today i want to tell you about an amazing kid named moses.
moses just turned 12 years old but i've been blessed to know him since he was 8. i met moses the first time i traveled to zambia, africa in 2007. from the moment i met him i knew this kid was special. he had the most infectious smile and bright eyes and gave the best hugs. he was obviously loved by all those around him in the community and thankfully so because moses lost both of his parents when he was very young. his grandmother and older siblings looked after him, as well as countless others in the village. after my first visit to his village i didn't know how much my life would be changed by that experience and how many times i would end up traveling back there.
when i returned in 2008 moses was still there, albeit a little taller than the year before, but still moses. we had a joyous reunion and within minutes of arriving he was on my lap with his arms wrapped around my neck. oh what a glorious welcome that was. i'd never met a child whose heart was so open to love others. it challenged me on my own walls i kept around my heart. he had experienced so much loss in his short life but yet was able to give love so freely, without hesitation or fear. i got to see moses a lot that year because i stayed in the village for 3 months. i usually caught up with him after school when he was playing chingalungalo (i'm sure i just butchered that spelling). basically it's where they take an old bicycle rim and roll it using a stick to keep it balanced... i failed miserably at that game, but moses was a pro.
in 2009 i stayed for a month and was there with a friend for 2 weeks after our large team left. at this time moses had moved in with a good friend of mine who was able to really give him the attention and time he needed. i was staying in a tent right outside that hut so naturally i was with moses a lot, too. i'd make lunch for him every day... we ate tuna fish on crackers a lot cause that was his favorite. i took him into town with me so i could treat him to chicken, fries and an iced cold fanta. i let him come with us on the 8 hour ride back to the capital when we were headed home. he loved going to lusaka because that meant one-on-one time and lots of ice cream and coke dates. we cried at the airport that year when i headed home. you see, moses had been in the process of being adopted by a family in the US pretty much since i had known him. it was a long, up and down process that i know at times left him feeling discouraged and sad. he wanted to come to america so bad and start his life with his new family. goodbyes were never easy.
fast forward another year and i once again found myself in the village with little moses who was beginning to seem not so little anymore. this time there was excitement in the air because the adoption seemed to be wrapping up. his new mom would be arriving in the village just after we departed to stay and foster moses for at least 3 months. even though she had been supporting him financially from afar for YEARS the government required her to stay in the village and take care of him as her own for 3 months before they would finalize the adoption. our friends built her a house to stay in and while i was there we helped with the construction and even sewed curtains for all the windows. can you imagine traveling halfway around the world, leaving everyone you know and staying in a remote village for 3 months all so you can adopt a child? talk about LOVE.
we all prayed a lot last year that all the details would fall into place and by God's grace they did. they traveled home during Christmas... getting delayed because of crazy weather... but they made it. moses made it. he was finally here. his adoptive family only lives about 30 minutes from my house so we saw him right after he got home. it was crazy to see him here. to know that after all those years of praying, of hoping, of waiting, he was right where he belonged.
i'm no expert in the area of adoption and i'm sure the transition is different for every child, but moses has really done well. and that same sweet, special little boy that i knew in zambia is the same here. my parents take moses sometimes on the weekend (they came with me to zambia in 2009 & 2010 so they got to know him as well) if his mom has to go out of town or just to give him a change of pace and we all enjoy the time we get to spend with him. he even joined my family on our vacation to the beach this summer and we got to be with him as he saw the ocean for the first time. he has this uncanny ability to just adapt to his surroundings and be at home wherever he is. my family loves him as if he's our own and he loves us all right back. my nieces absolutely ADORE him. he taught them some african dancing and my niece kylie proudly shakes her little booty and declares to everyone that she's doing the moses dance. it's precious.
i know this post is getting long, but i just had to share some of moses' story with you. he really is the most incredible kid and just last month he invited jesus into his heart and couldn't wait to share the good news with all of us. it fills my heart with such joy to know that his needs are being met... physically, emotionally and spiritually. and this probably won't be the last time you hear me talk about moses. he's already made it clear that whenever i go back to zambia i have to take him with me, which is fine by me. he makes a great travel buddy.
thanks for taking time to read this. if you can, say a prayer for moses. that his transition would continue to go well. for his family that's still back in zambia and missing him dearly. for all the people out there making incredible sacrifices to bring their children home.