Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Zeni is five tomorrow.

What was her birth mom thinking five years ago today?  Did she know exactly how far along she was, and that the baby would be coming at any time?  Was she feeling contractions and if so did she know what they were, what they meant?  Her own mother was already dead and she didn't have any sisters to ask - her father, even if he had been supportive of her, would have been no help to answer questions like that nor would her babies' father, who was long gone.

Did she give much thought to the pregnancy or was she too hungry and too exhausted to think about what she would do with a newborn while she was at work all day?  Did she have anything ready?  A blanket or cloth for diapers?  Did she hope to raise her child and muddle through somehow or was she beyond hope - too young to realize what it means to be responsible for someone else's life?  Did she dream of her baby growing up and getting out of the slums of Addis Ababa?  Did she dream of getting out herself, of going to school, of falling in love or having a job?

What I know is scant.  She went into labor while she was at work cleaning, she waited until after work and then went to the health station where the baby was born.  Her father came to the hospital and named the baby "Medhanit", which means medicine.  Then he left.  He was angry with his daughter for having sex, for getting pregnant.  Why did he chose that name?  Did he harbor his own hopes for the newborn, of education or of healing?

I think of my daughter's first mother every day of her life and tomorrow, as we celebrate Zeni's 5th birthday, I will hold her in my mind and in my heart and thank her and cry for her and hope for her, and for me and for Zeni, that one day we can meet and ask and answer.


anymommy said...

Beautiful. Happy birthday, Zeni.

Meghan said...

The not knowing is a hungry beast, ever ravenous for every moment. My mom was adopted and we never met her family, the not knowing took it's toll on her but I hold out hope that finally finding them will help her fill that hole. Your little girl is as precious as they get and she is so lucky to have you as a Mama!

Trevor and Sara said...

So beautiful. Beautiful words and beautiful baby girl. Thank you for sharing!