Ethiopia Dad just called, out of the blue, to tell us he has sent a letter with family photos in it. We hurriedly woke the girls up to talk to him. Saffron cried in frustration because her native tongue would no longer come to her lips. She could understand much of what he said, but couldn't answer back at all, except the equivalent of "How are you?/I'm fine."
Willa can't understand or speak a word of Amharic. I had to prompt them with what little Amharic I know, and ended up talking to him myself, at least getting across that S is an amazing soccer player and W loves to dance.
Little Brother said "Selam." He sounds much older. Months ago, when we first called, he cried like a small child.
Recently I asked Saffron how often she thinks about her dad and especially brothers, and how often she misses them. "In the morning," she said. "And at school. And at night."
I have to remind myself that Ethiopia Dad relinquished the girls to an orphanage almost a year before the orphanage gave them to me. I'll never quite understand why. I didn't take them from their home--I gave them one when they had already lost theirs. But I'm not naive about the pain they will continue to go through. Contrary to what many people think, for me there is no jealousy. I am so grateful he loves them and they love him. Why would I begrudge my children the love of their first family?