Its sweet and soft and a little raspy.
Its unique and unforgettable.
Last night, I was in the kitchen wiping down counters and washing away the remnants of Ben's birthday dinner. I listened to giggles and exclamations coming from the living room as a game was played by the rest of my crew, the sounds of family filling up the air with a warm melody. A melody I didn't want to forget.
And I thought about him. I thought about his little laugh, and the first time I heard it and how it brought a smile to my face and an old familiar feeling to my heart. Hope.
Its hope that we've leaned into when the days are long and the space and time between us seems too vast.
I got up this morning and sat on the couch in the quietness of the hour and thought about him across the globe getting ready for bed. I wondered if someone tucked him in, if he knew how loved he was. Today, he turned 5. An entire hand full of birthdays. I prayed that this would be his year. I prayed this was the last birthday he spends in an orphanage. I prayed that this was the last one he spends without a family. I prayed that even if God's plans didn't include us that God's plans would include something even better.
Over the last few months as old feelings of fear have crept in, I've repeated the verse that has been the refrain of my heart for the last 6 years. "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. " The verse that tells me what to do. The words that help me stay the course. "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Romans 12:12)
Today, on his birthday, we ask that you consider helping us bring him home. We are selling these t-shirts with a hope that next year he will celebrate his sixth birthday with a family. We are selling these t-shirts with a hope that every time you wear them you will remember to pray for him. We are selling these t-shirts with a hope for his future and a hope for ours.
We are hoping and praying that Zane will be here next year; his personality adding a new rhythm and his voice adding a new tune to our home; a new melody for our family. A melody that's unique and unforgettable.
Thank you for always being such a faithful part of our journey. We have been overwhelmed by the support of the saints for the last 6 years. We are so grateful you are cheering us on.