As we prepare to finalize the adoption in court this week, the 4-year-old we brought home from Ethiopia on July 6 is still wondering when this fairy tale will come to an end.

Dawit still isn’t convinced this is real.


As we prepare to finalize the adoption in court this week, the 4-year-old we brought home from Ethiopia on July 6 is still wondering when this fairy tale will come to an end.


He was relinquished by his mother a little over a year ago. Since then, he lived in an orphanage and three different foster care centers before coming to live with us.


For more than a year, he has lived with people who he couldn’t understand and moved four times. Then they gave him to us and told him we are his new parents.


That would mess with my head at 40. Dawit is just 4.


Considering everything he has been through in a year, the little guy is really making progress. He is learning English, going to preschool and just generally enjoying life.


But my wife found out that even though Dawit has really begun to acclimate, he is not 100 percent convinced that this new life is permanent.


While I was covering high school football Friday night, she was letting the boys know we were going to go to the annual fly-in at the municipal airport Saturday morning. She told Dawit he would get to see airplanes, and she made an airplane sound.


Instead of being excited, Dawit’s lips turned south and he began crying like his heart was breaking. My wife asked him what was wrong and he said, “No airplane, momma. Please, momma, no airplane.”


It only took her a minute to realize what was going on.


The first time he got on a plane, his mother had relinquished him and he was flown from Mekele, Ethiopia, to Addis Ababa, where he lived in our agency’s foster care system.


The next time he got on an airplane he flew all the way to Kansas.


To him, airplanes mean you are moving, and he didn’t want to leave his new family. I think he kind of likes us.


When she realized what he was thinking, she scooped him up and comforted him and did all she could to assure him that he would be with us forever.


There won’t be any more “new houses” unless we were there with him.


He finally calmed down.


I have no idea how long it will be before he knows that there won’t be a “next time” or another new family. Hopefully, as he learns the language better, he will understand the concept better, too.


Saturday morning, he enjoyed the planes flying around and shooting smoke out over the crowd. He loved the fact that we were all there as a family.


But I think his favorite part was when we all got in the car together and headed home.


Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.