So the first thing I did today was to change my flights. I'm not coming back until Sunday now. I cannot leave without this paper, and if I am not here, who will fight? I also can't bear the thought of leaving Micah again; it literally feels like I will die when I think about it. The terrible pain squeezes my heart like an iron fist and tears come uninvited and wash my sunburned face with salt, a torturous but unstoppable torrent.
Things are moving here, but ever so slowly. Being a Type A, it's hard to wait, but sometimes I have to. There is a different culture here, and while I will push and fight, I will also be respectful. At the same time, I am enjoying the relaxed aspect of life. There is no hurry in the day-to-day life, and I love just LIVING.
This morning I went to see a little boy at my former agency's transition home. I will call him "Tommy". He is about ten now (he has been there all six of my trips), and so beautiful. He has the biggest, darkest eyes I've ever seen, framed with thick, black lashes that would put a peacocks's plumes to shame. Sometimes his beautiful, vacant eyes will focus on me, and he will stare at me intently, but most of the time he is in another world, staring off into space. He is severely autistic and does not really speak, but he can understand and follow basic Amharic commands. Most of the day he just wanders the courtyard, holding a small object (keys, a paper, a rock) and singing to himself. I don't know if he's actually singing words or if they are just sounds.
I've always loved him, and I visit him every trip. He knows me. The nannies bring him to me and tell him my name. I kneel down and he will come up and grab my face with his little hands. Then carefully, but not gently, he will feel my face. Over and over he touches my face, checking my features. I know when he recognizes me because he squeezes me as tightly as he can (which now is very tight! :)) and kisses my cheek. Then he climbs into my lap and starts singing to me.
I fight back tears and pull him close. And then I sing with him. He LOVES music, and I change the lyrics to fit us. The same song, every time, to help him remember.
I've been telling my dreams to the scarecrow
About the places that I'd like to see
I say Tommy do you think I'll ever get there
Oh but he just stands there smiling back at me
So I confess my sins to the preacher
About the love I've been praying to find
Is there a brown-eyed boy in my future
But he says girl you've got nothing but time
But how do you wait for heaven
And who has that much time
And how do you keep your feet on the ground
When you know, you were born to fly
Fly fly fly
I sing it maybe 60 times in a row. He hums and babbles with me. Then I pull out my phone and we sing to some Amharic music.
When it's time for me to leave, he fights the nannies and lifts his arms, begging to be held. Even though he is almost to my chin, I pick him up. He squeals excitedly and wraps his legs around my waist, refusing to let go. I sign our song again and dance around with him.
When I put him down, I give him his picture (one of the two of us, me holding him) and an album of my family. I kiss him and tell him I love him. I promise to visit him again. Do I want him? Yes. Can I start his paperwork right now? No. Will I forget him? Never. I will always come for him.
Later, I got to go see Micah. Micah is so precious. I don't have words to describe this child, but my heart stops when he comes into the room. I watch his eyes light up and his face breaks into a big smile. At the beginning of the week, it was a shy smile, but now it's a huge grin, stretched across his beautiful face.
We drew pictures and played Subway Surf today. He wrote me a message:
I. Love. You
How. are. You
I fought back tears and wrote him one:
You are MINE!!!!
I love you!!!!
Micah is smart!!!!
Micah is handsome!
You are special!!!!!
Then I explained it to him and he look at me, eyes shining. I signed, "Micah, I love you with ALL my heart!!!" and he nodded, and then slid over on the seat and put his elbows on my leg, leaning on me like a little kid who wants to be near his mom. I didn't think I could fall more in love with him, but I did.
The paperwork didn't get done yesterday; an important person to the case was sick and so they didn't go to the office.
HOWEVER, I did get something else really important done. So that's great. :)
I also wrote a letter today, to the government, listing all the reasons why Micah should be mine. An important person here told me I was "very convincing", and to write a letter. Hopefully I will be able to take it and go present my case in a day or two.
Today when I was with Micah, I asked him about the first time we met, in 2012. I've always wondered if he remembered me from all the way back then, or only from recent trips. I wasn't sure if he would remember me because during that trip, that first meeting, this is what happened.....
"......he came out, disheveled and clearly terrified and not understanding why he had to come outside. He was tall, thin as a tail, with dirty teeth and he was crying. He wouldn't look at anyone; he just stood in a corner of the wall and cried.
I fell completely in love with him.
We never completed our tour; we spent the next hour trying to play with him. Trying to coax out a smile, trying to get his pain-filled eyes to light up for even a second. He finally started making eye contact with us and by the end we were throwing a small ball. He cracked a few grimaces that looked like something only a person who has forgotten how to smile can possibly make. Then finally, we caught a few smiles, so infinitesimal that if you blinked, you would only see his empty face, tears still slipping down his dirty cheeks."
When I asked him about that day--if he remembered--he looked right at me. "I remember you," he signed. "I remember the day I was crying and scared and I met you."
Thank you Jesus.
Tonight I went to my friend's house for dinner. It is so awesome to have people who are amazing friends here.....I feel like I belong and I love being invited over for dinner. The food was delicious and I got to meet their newest baby! He is PRECIOUS!!!!!! I think I kissed his chubby cheeks a thousand times. And it was so awesome just to talk and laugh with them. They are AMAZING people, some of the best I have ever met, and I love them.
Pray for us. Please God, set my child free.