This little guy keeps us laughing. Most of the time. Constant whistling, singing, silliness. Most of the time. Smothering me with hugs and super wet kisses. Most of the time.
Today is his “Gotcha Day.” When I first heard of that concept- celebrating the day that an adopted child arrives into their new family, I smiled. Thoughts of a thankful child receiving what they longed for. Family.
Don’t get me wrong, we will celebrate today. (He has already been out to breakfast with Dad- his love language) Will our sweet boy celebrate being with us? I hear people say, “he is so blessed to have you guys. I bet he is so thankful.”
Is he happy to be with us? Yes. Most of the time. He has plenty of food to eat, a toothbrush, shoes, underwear, a Samsung Galaxy tablet that he saved birthday money and chore money to buy. All of those things, he didn’t dream of having in Ethiopia. Should we be surprised, even disappointed when he doesn’t show us gratitude? After all, we rescued him. Right? He’s so lucky. Blessed.
In my ignorance, I treated him that way. “He should be thankful,” I thought. Said. Why all of this pouting? Why all of this anger? I did not know loss. Not like he did. I did not know abuse. At all. The pain I had experienced in childhood, my baggage could in no way be compared to his wound.
His father died. We have records of his death. From what we know of their culture, he would have seen everything- the death, the burial. There wasn’t a doctor, a funeral home. Nothing to make it less horrifying than it was to a little boy. I still have my dad.
He remembers his mother, who could not care for him, bringing him to an orphanage. He remembers both of them crying. He remembers watching her walk away. He was four. I was never abandoned, but now I know what that does to a soul. Rejection has a face.
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’[a]
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’[b]”
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.