If you are expecting me to be politically correct in this post... STOP READING NOW. We can all sing kumbaya later... right now, I am going to rant.
I must admit that today... I am officially "Ethiopian'd" out.
I received a phone call a few days ago from the father of a friend who has adopted from Ethiopia. I had offered to help him a few weeks ago make a video of his pictures from Ethiopia. Offered to help... Volunteered to help... ie: did the whole entire thing myself. OK. That's fine. I did it. I did it well. I didn't complain (much). We have already discussed my inability to tell people no.
So last week, in the midst of a very busy time in my life... he called to say he needed me to do one more thing for him... make another video with a few days notice... I actually burst into tears on the phone. For a split second, all I could think of was haven't I done enough? Haven't I loved the people of Ethiopia enough for awhile? I have nothing left to give to anyone else. I know. I sound so horrible and selfish and awful. Anything you're thinking couldn't be worse than what I'm feeling about myself.
So now there is an Ethiopian get together this weekend for kids adopted from Ethiopia in the area. We usually go. We usually are involved in it. We usually bend over backwards to get everyone there. We can't make it this time unless we skip Jack's soccer game or I don't go to work, which is not an option. I almost felt guilty for saying we wouldn't be there. I almost felt like a bad adoptive parent for not giving the kids the opportunity to see their Ethiopian friends.
And then something hit me. You know what? My OTHER kids haven't been to an activity that wasn't an Ethiopian event in months. They miss birthday party after birthday party because of Josh's soccer schedule. They rarely get to do anything that is just about them. And the conclusion I came to today... is that what we are lacking is balance.
We are now beginning a quest for balance. Yes, our kids are Ethiopians... but they are also Ellerbees. And while you can seek to fix all that is wrong with the world and make Ethiopia your mission (as well it should be), you can also allow it to take your focus away from the fact that your kids need you now. I wish that I could take on every project and do every charitable thing possible to help, but sometimes there comes a time when your kids just need family time as much as they need Ethiopian time. And that's where we're at right now.
OK, that's it. I'm done with that rant. Whew, I feel better now.
Anyone for a round of kumbaya?