Elsa, several years ago when she was first sent to the orphanage.
Once upon a time, Elsa lived in the remote village of Dunchai in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, the youngest of three children. When Elsa's father died, her mother relinquished her since she simply didn't have the means to provide for her.
And so she came to join our family. The past 19 months have been pure joy - Elsa is compassionate, happy, and brave. I marvel at all she has learned and experienced in the short time she has been in America - from Disneyland, to riding a bike, to dancing in The Nutcracker ballet. To move here and adapt so courageously only shows what an incredible human Elsa is. It is an honored to call her my daughter.
But for all the joy I have felt, there is a small part of me that aches for her mother back in Ethiopia. I simply can't imagine what it must have felt like to say goodbye. I heard a quote once that perfectly summarizes my emotions:
"A child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me." -- Jody Landers
I have desperately longed for a way to let Elsa's mother know that all is well; that I am loving and teaching and protecting her child as my own.
And my opportunity just arrived.
Through connections we have made in the adoption community we learned about someone traveling to Elsa's remote village and are able to send pictures to be given to her mother. I am overjoyed! So I've gone through thousands of pictures and picked out some favorites to share. It is my hope that these pictures will bring peace to her heart and that she will know all is well for the daughter that we share.
Here are the collages I put together. They will be on their way to Ethiopia by weeks end!