Why Eli Was Sad

Today is a very special day in the Agnew household.  Eli came home 2 years ago today.  After a week in Ethiopia, Eli and I took the 17-hour flight to finally meet Mom and Obadiah.  Last night, we watched the video documentary I put together of our time together.  As I watched this boy who couldn’t walk at 2 years old get up during the movie to put a pacifier in his baby sister’s mouth, I remembered how far we have come.

Obie asked, “Daddy, did you get me in an airplane?”

“No, buddy.  I didn’t.”

“Oh.  You just got me in a car?”

“Yeah, but it was a pretty special car.”

A few weeks ago, I took the picture you see above.  Eli was in my office at church and saw the first picture we received of this troubled little boy.  He turned it around and looked at it, and then I was shocked by what he said.

“Daddy, I was sad in this picture.  I was sad because I didn’t have a mommy or a daddy.”

“Yeah, buddy.  That is why you are sad.  What about now?”

“I’m not sad anymore.  I’m happy.”

He then flashed that million dollar smile that has brightened more hearts that I can possibly count.  As we watched the film last night, Eli watched himself struggle in the orphanage.  He was smiling, yet he also had very concerned eyes like he was revisiting a world he had forgotten.  As he watched himself, he asked, “Where’s Daddy?  Dad, where are you?”

When I came in the picture and lifted him from the crib, he started smiling.  He then got off the couch, ran across the room to my chair, got in my lap, and began to hug me tightly.

As we had bedtime prayers last night, Eli prayed: “God, thank you for Daddy getting on that airplane.”

God, thank you for letting me get on that airplane.  I will never be the same.  Thank you for my precious, strong, resilient son.

Copies of “Your Father’s Arms” or the whole “Coming Home” album can still be purchased on iTunes here.