Joseph and Mathew have now been home for a solid year.

Except for the obvious contrast in our skin color, I don’t think anyone would be able to tell that they were once orphans.

Their English is pretty up to par.

They know how to sing songs like the ABC’s, Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho, and Happy Birthday To You.

They understand holidays, birthdays, and vacations.

They’ve got some serious gaming skills on Daddy’s iPad.

(yes, that’s Hannah Montana on our tiny tree…Addy went through a Hannah Montana phase a few years ago, even though we never watch the show…ohmuword…I can’t believe Miley Cyrus is hanging on my tree…gross!)

A few days ago we received a DVD in the mail from my friend, Cathy, who recently spent a year in Africa, volunteering as a teacher for a semester at New Hope. The DVD was full of pictures and video from her year abroad, with a lot of it being devoted to her time at New Hope.

Oh man.

There they were again. Several adorable pictures of Mathew and Joseph before we ever knew them.

Pictures like these sting my eyes with tears every time.

Not because of their raggedy clothes or their seeming lack of stuff.

These pictures are a reminder of the fact that there was a time when Lucas and I weren’t their daddy and mommy.

The fact that they, at one point in time, had a biological mother and father who died, or had to give them up for whatever reason. And all the loss that comes with that.

Those chubby cheeks remind me that I’ll never get to see pictures from when they were babies, and that we missed out on some really cute years. (they’ve still got lots of cute years still left in ‘em…but you know what I mean)

I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that they had this whole other life before I showed up.

Now they just seem like any other extremely-active-can’t-sit-still-for-even-one-second four year old boy that could be from any house on my street.

Most of the time it doesn’t even occur to me that they were never ours.

But maybe that’s a good thing.


Colleen Jobe

Colleen and Lucas are parents of four children – two girls by birth and two boys who were adopted independently from Uganda. The boys are unrelated (by birth) and are virtual twins. Lucas is in the Air Force and Colleen is a stay-at-home mom who also has the privilege of being a partner at Wild Olive, a Christian t-shirt company for women. Colleen’s adoption ramblings can be read on her blog.

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