Two years ago today, a very sad little boy named Yikealo arrived at Hannah's Hope - a place that would be his temporary home for almost 4 months. He had spent the previous few days traveling - about 500 miles away from the places and the people that he knew. He was scared and lonely and didn't understand what was happening to him. God had big plans, but Yikealo didn't know about that yet. He just missed his mother and his brother, and he felt lost.
I was looking at these pictures on our computer awhile back when Mr. Y walked into the room. The photos prompted the following conversation:
Y: "Hey, that's me!"
Me: "Yes, it is. These photos always make me feel sad."
Me: "Well, you just look so sad in them, and it makes me feel sad too."
Y: "Well, I WAS sad."
Me: "Do you remember how you felt then? Why were you so sad?"
Y: (shrugging his shoulders in a very matter-of-fact manner) "Because I just wanted a Mom and a Dad."
Then he reached up, gave me a big hug and turned back to his train set. Oh, how I love this kid. It makes my Mama heart ache to think about what he must have been going through, and yet I know how that story ends. I know that God has brought amazing beauty from the ashes of tragedy. What really breaks my heart are the millions of other children around the world in that exact situation right now...children who have that haunted look in their eyes because they "just want a Mom and a Dad" - a blessing that I have often taken for granted in my own sheltered life.
Today, my little guy spent the morning with his Daddy - off doing "guy stuff" together. They bought new tires for our car, got David's driver's license renewed, and stopped for smoothies at McDonald's. They ate breakfast together, read some stories, and crowed over how they were wearing the same type of shoes. When they arrived back home, Yikealo ran toward me full-tilt and leaped into my arms, wrapping his own around my neck and squeezing. It's pretty amazing the difference that two years can make!