Sunday, April 21, 2013

Finding Chloe

I have been thinking about this post for quite some time...trying to find the "right" words to say. Trying to balance being transparent while at the same time protecting privacy.  I guess I'll start with a portion of the back story before moving forward. 

For me personally I always looked forward to learning of our daughters birth name. When friends received their referrals and shared their children's name I was always fascinated with the meaning behind their name. Often times in awe of how fitting it was for them. In keeping with tradition, my hubby and I had both agreed early on that baby sisters birth name would be kept as her middle name just as we had done for Miss Emily.

Upon receiving our referral call I was told of two names for our daughter.  I instantly preferred one over the other. When I asked about who named her and if our coordinator knew the meaning I came up empty handed. Not being one to settle without doing my own research I began to try to find the meaning behind her name. I could not find anything. After arriving in Addis and getting settled in I started asking questions about her birth name once again in hopes of learning more. As other parts of her story became known my heart became heavy. It is bittersweet.  It took no time at all for us to know that the name on her referral paperwork would not become her middle name as we had hoped. We didn't talk about it anymore after that decision was made. 

On our 3rd day here in Addis we chose to take a tour to the Nile Gorge. We wanted to get out of the city and into the countryside for fresh air and a different view. We thought a scenic drive in a van where we could all just relax would be refreshing. We were not disappointed. We really enjoyed the drive, the landscape was amazing, the machiatos and food delicious, and seeing wild baboons with their babies made Emily's day.

Something else really special happened on this journey. Midway to the Nile Gorge we stopped at a roadside overlook.  As we got out of the van we were greeted by a swarm of local villagers. They varied in age from young to old, both male and female. They were selling hand made baskets. They were brightly colored and varied in size and shapes. In the midst of the chaos I was approached by a young girl whose eyes drew me in. And in her soft spoken voice she told me that she was a student. Her spirit was gentle and kind. She was soulful. I told her that we would buy a basket from her and a few of the others. In a gracious manner she humbly put her baskets down on the ground so we could see them. After picking out our baskets I asked this young girl her name. She told me it was Gunnet.  Shyly she said Gunnet means "heaven".  We took pictures and than it was time to get back into the van and continue on.  However once I got into the van and processed what I had just experienced I began to cry. Not sad tears but happy tears.  As strange as this sounds I knew deep down inside that this moment was to be a part of our story. Chloe's story.  Without a shadow of a doubt I knew Chloe's middle name was to be Gunnet.  It brought my heart great joy to know that Chloe would now have a name that was chosen, meaningful and from her birth country.  

I love you Chloe Gunnet Davis!!!

Beautiful Gunnet

Those eyes...