My mom arrived in Addis Ababa late last night. We went straight to bed and woke up for church this morning. The sermon was on Re-connecting with God in a Crisis. The pastor is so great about connecting current events, personal lives, and scripture so that you can see God working, pray for the world, and apply God's word to your life. It's so encouraging to be there with people from all over the world all praising our God. The highlight of the service was the Doxology. We've sung it the past two Sundays now. The band stops playing and a chorus of voices loudly sing, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise God all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen!" The best thing is the sound of accents of people from Mozambique, Germany, America, Ethiopia, and all other places singing these words in English to God. Beautiful.
After church, mom and I went with the AWAA travel group to Island Breeze restaurant. It's one of my favorites here. Oddly enough, the quesadillas and fajitas are AWESOME! Of course, that makes this Texas girl VERY happy.
Next, mom met Zane at the transition home for the first time. It was really sweet. He didn't really understand who she was, but we kept saying, "Mimi, Mimi..." He wasn't afraid of her, and didn't shy away from her like he does with most people. Mom played with the basketball and rolled it with him, and he smiled and enjoyed it.
Zane is mimicking my voice and expressions more and more. He now initiates a "YEA!" for himself when he does something he likes! Every time mom or I rolled the ball to him and he caught it, he shouted, "YEAAAAA!" So far I don't think self-confidence will be an issue! Zane continues to be really sad when I leave. His #1 nanny was here today, and he even cried when he went to her. This was awkward for me, as I know how much she loves him. It has to be the most difficult job in the world to part with these little ones. And to do it continually breaks my heart. It's amazing how much they open their hearts to children, knowing they will have to leave one day. It makes me want to love in complete abandonment like them without protecting my heart - to love like Christ loves us, despite the fact he knows we are prone to wander from him.
Love is one of those things that can't exist as a guarded display of human emotion. It's relentless, confident, and full commitment. It is steady and sure even when emotion ceases. Somehow, perfect love loves enough to let go, trust, and forgive at the same time. I guess this is why God says, "I am love" and "perfect love drives out fear" and "greater love has no man but this, that he would lay down his life for his friends." I just don't see how love can exist apart from Him. In others we see manifestations of God's perfect love, but in our humanity, love can become jaded, co-dependent, and selfish. When we abide in Christ, our love is a renewable resource poured out onto others.
I took a picture of Zane and his caregiver today. I want him to know about this selfless love she reflects, and the way that all of the babies are given a "transitional mommy" who risks her own heartbreak to love them. I thank the Lord for her and other "mommies" around the world today who are fostering children until they can be with a forever family.