It's early. Your momma is sleeping, along with everyone else in our hotel. It seems the only living creatures who are still awake are the (guesstimate) 5,000 dogs that have been barking outside our room all night and the man playing his flute, singing either in praise to his god or just singing randomly at five in the morning. What ever his reason for singing, I'm glad I'm awake to hear its. It's beautiful. It reminds me of where I am. It's Monday, March 15th and I'm in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the day I will finally meet my son in person. Not see you in someone else's arms in videos or pictures, but in my arms. Flesh on flesh, I will feel you breath, smell your hair, dry your tears, and hopefully make you smile.
As I sit here staring out at the Ethiopian sky, I can't help but reflect on the past 16 months. It was December 4th, 2008 and after attending an adoption seminar and praying about adoption for weeks, your mom and I felt God leading us to go get our second child from another country. The next 16 months were filled with prayer, mounds of paperwork, fingerprinting, meetings with social workers, and the toughest part...having patience, while having to answer question after question about when we were going to get our child. I don't blame people for asking. They genuinely care and want to know, but having to answer the question again and again without showing the true emotions your mom and I were feeling, was almost too much. But that brings us back to today. It brings me back to why today is so amazing. It brings me back to why our God is so incredible, so faithful, so merciful, and so loving. It brings me back to why every single part, high and low, of the last 16 months was so incredibly worth it. It also brings me back to the day your sister was born.
I remember being in the delivery room with your momma. We had waited the normal 9 months of pregnancy, plus the two and a half weeks she was overdue, plus the 53 hours of labor, before we could finally see Emmy's sweet face. I can't explain the moment any better that to tell you that I balled uncontrolably when I saw her. I'm not talking just a few tears. I'm talking about body shaking, headache inducing, doctor, nurse, and mommy staring at me with their jaws on the floor, crying. (I know, I know...your Dad could lose "Man Points" for admitting that last fact, but I assure you, it's ok for men to cry...uhh, sometimes.) You see, I had no idea the emotions I had running through me before seeing your sister in person. No amount of preparation or research could have prepared for such an incredibly awesome event.
That brings me back to today. I'm not exactly sure of what my reaction will be when I see you, but have to warn you, it might be the same as it was when I first saw your sister. You see, while the details involving how we received our first child and second child differ greatly, the emotions and questions running through my mind are exactly the same. Questions like: How can a sinner like me, be so amazingly blessed with another incredible child? How is it that I, really still a child in many ways, have been given the responsibility to raise yet another child? How will I be the best father and give this child everything he needs? These are all humbling questions, which all have one common answer...God. I will place you before the Lord every morning and every night and not try to screw up too much in between. I will do my best to make decisions for your benefit and growth and not for mine. I can assure you, I will not be the best father ever. I will not make the right decision every time. I will not always have the perfect response to stress and conflict, but I can assure you, Jeremiah Eyob, that I will love you every day of my life. That means if you get in trouble at school, wreck the car, say something hurtful, or any other "offense", I will love you. Absolutely nothing will ever change that.
The sun is rising now. I don't know exactly what today holds. I'm not sure of what your reaction will be when I hold you. Will you cry, pull away from me and reach back for your nanny, or (my personal favorite) will you snuggle into my chest and know that I am your father? I don't know and to be honest, don't really care. Today is only the start for us, my boy. The one thing I am sure of and am now being overwhelmed with emotion about, is that my God, Jesus Christ, has given me a son and today I will see him. I love you Jeremiah and thank you Jesus.
P.S. I just got off the phone with your sister and she is freaking out. She can't wait to meet you.