Monday, November 26, 2012

The Coming of Light

I haven't been sleeping well.  

Three baby boys have been keeping me awake.  The first, my own son in a care center in Addis Ababa, the second, a dear friend's baby boy who was recently in an induced coma very far away, the third, a tiny baby boy named Zemene (we are his FIG, family in the gap) stuck for political reasons in an orphanage in Awassa, Ethiopia. 

Please give us a court date....
Please let him live...
Please change policy, please give him a family...

If you could open my heart, and read my desires the way you chop a tree and tell it's age by counting the rings, these would be the mantras/prayers/thoughts/pleas encrypted deeply in the chambers. 

We decorated our home early for Christmas this year because we're hopeful we'll be in Ethiopia over the holidays, and we want Kysa to experience Christmas.  The twinkle lights, the candles, the box of nostalgic decorations and the busy-ness of it all served as a respite.  

I framed a photo of Zemene on my desk, and I placed a little African angel on Baby W's photo on our mantle. St Lucia, the Swedish saint who wears candles in her hair bringing light to the darkest night of winter, sits next to Baby W's photo.  These small symbolic gestures seem so anemic when my arms ache for my son. Yet, the embodied images of saints and angels and tiny lights in our home, casting their glow against the darkness, gives me hope.

I am acutely aware of the surreal state my family is in right now. A beautiful and horrific limbo of seeing and knowing our son's face but not being able to hold him or know him. The ache in my heart is palpable, but what a privilege to feel and experience such love and pain. It is a beautiful and horrific process feeling our hearts being broken wide open, only to be repaired with more space, more capacity, more love and light. 

There is something poetically beautiful and equally horrid about being with your little child at 3 in the morning in a hospital room, listening to his little breath, and watching numbers shift on a monitor. 

....from darkness to light. 

After tossing and turning last night, when I couldn't stand another minute of my loud pleading thoughts, I finally flipped open my laptop and checked my email at 4am.  Against the darkness of my bedroom, with my family sleeping soundly next to me, the glow of my laptop offered up a photo of my friend's son sitting up in his hospital bed, with a big grin and the sock monkey I gave him last year at the beach. 

...from darkness to light. 

There was so much relief in seeing that precious boy's face, and the sweet reward was sleep. 

So much gratitude, so much relief. 
And today I'll celebrate that light.

But, Zemene is still stuck in an orphanage, unable to be matched to a forever family.
And I really miss my son.  

...the light is coming. even this late it happens.

The Coming of Light

By Mark Strand

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light. 
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves, 
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows, 
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine 
and tomorrow's dust flares into breath.

1 comment:

  1. I can so relate to all those feelings. I love your compassionate heart. Hang in there. This is a hard time when you are waiting and anticipating and hoping. So glad your friend's son is doing we hope and expect some more light...