Those of you who followed our blog while we were in Kenya, or who know us more intimately, know that this little boy was a constant source of joy and heartache for us! While Landon and i were in Kenya July 05 - June 06 we fell in love with Daniel. We had strong hopes of adopting him, until his mother returned to the orphanage 2 weeks before we left, claiming that she wanted him back (we were so surprised to see her - everyone thought she was dead). Daniel had no idea who she was, and had asked us to take him home with us and never return him to the orphanage. I remember our flight to the US from Kenya, i just cried and cried, feeling like i had abandoned him back in Africa, feeling like leaving without him was so contrary to everything within me. And every special moment the next year, every holiday, i felt a loss for not having him to be a part of our family, to be with us in those special moments. Anyways...that's beside the point except to say that somehow in my mind, i was going to be this precious boy's mother and am not, with no hopes of soon having him for my son.
Well, Kevin, our friend and fellow missionary from Africa had a chance to return to the Limuru Children Centre as he was preparing a missions trip for the youth in his church, and his wife, Cori, sent me this current picture of Daniel.
I thought that some of you would really enjoy seeing this picture of Daniel. Hasn't he grown so much since we last saw him in June of last year? He is still at the orphanage. His mother is unable to care for him because she is dieing of AIDS and can't keep a job or acquire a place to live. I'm not sure the current story about her, as after my last email to the orphanage, i sort of threw in the hat. Patrick sent the sweetest reply to my email, saying that his extended family would not be against our adopting him, but the mother is. Of COURSE, she is. She is a dieing woman with one precious thing in the world - of course she would want to hold onto this sweet boy as long as she has life! I don't blame her for this, though, as i love Daniel, it is my ethnocentric and selfish perspective to wonder if her wanting to keep him at the orphanage for her every-once-in-a-while visits is not the best thing for him.... But he looks happy, and with his now 3 years at the orphanage, it seems he has found a family and a home there with the workers and the other kids. If we receive an email some day from the orphanage indicating that Daniel is available to be in our family, Landon and i would jump at the chance!
Here is Landon with Daniel a few days before we left...