Mr. Beaver and I knew our family would miss John during his trip to Ethiopia. He adds so much to who we are as a unit.
What we didn't suspect was how quickly and powerfully one of us would be impacted. Yet on the very night when we returned from the Omaha Airport and gathered at the dinner table, a poignant sentiment was quietly shared with the large group. Alexander, the 12-year-old we adopted from Russia 15 months ago, murmured, "I think...for the first time...I feel...lonely." As we all turned to gaze at Alexander, he went on, "When we're in our bedroom, we joke... When we brush our teeth, we share the same sink...we joke and laugh." He trailed off. His winsome sharing of his heart was finished.
We discovered over a decade ago, when we added our first trio of adoptees, that our existing children (Anna, Lissie and John) were instrumental in the adjustment of their new siblings. Each time since, when we've added another trio of older children to the family through adoption, the old and the new have grown close surprisingly quickly. The existing kiddos have offered immediate friendship, as well as advice, counsel, and a sense of security and comfort through the initial stages of adjustment. Alexander's statement simply reflected the profound impact John has had on his newest brother.
With a crinkle returning to his eyes, Alexander quickly returned to the perky, quirky, joy so characteristic to him. But we all really miss John and pray for His safe and quick return.
BTW, we've heard John and the group from our church arrived safely in Ethiopia. Their trip is apparently going well, but they would be grateful for prayers for endurance, stamina and strength. They're already tired, and they have much yet that they hope to accomplish.