Monday, June 11, 2012

Ethiopia 2 - The Explanation of My Silence

Our first trip to Ethiopia was amazing.  I was certainly in Stage 1 of culture shock, also known as the honeymoon stage.  Everything was exciting and wonderful and great and fascinating and wonderful and intriguing and wonderful and wonderful.  I was on top of the world and couldn't wait to return to this special place and bring our daughter home.

You can imagine my surprise when I didn't always feel this wonderful on our second trip.  While it was great to return to Ethiopia, and incredible to take custody of our daughter, the second trip was tougher than the first.  I felt like I was often in Stage 2 of culture shock, also known as the this-is-so-different-and-I-don't-like-it stage.

Let me make something clear at this point in my writing, just in case you get called away and don't finish reading.  I deeply love Ethiopia.  It is a truly amazing country with so much to offer the world.  I eagerly anticipate going back, and hope to continue learning about this country while I'm away.  However, just like you love your family members but it isn't always easy to be around them, I love Ethiopia, but it's not always easy for me to be there.  Anytime you are in a different culture than your own, there are stressors that poke at you.

I have put off writing about our second trip for this and many other reasons, the biggest one being that I am just not sure how to start.  How do you begin to put into the words the day your family became three?  How do you share about things that have so deeply affected your heart that you'll never be the same?  How do you explain why you cried as you looked at the Ethiopian mountains one last time before entering the airport for departure?  In the words of Chris Rice, it's like trying to smell the color nine.  I haven't found all the words yet, so I just haven't written.

I also have managed to avoid putting our second trip in writing thus far because I have cleverly sidetracked you and entertained you by posting a picture a day of our sweet girl.  It's easy to snap a picture of a silly face of hers, a cute outfit, or a moment together.  It's much harder to snap a picture of my heart.

But this very thing is what I'm now attempting.  Over the next few blog posts, I want to share with you our second trip in words and pictures.  In my writing and on my blog I always strive to be honest, candid, and genuine.  To entirely leave out the events and memories of our second trip for lack of the perfect words would not benefit either you or me.

While there were tough things about trip two, there were also wonderful things.  Amazing, wonderful, joyful experiences.  Please don't take my blog off your reading list thinking that I am going to depress you.  I won't.  I promise.  And even if some of the posts talk about difficult things, please keep reading.  I know it is much easier to look at a picture of a smiling girl than read a deep blog post, but don't short yourself.  It's when we embrace the whole of something that we truly embrace it at all.

1 comment:

  1. OK--I will follow along. Just don't scare me before I make 2 trips. :) This tree alone is so beautiful. Have you heard the Andrew Peterson song "Planting Trees"? You might want to listen to it while staring at the beautiful picture. :)