I literally have chills on my arms and tears in my eyes as I write this blog post. A family is finally united. What a blessing. What a journey. What an answer to prayer! Our friends who have so patiently waited for a year and a half for their boy finally have him in their arms right here in the U.S.A. (For the background on this situation, please read my original post here.)
At times on the journey, especially in the past nine months, doubt seemed to be stronger than hope. Darkness seemed to be hiding the light. Pessimism reared its ugly head and threatened to snuff out trust. (Really, isn’t every good work of literature set up that way?) Deep down in my heart, I know that the Lord is in control and that He can be trusted, but my momma’s heart just broke for a friend who couldn’t hold her baby boy and have her family all together at home.
Tears stung my eyes as I read her many, many blog and Facebook posts that exposed her aching heart and her deep pain in the midst of a very difficult situation. Everyone with any sense knew this boy was better off with his “forever family” here in the U.S., but one little piece of paper, an exit letter, stood between that ideal and a painful reality. Friends prayed, his parents struggled, people poured forth asking their Congressional representatives to put pressure on the Congolese government. . . and still, no letter. In a step of faith, my friend went back to the Congo to visit her boy on his second birthday and to renew his U.S. visa, hoping for a positive outcome and just before she was scheduled to leave him alone in the Congo yet again, the exit letter FINALLY came. Praise God!
On Sunday night, Father’s Day, my sweet friend landed in San Francisco with their son, Jephte. He was FINALLY reunited with his father and able to meet his brother for the first time. Many of our community of friends met them at the airport that night to welcome them home and celebrate with them. One member of that community, our friend Gus Dizon, happens to be an incredibly talented photographer. (You may have read his guest post here on this blog with wonderful tips about family photos here.) Gus took some amazing photos that night and I wanted to share them with you below. They really capture the joy and the unity of this group in celebrating the homecoming of this precious little boy! (If you’re in the San Francisco area, I highly recommend you check out Gus’ work and consider booking him for photos – he’s talented and reasonably priced and simply a ton of fun to work with – my kids ADORE him! You can see his website here.)
Thanks to all of you who prayed for this family, who joined us in petitioning Congress and who entered our necklace giveaway. I know you are rejoicing with this family, as I am. Enjoy the photos!
The precious community of friends waits for Miles’ arrival
Momma and her boy
The family together
What a welcome!
Hugging his mama
What a Father’s Day gift!