A Few of Her Least Favorite Things

We realized that, while with most things, Mea was very easy-going, there were a few “new” things in her life that caused her distress.

1. Snow and being bundled up in cold weather clothes. When we first got home, we had transitioned Mea from summer in Ethiopia to winter in America. Mea’s home country never goes below around 50 degrees anyway. They experience rain and little amounts of sunlight in the winter (our summer), like Alaska, but not winter-like temperatures.

As a result, we battled to bundle her in cold weather clothes – she hated feeling constrained! She was also a bit scared of snow when she first saw it. She likes it just fine now.


In Ethiopia, people don’t usually have animals inside the house. At any rate, Mea never lived with animals. So when we brought her home to a big dog and a cat, she freaked out.

2. Nemo was a big black dog – she did not like him at all. She cried every time he came near. We eventually had to find him another family to live with because she was so scared of him.

3. Our cat was usually out of sight. But not always. One time, she thought she would be friendly and approach Mea, who squealed. When the cat walked away, Mea peered around the couch to see if she was still there – she came back (thinking she found someone to pet her), only to be greeted by Mea squealing again.

Mea eventually got used to the cat, but doesn’t care for them much. A few years ago we got another, smaller, yellow dog. Mea loves Becca and cannot play with her enough.


It is funny how things that other kids usually like, because they were foreign to her, caused her great distress, when she first came home.

16 thoughts on “A Few of Her Least Favorite Things

  1. I can imagine the transition was exceedingly difficult. I never would have thought about things like pets in a home or bundling up in winter clothes. I can imagine it took a lot of time to get used to those differences.

  2. Wow! It’s so easy to forget what a HUGE transition it must be for our kids when they come home, and how different it is all is. Brayden was PHOBIC of the tub at first, like absolutely terrified! Within a few months though he LOVED the water and was sticking his head under!! Now at six he is a fish! Loves swimming and the water. It’s also amazing how quickly they adjust and just continue to thrive. Thanks for sharing. Your daughter is adorable!!!

  3. Transitions take time. Thanks for sharing this perspective. I think it applies to many things in life. I had to laugh, though, at the picture in my head of Mea peeking around the couch at the cat.

  4. I am always learning from you, Aileen. We are all getting to know your children through these wonderful anecdotes and descriptions. I am also glad you did get another dog that Mea can love and play with! Mea had so many HUGE changes in her life – I never thought about things like layers of clothing in wintertime – but, wow! There were so, so many big and little pieces to her transition to a new family in America!

  5. It’s hard making adjustments at any age, but Mea did it! I’m glad she is able to bond with the new dog, Becca. Hope she enjoys the snow a bit now too.

  6. This is a reminder how different our worlds are but a simple reminder that time, trust, and love will make the difference. Mea is a darling little nugget.

  7. Very interesting reflection! It’s a good reminder to think about how different cultures and different areas live life differently. She is so cute!

  8. I love how resilient your beautiful daughter is! Those little steps – with your new dog, for example – are priceless. She is such a cutie! That smile melts my heart.

  9. In college I taught near a refugee placement area and we had a large tribe/family placed there from Africa (after all this time, I cannot remember which country). I will never forget the first time those kids saw snow – it isn’t something I’ll ever forget. ❤

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