Thursday, September 27, 2012

Growing together

Being a twin, I have shared my birthday my entire life. I remember when I went away to college our first birthday apart and sitting in the hallway of our dorm at midnight, and crying because I missed Luke so much. (I still do!)

For me birthday's are meant to be shared, otherwise they are completely lonely and somewhat stressful (because ALL the attention is on you).

One thing of many that I love about Africa is the sense of community- everyone sticks together. If it rains, everyone rushes into the closest home, shop, gas station, any place that they can find. I have sat in a small, one room house and watched wedding videos with a large group of complete strangers as we waited for the pouring rain to die down. If someone is mistreated, a group of people will always come rushing to their aid. If you want to see a friend, you don't need to call, you just go over to their house to visit. I love that sense of community that is so strong in our boys as well, in our entire, big, API family.

Last Saturday was my birthday, (again... sigh...) and David organized an event at a rec center so that all of our boys could go swimming, ride bikes and play soccer. They had a blast! All of the boys from the younger boys home wrote me letters. Evidently this birthday has changed some things as some of the boys began signing their letters as "my grandson"... I'm not too sure how I feel about that.

When boys come into our home, they don't know how old they are or their birthday so we help them choose one. They  love to share with a friend or an auntie or uncle they feel close to. I have put a cap on my birthday (one addition per year seems about right, especially since I am here for quite a while!)

 Looking around the boys I realized that for the last 4 years, every birthday that I have celebrated, God has brought another amazing child into my life to share it with me, first Wasswa, then Sadic, Davis, and this year adorable little David 

David on his way to church

David in front of the home

I love him so much.

When we told him it was his birthday his eyes got as big as saucers and he grinned from ear to ear. It was his birthday! David had his first birthday party and birthday cake. He got to listen as all of the boys went around and shared what they loved and appreciated about him. He ate it all up!

 Sometimes it is hard for me to grasp why anyone would reject kids as amazing and sweet and talented as the boys in our home. And sometimes when I look at the scars on their faces, arms, legs, and ribs it makes me a little angry to think about. 

But then I realize, only God knows the heart. And only God knows the wonderful plans for each child. That only He can turn what others meant for evil into something good.

No matter what their biological parents did or gave up, we are the ones that have the blessing and the honor of knowing, loving, and raising these kids. Its an honor and a huge responsibility and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday, Auntie Abby! Loved the new videos of the boys:) Praying for you, David and API boys always! Please give my love to Emma!! I miss him so much! God Bless and keep you!