See the cute little gap in his smile?!?
Little man lost his first tooth!
It had been loose for a long time, but Joshua hardly noticed. When he talked or laughed that silly, wiggly tooth was so distracting! Finally, in an unusual act of "medical bravery," Krissy got so tired of the dangling tooth that she grabbed a napkin and carefully pulled it out!
I adore his beautiful grin.
I adore his deep, dark, compassionate eyes.
I love his curls.
I love his soft, smooth, chocolate skin.
I never, ever, stop marveling at the fact that I am his momma.
The secrets of his past are always close to my heart as well. Times like this, losing his first tooth, are especially pensive. One person comments, "What? He lost a tooth? He is not even 5 yet?! That is just too young!" And I wonder. . .
Another child just a couple of months older shows us her lost tooth, and I breath a big sigh of relief.
In all reality, I will never know exactly how old Joshua is.
And for some reason that breaks my heart.
Pre-Joshua, I had always assumed that having an accurate date of birth was a birth right. DOB on any form was as simple as gender, or so I thought.
Additionally, I LOVE celebrating my birthday. I LOVE celebrating my children's birthdays. I LOVE celebrating Chad's birthday. I just LOVE birthdays.
So to me, not knowing Joshua's birthday, just seems like one more layer of unfair.
The other part of questioning his age that rips my heart to shreds is the thought that if he is older than we think, then he lived a very difficult life even longer than we think. I CAN NOT stand the thought of any of my kids suffering. Unfortunately, I know that Joshua's first years were very difficult. I know that he was unable to walk until he was over 26 months old. The dentist will testify, via decay spots in his teeth, that his Ethiopian mom was either sick or hungry (or both) while she carried him in her womb. Those thoughts make me so sad. He has needed to be a fighter since before he was born.
Thank you Jesus, that he is a fighter!
On the flip side, he also shows us all the time that he was well loved as a tiny babe. He loves to snuggle more than any other little boy I have ever been around, and I am completely positive that he loves to snuggle because his Ethiopian mom taught him to.
He loves with a love that is unbelievably deep and perfectly true. I am completely positive that he is capable of this depth of love because of the ginormous amount of love that was lavished upon him by his Ethiopian mom. (And this is more than a crazy Alicia hunch. Research shows that children that have been securely attached to a care giver are more likely to reattach to a different care giver. Clinical proof that when we love our kids well, they are capable of loving others well in return.)
I wish each and every day that Joshua's Ethiopian mom could see what a beautiful job she did teaching her son how to love. It is one of my greatest prayers that one day I will meet her in heaven, and we can swap stories about this amazing son we share.
But until that day comes, I will love this small son - gaps and all - to the best of my ability.
*** For the record, our pediatrician has always felt Joshua's age to be very accurate. Developmentally, it is spot on. Ethiopia has declared his date of birth to be November 27, 2007. America agrees. And even though I have a wave of wonder cross my mind every once in a while, I believe that 4.75 is the perfect age for our Joshua Gebeyehu.