One of my New Year's Resolutions is to work on my scrapbooks more this year ... not necessarily get caught up, just make progress. As I am going back 5 years, looking at pictures of my children ... pictures of Ethan when he is younger than Kenen ... I am struck again by all that we missed of his life. He had 3 1//2 years without us. There will be no baby pictures ... no pictures of him crawling or his first steps.
He seems to remember things about his life in Ethiopia, and will occasionally come up with a comment or story, but someday he will want to know about his birth family. Our agency, AWAA, does an amazing thing by videotaping interviews with the person who is relinquishing the child, and then giving each adoptive family a DVD of that interview. We felt blessed to be able to see Kenen's birth dad ... to see and hear the pain in his voice as he explained why he could not care for Kenen. I knew that seeing the pain in his first dad's life would be a gift to him some day. However, we knew nothing about his birth mother except how she died. I had hoped that some day, I would be able to fill in more pieces of the story so that Kenenisa could have a sense of his life before he became our son. I prayed that some day we would have a chance to find his family, but had no idea how or when that would happen.
In a most miraculous way, it happened without me ever leaving the comforts of my warm, home. My dear friend, Jennifer Bridges, has been in Ethiopia with her family for a 2 week trip to serve the people of this beautiful country. I did not ask for her to look for Kenen's family. I knew she had many important things to do while she was there, and a very busy schedule. However, she asked for a few details ... and said ... just in case, we happen to go there. I truly had no expectations.
Last night, she and I had a long FB chat where she retold the most amazing story of finding Kenenisa's birth family on Christmas Day in Ethiopia (which is on Jan 7th). Of things falling into place in clearly God orchestrated ways. Of driving along dirty, bumpy roads, till the people who were guiding them said, "get out of the van, he's coming". She still had no idea who "he" was, until they said that Kenenisa's birth dad was coming to meet them. There are too many amazing parts of this story, but just know that so many pieces of the puzzle have been filled in. And contact has been made that will allow us to re-connect with him in the future, if we choose. (He even gave them his cell phone number ... how crazy is that?)
His first dad told her that he had been praying for Kenenisa on Christmas Eve. And what a gift it was to have her there the next day to share about his life in America. It is a priceless gift for us as well. I can't wait for the day when it will be time to share it with our son!
Thank you, Bridges Family .... for truly being a bridge between Kenenisa's two families.