Today we were privileged to have an entire day with “Big Brother.” The other four couples had court or Embassy appointments in the morning. One family passed Embassy, two passed court, one did not. Please pray they will pass soon before closures, though court closures are starting remarkably late this year: Aug 22-Oct 1, which is also quite short which bodes well for adoptive families! So during their appointments, we went to the Transition House (TH) to see our son.
We spent the day talking, sharing things we know in common, including some sign language (one of his good friends here is deaf), playing card games, looking at photos and videos on my iphone, taking photos (which he does not enjoy—gets shy and hard to talk him into smiling—but yet he wanted to take more with his friends), and laughing. He is good at card games, loves to learn, is playful, and enjoys just sitting together watching people. I love seeing all the things he has in common with our other kids!
We had also asked permission to take him to eat with us, and since he is a big kid, they let him though we have not yet passed court. I wanted to take him last night to the Ethiopian restaurant with the dancing and fun, but it would have been too late. So we will do that next trip when he gets to be with us the whole time. (Sorry, Liam, you’ll have to “take one for the team”—all they serve there is Ethiopian food. :)) This time we went to Amsterdam Restaurant which is very good.
Then we headed back to the TH for the afternoon of more of the same, and we also got to visit the Big Kid TH where S sleeps. We will have to pass court before we can show pics. We passed out glow sticks to the big kids there. (We had more than enough but still ended up with not enough, so advice to those of you yet to come, line the kids up and pass them out to make sure some little fingers are not double-dipping. :))
Though he wouldn’t admit it, I think S was tired by the end of the day, and possibly hurting. It was good we didn’t do the late Ethiopian restaurant last night. As I read recently, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Prov 16:9) As much as I really wanted to share that with him, I know S and Maura had a great time together today at the laid back lunch. She said it was her favorite part of the day. She and S laughed a lot! (He has such a beautiful smile when he is not hiding from the camera!)
I can’t wait till you see in person how sweet Big Brother is. He is so loving with all the kids, and especially with Maura. I had heard this about him with the babies, but I was so thrilled to see it with bigger kids too. And all the nannies and staff LOVE him. He is so gentle and patient and helpful and thankful. He said he hopes to do something to help other people in the future. I have no doubt God is going to use him in a big way! I got teary today sharing with a couple of the other moms that my biggest prayer in adopting an older boy was that he would be a great big brother to our other kids. Though God is still writing this story that will inevitably have many ups and downs along the way, I know God heard my prayer and believe He is answering it beyond what I would have imagined.
I believe God speaks to me at times, and most often through Scripture. Because I am a numbers girl (remember, I have a MATH degree! I, like Jonah I guess, tried my best to run from writing and reading and speaking when I was in college! God says, “Ha Ha! Who’s the boss?!”), sometimes my mind picks up on numbers in the Bible and wants to try to make something of them. I truly fight it and read on quickly, but one Scripture I read wouldn’t let me pass it by because July 23 sticks with me since it is the day of our first referral phone call in 2010. I wrote this Scripture in my journal in the middle of May, before our home study was finished, before our official referral, before our announcement, before we had any idea when we would be in Ethiopia. (Someday I hope to share with you more of the things God has shown me through the story of David and his relationship with his son Solomon.)
“On the 23rd day of the seventh month he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad in heart for the good things the Lord had done for David and Solomon and for his people Israel.” (2 Chron 7:10)
Somehow I knew this day, July 23, would be a special one with our son, even though at the time I had no idea I would be here with him. (Know that I am aware that the Jews use an entirely different calendar year and please don’t take this as a license to interpret Scripture this way. It is a totally improper hermeneutic. I’m just telling you what I felt God revealed to me that day in May.)
There was nothing exceptionally remarkable about today except that it was just a lovely day laughing and getting to know our son. Well, nothing except the fact that he was born on the other side of the world just a year after Michael and I were married. And that out of our broken and messed up lives, God is weaving this tapestry that only He could make so beautiful, imperfections and all. Oh, and that I can truly say how much I love my son though I have only just met him. But other than that, nothing out of the ordinary.
Thanks again for all of your encouragement and prayers for us. Please pray as we talk with the doctor tomorrow, that we know what questions to ask so as to give us wisdom for the many doctor appointments we have ahead of us, and that we can learn more of his heart and his hurts (physical and emotional) so that we can best parent and help him grieve. Pray also for court on Wednesday morning at 9am (Tues night 1am-ish for you) and our meeting with S’s birth father and S together. Oh, it is going to be an emotional day. I’m afraid I will cry more than anyone.
God is paving the way and blessing all that He has planned, but I believe your prayers are part of that plan. We are humbled by it all. And I am praying that God is sending you, His people Israel, home with joyful and glad hearts because of what He is doing for us all.