Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Long Distance Ethiopian Romance

The summer before my Junior year in college, I did an internship in the State Capital. I got my first apartment downtown Springfield (the St. Nicholas Hotel, the same hotel where a former elected official stashed thousands of dollars in a shoebox in his closet), a summer membership to the YMCA, and began my short-lived career in Illinois politics.

That was also the summer this guy named Todd started writing me letters. We had been in a small group Bible study together, and I thought he was super-smart and awfully witty. I was so impressed with how much he knew about the Bible, and we liked alot of the same Christian music.

Every letter I received from him was analyzed like something on an archaeological dig.....what did he mean when he wrote "I hope I see you there" or "I can't wait to see you again"....I would pour over those letters and think about all the possible meanings of his words, my heart fluttering as I read.

Lately, we've begun a long-distance Ethiopian romance in much the same way....we wrote our first letter to Peanut to accompany a family photo album, carefully choosing each word and picture in hopes of making a good first impression. We have imagined how she received it....does she think we're dorks? is she disappointed we're the ones chosen? is she as in love with us as we are with her?? We get snippets of information from other kind families who see her on their visits and I pour over every word in those emails: "She is VERY, VERY excited to meet you"....does that mean she's happy? excited to leave the only country she's ever known? what does it mean?

After we got back to college the following Fall, it was pretty clear Todd and I would begin dating. We took a walk one night and decided to give it a try. We actually shook on it. Almost 18 years later, I still think about the gems in those letters and the excitement of reading them.

I need to try to enjoy these little snippets we hear about Peanut as God makes the picture of the child clearer and clearer. When we finally have her in our arms, it's going to be a sweet, sweet moment.


Sandi said...

Peanut rushed off to get her book of photos and letter. She adored each moment that I read it to her. She beamed when it said you all were excited to meet her.

In my humble opinion she is just as in love with you guys as you are with her. You can't really put to words how much you love someone you have never met and yet all of you are feeling it.

I don't think she thinks much about leaving her country, I think she just thinks about being in her forever family.

BTW it was a great letter and very nice pictures. :)

Mamushsky World Headquarters said...

Cannot wait to hear about that sweet moment!!

Can't wait! Can't wait!

It will be sWEEEEeeeeeT!

shana said...

I love you, Gretchen!