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Just Say T–I–A

My wife, Amy, arrived with Patrick Dale Sutherland, our newly adopted 14-month-old son from Zambia, on Sunday, April 26. She had been in Zambia for 14 weeks. Zambia is a peaceful country where 600,000 of its children are orphaned by AIDS and 64 percent of the population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day. On both of the five-day whirlwind trips I took to visit Amy and Patrick in Zambia, the radio warned of cholera and cautioned, “Boil your water.”When Amy and I chatted by Skype each morning, Amy often said “T-I-A,” meaning “This is Africa.” In other words, don’t try to make sense of it. It has taken literally dozens of forms, meetings, re-meetings, resubmitting of forms, and hundreds of calls to get an adoption done, and Amy learned to say to herself, with each setback, “T-I-A.”One of my greatest teachers taught me to look at the world through a prism of seeing the “culture” of people — not race, color, gender, age, education, or job, but culture. This allows us to accept people as they are and not get into the judging game. Of course, we know that it’s hard to accept a culture …

About the Author

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland resides in Michigan with his four youngest kids, ages 5 to 10. He and his wife, Amy, try to be an example of Parenting for a Peaceful world, in which democracy begins at home.

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