[Koiboi back in 2008--skin crawling with fungus and very malnourished]
Most of you probably know about "my son." You've heard stories and seen photos of Koiboi. I am his Ma and he is my son. We have shared a long and difficult journey together over the past 3 years. There are many times when he serves as my reminder of why I am here, and why I must continue.
When I first met Koiboi, he had just been taken from the bush and plopped down into an orphanage. The orphanage was the worst--the worst of the worst, really. Koiboi was about 3 years old and he didn't even know English. He was confused, neglected and very sick. My heart broke for Koiboi, and for all of the children in that orphanage. I prayed, cried, argued, loved, worried and fought for those kids.
God answered those prayers last year, when there was a fire at the home, and all of the children were removed. Koiboi moved to a great new orphanage. After just one week there, he was already healthier and happier. When I left Liberia in July, I had to see Koiboi one last time. I had this feeling in my heart, and even said out loud, that I felt like I was never going to see Koiboi again. I remember driving away from the orphanage, watching him stand there and wave until we were completely out of sight. My heart broke, but at the same time, I had to trust God--that he would watch over and protect Koiboi--and I had to be ok with the possibility of never seeing him again. I left Liberia knowing I had loved him well, but wishing and hoping that I would have the chance to love him more.
Last week, I found myself on my way to see Koiboi. As we were bouncing down the dirt road, Deb turned around and said, "I wanted to come today because the last time you were here, you said you thought you would never see Koiboi again. I wanted to be here for the reunion." I had honestly forgotten that I had said that, but I had a deep sense of gratefulness and thanksgiving to God for keeping Koiboi safe and protected, and for giving me the soon-to-be sweet reunion.
Our reunions are always the same--Koiboi slowly walks towards me, while playing with his ear and looking at his feet. He usually waits until he's a few steps away before he begins to let on to anything close to a smile. And then there's the bend-over-scoop-up-big-hug-and-kiss Ma maneuver. That's when the reunion begins!
[The Koiboi walk]
[The Ma maneuver]
[Reunited again! Not a bad smile, considering he had malaria]