How do I even begin this post? I know I won’t do justice to the experience and feelings of our family today. Last night as I lay in bed I was thinking of this old hymn…
Bind us together, Lord, bind us together
with chords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord, bind us together
bind us together in love.
I pray this for our family. We may look diffferent. We may have a completely different heritage and background. We may not speak the same language. But I know that with the Lord’s help, love can bind us all together as a family.
We arrived at the Transition Home where our children have been living for the past 9 months. As we walked through the gates, our eyes searched the crowd of about 50 orphans who were outside playing to try to find our children. And then…it was seriously almost like the crowd of children parted. We saw our boys. They were running towards us. Of course, tears immediately filled my eyes. There they were! My boys! They had no reservations as they ran in for hugs. Taking turns passing from Scott, to Joel, to Hannah, to me. And in the midst of our hugs and family huddle, our daughter came running from the other side of the playground and jumped right in the middle of it all. I got to touch their little faces. I got to kiss their little cheeks. Holding their hands. Picking them up and hugging them close. Breathing in their sweet smell for the first time.
We spent the next couple of hours playing together. Simple things. A game of frisbee with all of us in a big circle. We got out some sidewalk chalk and the boys immediately wanted to show us their English capabilities. I was very impressed. Micah can write his alphabet! Levi thinks he can write his alphabet 🙂 It was actually a lot of letters in a jumble, but boy was he proud! I painted Abigail and Hannah’s fingernails a vivid red. We played soccer. Micah pretty much showed up the rest of us with his ball handling skills. Abigail confiscated my camera and spent a good 30 minutes walking around taking pictures of everyone. We handed out bouncy balls and miniature dinosaurs to all of the kids at the Transition Home. I can hardly believe it, but we got to spend time with our kids today!
There is so much going through my mind right now. Here are a few of the special moments that I am holding close to my heart.
Micah and Levi following Joel everywhere. They wanted to play only with him. Soccer. Sidewalk chalk. Cars. If another boy from the orphange tried to join their game, little Micah would just shake his finger at that boy. They called Joel brother.
Abigail pulling on Scott’s arms and asking to be picked up. Then sitting in his lap. And not wanting to get out. She was fascinated by him. She pushed up his shirt sleeve to look at his arm. Then she asked him to make a muscle and giggled while she poked his bicep.
When I pulled out the finger nail polish, Abigail picked bright red. Then she pulled Hannah’s hand and patted the seat next to her. She said “Sister.” She wanted me to paint their nails the same color.
Joel pulled out the bag of plastic dinosaurs and divided them into color piles. Then he played a game with Micah and Levi where he had them name the color of the dinosaur. Then he had them count the number of dinosaurs in each pile. Those boys did great! They know much more English than I thought they would.
When Abigail had my camera she was taking pictures of everything and everyone. But she kept coming back to me. She took so many pictures of me. I just looked through all the pictures she took today and there I am. Pointing. Hugging Hannah. Passing out bouncy balls. Playing dinosaurs with the boys. Smiling.
When in the midst of a crowd of children, I felt a tug on my arm and heard Abigail say for the first time “Mama.” She wanted me to come with her. She called me Mama.
When we were leaving today. Hugging. Saying goodbye. More hugging. And to hear Joel and Hannah telling their new brothers and sisters, “Wud a hahlo” “Wud a shahlo.” And to hear Abigail and Micah and Levi replying, “I love you.”
Here are a few pictures from today. Aren’t my children beautiful?