Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Gotcha Day - Hair

Something I REALLY wanted to do for Gotcha Day was have Feven's hair braided.  There are many good places around town to get your hair braided, and I chose an Ethiopian place I had come across before called FM Barber & Braiding. 

I didn't have a phone number for them, so I couldn't make an appointment prior to arriving.  As our family drove to the shop my thoughts were a mix of prayers and hopes that there would be availability.

We opened the door and were greeted by the sights and sounds of a busy barber shop!  One barber was giving a gentleman a trim while two little boys with fresh hair cuts looked on.  Four women in the back part of the shop were fixing hair and visiting while another woman prepared coffee on a small table in the middle of the floor.  The shop was a little hazy, and I imagine it was from some freshly-roasted coffee beans.  A little boy ran around while his mom chatted with her friends.  He was younger than Feven but I'm not sure by how much.  I learned later that his name was Fikar, which means love.

Within moments of us walking in the door, one of the stylists approached us.  It probably did look a little out of place to have two ferenji walk in with an Ethiopian child.  After telling her what we were looking for, she said she could take care of us right then and there!  Yay!

The first thing they did was to comb out Feven's hair.  I say "they" because during the course of our time there, we typically had 3-4 women working on Feven's hair!  While they were combing out her hair, they remarked over and over that she had good hair, nice hair, soft hair. 

Throughout our time at the shop, I struggled knowing how much to stick with Feven and how much to sit back and let the women do their job.  Because Feven was so recently adopted, I still have attachment questions flooding my mind.  What does it mean for Feven when I plop her down in a chair in a new place and sit 6 feet away while four women she doesn't know pull and tug on her hair?  I erred on the side of caution and held her hand for the first part.  (Also, to my CHI friends, doesn't this look like Hermella from the side?!?)

Feven was a good sport for most of it, but the tugging and the sitting still finally got to her toward the end.  Then the tears came!  Daddy sat with her on his lap and that helped.  Each of the women offered her their phones at different points and that helped too.  But what finally stopped the tears was when they gave her a hair product bottle to hold.  Immediately the tears shut off and we heard her say, "Pink bottle."  Who knew that's what it would take?

As they were finishing up they asked us if we wanted beads.  I wasn't sure, so I looked at Zac and he said a definite yes!  I watched how they put them in so I will know how to do it next time.  

Feven liked her hair, and she liked swinging her head around to feel the beads move.  For the rest of the day I heard the click clack of the beads as she danced and jumped around the house.  What a special experience!


  1. Love this. What a neat thing. :)
    (But I admit I was secretly hoping to see a picture of them braiding Zac's hair too...)

  2. Love! That girl does look like Hermella!! Isn't it crazy that just one year ago we were all in Ethiopia.

  3. Very cool! I still held X's hand through his recent 1st haircut, too. Personally, I like seeing Zac so naturally sit w/ her getting her hair done- not many dads would!

    Happy Gotcha Day, Harders

  4. This is really really great! I love your blog Amber!

  5. When I took a first quick glance at the pics I thought it was Hermella! And couldn't figure out why Hermella would braid Feven's hair on the day you met her, ha!

  6. Sweet! Thanks for sharing! What a wonderful day and experience!