It was one year ago today that we saw Yikealo's face for the very first time in the referral photos that our agency e-mailed to us. We had been waiting for a week while David's surgeon wrote a letter to AGCI stating that his upcoming surgery would not hamper his ability to parent, and we had been calling every single day to see if the letter had been sent yet. On the morning of the 25th, I was praying about Yikealo right before I picked up my Bible to read. I had been working through the One Year Bible, and the Psalm reading for that day really spoke to me, especially these verses: “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families…” I told David that I just had a feeling that we would finally receive the photos that day!
I was right. That afternoon, AGCI e-mailed us the referral information on a little boy named Yikealo Haftu. I can't begin to explain how it felt to sit down at our computer to open the photos of the child that would more than likely become our son. I was so excited and so nervous. David and I prayed together before opening the file, and this was the first picture that we saw:
It was labeled "first day at HH", and we could so easily see the pain and confusion in his eyes. He looked like his whole world had been torn apart, which in reality, it had. Other photos showed him full-length, dressed in little girl's jeans that said "Princess" in sparkly letters across one thigh, pink tennis shoes, and a string of green beads around his neck. All of the photos from that first day show the same haunted look to his eyes, and they still break my heart to look at them.
There were lots of other pictures too though, ones that showed a happy smile and a little boy who seemed to be adjusting really well to his new temporary home.
I was so completely caught off guard by his appearance - he didn't look AT ALL the way that I had been picturing him, and David and I were both shocked by how much he resembled a couple of our nephews. When we got to this photo,
we said in unison, "Oh my! He looks like Cole!" We were both crying and laughing. I remember looking into that little face on the computer screen and asking over and over, "Are you my son?" as if he could somehow reply.
When we had thoroughly looked through the file, David walked over to his Bible and asked God for some confirmation. "Father, we've been praying all along that the very first referral would be the child that You intended for us. We're a little confused with the timing, Lord, and we don't really understand why this is happening right as I face what could be a life-threatening health condition, so we're asking for some direction. Above all, we don't want to jeopardize this little boy's future in any way, so if we're supposed to wait for some reason, please let us know. " He let the Bible fall open in his hands and looked down at it. Moments later, he looked up at me with tears streaming down his face and said, "Well, there's our answer!" He then read out loud to me, “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” (Psalm 2: 7-8)
I am still in awe of the way that God spoke to us throughout our adoption journey, and I am so thankful that we serve a Father who chooses to answer our questions and to provide clarity when we need it. I don't know what the future holds, but I know that He does, and I feel so secure in that knowledge!