Monday, September 28, 2009

Noah's Homecoming Anniversary

We celebrated Noah's homecoming day this weekend.  He has officially been ours for one year!  Here are some pictures of the past few weeks.  It's been busy between soccer and all of his siblings activities.  He's also has learned about the lucrative business of a lemonade stand on a hot summer day. : >) We spent this past weekend at the beach...Noah  had never seen the ocean before.  He stood at the edge of the water, his arms spread wide, just chanting ETHIOPIA over and over.  We aren't sure why.  He is still so connected to where he came from yet so much a part of his new world in America.   

Friday, September 11, 2009


Happy Ethiopian New Year!

This morning was the first time since school started that Sam, Noah and I were able to walk to school.  Hannah caught a ride with a friend so the 'twins' and I had the calmness of a beautiful NW morning to stroll to 2nd grade.
I don't know what it is about these morning walks, but it seems that every time we have a chance to slow down and walk Noah opens up about his life in Ethiopia.  Today's story, just as numbing as the ones before.  It all started when Noah asked, "What if the man (judge for finalization) told you I could not be your son?  Would I have had to go back to Ethiopia?"  I told him, honestly, that they would try to find another family for him in the United States.  Noah said he was glad  the judge said he could be in our family. He loved his family in Ethiopia but he knows he cannot go back.  He doesn't want to go back.   Noah started talking about his family in Ethiopia. On a regular basis,  he talks about his Aunt Genet.  Noah said he never really slept well at Genet's.  I asked if it was because of his baby cousin, Galiela.  
"Not always, " he said.  
"Then why didn't you sleep well?"
Then Noah spoke about what happened in Genet's shack soon before he was relinquished . A group of men came into the shack at night and grabbed Noah and took him away.  He described having his hands tied behind his back with a "thick brown rope".  The men told him he was going to be a part of their 'family' now.  Noah said he fought and argued but they kept him tied up.  They wanted him to join their 'family'.   They were a patched together 'family' of thieves. They needed a little body to sneak in to other's homes and steal for the 'family'.  This morning, when Noah spoke, he said he agree to join their family so he could be untied.   When they released him he bolted back to Genet's house.  The next night they came back and took Noah again.  The blanket over the door frame rendered Genet and Noah defenseless.  Once again Noah fought but in the end agreed and even stole a coin and brought it back to the men to prove himself, but still he had no intention of being a part of the family of thieves.  He returned to Genet's.  Genet alerted, what Noah described as, the local police.  The third night the police waited outside Genet's shack and when the thieves returned to snatch Noah again they were "caught."

Noah said it wasn't long after that that he was taken to Kombulcha, to the orphanage. 
Noah has experienced so many forms of family in his life thus far.  For a very brief time he truly was a family with his Ethiopian mom and a dad.  Tuburculosis ended it.  His 'family' shifted to a single dad and son.  Tuburculosis ended it.  Then his family was a wonderful aunt, a baby cousin, and a nephew.  Fear, hunger, and poverty ended it.  He became a family with the other orphans at the WACAP House, who were all waiting for placement.  My travel to Ethiopia ended it.  Today his family is my family is our family.  As we walked to school this morning I vowed again in my heart that Noah Musse is my son forever.  Nothing will ever end it.   

Friday, September 4, 2009

                               Noah, Teklu, Sam, Menywab and Megan at the WACAP picnic
                                            Teklu and Menywab spent the weekend with us
                              Noah insisted on dressing up when we went up the gorge for brunch
                     Finalization Day!!!  Noah officially became a Barclay and our family was complete
                            First day of school!!  He was ready...and very excited to start 2nd grade.

What a month we have had!  Noah has had a wonderful end of summer.  Probably the highlight for Noah was the visit of Ato Teklu (ET country representative for WACAP), his second 'dad' after he was housed at WACAP House in Ethiopia.  While Noah was waiting to come to our family Ato Teklu was an amazing comfort to Noah.  Teklu was in the states on the invite of WACAP.  He was able to see many of 'his' children who had been adopted.  Also visiting was Ato Menywab, the director  of Bete Hitsanat, the initial orphanage that housed Noah before he was moved to WACAP house.  We offered to have both men stay at our house during part of their stay and were very pleased that WACAP said yes.  We had a wonderful visit with lots of laughs with these wonderful men.  More importantly, Noah re-connected with Ato Teklu.  It was very special to see. 

Noah's adoption was also finalized this past month.  He is now 100% family. : >)  

Finally...two days ago Noah started 2nd grade.  His tutoring this summer helped him catch up to  his classmates for the most part.  We are confident he is going to have a wonderful year.