Latest news: Small is home from the hospital! He was "discharged" at 10 this morning, but we had to wait four hours for the medicine before we could leave, and another half hour or so for someone to find a car to come pick us up. I was so stir crazy today! I think it was knowing we were going to leave soon, and not being able to! But, we are home now. I kind of even felt like I could hug Grouchy Nurse (who, incidentally, wasn't there this morning. Never mind, I think I came up under the topic of "What to do with difficult mothers/caregivers" in their staff meeting at the nearby desk. They courteously held it in ENGLISH so that I could hear at least half the stuff I presumed they were saying about me...I have to say my ears burned a little, but I can kind of see the humor in it now...and they were fairly nice the rest of the day). Now our little Cupcake is sick and in isolation in the sickroom. PLEASE pray that it doesn't develop into what Small had! I'm not even sure it's the same thing. I just don't want her to have it!
I got to hold Owlie today. She is so soft and snuggly and brand-new. I'm not allowed to share the babies' stories, but hers, like all the others, breaks my heart. ='( She was only four days old when she came to us, not six as I had thought. Incidentally, she is still living up to her nickname. I love her real name - it means "love and happiness" and is so beautiful. I will get some more pictures of her tomorrow! I may have to just go hold her for a while. She does that newborn snuggle-into-your-chest thing that melts your heart. =)
On a completely different topic, to the average American, figuring out family relationships among Africans is at best very confusing and at worst almost impossible. They stretch the term "family" to limits I've never seen before. (Yes, this IS following on the heels of my "family in Christ" post yesterday, but sometimes for practical reasons it's nice to know who's biologically related to whom.) The conversation usually goes something like this:
Joy: Don't tell my brother that I did thus-and-such. (To Natacha, referencing her husband.)
Me: So, you are related? Sisters-in-law?
Joy: No, we aren't related. We are just close. So he is my brother.
Natacha: She's my sister from another mother.
Me: *muttering under breath* ...and another father!
Upon which, they both burst out laughing.
This would be classified as one of the easy to understand conversations.
Oftentimes, the conversations go more like this.
Friend: Hi, this is my daughter. (Introduces daughter.)
American, later on in the week: So, how is your daughter? Did you see her this week?
Friend: What daughter? My children are all back in *insert name of home country.*
American: *scratches head*
Or like this:
Britt: We are taking Mama Linda's "relative" to the hospital today.
Me: Who is she? (Noticing the quote marks in the air.)
Britt: Well, no one knows how she's actually related. Or if she even is related.
Relative, later on in the car: Mama Linda is my mother's sister. So, she is my mother.
Me: Ohhh....so she's your aunt.
Relative: No, she's my mother in our culture.
(Whether she is even biologically her aunt, is questionable...)
I do think it's pretty cool, because I don't ever have to explain that my "little sisters" Dana and Faith, or my nieces, Anna and Sarah, aren't actually related. No one gets confused or thinks I'm making things up. Sometimes it is really, really confusing though. The only relationship that isn't informally adopted is that of husband and wife. I could see how THAT could be confusing...hahaha!!! I'm imagining that conversation in my head right now!
The Megan Corner
(Yes, she has her own corner now. She's that awesome.)
Megan: They said if you don't stop talking they're going to bury you in eight feet of llamas.
This may become the threat of the century.