.one year later. Last year on this date we walked into AHOPE not knowing what to expect in our future. We waited in a tiny room for the nannies to bring our son to us. He needed to finish his shower and get ready. He walked in butt naked dripping wet and we all were a little surprised, haha. After helping him get dressed we really got to hug him and play with him and his friends.
The afternoon was a blur. There were lots of bubbles being blown, and chalk pictures being drawn. The kids laughed as Aaron spun them on their (completely dangerous) merry go round and as they hung from the monkey bars. I had my hair pulled by little girls who were in awe that my hair was so different then theirs and I let them play with it, as it only lasted a little while.
I talked with Tariku's nannies about his likes and dislikes. I found out he was a feisty fighter that let the world know when he was mad - that scared me. I talked with the nurse about his medicine and wrote down each medical note they had in this file.
We had his going away party. Where we sat in the middle of the floor and before it began I was a bawl of tears. Thankfully and humorously the kids started with Barney's, "I love you" so I could laugh and pull myself together a bit. We heard stories from Tariku's friends and nannies. We prayed. They prayed for Tariku and his new family. We prayed for them as they were his family for a year. We told them we would not forget them - and we haven't they are family and always will be.
Then Tariku got a gift. Handed over by the son we are now adopting. That moment is one I will always cherish, I knew it was special and I thought it was because of their history together..... but now I know it was also special because of their future too. God gives the best presents some coming in just glimpses of time. Tariku received his traditional outfit, changed and then we had photo time and goodbyes.
I was a wreck to say the least. The goodbyes were hard. I remember getting in the van and thinking that Tariku was so brave. As we drove back to the guest house that is all I remember thinking..... this boy is so brave, so so very brave.
You all know our transition was rough. Our time here is so much better now then it was two or three months in. We have bonded, learned, forgiven and formed trust. Somewhere along the way we become a family. I am so thankful today that we are in the place we are in. This year we have grown so much as a family much more then we ever could have foreseen. I am blessed to be Tariku's mom, to get to see him grown and thrive and love, and LAUGH. Thank you Jesus for this precious gift, it is a treasure.... a beautiful, sometimes messy, treasure. As I was proud of him a year ago, I am proud of this brave little soul now and will forever be thankful that we get to witness him grow into who God is changing him to be. .one year later.