Sunday, August 16, 2015

To My Son, On the Night Before We Bring You Home

Dear Johnny,

All week I've been waiting for that letter.  The social worker told us maybe we would get it last Monday, so when I had to wait all week for it, I was way too impatient.  On Friday morning, he told us that "probably" it would be ready that day.

All day long, I pasted my phone to myself.  Finally, at 4:00 pm, we got the text.  The letter was ready.  I jumped in the car to drive to town, even though I knew at that time of the day, it would take me three hours round trip, and even though we had guests coming for dinner.  In traffic on the phone, I talked your Dad through making the lasagna and getting it in the oven.  I finally got home at 7:00, but it was all totally worth it.  We have the letter!

I never dreamed I would be this excited.  I had really contented myself on having three children.  When Tanzania turned us down the first time, your Dad and I had tried to adopt a son from Ethiopia.  When that fell through, and the social worker here wasn't budging, I had pretty much given up.  We had always wanted four kids, but I figured it wasn't meant to be.  I told God that I was thankful He had at least given us three, and I could be content.

So you, my sweet boy, are just icing on the cake!  You are such a special gift to us; an undeserved extra blessing.

I am in awe of it all now.  When we first asked Tanzania for a fourth child and were turned down, you had not yet come to Forever Angels.  It's crazy to think that all this time, you were the one God had picked out for us.  We just had to wait until it all came together.

And speaking of providential timing, it can't be a coincidence that today would have been Jeremiah Petchnick's third birthday.  You, John Jeremiah, are named after him, so it's pretty amazing that you are coming home at the very same time as his birthday.

I know, my son, that this homecoming will not be easy for you.  You are leaving the only place you remember, a place full of so much love and so much fun.  I won't be surprised if you cry when we take you away.  But what you don't know is that you would not have been able to stay there forever; in just a year's time, you would have been transferred to a long-term orphanage.  And there would not have been a Mommy to sit with you when you cry yourself to sleep.  We know a family is what you need, even if you don't know what a family is yet.  So we are making this choice for you, and we feel the weight of that responsibility.

I look at your pictures and I dream about what you will be like.  You are older than our other kids when they came home, old enough that you might even remember this event.  We really don't know anything about you, and as we've discovered from our other kids, the "Family" Johnny might end up being completely different from the "Orphanage" Johnny.  Crazy how kids find their true selves once they finally belong to a family.

We know you might have a lot of tears.  We know there might be a lot of anger inside you that needs to come out.  That's okay, my boy.  You have reason to be sad and angry.  That's what we're here for.  It's okay to be messy in this house.

But you are Coming Home.  You have been chosen; our love has been put on you.  And it's a Never-Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.**  That kind of love can only come from God, who loved us first.  We hope one day you'll know His love too, but for now, He'll show it to you through us.

Welcome Home, My Son.

Your Mom

Photo credit:  Hannah Towlson
**Thanks, Sally Lloyd-Jones!

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