I got an email today from my new friend, Cathy. Cathy is a Harvard gal who spent this last semester volunteering as a teacher at New Hope. We got to know each other when I was in Uganda with the boys. She’s got a big ol’ heart.
Anyway, I opened her email and she had attached 20 pictures of the boys. Pictures of them when they were still orphans.
I was suddenly staring at my computer, trying not to cry.
This picture (above) was taken just before they left the orphanage to come to Kampala and meet their new mommy for the first time.
Remember that day?
My heart was (and still is) breaking into a million pieces. Some things I can’t explain as to why, and some things I can.
I look at these boys and am overwhelmed by the fact that they used to be orphans. They don’t have biological parents. Not ones that we can locate, anyway. I can’t even wrap my mind around this concept, especially now that they are home with us and have woven so beautifully into our family.
Their raggedy, mis-matched clothes make me smile a bit, because they’re so darn cute in them, but it also makes me sad. I wish I could send a truckload of new clothes over the ocean to all the kids at New Hope.
I miss Aida…their third wheel. I know the boys miss her, too.
I miss all those sweet kids at New Hope.
I’m sad just thinking how I don’t have any pictures from when they were babies and I know nothing about their families or their past. I keep taking the boys to various doctors’ appointments, and when I fill out the forms, I have to write “unknown” in most of the blanks. I got nuthin’.
Joseph was about 9 months when he was found, so he couldn’t even tell Ken his name or anything about his family.
When Mathew was found, he was nearly dead from malaria. He was old enough to talk (it was only 6 months ago when they found him), but I think he was so shell-shocked by the whole thing, he couldn’t tell Ken anything either.
But I see their faces and their big ol’ smiles, and I know they were happy and well-loved at New Hope.
And for that, Lucas and I are truly thankful. Our boys are amazingly stable. They have very typical 3-year old behavior. Nothing too crazy or horrific (like you read in so many books). Sure, we have to work through a few kinks now and then…but overall, these boys are very healthy in all departments. I attribute that to the wonderful care that was taken of them at New Hope.
It breaks my heart to think how happy they were there, and how they must miss their New Hope family.
When a child is adopted, it is a massively traumatic event for them. As the new adoptive parents are rejoicing over gaining a new child, that child is grieving because he has just lost everything he knows. And he had absolutely no say in the matter. It’s hard for me to swallow that I was part of that trauma.
But I trust that God placed these two little boys in our family…
…and that their sonship far outweighs their trauma.
These boys are Jobes now.
And for that, we are eternally grateful.