9 months and 8 days ago on a unremarkable normal December afternoon, our family celebrated the unofficial arrival of our newest, most desired son. A tiny Mezekir arrived in our lives at 2 1/2 months old via an email, smiling, shining, bringing with him the joy God granted him in the depth of who he is not the circumstances of life. Though for years we had dreamt of him, until that day, he remained a mere apparition, desire, a hope that one day God would bring to fruition. Each day from that moment on, we imagined each detail of his round face, his latte colored skin, his almond-shaped, deep, dark eyes that peer into you, his growing hands and muffin-topped feet, and his tenacious personality. And today. Well, today, 5 1/2 months after wrapping our arms around him, we celebrate a year of Mez's life.
A day, typically marked with great celebration and exuberance, grips my heart at the most inopportune moments. Lighting candles...my mind strays. Singing "Happy Birthday", I drift. Unwrapping a gift yet I'm not longer present. Too many times (or maybe not enough times) today, my mind floats back to Mez's beginnings. Nothing can harness the wandering mind. My thoughts capitulate to the moments Mez entered the world. I cannot help but wonder what marked that small moment in time for he and his birth mother. Who was there? Was his mother frightened? Cold? Alone? Who held her hand through labor? Cared for her after she delivered? Was there any fanfare, celebration, recognition that a precious life just began. Oh, and you, Awtash, our sweet birth mom. What of you? Do you mourn today? Do you wonder of the life you grew inside of you? Do you recall each detail of that rainy day in Mekele, Ethiopia? Does a wafting odor in the city remind you of the heavy, sick smell of the small, dilapidated hospital where you birthed your son and catapult you back to that moment in your history? Does this day of our celebration mark one of the most bittersweet days of your life? Your son arrived. Out of necessity, you chose more for the him than you could supply? Could you possibly know of our love for our son, your son, the son that will forever link our lives? He is our joy! Oh, I wish I could share with you who he is and how we love him. Then the chanting verse of "Happy Birthday" creeps into my ears, startles me, and brings me back to the moment. A precious moment, Mezekir's 1st birthday celebration.
Mezekir LOVED his 1st cake. He consumed the attention. He demands a redo! We committed to a no gift birthday, yet Charlie, a brown-skinned, boy baby doll by Blah Blah, caused us to succumb to one tangible gift. And Charlie is Ca-Ute. In lieu of gifts, this year we've decided to celebrate the day of Mezekir's birth by building a well in Ethiopia via Glimmer of Hope and naming it in honor of his birth mom. Awtash Mekomia, who gave us the life of our son, will now be a life-giving well to people in Ethiopia. WE couldn't anticipate a better way to honor both she and Mezekir and the new life placed in our family, arms, and hearts. Mez, we love you. Awtash, we love you. And, Lord, thank you for the gift of this child. Enjoy the photos.