It has seemed over the last few months that Yikealo really did not remember his older brother at all. He has never mentioned him, and whenever I've brought up his name, Yikealo has shown absolutely no recognition. On the other hand, maybe he knew the older boy by a word that meant "brother" and not by his given name. The only information that we've had is that his name is Edil and that he was 10 years old last March when Yikealo was relinquished. We also know that because of the extent of Mihiret's leprosy, Edil was doing pretty much everything around their home, including taking care of his little brother, earning any money, feeding his mother, and cooking the scant bit of food that was available. Now that he is no longer responsible for raising Yikealo and he and his mother are receiving sponsorship money from our agency, it is hoped that Edil will be able to gain at least a little education.
Anyway, yesterday morning, out of the blue, Yikealo and I had this conversation:
Y: "Mom, menember Mihiret have ouchie hands?"
Me: "Yes, I remember."
Y: "And then Dear God give you little boy - me?"
Me: "Yes He did."
Y: "And then I go Mihiret's house?"
Me: "No, sweetie, I'm sorry, but we can't go to Mihiret's house."
Y: "No, no no! Not now. I live Mihiret's house - long time."
Me: "Oh! You mean that you used to live there?"
Y: "Yeah! Mom, menden boy's name? Big boy - live Mihiret's house?"
Me: (slightly shocked) "You remember a big boy that lived with you?"
Y: "Yeah - menden name?"
Y: (thoughtfully) "Edil." (long pause and a little smile) "Mom, he nice with me."