Thursday, October 27, 2011

the day we met

One year ago we were sitting at a picnic table in Adama, Ethiopia making silly faces and sharing lollipops with a scared little boy who was about to become our son. I can see so much when I look back on those two or three hours we had together with eyes that are one year older: so much change, so many blessings, so much left to learn together.

I see his wide-eyed look with the right side of his bottom lip tucked under -- a look he wore in almost every picture we had of him before he came home, a look I haven't seen him make in months.

I thank God today for his healing.

I see the smiling, loving, patient nannies who laughed at his toddler rages, scooped him up, offered him a bottle, and kissed his cheeks.

I thank God today for the love and compassion shown to him before we ever met.

I see us, aware of his fear and guardedness, thrilled with every scream-free moment, every half-smile, every tiny sign of interest and interaction he gave us.

I thank God today for his easy laugh, his willing hugs, his playful spirit.

The last twelve months have been difficult for each of us in different ways, but blessings have woven their way through even the hardest days and longest nights; God has been at work. Love, trust, security, hope, and joy are slowly growing to replace fear, pain, anxiety, and reluctance. Yes, we still have hard days (in fact yesterday was fairly brutal). But looking back I see that the things which helped us make that first meeting with Z go well might be the very same things to help get me through the daily struggles with him today: be positive, gentle, and observant, keep the expectations low, rejoice in the small victories... and have plenty of lollipops on hand.

One year ago:

I swear we are not oblivious to his crying, we were just laughing because even his fits were cute to us... then. :)

his signature look, check out the lower lip bite

Last week:

(on vacation in Maui with my family)

I know I just used this picture in my last post, but I just had to add it in again. He was happy as a little clam on the beach all week!


  1. The resilience in our children is truly amazing.

  2. Wow. An entire year. What a blessing these past 12 months have been. You know, one of those blessings that pulls you in every possible direction, brings to the surface every emotion a heart can hold, takes you to the brink of sanity and then snaps you back into the warmth of God's love, peace and redemption. All in just 1 teensy year.

  3. Tears came to my eyes! Such a blessing these babes are to us and such a gift from God - that we can be a part of their healing.

  4. beautiful rehearsing of God's redemption...thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  5. Ariam used to bite her lip that way too.
    I like your comment about our blog selves being separate from our real selves. I just engaged in this long comment conversation on an adult adoptee blog and looking back I feel like my blog/commenting self is just all wrong. Not me. It is so hard to represent yourself accurately, not just in writing, but in this online adoption community!

  6. That post gave me goosebumps! Found you through your quick takes, and I love your honest reflections - and sweet boy!