Today, we met with Stephen's foster mom and dad for lunch. Stephen and his "Eomma and Oppa" were overjoyed to see each other. A really precious moment that I will always treasure was when he was holding his foster mother's hand and reached back for mine as well.
We enjoyed a delightful vegetarian Korean buffet together and afterward had some green tea sponge cake dessert as Ji Hae translated our conversation.
We obviously knew that having to say goodbye to them a second time, even if he didn't know that the second time would be much more final, would be really rough. We all hugged and then separated from them near the hotel. He screamed and cried as Andy held him once again, and neither the foster mother nor I could contain our tears. Stephen calmed down after several intense minutes, but very soon after getting to our room, he fell asleep on the floor of the living room.
Today, I continued to recognize some of the pain that I voluntarily chose to enter into with him when we decided to adopt. He is already ours. His pain is shared by us. We can't fully understand the sorrow that he has been through and will go through in both losing his birth family and now foster family. He can't go back to them, but he can't understand why they aren't here. My tears flowed again tonight as we joined him on the balcony multiple times as he called longingly for the only family he has known, sometimes softly and sometimes loudly. We can help bear his burden along with him, but it is too big for all of us, even shared. We must continually point Stephen to the One who took our true burden, the burden of our sin and subsequent pain, upon himself, bore the punishment we deserved and gave us his righteousness instead as his own adopted and beloved children- Jesus.
|Stephen's favorite food, black bean noodles, for dinner|