“Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
The morning of March 1, 2013 brought more joy than Luke and I could ever contain! After a hard (and tearful) February 28th, where we knew we had missed the phone call that would change our lives forever, we were on high alert when my phone rang at 5:54am on Friday March 1, 2013 and the same 225 number appeared on the screen!
I grabbed the phone said “Luke, it’s her!” We both sat straight up in the bed, answered the phone and put it on speaker phone. It was indeed Sharon on the other end with the greatest news of our lives. With hands trembling and voice shaking we sat together on our bed, as Sharon told us about a 7 month old little boy that she had met while visiting Ibanda Babies Home. He was perfectly healthy and according to her a happy and pretty well adjusted little guy. He was found as a newborn in a banana plantation and had lived at the Ibanda Babies home for the last 7 months. She and another adopting family had the opportunity to spend about an hour with him and had taken lots of pictures that she wanted to send over to us.
But before we got off the phone so she could email the pics she asked “Do you want to know what his name is? It’s a good one.” “His name is Emmanuel Manige.” Emmanuel… God with us. His name was a promise from God that He had been with Mace all of his life. From the banana plantation to the orphanage God had never once left him alone.
In all of this God had also fulfilled a desire of my heart, which was to get a younger baby. On our specifications for a child we had said male or female, 18 months and younger. But God always goes above and beyond to give us the desires of our heart and he fulfilled one of mine by giving us a baby under the age of one.
So as we said our goodbyes and hung up the phone we continued to cling to that iPhone waiting for the first picture to come thru. We quickly received an email from Sharon that was titled “Here He Is” with the picture below attached.
Our baby!!!! Our son!!! It was the first time we laid eyes on our precious boy and we were in LOVE! Lots of tears of joy were shed as we studied every aspect of him. From his sweet smile to his squishy nose to his BIG hands and feet! We enlarged that picture and poured over it like every new parent does the first time they see their baby! Sharon had forewarned us that he would be in a dress (This Is Africa!) and even told us that for the first few minutes after she had met him she was unsure if he was a boy or a girl. The nannies at the orphanage called him Emma (short for Emmanuel), he had on a blue dress, and he was so darn pretty!
Sharon had to quickly leave for the airport, and being Africa with slow internet she wasn’t able to send more pics. However, the other adopting family who had gone to Ibanda with her was still at the guesthouse and so all throughout the morning they continued to send us precious pics of our little Mace! With each picture that rolled in when fell more and more in love with our son!
Of course one of the most fun aspects of this day was sharing our good news with our friends and family. Soon after we got off the phone with Sharon we called our parents and told them about their newest grand baby over the phone (good thing they are early risers because at this point it in time it was still well before 7am :) And then we started texting our siblings and best friends!
Later that night we had a coaches meeting scheduled, so we got to tell all of our ACME coaches at one time, in one place! March 1, 2013 will go down forever as one of the greatest days in our lives! A day were we watched God fulfill a dream and a promise that he had planted in both of our hearts from the time we were kids, and the day we laid eyes on the boy who was destined to be our son from the foundation of the world!