Tomorrow will be Emmanuel’s first birthday. I will never forget the day he was born… It was the most unreal birth I’d ever done. (Read that story here.)
6 weeks ago, on October 30, 2006, when Emmanuel was just 10 months old, his “new” mommy and daddy came from Andorra, Europe, to pick him up. His papers had been processed remarkably fast and the family was so excited.
They arrived at our door with a diaper bag. How could they be anything but eager. I was holding Emmanuel and as they looked at him they whispered, “Is he the one?” “Yes,” I said, shaking with nervousness and excitement all mixed up. The lady clasped her hands to her chest and gasped, “Oh, he is just beautiful.” She stretched out her arms and though Emmanuel wasn’t quite sure, her love for him enveloped him.
We spent hours talking and trying to communicate through a not very skilled translator. I showed them how to change his diaper, how to feed him, how to mix his milk. They seemed so innocent. The father followed me around with his pad of paper and a pen asking all kinds of questions. Our sign language was amazing!
Accidentally, we found out the man spoke French and so poor Evan called upon his childhood French and they battled to understand each other. We were all quite exhausted at the end of it!
I had long prayed for this day. I remember the Holy Spirit whispering to me the day we were choosing families. I was almost in tears because I couldn’t find a confessing Christian family and I had so hoped to find a home in North America where I might at least see Emmanuel from time to time.
“I can use anyone to raise this child,” he whispered to me. “Even this couple, I can use.”
My eyes welled up and I took another step in my journey of faith with God; blindly agreeing that this would be the family to raise Emmanuel.
When they finally left with Emmanuel’s scrapbook and the nebulizer we bought for his asthma, there were no dry eyes. They, so happy to have their long awaited son, and us so sad to let him go. But there was a peace that could only have come with the presence of the Holy Spirit. And that is what gives us strength to go on.
I remember when we were helping the birth mother name this little boy. It was close to Christmas and the birth had been so strange, so oddly holy. ‘God with us’… Emmanuel. Never did I dream we would have the privilege of giving him a chance at a new life with a “forever” family that would love him and raise him well. God with us, indeed.
Happy 1st Birthday, Emmanuel.