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After more than 24 hours in four different airports, we arrived in Kinshasa, DRC. It was Sunday night. Our good friend picked us up from the airport and dropped us at the hotel where we will spend the next several days.

There is a row of four rooms in our little hotel, each with its own porch. The rooms are connected with a gravel walkway divided by small flowerbeds with brick borders. Though it is small, the area is thick with trees and bushes. In the middle of the garden/jungle, there is a covered meeting area, kind of like a gazebo but larger with sets of mismatched tables and chairs and a ceiling made of thatched straw.

The morning after we flew into Kinshasa—Monday morning—our friend brought our son and his foster parents to our hotel. We knew they would be here sometime after breakfast so Brent and I sat on the tiled porch area, waiting for them to arrive.

Without warning, we saw him. Ezra came around a corner, his shoes crunching the gravel as he walked to where we sat. I jumped up out of my chair and ran to him, holding him and crying, mascara running down my cheeks. When our friend saw that he was safely with us, he retired to the gazebo with the foster parents so that we could be alone with Ezra to get reacquainted.

We played with the toy cars we brought, counting “1, 2, 3…” before rolling the cars toward each other making them crash and fly in opposite directions. After about half an hour of counting and crashing, we walked to the gazebo. Ezra was told that our friend would take us to the grocery store and the foster parents would watch him for us.

After the grocery store excursion, we returned with milk and bananas and bread for later and fried chicken and French fries and Fanta for lunch. We all ate together, and then it was time for our friend and the foster parents to leave. Ezra shook their hands and said, “Bye-o” and they were gone.

He hasn’t seemed to look for them so far. In spite of everything—we are practically strangers who speak different languages—he’s been loving and playful with us. We all took a nap together on Monday and he slept great that night on the mattress on the floor by our bed. After he woke up about 6:30 a.m. to use the bathroom, he climbed into bed between us, eventually flinging his arm across Brent’s back.

His long arms and legs and his six missing teeth tell the story of the time we’ve missed with him. I tell myself not to think about the missed time, but instead I’m trying to be grateful for the time we have.

As he rested between us early this morning, I asked God to speak to Ezra. The limitations of language prevent me from adequately explaining our absence in his life and his history prevents him from understanding what a forever family really means. This is why I need God to speak to Ezra’s heart and tell him that we’re in this for the long haul. We’ve desperately wanted to have him home with us for years. Some day I hope he understands.



Hello again

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