But the impossible happened for us, and Habi, my sweet, sought-after, prayed for, son, is safely tucked into our family - in our HOME! God blessed us with that student visa. I don't need an adoption decree from a court, never did, to know that Habi is forever and always fully my SON.
And he is home. Safe.
There are so many details that I want to share. Little ones like how as our plane caught the first sight of Addis I burst into tears and ugly sobs and probably scared my seat buddy Tracy to death. To be that close to that city that held my son, the city that gave me two of my sons, again is beyond explanation. It took the breath right out of me. Details like how my heart thumped out of my chest as I waited to get my first glimpse of Habi in a year and a half. And how shocked I was to see how healthy and grown-up he looked - so, so different from the scared, hungry little boy that stole my heart. I want to tell you how his face broke out in the widest grin and that smile, that one that could stop the world in its tracks, twisted my heart again when he saw us, and then how he dipped his head and averted his eyes and allowed shyness and emotion to take over. I want to tell you what it was like to look over in the van and to see my fifteen year old's head buried in the lap of his daddy, a daddy whose shoulders shook with happy sobs.
I want to tell you what it was like to worship side-by-side our son for the first time, or what it was like to walk the streets he called home with him. I want to tell you about his laugh and how it fills up a house, and how loud and funny he can be right on the heals of quiet, intuitive, wisdom. Or how his smile lights up a room and how clueless he is to his charm and charisma. I want to write about the visa appointment and our apprehension - about the miracle that really took place that day because of prayers covering us across the ocean - and how close we thought we were to him being denied the visa. Or how after hearing the beautiful words "Habtamu, I am granting you a visa", we clung to each other and sobbed to the bewilderment and amusement of the security guards. Or how we celebrated with Kaldi's coffee and then later cake with our team, and how the whole day the three of us walked around on clouds and in disbelief that this was really happening.
I cannot describe it all, though, there is too much, and too much is sacred. It is ours. The whispered conversations of a past that I cannot pretend to ever empathize with. The salty mingled tears. The rejoicing and heart-exploding gratitude to the God that orchestrated this story from the beginning of time. The knowledge that God supernaturally knit us together as a family. There is just so much. So much grace. So much goodness. Abundantly more than I ever dreamed.
God moved mountains, and I believe it was largely a result of your prayers.
Tonight I am marveling that I sit here concerned for my teenage boy with very normal concerns - like how will he do in school, will he make friends, and how can I parent him the way that God wants me to? Such a change from a few short months ago when my concerns were, will Habi survive another night on the street? Where is he going to find his next meal? How do we keep him in a pair of decent shoes without them getting stolen right off his feet while he sleeps? How do we help him if he gets very sick?
Oh, the weight that has been lifted off of my heart!
God has written a story over me so abundantly more beautiful than anything I could have dreamed or imagined.
Habi is home. HOME. Our family is blessedly whole!
(Thank you JO for our first family of 6 photo!)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20