Since the beginning of this process, we’ve been told to be very careful when posting pictures of our African son. As this week has transpired, we’ve taken LOTS of photos and videos so it pains me not to be able to send them out to all of our friends and families who are praying so fervently for us. (If you run into us when we get back you’ll be lucky to escape a photo book or a slideshow on my phone. Consider yourself warned.) In lieu of a picture (which is worth 1,000 words, apparently), I give you my description of Ezra:
His eyelashes are the Eighth Wonder of the world (the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are nothing in comparison). They are thick and jet-black. They curl almost into a complete circle. I tried to get a good picture of them tonight while he cuddled with Brent and watched videos of himself from earlier today on the video camera. It was like trying to photograph the Grand Canyon—impossible to catch the grandeur on film.
His head is fairly flat on one side, probably a result of lying down too often as an infant. (Brent said this is common in babies everywhere and not to worry. Is there a flat-headed kids support group I can sign him up with when he gets home?) I love to rub his head. His hair is very short, almost like Brent’s whiskers if he skips a day of shaving.
He has beautiful, round ears that stick out just enough and squishy ear lobes.
His eyes are dark and expressive. Paired with his eyebrows, he can tell you he’s mad without saying a word (which is good because he doesn’t speak English).
He has a scar on his right cheek.
He’s missing his pinky-toe toenails.
He’s got a mouth-full of good-looking teeth. A few of them have some suspicious spots but overall they look great. I think he takes great pride in his teeth. He loves to brush them. He did it three times today. He always wants me to brush his tongue at the end. This is oddly comforting for me. It tells me that someone has been helping him with his dental hygiene. Yesterday he wanted to spit in the toilet. Today, after brushing his teeth and getting a big gulp of water in his mouth, he wanted to go outside, gargle, and spit in the parking lot.
Due to his distended belly—a symptom of undernourishment and fluid retention—he walks a little like George Jefferson from The Jeffersons. He has to thrust his elbows back a bit to compensate for the roundness up front and he kind of wobbles from side to side. He has a severe “outtie” belly button. Brent said it’s a hernia (have I mentioned how nice it is to travel with a pediatrician?). It looks like a pop-up thermometer in a well-done Butterball turkey. He has a tiny bottom and spindly arms and legs. At the start of the week, he moved like it was exhausting for him. After three days of proteins and vitamins and good rest, his energy has improved and his belly has already shrunk a bit. It boggles my mind and breaks my heart to think of what a lifetime of better care could do.
I know this isn’t as satisfying as a photograph, especially since it’s only about 500 words (maybe half a picture?), but I hope it fills out a few of the details for one little boy among the millions of children who need a family. He’s a unique, smart, surprising, and beautiful boy. We’re so proud to be his mama and papa.