I try smiling, getting on their level, talking in a high pitched voice, wearing a scarf, it doesn't matter. The kids are scared of me. The ones three and up who I see on a regular basis slowly let me into their circles, but the babies and toddlers, if I even get too close, they freak out.
Disheartened, I asked, "Why are they scared of me?" The answer is one that has followed me since my first summer in Mexico 10 years ago. "It's because they aren't used to a white face…and they think you look like a lion".
So, when I can do anything to get a young one to come near, I seize the opportunity.
A young sweetie who was visiting our home. Totally used bribery to bring him near. He was so enamored by the dog, he forgot about the dangerous predator holding it.
And then this sweet little girl, laid back enough to fixate on something else and forget the scary lady holding her.
It makes me laugh to think about all white, adoptive parents to Ethiopia have to overcome. Poor kids, as if they don't have enough to frighten them, then lions come and take them home.