Nine months ago, I had no way of knowing all of the ways God was preparing to expand my heart. I was a mama of my Ella, praying that God would give her a brother or sister. In the middle of the waiting and the asking, I sensed an invitation to adjust my prayer. I did not actually recognize that it was a different prayer, but I began to ask that God would allow Titus’ and my love to make more space for life within our home.
And then, one Friday afternoon in April, I met baby Ryan. He was five days old, weighed three pounds, and wrapped up in a bright pink blanket. He had been brought to Kimbilio Hospice because his mama died during childbirth.
With Ryan came seven brothers and sisters: Geoffrey (4), Alice (7), Sharon (10), Vivian (12), Isaiah (14), David (17), and Jackline (19). This little tribe of siblings has stretched me in more ways than I even know to tell.
This week I held Geoffrey while his tummy hurt. It wasn’t a small ache – it was the horrors of a sickle cell crisis taking place while the doctors of Kenya are on strike. Geoffrey received proper care that night only because we could pay for his treatment at a private hospital. For so many in this country, that isn’t the case; and while I understand that the doctors feel underpaid and abused by the government, it is dangerous to use the lives of the poor to make their point.
Like any mama, I wish I could take Geoffrey’s pain away. At one point, as I held him, he leaned into me. I kissed his cheeks, and He kissed mine.
The journey I find our family on is still surprising. The bitter sweetness of life. The brokenness and joy of eight brothers and sisters. Our laughter and our tears. The miracle of them all being able to stay close together. The healing we ask and wait for. Our home and hearts being expanded. Answered prayers coming in such unexpected ways.