Yesterday, we brought Sharon home to spend a few days with her sisters on this holiday break from school. Titus drove along the extending dirt paths to reach their home, Sharon narrating all along the way. It is the place where she and her siblings were born. The place where their mama nurtured and grew them. The place where their mother died and is now buried.
This is the first time Sharon has returned to visit since our fifteen month stent in the States. She remembers and holds the tension within her of the bitter and the sweet, of what was and is no longer but also of what remains.
She now knows what it is to live in multiple worlds. In this one called home, there is often what feels like “not enough.” To eat. To drink. Access to health-care. Opportunity to dream. During the holiday break, Sharon’s sisters are here, and she longs to be with them. In the joy and the hard. Thankfully, Living Room and our family have stood in gaps; but even still, life is complicated for these children.
When we arrived, Geoffrey was thrilled to show me around his house. He wasn’t bothered that he cannot remember the memories that fill him. So, he made it up as we went along.
For Alice, this is all she has ever known, and she was so excited that everyone had come home. In spite of the vast suffering and loss this sweet child has undergone, I am moved by the amount of joy that remains intact. I recognize there are deeper levels, both emotionally and physically, that require healing; but for the day, she seemed satisfied (more-like overjoyed) that we had come.
The last time Ryan was in this space he weighed three pounds. He was struggling to live as a premature baby without any parents, formula for feeding, or access to necessary healthcare. There was the grief of death that filled the home, and no one had any expectation that this baby, born too soon, would survive.
Against all odds (and more than once), Ryan grew and by the grace of God lived to return home. Oh, Ryan’s lived so much life in his nearly three years. And I feel so grateful, as hard as the journey has been for him, that I have been a witness. I feel grateful for the invitation God has given to our family to readjust our plans over and over again for the sake of loving him. And Geoffrey, Alice, Sharon, Vivian, Isaiah, David & Jackline. Oh, what a journey…