Exactly 1 year ago this week, your birthday week, your Daddy found this picture….
…and in that same week, your birthday week, you were also born… in our hearts.
It’s on April 3 just one year ago we celebrated your life, newly introduced to us but so very, very far away from you.
We had no idea what condition you were in physically or mentally, but a leap of faith was made and we knew and decided firmly that no matter what…you were OUR SON. We would have another little boy running around in our home.
We waited months as we did paperwork and welcomed more photos and video of you while we waited….
We were told you were VERY little, that your name meant little soldier, and a family had come to adopt you only 2 years ago and brought you back. We thanked God right away that He saved you for us. We had no idea just how amazing you were, or how much your heart would grieve at first….
For all you had in China, was all you knew. Your foster mom told us “This (the orphanage foster home) couldn’t be a permanent place for you, you needed a good home to be happy.” I’m not sure if she said this to assure her heart or mine that this was necessary. I’ll always thank God he sent your foster mother and father to care for you. Even if it was their job title, I saw the tears as you left them again. They loved you and your smile and silly way must’ve lit up their hearts. It hurt my heart that theirs and yours were being broken, yet we knew it was the beginning of a new life…
That out of brokeness…would come beauty…in time.
It did take time for you to trust…and it grows more each day. But you felt our love right away, and somehow knew it was good. So you held on tight.
We’ll never forget the night you were finally able to tell us what you had been holding in for weeks since being in the United States….
You told us about the last birthday celebration you remembered since it was so fresh in your heart. ( it was actually celebrated in October, not April, because they knew we were coming for you) It had been a sending away party for you. You told us about the gifts we sent that were given to you that night, that your foster Mother bought you a cake, made a big meal, and that they announced that since you were 5 it was your turn to go to America.
What a mix of emotions your little heart must’ve felt. Confusion, because all you knew, that you thought so normal and good was falling apart….yet they were so happy for you… so you were a mix of broken, scared, and uncertain when we found you. You cried that day, and mourned on and off for quite a while. And I have to wonder when you are having an off moment if your mind goes back to the faces who cared for you for 4 years. I’ll never forget hugging your foster Mom. I wanted her to feel the gratefulness pouring from my heart for all she had done.
You’ve come so far since the day at only 5 months old you were left on a crossroads in China where you were found and brought to Baoji. God kept His hand upon your life all these years, using so many loving ones to take care of you until we could. (the picture of you holding the bottle was taken the day you were brought into the orphanage)
Maybe it’s for all these reasons this birthday was so important to us and while you licked that frosting off your cake last night… time seemed to stand still for me. I watched as a new milestone memory was etched upon your heart and mind and prayed you would remember this forever.
Another new beginning.
You thanked me all week as you saw me buy candles and ingredients to make your cake. I was given hugs and your heart felt so warm towards me as you realized how excited we were to celebrate..YOU. It was more than just a cake…it was you understanding a little more how much we love you.
(I can’t look at these pictures without crying…if you only saw how happy he was all week and how much fun it was for him to help mix the batter and lick those beaters! To feel love like this.)
We’ve seen a shaky, insecure heart at times, one fighting to find his place, crying at the drop of a hat (or milk), and using humor at first to hide pain. But you are settling more each day and through your birthday we’ve seen a little more settling take place. A settling that says… this is where you belong. You are loved, celebrated, and needn’t fight for your place here.
God created a place for you…an empty place between all our hearts where He knew you would fit.
He knew you needed us as much as we needed you. So you’ve taught us as we’ve taught you.
Thank you for the love you’ve given to us, the joy that has filled our home as you’ve smiled, and the compassion you’ve taught us as we shared even if just a piece of your pain as we shed tears with you.
We love you sweet birthday boy.
Today we celebrate all the peices of your life, and mourn the missing ones. I pray for your birth mother and father and just wonder if the Spring time awakens an ache again inside for what they lost or gave up. I hope that somehow their hearts will heal as I’ve seen yours begin healing. I pray for your foster family and your 2 foster brothers still waiting for a family to say yes.
I ask today through your little life, that others will find joy and have a revelation of what Jesus’ love can do with our pain. You are a true gift and today we celebrate you.
Happy 6th Birthday Wesley AiJun Sparks!!
Thank you to all who celebrate Wesley’s life today with us near and far, and for all of you who came last night to celebrate with us. What a fun night we/he will remember forever.
I’m not sure who had more fun, the little kids…or big ones. The older boys were being chased by all the little kids and us girls enjoyed some quality time coloring and listening to music by the fire! We had some crazy weather blow in yesterday so it was definatly cold enough to enjoy some warm coffee and a fire.
It’s so much fun to get all these cousins together! (just missing Lucas last night) They all play so well together and I think we all appreciate the basement space for them to run and play in!
Wesley did really great opening his gifts. It was a little like a first birthday. He had no idea what to expect and was surprised when I told them there were more presents after the first one.
Hudson did really well too. We wondered how he would do with all the attention (and toys) shifted. We tried to involve him in getting excited about the day and he wrapped and wrote his name on his gift to Wesley.
I wish I could tell you all the prayers God is answering. The answers come in between some loud and crazy, and if you move to quickly, it’s easy to miss them. But He’s very present. I hear His still small voice and see His loving hand weaving our hearts together more each and every day.
God knew we needed this little guy as much as he needed us. What a day to celebrate…the challenges, the pain healing, the mountains moved, the litte boy that has crawled right smack dab in between all our hearts.
We love you Wesley.