Sunshine has been telling me about a holiday that her family celebrated from the time she came to live with us. The holiday is called "Ashenda." My two little ones were born in Mekelle, which is in the northern part of Ethiopia (in the region called Tigray.)
She would get excited when she told about the beautiful dresses that the girls would wear and how they would braid their hair in a special way. After the girls looked their best, they would go in groups throughout the streets singing and dancing. As they sang, the neighbors would give them money.
Celebrating Christmas brought back all of their Ashenda memories and I began to search further for more information. It is easy to find Youtube videos that show girls singing during Ashenda, but I wanted to know more.
During the holidays we began taking Sunshine and Little Buddy to see an Adoption Attachment Therapist. Our little ones are having some very real grief issues related to their six siblings that are still in Ethiopia. There is one sister, in particular, that they are both grieving deeply for. Her name is Tirhas. She is the oldest sister that was living at home. She took great care of them as long as she could and they miss her very much.
They are beginning to deal with the loss and all that goes with it. But they were both thrilled when I found a book all about Ashenda. The most amazing part was the name of the book, "Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda!"
The book is written by Ato Yohannes'. Ashenda is a coming of age holiday for girls from the Tigray region of Ethiopia. This book was distributed at the Ashenda festival this past year in honor of the First Tigray Children's Book Week. An organization called Ethiopia Reads has recently built the first library in Mekelle. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, you can email Janet Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adopting older children comes with many blessings. One of the greatest desires of my heart is to bring peace to their hearts. This book helped to fill in another piece of their story, which in time brings healing.