I stood in the African shade trembling--not only from heat, but nervousness too.
They passed you to me and I sobbed while you stared, wide-eyed. Most of the other babies and their new papas and mamas bonded, played, and slept.
20 minutes later the vomiting started, and fear rushed through me like the passing ocean waves outside the orphanage door. And that night alone in a 3rd world country I had no clue how this story would end.
Now I do.
It ends with a expedited return flight home from Liberia.
With a frightening hospital trip back in the States.
It ends with you adding chubby baby rolls to those protruding ribs.
With you growing healthier (finally!), smiling baby grins and holding out baby arms to me.
God gave us a happy ending.
Yesterday you turned eight. Eight!
As you grow, you fit your names more and more:
Elijah: Jehovah is my God. (Your prophetic, serious side.)
Kondwani: Joyful (Your dimpled smile, positive side)
Martin: You belong right here with us, my boy.
I honor your story, Elijah.
I honor the one who made the hardest sacrifice out of hope and love for you--your birthmother.
And I honor the One who answered her prayers (& our own) and led us from a world away to walk life's journey together.
Happy birthday, my son.
"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey home across time & miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands."
~ Kristi Larson