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Old Friends & New Friends

What does friendship mean to you? Who have you come to rely on during your time on Earth? Is it your best friend from childhood, is it your sister or brother, does she live down the street and have kids your age, or maybe it is your parent or spouse. We all should have friends, Good friends, the kind that would drop what they are doing to spend time with you at a moments notice, or comfort you when you are sad, or be there to laugh with you when life is good. 

How many friends have you had in your lifetime? What do these people still mean to you? Do they hold a place in your heart and make you long for that time of comfort and joy? 

I have been watching our Tope the last three months learning so many things, trying new experiences, becoming part of a family, and learning about his new home and life. He seems to be finding his flow quickly and living his life with gumption and enthusiasm. It intrigues me most to see the relationships he is building with those around him. We have started spending more time with some family and close church friends and he is very excited to see these people over and over again. He is recognizing faces and giving hugs, learning who he can trust, and who is ready to be his playmate. Tope is also getting to know the neighborhood boys and running through the yards without abandon, full of joy and laughter. 

So many days I wonder though, what is Tope missing. WHO is he missing? Most of his life resided in the same home (orphanage). The adults there were like his Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents, and the kids were his brothers and cousins. What is it like for him to not see their faces every day, and to be completely removed from that life? Where does his mind take him when he thinks back to his old home? Who is he with and what comforts does he remember - long for? 
Getting ready for the phone call!
Tonight we were blessed with a phone call from two of Tope's close friends. The boys lived together for almost five years. The two are biological brothers and were adopted about a month after Tope and now only live about 8 hours from us! We hope to visit them this summer, but in the meantime we decided to try and do some facetime with them tonight. Tope was so very anxious to see his friends and even started crying when he had to wait a little longer while they finished supper so they could start talking. He was completely giddy while we were on the phone with them. They shared some of their favorite new toys, talked about things they've been doing, new places they have gotten to visit, and the boys even tried to help us figure out a couple things that Tope is saying that we can't understand. It was a small glimpse into the life Tope had and we know misses, even if he can't express his loss to us at this point. My heart was on fire during this time, both with happiness and heartache, excited for this time he could share with his friends and sad for the loss he is enduring. 

He will have so many more friendships in his lifetime, and my prayer for him is that he finds some true soulmates that understand him and let him be who he is meant to be. I think he has found at least one of those friends - his brother. These two already have an unexplainable connection, like they've been brothers and friends from the very beginning. Watching their relationship grow is, well, not quite sure how to explain it, other than it brings tears to my eyes often and makes my heart beat strong and hard. I love these two boys and the brothers they are becoming, a beautiful blessing that I get to witness every day.

As a side note - Caleb and I were at the store yesterday and he asked to get something, and without second thought I said, "yes, and get one for your brother too." And it hit me - OH HOW GREAT IT FELT TO SAY THAT WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT!

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend and are able to enjoy the weather. Maybe you're even lucky enough that you've been able to spend lots of time with family, and maybe even a close friend. And if not - I encourage you to reach out and give an old friend a call or write a letter - promise you won't regret it. Shout out to all of my bestest of best friends in life - Crystal, Karin, Jessie, Angela, Carley, Deanna, Rachael, Jon, Ashley, Jo, 
my Parents - can't imagine my life without you all and the other multitude of friends that have touched my life in so many ways.

In Christ~


  1. Wonderful report! Cris & I are so glad Tope is adjusting well in the loving environment of your home! Please give him a big hug from us. Pastor Ken


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