After a somewhat gloomy afternoon at the YWAM Mercy Development home, we headed over to the Thomas Center to enjoy a Farewell Party for S. and his good friend, A.
Let me just say from the get-go: S. is no wall flower. The child loves to be the center of attention--- singing, dancing, and celebrating. The Thomas Center offers a great little party for the leaving children, complete with traditional sweet bread, roasted grain, popcorn, soda, coffee, and a gift of traditional clothing for the child. S. loved the music; a couple of the staff members played guitar and sang songs with the kids. It was difficult for me not to cry; all of this joy generated from a bunch of fatherless children. They all celebrated with S. and A.--- happy that they were about to start a new life with their very own families. I just prayed that each lovely child there eventually finds a home and parents of their own.
The Children's House staff seemed a bit apologetic that they no longer offered a big evening out with exiting children and parents. In December of 2009 when T-man, my step-son, and I traveled to Ethiopia to pick up our other three children, we did enjoy the usual farewell party. Then, the celebration started at the Thomas Center, and ended very late at a traditional cultural restaurant, complete with dancing and musical entertainment. (Oh, I do remember that night: B. was high-strung, chugging Coca-Cola; G. and A. were running all over the place, ignoring everything anyone said. Not exactly relaxing, and nobody slept very well that night.) It was fun for the kids; over-the-top for the parents. After all, it's right at the end of a very emotional week. All that to say, I didn't miss the traditional dinner out. I was happy to have a shorter, lower key, early evening with my son and his friends. More than that is simply not needed. The evening was perfect.
|Great, hand-clapping music|
|My new superstar, singing at the top of his lungs|
|My little man, dancing|
|Traditional sweet bread/cake|
|S. attempts to cut the first slice|
|Mom's turn to cut the cake|
|Squirmy man doesn't like posing for photos|
|Happy to clap and sing|
|Such sweet children!|
|A., Pastor Abdissa, and S.|