So Berhanu had another birthday....only five months after his last birthday. Are you are wondering how that is possible? Well, there was quite a lot of confusion about how old Berhanu was at his adoption in March 2005. He seemed the size of three year old, but acted developmentally older. We went back and forth...is he 3? 4? almost 5? When he turned six (or so we thought) he still had no signs of losing any baby teeth and his body was not that of a six year old...so we had him turn six again the nest year. This past August he turned eight years old and that is what his U.S. birth certificate says. Then in November when Mike and Yasab traveled to Ethiopia to bring home Towabech...they met Berhanu's birth mom! This was a miracle for sure. Mike and Yasab visited Kidane Mehret (KM) the orphanage where several of our children came from. The Sisters who run KM were overjoyed to see Mike and see Yasab all grown up and beautiful. As they were hugging and sharing cheek kisses..... an Sister L. asked Mike if they wanted to meet Berhanu's birth mom?! At Berhanu's adoption I had searched and searched for any information about Berhnau's birth parents . I admit we gave up on ever finding them. Now here was Sister L. telling Mike that Berhanu's birth mother was named Tigist. And she worked near by KM and had shown up recently asking for any news of Berhanu! The Sisters sent someone to tell her that Mike and Yasab were there at KM. Soon Tigist was running up the KM steps to meet them! It was amazing. Not only did God work out the timing for Mike and Yasab to visit KM when the Sisters were there, and the Sister who knew where Tigist was could send for Tigist so Mike and Yasab were able to to be able to meet her.... God also worked out many other details to answer many many of His children's prayers. Yasab who was adopted in January 2004 at age 10 is now almost 18. She lost her ability to speak and understand Amharic after she was adopted by us. Yasab had prayed to be able to understand more Amharic on her trip back to Ethiopia with Mike. God gave ALL her Amharic back to her! She feels it was especially for Tigist....Berhanus' birth mother. You see this lovely woman Tigist is a devote Christian. She loves and trusts God and has prayed for this day when she could find Berhnanu's adoptive family. She and Berhanu's birth father loved baby Berhanu very much. After he was diagnosed with eye cancer they did everything possible for him. He had the surgery to remove his eye. But they had no more money to pay for the chemo. At some point Tigist became a single mom. His family made the very difficult decision to place him at KM. KM was able to provide for him to get the 5 courses of chemo he needed for his rentinoblastoma. Tisgist had prayed and prayed that he would survive his cancer and that someday he would be adopted and have a new family that would love him like she did. Tigist continued day by day and through the years to pray for her child Berhanu. Her prayers were not only for a Christian family for him but also that God would somehow get word back to her that her little boy was okay. She knew that it was a long shot she would ever have any contact with his adoptive family but she asked God for that as a special "personal" request. So I will tell you that Mike and Yasab could share with me that Tigist is EXACTLY like Berhanu. Not only does she look exactly like him she acts exactly like him. Guess his ADHD hyperactive behavior is not caused from all his chemo as we thought! Tigist is constantly moving and talking a mile a minute! Maybe she knew time was short with Yasab and Mike and she needed to make sure to relay all the information possible to them before they left. She shared amazing things. Things that will be ever so precious to Berhanu about his life before he came to us. Yasab, with her God given fluency in Amharic was able to understand and translate it all for Mike. When they walked Tigist back to her work they made plans to meet the next day for lunch. The next day they met for hours talking and getting to know each other. When Yasab shares about that time she still can not speak of it without choking up from the joy of how God answered this woman's prayers. Both Mike and Yasab know this trip and chance meeting was not for them or ever Berhanu, but for Tigist....this young woman who LOVES the Lord and trusted Him to save her baby. God gave Tigist hours with Berhanu's new family where she could learn all about him and be assured his family they were also believers and that Berhanu was being raised to love and serve God. One cool thing was that I had created a nice photo album for Mike to give the Sisters at KM with pics of our kids who came from KM. Many of those photos were of Berhanu. Mike gave that album to Tigist. We will continue to send her photos and letters from Berhanu. I know that in the next few years we will be taking Berhanu back to visit her (along with our other Ethiopian kids old enough for that kind of trip) I just LOVE when things happen to show me just how much God adores His children to answer prayers. She didn't "need" to meet our family face to face...but God worked it out because he loves her so much. Just because He is that kind of awesome God....in charge of making dreams come true and working out all the details.
You wonder how this ties into a "Birthday" post? Tigist also told Mike and Yasab Berhanu's real birthday. She was super clear, no doubts about it, no confusion over Ethiopian/American calender. Berhanu's birthday in January 19th and he turned 9 years old. This is also the same day as the birthday of one of his favorite sister's Haiminot age 20. So Berhanu had another birthday five months after his last one this past August. We will have to go to court to get it changed on birth certificate. That is just one of those minor details to add to my list of things it takes me years to accomplish..
And the BIG reason for this post...Happy Happy 9th Birthday Berhanu! You are a wonderfully sweet and brilliant son Berhanu and I am so thrilled I get to be your mom!