Let's take it way back today. Back to April of 2015 when we went to visit Israel. We had three days with our little man while we were there to file documents. We prayed long and hard before going because we knew it would be heart wrenching to leave him there. As a family we decided that as hard as it would be, we needed to do it to speed up the paperwork process. The Lord provided the perfect timing and seamless arrangements, so we just stepped out in faith.
It's a long journey to get to the Congo. After 3 flights and a restless night's sleep, we woke up with anticipation. Joelle put on her Big Sister outfit that we had been holding onto for quite some time, and we argued about who would get to hold him first (I won, of course!). He was scared and upset for about an hour. He rubbed his eyes, which we thought meant he was tired, but he still does that when he is on the verge of crying. I can only imagine the overwhelming fear he must have felt as he was left alone with complete strangers that look nothing like him. Thankfully after about an hour, he warmed up pretty well. It didn't take long to realize that he loved playing with cars.
After he calmed down and we made a little progress we walked over to a superstore that has an Italian restaurant... well, it was Italian when we went to go Joelle, but they changed their menu quite a bit since then!
We knew how to win a Congo kid over... just give them a little Fanta, ha! To this day both of my kids love Orange Soda and will drink it down when we let them have it :)
Of course we were all smiles to meet and be with the little guy. It took him a while to feel the same way :)
We just laughed and laughed at nap time. We put him down on his back, he immediately closed his eyes... didn't move a muscle... and fell right to sleep with a car in his hands :)
He didn't cry after that first hour we had him. Maybe it is because we gave him powdered donuts and #allthesugar ;)
And we did get a smile on that first day! We spent a lot of time in our room playing with cars, kicking the ball, and watching movies. Since we only had a few days together we decided to not doing anything touristy because we wanted to take in every single moment... not knowing when we would meet again.
I just know that the Lord had His hand in every interaction and moment. The fact that Israel would accept love from us, play with us, and look to us for his needs was just remarkable. I still think about those days and smile because they were just precious moments that the Lord gave us in our children's home country. I'm thankful Joelle got to go back and experience it with us again. I'm thankful that Israel was able to meet us before coming home to us so that he would remember the love of our family. I'm thankful that we got a glimpse of what life would be like with the four of us.
Over a year later and this is what you will see him doing any chance he gets. Put a car in his hand and he is just as happy as a clam! Needless to say we bought #allthecars when we got back to the states, ha!