Monday, October 29, 2012

A birthday letter for Sammy...

Dear Sammy,

Four years ago you were born in a tiny hut in Southern Ethiopia. They named you “Wondimu”, which means brother even though you had no siblings. But God, in His infinite Sovereignty, knew that one day in the not too distant future you would both have a brother and be a brother. You were already crafted in to the Wood family. 

I didn’t hear your first cries but my heart was crying for you in ways that I didn’t even understand at the time. Four years ago we had just moved to California and Caedmon had just turned two years old. My heart was longing for another child. Everything about my life was full of sunshine and hope and dreams fulfilled. Except for this one thing. The thing that made even the bluest of skies a little gray. I wanted YOU! 

I didn’t even know I wanted you; I just knew I wanted a baby. I wanted someone on whom I could pour out all this love that was bottled up in my heart. I wanted Caedmon to be a brother. I wanted another little person holding my other hand. 

As impatience and disappointment grew in my heart month by unending month, you were growing in another Mommy’s arms. You were her gift, too. The gift of your giggle and the brightness of your eyes were just too good to not be shared. God saw fit to allow another mom to bask in all that you are before he placed you in your forever family. 

I don’t know the “why” behind most of God’s decisions. I don’t know why I was born in Florida to a family that could provide for me while you were born in Ethiopia to the bondage of poverty. I don’t know why, when God looked at the 143 million orphans in the world today, he handpicked you to be adopted. I don’t know why your journey had to include loss and grief that no child should ever have to endure. I don’t understand those things, but here’s what I do know:

Your story is one of redemption. 

The fact that you once were an orphan living in Ethiopia is a part of your story, but it does NOT define who you are. God rescued you because He has amazing plans for your life. He redeemed you from the pit and sat your feet on solid ground.

Your story is one of God’s faithfulness.

God was with you in that tiny hut in Ethiopia and God is with you tonight as you go to sleep in your bedroom with your brother. He will never leave you. No matter what tragedy or trial you walk through, you need not fear because God is with you. The One who has started this good work in you is FAITHFUL!

Your story is one of love.

Your birth mother loved you too much to watch you suffer to the point of starvation so she did the most sacrificial thing a mother could do. She gave up the most amazing gift she had ever received in hopes that you could have a better life. Your forever family loves you so much and wanted you so deeply that we went to great extents to bring you into our family. (And we would do it all over again!) 

Your daddy and I pray almost every night that you would understand how deeply you are loved. By us and by Jesus. I know that it can get confusing in the mind of a child whose first family wasn’t forever. But, Sammy, please don’t allow that seed of doubt to take root in your mind. You are loved with a never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love. And, in the end, love wins. 

Here are a few things I love about you as you turn four years old:
  • I love that you receive my love. That took some time, to be sure. But now it is as natural as breathing as we hold hands driving down the road or snuggle and laugh on the couch. 
  • I love the tenderness of your heart when corrected. You do not require very many consequences. The occasional time out or “talking to” is usually all it really takes for big alligator tears to roll down those cheeks and for you to find your “happy heart”. I could probably count on one hand the number of times we’ve needed to spank you. I had to laugh the other day when you saw the spanking spoon sitting out and you referred to it as “Caedmon’s spoon”. If ownership was dependent upon proportionate utilization of an object, you would be absolutely correct!
  • I love your silky, smooth skin. You’ve started to notice the color of your skin recently. One day at breakfast you said out of the blue, “Mom, I’m black.” I asked, “Are you talking about your skin?” You said, “Yes.” I said, “Well, you’re kinda brown, like chocolate.” You said indignantly, “No. I’m black.” I got a good laugh out of that. I love it when you run around the house with your shirt off just so I can see and touch your skin. It is so beautiful.
  • I love your sweet disposition toward younger children. You are a nurturer. Even way back when you were in the orphanage (only 18 months old or so yourself!) your caregivers told me that you were so sweet to the other children. If a new child arrived that was upset or scared, they would take you and the child to a different room to play together. You had a way of soothing the other baby even though you were just a baby yourself.
  • I love that you are eager to help. In the kitchen. Carrying loads in from the car. Vacuuming the floor. “Can I help?” is a phrase I hear from you daily.
  • I love that you are so athletic. The first day we put you on a two-wheeled bike, you were off and running! No one at the park could believe this 3 year old was riding a bike all by himself!
Oh, Sammy, I could go on and on...from your picture perfect smile to the way you tiptoe out of your room each morning. There is so much to love about you! Thank you for receiving my love AND for loving me back so fiercely. I realize that Dad out-awesomes me in virtually every way, and I’m totally cool with that. But I also know that there is a special place in your heart reserved just for me. 

I am your Mommy. You are my answer to a thousand prayers. I love you to pieces.


1 comment:

Erica said...

What an awesome post. What an incredible story. Happy birthday!