Earlier this year, shortly after the start of the school year, your preschool teacher asked for all of the children in the class to bring in a photo of themselves when they were younger. I was so thankful that the teacher was sensitive to her students that have been adopted (two of you this year!) by simply asking for a photo of you from when you were younger, but the implication was...bring a baby picture!
One of the things that has been a little sad for me is that I didn't get to meet you until you were 23 months old, and the earliest photos I have of you were from when you were 19 months old. Granted, I LOVE the chubby cheeks in those photos, but you were definitely a toddler at that point.
Thankfully, another adoptive mom encouraged me to network with other adoptive parents to see if anyone had any photos of you at a younger age from their travels to Ethiopia. So I decided to put a post on Facebook in a group of adoptive moms that I am a part of. Remarkably, another mom who is a Facebook friend of mine wrote me within 24 hours asking me if you were from northern Ethiopia. I said yes, and when she asked me if you had spent time living in a specific orphanage, I said yes again. Then she said that she thought she had a photo of you from a visit she made there in January 2010, but she wasn't sure... so she sent this photo and asked me if it was you. Once again, I answered "YES!!! YES it is!!!"
There you were, sitting on the floor with the chubbiest cheeks, shaved head, the same eyes and eyebrows that I know and love...and the final confirmation was that second toe that still sits on top of your big toe! (You and Zachary both share that trait!) I wept with joy as I gazed at a photo of the baby I never got to know, the baby I had never seen before! I'm so thankful for this photo...it is a treasure! And just like that...we have a baby picture of you!
Parenthood is an amazing journey, and I'm so glad you are mine and I am yours,