Mar 23, 2007

Ethiopian Eyes


Ethiopians have the most beautiful eyes! The first impression that struck me while clicking through CHSFS's family photo album of adopted Ethiopian children was that Ethiopians are uniquely beautiful. I didn't know what Ethiopian looked like before (I live in Central Kansas!) or maybe never thought it through, but what classical and exotic features stared from my monitor: high foreheads, soft mocha skin, large eyes, spirited expressions. I had been considering adopting from Ethiopia when I first came across these faces (Russia, Kazakhstan, Guatemala, Haiti, & Vietnam were other countries I had listed and eventually crossed out--I think in that order), and I think it was that moment I decided.


Melissa Fay Greene describes the face of a young orphaned girl in her book There is No Me Without You that could also sketch the faces of our Bereket and Sira: "Thick black eyebrows had been sketched as if in charcoal upon the classic oval Ethiopian face; huge round eyes midface were full of intelligence. . ." Well, no offense B & S, but I'm not sure those baby eyes are sparkling with intelligence, but definitely love!


Bereket and Sira indeed have BIG round eyes, looong lashes, & thick arching brows.


When we first met the boys, their eyes would at times spontaneously POP wide-open; they were tiny babies and ALL EYES. Look at the funny photos of Bereket and Sira below, the camera flash can really get those beautiful eyes bugging! 8)


Tsega's eyes are more almond shaped, his brows more chiseled (don't you just want to kiss those lips!?). This probably won't make sense to you, but I describe Tsega's facial features as "curly". And I love it when the camera captures the curliness (or maybe curviness) of his lips and eyes.



Maybe it's not very deep or polite to talk about beauty and it's certainly not something on which to base an adoption plan. And please forgive my bragging (biased proud mama here). But I think Ethiopians and non-Ethiopians must agree that the "classic Ethiopian look", whatever that image is to you, is so darn good looking! :)

16 comments:

Jenn said...

i agree! :-) thanks for posting copious amounts of sweet photos of your sons. they bring a little thrill of hope to this waiting mama's heart.

blondie said...

Love your blog - and those konjo boys of yours. Very jealous of your joy and happiness raising such a wonderful brood.

:)
Waiting in Australia

Kellie said...

I agree 100% - our kids are gorgeous! I totally get your description of Tsega as having "curly" features - Helen is the same way. They have a slight slant/curl to their eyes and lips (and eyelashes, of course). Is it just me or do our kids also have amazing eyebrow control? They are so expressive!

Cindy said...

Thanks everyone, and Kellie, you are so right about the eyebrow control! Did you see my first post, the referral picture--look at Sira's brows in the middle! I love it! :)

Bek said...

I know what you mean about the eyes. They are very arresting and easy to pick out.... in fact, yesterday at the doctors waiting room I spied some Ethiopian eyes. An adult man w/ his 1 yr old daughter and his MIL... we made small talk (he was telling me ALL about Ethiopian adoption and how every time he goes home he sees white families on the plane w/ E kids and thinks its great...) and his MIL asked me if my daughter was Ethiopian. I was very flattered....she does have large eyes and I would like to think they are like the Ethiopian eyes, but alas they are not.

But I am happy w/ being a close second. :-) They are really, really dreamy and the most distinctive feature I think... there are several "looks" when I think about Ethiopians, but they all have the eyes....

Jessie said...

I agree completely!!!

Emma said...

Check out those eyes! So very loveable! Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos of your gorgeous children!

andreag said...

I would have to say that I TOTALLY agree with you about the features. I too had never known what "ethiopian" looked like, which I am sad to admit. But it's a striking beauty and one that I love to look at in my own son.
Your boys are too precious for words, your pictures of them are amazing. I think your Tsega is going to be one little heart breaker.
Thank you for sharing!

Liz Feuerborn said...

Oh my! We (my children and I) spent the day adoring your gorgeous babies! We are restoring a farmhouse in Nebraska and trying to finish up our homestudy so we can adopt from Ethiopia. Your babies are too cute. Take care, Liz Feuerborn Lincoln, NE

Susy Q said...

I CANNOT get over how cute, cute, CUTE your little boys are!!! (That was one "cute" for each baby!)

Kelli said...

Wow! Congratulations! They are really so beautiful! You must be one HAPPY Mama & Papa! How fortunate to have TRIPLETS! I love all the photos!

lara said...

your boys are simply beautiful ,what bundles of joy!!

Senaity said...

Dear Kellie,

Your kids are simply gorgeous.

I moved from Ethiopia 10yrs ago. When I was growing up, my sister and I had this big dream of opening and orphanage for all the homeless and abandoned kids.

Eventhough I could not stay long enough to fulfill my dreams in Ethiopia, they have come to frution through wonderful, loving generous and kind people like you.

Thank you for giving them a wonderful home. I would not think of a better country for them to grow up in.

God bless you and your husband and your little one. May they grow to be your joy and pride.

A Very Very Grateful Ethiopian,

Senait

zobil said...

Your boys are beautiful. No other word to describe them. Hi I am an Ethiopian-American father. We live in Ethiopia with our two children. Just wanted to ask if you are doing as much as possible to help your boys retain their cultural identity. I think you will find it very important especially as they get older. A good way to do this is to buy Children's songs CD's, and Amharic/English software and books.
It would also be a good idea to keep Ethiopian music and videos and thankfully YOUTUBE has a wealth of these ranging from the faintly ridiculous to the useful.
I think its wonderful you chose to give children a home, it makes me by extension as much an Ethiopian as they are. It is a nation with an incredible history and a very proud and enviable heritage.

Rosette said...

I know this is an old post but I can't help but say I share the same concerns as zobil. That and the whole exoticizing of the other that seems to be occuring with non-African descended adopters of adoptees.

Cindy said...

Rosette, my boys are six now. If I was "exoticizing" then I'm certainly not now. We're just doing our thing. Don't really like getting smack with your perceived trend, although I appreciate your comment. Where do you get that from.

No need for concerns (RE Zobil's comment). I don't blog about it; I don't even really blog at all anymore. But trust that we do pretty good about integrating an Ethiopian-related life.