Honeybee's Ethiopia Travel Update #2

I attempted to comfort Honeybee at her AHOPE farewell party – August 2008. She hardly knew me and could not speak English, yet she clung to me. She knew she wanted a mommy and was willing to accept my attempts.

I spoke with Honeybee again last night. We have been using Skype to call the Ritmo Guest House cell phone, and other than a slight delay, the connection has been good.

I asked her about the AHOPE farewell party for Jubilee and L. and she said it was sad. Everybody cried…”except me”. They sang songs and had treats like biscuits (cookies), and kolo. When I asked if the grown ups cried too, she said yes, “everyone cried, Mom”. I clearly remember Honeybee’s farewell, which was so sad, and I had such mixed feelings about taking her from the people who loved her.

Michele later told me that Honeybee was very reserved at the party, which was difficult for some of her nannies. She is uncomfortable because she can’t speak Amharic and she is afraid she won’t understand them – or that she won’t be able to respond. She finally warmed up after the party when she went into her old room with a group of girls. Heather managed to follow and get some pictures of her with her friends. She also noticed that they were eagerly speaking English with her.

I talked with Michele and she feels that although Honeybee is reserved about trying to speak Amharic, she honestly may not be able to do it. I had such hope that the Amharic would come back to her, but perhaps at this stage in her English language development, that isn’t possible for her.

Honeybee told me that she enjoyed shopping with Aunt Michele and Heather, and bought a beautiful scarf. Aunt Michele also added that Honeybee took many pictures on their outing which included Holy Trinity Cathedral and museum.

She was looking forward to having doro wat for dinner, and had some good tibs the night before.

They leave on their journey to Jimma tonight (Friday morning for them). Please pray that they will be safe and the trip will fulfill many hopes and dreams.

Honeybee with her nannies – August 2008


Honeybee’s Travel Update #1

Honeybee’s Travel Update #3

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Jan J.
    January 14, 2010

    While I imagine this is a lot for Honeybee to process, this seems like a wonderful opportunity for her. I think it would have greatly helped my daughter, who was 7 at adoption and was SO sad to leave her friends and had a difficult adjustment, to have some closure and to go back after she became someone's daughter. I think she built up the orphanage in her mind as some sort of perfect place she had been kidnapped from, and I think could she have seen it again it would have become a more realistic place in her mind – a very nice orphanage but without the individual attention lavished on her by a mama and sister. I think she would have felt she belonged here so much sooner. I hope it continues to go well for Honeybee!

  2. GAO
    January 14, 2010

    This reminded me of a best friend of mine in high school who lived in Argentina until she was 10 as a missionary with her family. When she came to live in the States, she refused to speak Spanish and then seemed to lose the language. In high school we took Spanish together and she picked it up with amazing ease and went on to major in Spanish at college. She even dreams in Spanish occasionally. Honeybee might have a similar story!

    All the best!



  3. Laci
    January 15, 2010

    Thank you so much for sharing this trip with us! I am so happy that someone I know (even if it is only from the internet) has seen my dd in ET this week. It makes me feel a little bit closer to her somehow!

  4. Mamita J
    January 15, 2010

    God bless your little girl and her friends.


  5. Bethany
    January 17, 2010

    Thank you for the update. This is such an important time for her. Looking forward to pictures and more experiences.


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