Over the years we have learned may things about this amazing child of God. This child that we have prayed for, fought for, and have been blessed to call our daughter. But in truth, as hard it is to say... a little lady of eight. Five birthdays later... and still a stranger in so many ways.
There are so many mysteries to uncover in this bundle of curly black hair, big front teeth, and skinny little arms and legs. What is her favorite color? Will she favor chocolate or vanilla? Is she afraid of spiders like her Papa? Will she be a book worm and soak up stories? What talents has God given her? What giants does she battle when she closes her eyes?
There is a beautiful tapestry that has been woven over the past eight years with perseverance and pain, laughter and love, caution and curiosity, but we haven't been able to be close enough to see those individual threads that have been used in its making, just the big picture it makes when seen from afar.
May 15th, this year, will be the same as it has been the past four years in many ways. Nephtali will go to school, she will play, she will eat her rice and beans, she will be still with her thoughts and dreams, she will close her eyes and fall sleep. Will she even know it's her birthday?
Here in Kansas we'll make Haitian spaghetti, we'll hold hands and thank God for our far away butterfly and pray for her well-being, we'll make a cake and sing happy birthday in hopes that a note or two will be carried on an angel's wings across the ocean to her ears as she drifts off to sleep.
But May 15th this year will also be a little different. This year there is a seed of hope growing - a whisper in the winds from heaven - a stirring in our hearts. A whisper which says this is the last last birthday of hers we will celebrate apart.
We are almost there sweet butterfly. We are almost close enough, precious daughter, to see, to learn, to embrace the colors, the textures, the strengths and weaknesses that make up who you are. We are almost ready to stretch out our arms and hold you tight, never to let go again.
All Glory to God. He creates the most beautiful things and writes the most amazing stories.