On the Occasion of Kole's 7th Birthday

As we are getting ready to celebrate Kole's 7th Birthday there are so many thoughts and emotions swirling through my brain. It is crazy to think that at this time last year we were still preparing our dossier to submit to Ukraine and waiting for the day when we could bring our son, Kole, home. I distinctly and vividly remember the day of April 7, 2010, Kole's Birthday; the anguish I felt that our son would be spending another birthday in an orphanage. Just like any other day, being treated as though his life was of little significance to anyone. Kole not knowing that his Mommy, Daddy, and two brothers were counting down the days til he would be with us. Kole not knowing that he is worth celebrating, that his life is significant to us, his family. And not just significant to us, but to the God who created him in His image, who formed his very being with purpose, especially that extra 21st chromosome. That chromosome that makes him different, the reason he was placed in an orphanage at birth, the reason he was to be sent to a mental institution for the rest of his life; it is the very thing that led us to him, the very thing that made us want him. That's the kind of God we serve; He takes wrong and turns it into something good and beautiful.

(Kole as a baby in the orphanage)

And we look back on these months that Kole has been home with us, we are amazed at the progress he has made. When we first met Kole, he had no idea what a crayon was or how to use it, he couldn't climb the playground set, he barely uttered a sound, he didn't play with other children, he was nervous to hug. Now, he is writing his name, he can conquer any playground, he is speaking several English words, he is playing on a soccer team, and he gives out hugs to everyone. Sometimes it angers me that for the first 6&1/2 yrs of his life he was treated as thought he couldn't learn, like he wasn't worth teaching; when he is so eager to learn, to try, to be given a chance.

People often say that what we did by adopting Kole is amazing or that we are such a blessing to him; but I mean it with all my heart when say that they are wrong; Kole is the blessing, Kole is the amazing one.

Kole has made our family better.

Kole is remarkable. And on Saturday Kole will finally get a Birthday party, and we will celebrate all that is Kole.

We hope in some small way he will understand that he is worth celebrating.