Friday, December 17, 2010

This time last year...

I keep thinking of "this time last year" in regards to Sammy...
This time last year, Sammy:
  • was Wondimu Shiberu
  • was 14 months old
  • had just learned to walk
  • was still living with his birth mother
  • would regularly go without food
This time last year:
  • we had no idea who Wondimu Shiberu was
  • we had just completed our home study
  • I was think of him and praying for him constantly
  • I was wondering if he had food or blankets
  • I was wondering what kind of circumstances would make him available for adoption...this thought was always devastating and scary to me because the reality is, my greatest joy & blessing has resulted because of someone else's tragedy. I was well-aware that my son was about to endure some kind of tragic loss and there was nothing I could do to protect him from that or comfort him in the midst of it.
This year at Christmas I have seen everything through Sammy's eyes:
  • watching a freshly cut Christmas tree fall to the ground
  • seeing that tree light up for the first time...Sammy said, "Wow!"
  • tasting hot chocolate
  • meeting family members for the first time
  • receiving so many gifts from various people
  • seeing a camel and petting a sheep
2010 has been a year of dramatic change for him. He has lived in four different places with 4 different sets of caregivers this year. The longest time he's spent in any one place is 4 months. He is on his 3rd language in one year. He went from having no worldly possessions in rural Ethiopia to living in one of the wealthiest and largest metropolitan areas in America. He lost his birth mother-- the woman who likely slept with him every night, carried him in her shawl throughout the day, and nursed him at her breasts for his first 15 months of life. He gained his forever family who will love him, protect him, and provide for him. We were not there to cheer for him as he took his first steps, but we will be the ones to cheer him on as he walks across the stage at his graduation.

My heart has ached for him as I've watched him grieve his losses and struggle through continued fear of abandonment. My heart has also rejoiced over him as I've seen light and life return to those beautiful brown eyes. There is no sound sweeter to my ears than Sammy's belly laugh.

Sammy is
  • a picture of God's redemption
  • the answer to my prayers
  • the perfect fit in our family
This is Sammy's first Christmas...finally HOME! I am thanking God for TWO very special babies this Christmas: both born in rural villages to poor families, both familiar with tragedy and loss, and both changed my life forever.


Johanna said...

This one made me tear up. You are so lucky to have him. And he is SO lucky to have you as his mommy!

Kelly said...

I loved this post! Last week at church, our pastor (Andy Stanley) preached a great message about Gods love for us and he focused on earthly adoption as an example. It was really awesome! I highly recommend listening at

P.s. I know Andy from high school days and met you briefly at Brad Stolmans wedding in case you are wondering who I am!

marci said...

I really appreciate your candor in the posts. I saw a post on the MOB society (mother of boys) that I think you would like. You should check it out.