Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Miracle

I remember telling Dirt that I didn't want to visit Kolfe orphanage while in Ethiopia. I knew that older boys lived there and I didn't know what I'd say to them. Wendy and I were practicing balloon animals for our trip - for little kids. What would we do with 180 young men?

When we got to Ethiopia, I heard that Kolfe was home to boys "from 10 on up". The "on up" was given a definition: men as old as mid-twenties can sometimes live there. You see, in Ethiopia, orphans have no where to go once they "age out" of orphancare. There is no money for college and there are no jobs available. The orphanage lets them stay on campus just to keep them out of crime/jail.

I had no interest in going to such a place.

When the trip to Kolfe got pinched off our busy agenda I was secretly happy.

But God had a different plan.

At the last minute, Tom decided that we were going to go to Kolfe. I happened to have been sitting next to him on the bus and mentioned how I really didn't want to go. He replied, "Oh, you'll love Kolfe! ...these boys are amazing...everyone loves Kolfe".


Nine months later, on Christmas day, I am skyping with a Kolfe orphan who I call son and who means the world to me.

I left Kolfe that day with a piece of a child planted in my heart. And every day since I have been trying to find a way to get back to him.

I checked the computer throughout the day, waiting for an opportunity to Skype. Then it happened! It was dark and difficult to see at first. 2pm here is 9pm there. Solomon was the perfect host...we chatted and he told me that someone was getting B, who was sleeping. There was a huge audience of Kolfe boys behind him, all watching and listening in.

And then I heard "here's B" and there was a shadow of a boy blending in with the night. Shy. Groggy. I think some boys had to literally push him in front of the computer.

I am perched with all three kids in front of our computer and we say "Hi" with big smiles. He says "Hi" back. Then we talk through Solomon. B understands us, but it not confident in his English, so Solomon translates. For the next hour and half, no one really knows what to say...but no one wants to hang up either. I ask a lot of questions about life at Kolfe and B is content to give one word answers. Just like Avery. Solomon fills in many of the blanks. After he warms up, he says things like "Mom, what is your favorite movie?", and "When are you coming to visit?".

I tell him that I am praying about it and asking God to open a door for me to come soon. I tell him that I will let him know when I have an exact date.

He smiles at Amaya, who is also a little camera shy. She recognizes him and whispers "B" to me.

He likes to watch Tom and Jerry. So does Avery.

Dirt comes down and says hello to everyone.
Amelle makes faces in the camera and we all laugh.

We show him the Christmas tree and talk about what an important day today is. The day Jesus was born. I show B his Christmas present: an astronomy book. Then I see the smile that melts me.

Family moments.

Merry Christmas.
**I just read Eileen Mestas' blog (also coincidentally titled "A Christmas Miracle") - read how Solomon joined her family's Christmas eve celebration via skype...and what he wrote to her afterwards. If you are interested in becoming a Kolfe mama, let me know. It definitely is an emotional investment, but the dividends are amazing and the rewards are eternal.


Chris and Jess said...

I feel so honored that I can give Biruk a hug and spend some time with him.
Praying for your next Biruk hug...

Amy said...

What an AWESOME Christmas gift, Erin!! How good is God! I look forward to seeing what God does through your relationship with Biruk. Our Daddy has a plan and I suspect it's an amazing one. SO happy for you!!

Megan said...

This is a Christmas Miracle. Oh my word! Can we just scream about it from the roof tops?!?! How stinking amazing is this?

SOOOO Happy for you and your fam. I love it. What a great, great, great, story and day. I can't WAIT to see what is next.


Audra Bayette said...

I love that post Erin! How great for you and your family:)

Jillian and Crew said...

Crying...just beautiful and amazing for all of you and everyone involved and thanks for taking us along for the journey of love across miles and culture...the love God first gave us that we should all be so lucky to freely give as you have with this chil/children.

Lindsey said...

Erin~What an amazing Christmas gift! I am beginning to believe that you make my ugly cry more than anyone I know and we haven't even met in person! But I know it is because you understand my love for a boy across the world! LOVE that about you.

Beautiful Mess said...

THAT ROCKS! Praise God for His miracles and the miracle of technology ;)