" that is about a 1964 Ethiopian to win a Gold Metal in the Olympics. He told me to make up some Doro Wat and Injera to get used to Ethiopian food dishes. Benjamin told me about his love for goat cheese. I love goat cheese! And, then he shared that his mother is Irish and he thought it was quite neat that our family with an Irish last name would be bringing an Ethiopian into our home.

Benjamin shared his excitement for our family as we walk through the steps of bringing home our child. He told me that he wishes us the best on our journey as we ended the conversation and hung up. He never brought up the organization he was working for after his question of "why" are you not donating to this cause? I didn't buy the magazine subscription he was originally calling about.

So, I got a phone call today. From an Ethiopian named Benjamin Melese ... and a confirmation from the Lord that we are walking down the journey we are called.