It was another great day in Addis Ababa. This was the first full day I got to spend with Eli. Much needed I think for the both of us.
Started the day when the head nanny to invite me to pray with them to start the day in the baby room. As they started at sunrise, everyone dropped to their knees and filled the room up with sweet prayers. I was honored to be asked to be a part of this. The agency we used is not a Christian agency, but most of these workers are and pray diligently and care for these children.
We made some progress today. Two of Eli’s biggest issues are: 1) sharing, and 2) new environments. The sharing issue makes sense, he has never had anything of his own, and somehow he is the ring leader in a room of six children but he is the only one who can’t walk. So other kids can get to stuff quicker than his and so he gets frustrated when someone takes a toy away. Plus, he is a 2-year-old. Enough said.
The new environment thing makes sense too. He has lived in 5 places in 23 months of life. 3 orphanages. So whenever I walk him towards something unfamiliar, he gets real uneasy.
I took him to our living room today. First time, he cried until I distracted him with a toy. Second time, he whimpered a second. Third time, no problems at all. He is learning to trust his dad. I am longing for the day when he is not familiar with the new environment, but his trust in his dad is so that he doesn’t care as long as he is in his father’s arms.
How I want to be there too. As God has led me to new places, I don’t want to whimper or cringe, I just want to trust the one holding me. He has been faithful this far, I know he won’t leave me now.
During Eli’s nap time this afternoon, I had the best worship service since coming here. Emotions came in like a whirlwind. As I was listening to Bluetree sing “When I Survey,” once I got to the words, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all,” I just worshiped. I mean it was intense. I was worried the nannies were going to check on me because of all the commotion.
I think it finally hit me. Loving that boy is just an extension of the love that has been given me. For the first time, I looked towards this very difficult plane ride with expectation. I have been loved by the Christ, any amount of love, discipline, or effort I exert is nothing compared to what I have experienced.
Tonight, I am very humbled to be loved by Jesus and to been given the call to father this wonderful boy.
Leaving tomorrow evening (Friday @ 10:30PM, 3:30 PM for Eastern time). Please continue to pray. Amanda and I wept on the phone today thinking about how much Eli and our family has been prayed for. We are truly blessed. You have no idea how much we appreciate each and every one of you.