This is sad story. You need two pieces of back information first.
1. There is a boy named Eyob in Ethiopia who is about 10 yrs old and quite sick because he was born with Spina Bifida. A family we know sponsors Eyob and brings us up to date on him from time to time.
2. I recently accumulated enough frequent flyer miles to take the four of us to Addis for free, and I am trying to convince Colleen that we should all do a homeland visit during April school vacation in 2010. Colleen is concerned it is too soon and will create too many emotions for Marin.
Fast forward to yesterday, we are all in the car and Marin starts asking questions about Eyob. We're having a nice conversation about Eyob and Ethiopia and I decide this is a good time to ask Marin if she is ready to visit Ethiopia "Not to stay, but just for a few sleepovers and them fly back to America". Marin was very excited and started talking about all the people she wanted to see, including Eyob, and using the few Amharic words she remembers. I looked at Colleen as if to say "and you were concerned about what??"
Suddenly, Marin fell silent and her face was expressionless. Then she burst into inconsolable wailing. " I miss my mommy. I want my mommy. I miss her so much." Whoa. We thought we were way beyond this. We had to stop the car and hug and rock Marin to calm her down. I think this is a new definition of powerlessness. When we have invested almost 3 years of bonding with a great kid, only to find out that when the chips are down, it is still her African mother that she will call out for, even when we are sitting beside her in the same car. We were heartbroken for her.