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There is such a small window where I can share things like this, so here’s a quick update on P today. She had a developmental assessment to see where she is, and what she qualifies for. Andrew and I couldn’t remember what time they were coming so we had gift wrap all over the floor, wet shower hair, and boys in boxers when we heard a knock on the door by 3 people wearing collared shirts, pocket protectors, name plates and holding clipboards peering in the edges of our door when we opened it.

“Oh hi welcome. We are very professional. Let us just, make any room on the floor, boys go put on clothes,” as the boys look at us quizzically. An arm around their clip boards, they settled on the floor in their nice pants, pens ready as Poppy laid her head on me, watching them through the edges of her eyes squishing her face into me.

The OT spilled out the wooden blocks at a kind distance and started stacking invitingly, Poppy couldn’t resist after a small while.

As she plays, the professional’s serious faces start to soften. Minutes pass and a laugh escapes their pursed mouths from behind clip boards in the middle of writing because of Poppy’s grin or glow, her captivating warmth, the purity in her smile. One stops writing and looks at me, “She has a beautiful personality. She’s so kind and warm, so engaged and receptive….I am so impressed with her.”

“Yes,” I smile down at her, hearing it from professionals feels overwhelming, confirming the magnitude of this gift we find ourselves with day by day. This gift that is smoothing out the rough and wild edges of our boys, buds or tenderness and nurturing at her presence. Who slows us all down, because in her mind togetherness, cuddling us all is best as she brims with joy. I confide my inner desire, “We are trying to reflect and embody many of the things we learned in Ethiopia, they are so kind and engaging as a culture, we want all of it…” They all smiled and nodded.

When it was time for the results, she was delayed in some areas like speech, but, “Cognitively, she excels. Very bright and creative, it won’t be long before she meets or surpasses where she needs to be,” as she points to penciled numbers in boxes. I feel the tears coming–I haven’t heard these kinds of words from these kinds of people, they are foreign and hopeful. I call to Andrew so he can hear it, too. Ethiopia, thank you. Love and tenderness, respect and nurturing, touch and love, that’s what wins in the life of a child, in all our lives.






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  • Sian August 13, 2015, 2:11 am

    Our God is an awesome God! Such affirmation.

  • Shauna F. August 15, 2015, 5:17 pm

    Such a beautiful post! Such happiness!