Rabbi Susan Silverman with Zamir.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
When I first met my son Zamir, now 15, he was four years old and living in an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My two older daughters, Aliza and Hallel, then 12 and 10, came with me to bring home their new brother. As we waited in the courtyard of the children’s center to meet him, we watched the orphanage director, Gail, through the series of windows that ran the length of the building. It was naptime, and we held our breath glimpsing Gail walk from one bed to the other. Which held my son, their brother? About two-thirds in, Gail reached up to a top bunk. She emerged into the courtyard with Zamir slumped in her arms, his head on her shoulder, his legs and arms hanging loosely at her sides. She leaned over me and his weight transferred to my lap. After a few beats he roused, looked into my face and stared. Recognition dawned. He knew my face, as well as that of his new Abba, brother and three sisters from the little red photo album we had sent months earlier.