Some friends of ours hosted a basketball coaches' clinic this weekend that about 20 international coaches attended. Last night, we had the whole group over for dinner. (Ben once again proved his amazing-ness by planning and ordering the food. I cut up some fruit and vacuumed.)
Anytime we're around people from another country, I am truly blessed. It's like you can just feel the richness, perspective, and depth that comes from Somewhere Else.
What made last night special, though, was that four of the coaches were from Rwanda - the homeland of the son we're waiting for. It's a teeny-tiny country, so I was shocked that basketball is big enough there to produce a fifth of our guests.
I wanted to corner them, make them sit and tell me their stories while I wept. I wanted to ask a thousand questions - Where were you 15 years ago during the genocide? Who did you lose? What do you remember? After all of that, what do you believe in?
But instead, I just stared, dumbstruck that this huge world is so small. I watched Talya steal food off their plates. I felt the words freeze somewhere in my chest as I muttered things like, "Thank you for coming" and "Your country is already in my heart."
Four men who are my son's People.
When I was pregnant, Ben and I used to wonder in the night who our baby would like. We knew they'd look like him, but we wondered what parts of me would be strong enough to stand up to his strong, dark genes. The first time I saw my babies - even Elijah, whose features looked as though they'd just been created a minute ago - it was an immediate game of, "Oh look, he has your dad's nose," and "I think those eyes are from my side."
But with this next one, there is no mental image to reference; no genetic data to catalogue in my dreams. His eyes will come from someone else, as will his lips. His appearance is a complete mystery to me...
...Then these four men walk into my house and eat at my table. Each of them looks so different from the other, but they all bleed Rwandan blood - the blood my son bleeds. One is very tall, others are shorter. They have no relation to my boy, but I still stare - in their faces I see the appearance of men my boy could become.
And they are so beautiful.
I hug them all tight. We tell them of our son and make plans to meet up in Kigali. They see our Rwandan flag on the dinner table, and tell us they finally feel at home.
My eyes well, my heart warms, and I wait.