Wednesday, January 15, 2014

4.5 Months: A Reminder

When Edith turned four months, that ache in my heart happened again. This was another milemarker in our relationship with Israel. When he was 4.5 months, we met him in Ethiopia and went to court. It was at this time that we finally felt the weight of our son in our arms, got to smell him, touch his soft curls, and kiss him for the first time. When he was 4.5 months old, we got to witness first hand the gift that we had been given, and got to enter into his world at Hannah's Hope where all that was familiar to him was. We were able to learn his routine and smell his smells and hear his sounds.

I think about how hard it would be if Edith were taken from me and given to someone else right now. Already, when I'm leaving her at daycare or with a babysitter, I leave instructions on how she likes to be held or how she goes to sleep. I know exactly how to make her smile and have months of memories of rocking her, wearing her, and staring at her. I have been the primary caregiver, and I know her best. Even if someone else took her and raised her from this point- there would be a piece of her and me that would be deeply imprinted in these first five months. She knows my voice and my touch and will melt in my arms after being fidgety in someone else's.

Leaving Israel in Ethiopia was the darkest day of my life. Gosh, I still tear up thinking about it. But bringing him home was not easy for him. I am reminded of the many losses for Israel. He was known by several special mothers, and had a firm routine by the time we visited him at Hannah's Hope. By five months old, he had seen so many changes in his precious life. It's not right! It's not how its supposed to be. I'm so thankful that he is in our family now, but I mourn the loss of those months. I mourn that we didn't see him start to smile or coo for the first time. I mourn that he didn't get to snuggle with us in the bed at night or that I didn't get to breastfeed him. Having Edith has reminded me of the losses that he has experienced. I wish that his story involved one family from the start, and that he never had to be in an orphanage. I'm so thankful he's mine and I'm praying for God's grace to heal all those hurts that those first months caused.

I think about his birth mom, and how much she has missed. I have said before and I'll always wish that I could have an open adoption where she is a part of his life. He's the best boy in the world, and I know she would be so proud to see how far he's come.

I'm so thankful for Edith too. I'm blessed to have a little one that reminds me of how special her brother is and how I can't forget his unique story. It's easy to forget that he wasn't always with us. I hope I always remember, grieve, and have hope for the story that was written for Israel. Our little one was Ethiopian first and his story is much bigger than us.



Two of my favorite pictures from our first trip to Ethiopia. To read more about that trip, click here. 

2 comments:

  1. beyond precious. i know the ache of walking away from your child with unknowns and that pain is always with us. you're such a testimony friend.

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  2. I know well that pain! We adopted our oldest out of foster care at the age of 9. Then a few months later we had our first biological child. How I wish I could have shared her earliest memories with her!

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