MISSING: baby pictures {part 2}

It’s important to me that each of my children know their stories.  My three older kids love it when I tell them about when they were born.  Ezra often asks questions about when he was in the hospital and ambulances when he was a baby.  On a recent road trip he asked that we drive by the hospital where he was born.  He loved the details we shared.  We all want to know our story.  And process it.  It helps us learn about ourselves.

You can find {part 1} here.

The home that Asrat was cared for in Ethiopia did a wonderful job of capturing photos of him every month, so we have almost 2 years worth of photos of him growing.  Something weird happened a few months ago when I was downloading all of the pictures again to save them.  His pictures synced with our family pictures.  So for the last two years of our family pictures, Asrat’s photos in the care center are mixed in.  If you were to flip through the pictures, you would see pictures of us as a family having fires in the backyard, the kids going to school, Christmas, and winter intermixed with pictures of Asrat at the care center.  Waiting.  If you continued to flip further, you would see pictures of Brad and I in southern Ethiopia and in Addis…just on the other side of town from our son who we didn’t know yet.

Another year and a half go by in pictures.

The first time I noticed it, it made me ill.  While we were just going about our normal life, he was there waiting for a family.  We were even in the same city.  We didn’t know about him yet, but the thought that our son had been passed over by so many makes me want to cry for him and for those years that he waited.  Such precious, formative years.

As I look through the pictures I see a sick, weak little boy.  I see caregivers holding and cuddling him.  Worried eyes.  Nervousness. I see him sitting up, then learning after much hard work how to stand on his own and walk.  I see huge, attention-seeking smiles, major growth and change.

As hard as some of the photos are to look at, I am thankful for them.  For him.  He won’t have some of the same questions that Erkinesh did because in the photos we see glimpses of what he looked like as a baby, but he spent a lot more time in care and that has it’s own challenges.

He will have baby photos to share but they tell a different story, because he wasn’t a baby in them.  In the earliest of photos, he was 2 ½ years old.


Below are some photos that were taken months after he arrived at the care center.  I love, love, love these and I am so proud of my son.

One of my very favorite pictures.  
O.k., maybe this one is my favorite.
Standing up!

Note:  I realize that some of what I have written sounds vague.  I had first thought I would share more, but then I edited both my words and the photos.  It's increasingly difficult for me to know what to share and what not to share, so this time I'm erring on the side of not sharing, but hoping that my thoughts come out without sharing too much of my son's story.


  1. Oh, how precious! I'm sure it makes you feel sad that you couldn't have had him sooner, but that evidently wasn't God's plan. The first picture would be my favorite, until I saw the last one with his same winning smile he always has! What a little doll! Love you Asrat!

  2. my favorite picture is where he's standing up. I like his crib.--Anna :)

  3. He still has the same infectious smile!

  4. He really is a little fighter! :) Reminds me of our daughter, who also had to fight her way back from malnutrition...

  5. I relate to so much of this. The photo program on our home mac did the same thing with our son's referral photos, and it's so strange to go through looking at what we were doing in our life here as he was growing bigger. Then for our daughter, we just have so few early pics of her that I always cringe when she finds a baby album at a friend's house. We'll never have this for her. The best we can do is have an album from the little bit we do have and hope this will suffice.

  6. Oh, my heart. The things that our babies have been through. How wonderful that the care home took pictures. Once in a while, I would get a picture of Grace from a family that had met her while they were at Hannah's Hope. Those pictures are so precious to me, because I have nothing but a few referral pictures. To look at Asrat then and now---amazing! Not a day goes by that I'm not consumed with thoughts of our children sitting in an orphanage, not knowing that we're doing everything we can to get there quickly!!!

  7. How wonderful to have these photos! And I hear you hon!!!!

  8. This post gave me chills, Sharon. I know it must be hard to see the photos of him waiting mixed into the rest of your lives. But it's kind of a beautiful image to me of how God was working on the plans the whole time to bring you together, and how HIS story and Asrat's fit so perfectly into yours! Beautiful words, beautiful love! xx