Monday, May 21, 2012

Saying Goodbye

One month ago today was the last day that we had with our little S. We arrived at HH around 9:30, and he was so excited to have Yikealo's i-pod shuffle back for awhile!

He was wearing the shirt that Yikealo had been wearing on the day that we met him in 2009, so that was kind of fun to see. I was trying to explain it to the special mothers, and was having absolutely no luck with the language barrier, so I finally opened up my laptop and showed them our photos from that trip. In no time at all, I was surrounded by quite a crowd, and we spent about 30 minutes looking through old pictures. It was so neat to see the special mothers beaming and crying and calling out the names of children that they haven't seen in three years. There is absolutely no doubt how much they love these little ones.
Here is a photo of Yikealo with his former special mother, Alem. He dearly loved her, and when we arrived home with him, he talked about her for months, kissing her pictures, and naming one of his stuffed animals after her. It was so fun to see her again!

After the slide show, one of the older kids grabbed one of S's earbuds to listen in on his music. He threw a FIT, slinging the earbuds around at the other child. This was the result of them making contact with the concrete:
Needless to say, with broken earbuds, he lost his chance at hearing any more songs! He was having a MAJOR temper tantrum when we took them away, just howling over and over and kicking at his special mother. I picked him up and walked away from the group, telling him that he was okay and just generally crooning in his ear. After a bit, he had calmed down, but was still wailing in a very fake way, so I started imitating him. He thought that was hysterically funny, and for the rest of the day he would pretend to cry when I was holding him so that I would do the same back to him. He laughed and laughed, throwing back his head and just giggling for all he was worth.

It was a Saturday, and Almaz and the other office workers were off for the day. The atmosphere around HH was significantly more relaxed than usual, and we spent a lot of time goofing off with the older kids and interacting with some of the babies. There were several tubs full of soapy water, and everything was getting washed: toys, rugs, furniture, shoes, you name it. Yikealo pitched in to "help" and soon, he was instigating water fights and other forms of pure orneriness. Thankfully, the special mothers took it all in stride and just laughed at his antics.
After the water fight, Yikealo ate lunch with his little brother. That brought lots of giggles to the HH residents too, as it became obvious that Y's palate has changed a bit in the years that he's been in America. The shiro was too spicy for him, and he kept reaching frantically for my water bottle and guzzling down water to cool his tongue. The HH kids get one small drink when they are finished eating, and they were highly amuzed by Y fanning his mouth again and again!
Following lunch, we played with the kids for awhile, putting together puzzles, playing Memory, coloring pictures, and building towers of blocks. Two of the little girls were completely fascinated by David's whiskers, and they kept climbing onto his lap, touching his face and then giggling hysterically. Yikealo had quite a building project going with two of the other kids, until S crashed his laundry basket "car" into it and knocked the entire thing down. Then S proceeded to lay down in the middle of the whole mess, giggling and flailing about like he was making a snow angel. It was funny to everyone but Mr. Y, who is NOT fond of having "his" things destroyed. He walked dejectedly outside and sat on the steps. I followed him out and asked what was wrong. He responded, "Mom, can you please just take S somewhere else and play with him so he doesn't get in my way?" Yeah....we're definitely going to have some unpleasant moments when there are two boys in the house!

We knew that our time was coming to an end, so while Wass kept Yikealo and the others occupied with a few games of Uno...
...David and I tried to find some way to say goodbye to our second son. We walked to the other side of the property with him and looked through the little photo album that we had brought for him. He had looked through it a little bit every day, but on this last day, he really seemed to claim it as his. He looked at it over and over, laughing at the pictures of himself, pointing out our faces as I said, "Amama, Ababa, Yikealo" over and over, and pretending to "get me" with the pictures of our cats.
As he paged contentedly through his book, I held him and just prayed over him, repeating the words of Jesus to his disciples: "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also." I know that he couldn't understand my words, and I really don't think that he had any inkling that he wouldn't be seeing us again for awhile either, but my God knows, and I trust Him to bring S the comfort and reassurance that his confused little heart needs.

I got a little bit teary when we finally put him down, but then his special mothers hugged me goodbye, and I completely lost it. I had grown to really love these sweet women in just 4 short days, and I knew that they would adore my son for me over the next several weeks. We walked out of the gates feeling a painful heaviness at the thought of leaving him, but also feeling a great thankfulness for the knowledge that he would be loved and cared for. I also had to think of S's birth mom. Sure, it was hard for us to leave him, but we would hopefully be returning soon to bring him home. She is losing her little boy forever. My sorrow is nothing compared to hers.

My Jesus also comforted me with the thought that this loneliness is what He feels for me, His bride. He did the same for us...came to our world for a time, and then left us momentarily behind while He went to prepare our future home. He longs for us as I long for my little boy....although His love is much deeper and purer than mine will ever be. I'm so thankful that I serve a God who "gets" my hard places...the moments when life is painful and dark for a time. He's experienced it all, He understands how I'm feeling, and I can completely trust Him with the details of planning my life.


  1. PRAYING it will be soon that you get to hold your little one!!!!

    I LOVE seeing all the wonderfully familiar faces from HH!!!!! :)

  2. LOVED the prayer you prayed over S - so fitting! And great analogy!

    Praying your time is soon!!