365 days

 365 days of amazement and fear, light from darkness, of obedience and needing to spread your wings. You arrived to so many comforts you had never known before accepting what we wanted to offer. My mind wanders back to that rainy day, your last  in Addis Ababa when you told me you had to go back to your boys, the family you had known and protected for years.  You longed to see them and break bread one more time. I know the pain of leaving them has run deep and although being chosen seems like a fairytale ending for all you have endured there is little perfect in making a transition such as yours.  Your courage is greater than anyone else I know.  From the beginning you allowed us in, something I so admire. You chose to trust us, letting go of those who let go of you in order to transcend the heartbreak. There has been such power and redemption in that. We know the hardship that comes with losing your culture and your identity and what strikes me is that it does not really matter if you move from a bad situation to a good one, from difficult to easy. The work and the loss are the same. The longings are the same, forcing one to live in two vastly different worlds.

Today marks your one year anniversary of coming home to your family, coming home to us.  You have done 365 days here with a new school, new friends, new mentors, both an American and an Ethiopian church family and of course new adventures. We have thousands of reasons to celebrate your first year. When I sum up the learning ( bike riding, driving a car, American World History)  I know that God has carried you on many days right here just as he did in the slums of Addis. You have been protected and loved by Him and slowly we are seeing God rebuild up that which was taken from you. It’s been the most awesome and challenging experience of my life and I bet you would say the exact same thing. . We have all done 365 days with our eyes on Him, and while we have wondered and struggled, we have seen His redemption and His light. Some of what we went through this year I do not wish to revisit yet I know that those hard days were designed to test our faith, our very core and our willingness to say yes no matter the outcome. Tonight I am watching you cook alongside the man you now call Dad and there are few words. You being here and doing life with us as a part of our family means everything to me and I am so grateful for the hope that I feel when I think of all that lies ahead. We do not know every detail of what happens next but we are all willing to strive, to fight, to ride through the pain in order to see the victory that adoption, no matter the definition, can change a person’s life. That trust can be rebuilt and that in the end love will always win.

Thank you for choosing us when we chose you. We look forward to celebrating tomorrow all that you have accomplished this year here in America, in our family and in life. God’s plan for you is BIG and we are blessed to play a small role. We love you fiercely Tadesse. Happy one year anniversary.