Elijah's 7th Birthday

This week we celebrated a very special day.
The day that a very special baby boy came into the world.

We weren't there that day.
In fact, no one, other than a mysterious woman in a far away land, knows when that day was.
When I think back 7 years I try to picture my boy as a tiny baby.
I remember our own family 7 years ago..
Aili was starting Kindergarten,
Roman an active three year old,
and Silas was making my belly big and round.

A cloud of mystery hides those first days, months, and maybe even years.  
I try to imagine it.
I bet his birth mother is beautiful.  Sometimes I try to picture her.
Was she young?  Was she poor?  Was she thrilled to hear "it's a boy!".  As the months past did she try to hide what she already suspected?  When did she realize that he was not using his left arm, or sitting, or crawling when he should have been?  How crushed was she to make that choice to leave him? 
He was not he son she had hoped for, and the son she needed to have.

I can't even imagine how she must have felt, or the pressures put on her by other family members, or the dreams that had been crushed.

 I have a vivid memory of removing the comforting weight of my own son's body from my arms, laying him down, and walking away.  It is a wretched sort of agony.  Wishing it could be different.  
An utter aberration of God's design for mothers and sons.

Was this toddler boy of mine watching as his Mama walked away? 

I am reminded of these things whenever I fill out medical history paperwork at a Doctors office..

What I do know is this,
the One who created him knows the exact moment that this boy took his first breath. Those moments when something went wrong, and injury happened, didn't go unnoticed. 
Father was there with my boy as he lay alone on the side of a street.  He was protected, and his life was preserved.  

Every bit of his story is known, and every bit of that story has a glorious purpose.
Even disability.

So, we celebrate.
We celebrate the life of a little boy. 

What a wonderful celebration that was.

We gathered together with friends on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  
We ate hotdogs, and cake....and Chinese noodles "for long life".  

Our church worked, gave, prayed, and encouraged us throughout the process of bringing our son home.  We wanted to thank them, and invite them to celebrate with us.  We were amazed how many people came for the picnic.

It's overwhelming to us that our son is so completely accepted and loved by this great group of friends.  To the point of adults taking the time every Sunday to stop and talk to a little boy, who is mostly unable to clearly speak back. He gets his share of high fives, fist pumps, and smiles every week.  It's no wonder that he moans about it for a week if we miss a Sunday.   He is treated with dignity and worth  That does a mama's heart good. 

We've noticed that Elijah gets really stressed out, and a little hyper possessive, when it comes to being given things.  It triggers stuff and doesn't bring out his best, so we thought it probably was best that he didn't receive a whole stack of gifts to open (besides my house is already filled with stuff).  We stuck to just a few presents to open and asked that people bring a donation instead.

I'm darn tootin' excited that we get to help another family with their adoption.  Another child will know what it is to be loved, and will have birthday parties, and bed time snuggles.  

Our church is relatively new, and relatively small (under 200?)t's grown exponentially since we discovered this rag tag group a couple years ago.  Despite being new and small, we have celebrated four completed adoptions this year!  Two from foster care and two from China.  There are also other kids who were previously adopted.  Not only do we preach the gospel, we get to mirror it through adoption.

How awesome is that?
God knew exactly what kind of community we needed to raise our diverse little family in.  I love that in our church we have so many nations represented, we have different abilities and disabilities, we have different generations all serving each other.  People that look like they would have nothing in common...
but they are united in Christ's love.

I'm so stinkin' happy that we opened this can to find $600.   I have a feeling that it's just the beginning, as we rally around another family that has made the choice to step out in faith, and open their home to a child .

It was a beautiful Autumn day.

Silas even got some Cricket coaching.

When you have the globe represented in one group of people you get to witness strange sports like Cricket.

Grace Fellowship's two newest members.
Two handsome little Emperors.

Elijah loves this little guy, and calls him DiDi (little brother in Chinese).  I have a feeling they're going to be good buds.

We were obnoxious enough to attempt a group picture.

He really likes trains so this was my attempt at a "Train cake".  It was made late at night, and just about got dumped in the garbage on a couple occasions.  It came together eventually though...and served it's purpose.

I also baked extra cupcakes to feed the masses.
Next time I'm splurging and buying the cake,
I am not a pinterest mom.

I love all the little friends in the pictures.  I was so busy and distracted at the time that I didn't stop to appreciate the view of all those sweet kids.  Kids who have been so precious, and adorably curious, and so beautifully inclusive.  We couldn't ask for better little friends for our son.

It was a really beautiful day,
celebrating a beautiful little boy.

I am overwhelmed with God's goodness in allowing us to be his parents.  
It is such a privilege and a joy to be his Mama.

Happy Birthday sweet boy.

1 comment:

Erin Schmidt said...

What a beautiful post and what a beautiful community of support and friends you have. Happy Birthday Elijah! You are God's perfect creation and such a blessing to those near and far!