It was rainy and cold here Tuesday. Aster discovered the raindrops and knelt beside our back door to watch them trickle down the window and puddle on our porch. It was so, so sweet to watch her as she watched them for the first time.
There was a chill in the air, so I turned on the heat. And for some reason that created a trickle of thoughts in my mind. Thoughts about Aster’s birth mom. Thoughts about how cold she must get and how she has no heat to turn on. Thoughts about how damp the one room adobe home where she lives must feel when it rains.
I thought about the day we met Hagere. I couldn’t believe it had been a month that we returned from Ethiopia with Aster, and just two days before that we drove down the dusty, bumpy roads of Addis to meet her birth mom. It was a day I had prayed for and yet a day I was very nervous about.
I wondered what I should say or ask her. What would Aster want to know?
I couldn’t sleep much the night before so I prayed through the early morning hours about our meeting and my concerns. Aster’s paperwork said her father had abandoned them when she was 8mos pregnant, and that she could not take care of her baby, her firstborn, her only child. But I’d struggled with how Aster would feel that her birth mom put her up for adoption although she was still alive.
God reminded me how He’d provided answers to those questions earlier that week. I’d met the doctor who cared for Aster when she was hospitalized for severe malnutrition. He was amazed by her current weight and told me Aster’s skin had been hanging off her bones when she was first admitted. Aster would not have survived had she not been placed for adoption. Here’s a photo of what she looked like then at 6 months, weighing only 8 lbs.
God had answered another one of my deepest prayers! I started bawling and told her about all of you who were praying for Aster and that I knew God had a plan for her life.
She had decided to give Aster back to me at one point in our conversation. I wanted her to see Aster smile so I started playing patty cake. We talked some more, asking questions about her family and living conditions. Her cousin had brought her and he explained that Hagere’s mother is still alive and Hagere lives with her along with 4 cousins and brothers in a one room mud hut.
He told us that they are very, very poor and can barely feed themselves. That is why she could not take care of Aster. He looked very sad but also very thankful to see her doing so well.
I thought she might want to see Aster’s cute little toes so I took off one of her socks. Then I gave her back to Hagere and offered her a bottle to feed her.
She seemed so pensive. It seemed so unfair to me that I could provide formula when I know with all my heart this young mother would do anything to provide her baby her mother’s milk. It was bittersweet to share this moment together.
There is so much more I want to share, but this post is already so long. If you’d like to follow Aster’s story and our family’s journey be sure to come back, or sign up for email updates in the top right sidebar under the P31 logo where there is a place to put your email.