Today was been slow. No word from the person I need some info from. Some other plans fell through. So I did a bit of roofing again (aka, climbed a roof to tan *cough....burn....cough*). It's my new life advice. Feeling sad? Climb a roof. Need to think? Climb a roof. It's therapy, people. A roof makes you feel free. Daring. And you get a great tan. Plus then people are like, "You did WHAT?!?!" I did it in Tennessee at a super strict Bible camp in my sleepwear and now I'm doing it in Ethiopia. #itssoamazing #therapy #dontforgettowavetotheconstructionworkers
Finally it was time to see Micah.
Today was a day of firsts with him. A day I'll never forget. One of the best days of my life.
I was in the van five seconds after it pulled up to the guesthouse. When we got to the orphanage, my driver dropped me off and I hurried inside the gate and started searching for Micah. The instant I saw him, he broke into a grin. And ran to me. And HUGGED me. Briefly, but he HUGGED me. My heart burst.
We went to the office where we are required to be supervised. The person glanced at me and said, "It's my time to leave.....I will have a nanny lock up after you." And then they left.
I took out some paper and crayons. Micah took out a black crayon and drew a cat. Then he wrote C-A-T next to it. I FREAKED out and clapped and grinned like he had completed the biggest feat ever. Which he has. He had a WORD, a picture, and a SIGN. That was the only word he wrote, but it was huge.
I pointed to the crayons and signed ME-LOVEEEEEEEEE, and then picked up the blue crayon. He smiled. I asked him YOU-LOVEEEE???? and without missing a beat, he signed RED. No mime. No gesture. He understood and SIGNED back to me. So he must be learning a few things at the deaf school.
We played a card matching game which he loved, and he was good at it! His memory is great. And he would sign the picture every few cards. He is only using single signs, and no facials, but he is SIGNING. They told me yesterday that he is slow and will not learn sign quickly or maybe ever, and that he needs a lot of time and patience. Which may be partially true. But this child is SO. SMART. He is going to be fine. He is going to be fantastic. Correction: he IS fantastic. :)
We took pictures together and for the first time, he made silly faces with me. Kiss faces. Crazy faces. And he would giggle....a soft little breath; a whisper of laughter, that makes me wish I could record it.....because I don't think an angel's song could be sweeter.
Someone has taught that boy to play Subway Surfer (Levi, Z, and Nat will be so proud) because he went to town on that and did amazing. I already knew he likes Fruit Ninja, and he also likes Angry Birds.
When I told him it was time to go, he got up confidently and walked out next to me, instead of in front or behind me. We went outside, and he showed me his room again. I asked him where the kitten was (there is a tiny, malnourished kitten in his room and a miniature saucer of milk on the ground next to his bed) and he gestured that it was hiding. Guys, seriously??? He is responding to QUESTIONS. He child who would not say one word to me ever, except when he was fed the sign.
A bunch of little kids came up and started vying for my attention. They were running around and doing little push-ups. I asked Micah if he could do any, and he dropped to the ground and did 12 in a row with perfect form! He is the PERFECT brother for Levi. Then he jumped up in the doorway and did five chin-ups! I applauded him and his eyes were lit up and he jumped up and did five more chin-ups.
My driver motioned that we had to leave. I turned to Micah and before I could sign my standard explanation, he asked, TOMORROW? I hesitated (because I have important plans and I thought they conflicted with our visiting time). His face withdrew and he looked confused. I clarified with my driver, rearrange my plans, and told him, TOMORROW, YES! He hesitated like he wanted to believe me but didn't. I said, TOMORROW, YES, and then made a gesture for putting my heart in his.
And then he did the most amazing thing. He reached up and wrapped his arms around my neck and squeezed tight. And didn't let go. I picked him up off the ground like a baby and held him. Guys, this was the most incredible feat ever. He LOVES me. And he is SHOWING me. He has never done anything like this. The closest thing he has ever done was cry once. But he has never initiated touch, or hugs, or any proof that he loves me. And when I put him down and told him I loved him, he signed it back. And then followed me to the gate. I went outside and he stood there, waving like a maniac. I climbed in the car and he started signing, ILY ILY ILY!!!! Even my driver choked up a little and said, "Micah, HAPPY. You mother. He know. He love. He very happy."
I half climbed out the window and we waved ILY at each other until we were out of sight.
Unbelievable. Unforgettable. Incomparable. If nothing else comes of this trip, this breakthrough, this connection where he realizes I love him and will never leave him......this was worth the thousands of dollars it took to come here. This was worth anything and everything.
I got back to the guesthouse at 7:30pm. And immediately jumped into another car and drive to see the beautiful and amazing Tiffany Darling (www.amomentcherished.blogspot.com) and her family. I had a blast finally meeting them and they were so kind. And hysterical. She is a soul sister to me.....we both have teenage boys that we are raising from Ethiopia and she can relate to me in a way no one else can. We shared buna (coffee, French press ;)) and laughed our heads off till 11pm. Then I came back to the guesthouse and hung out with my favorite front desk girl. And I gave her a Jamicure. The first ever Ethiopian Jamicure. And she LOVES it. Now it's 2:18am and I seriously need some sleep.
Love you all.