It was two years ago today. Elli was born in Vietnam, coming into this world at 2.2 pounds. We were already four months into the adoption process. It would be another three months before she would leave the hospital, and one more month after that before he existence would be brought to our attention.
I always get pretty sentimental and emotional on Elli's birthday. And by "always", I refer specifically to 12.4.06 and 12.4.07. There are a rush of thoughts and feelings about what it means for me to father, and what it means to have the privilege of having Elli in my life.
It is that paradigm that was the backdrop to our daily Lectio time at work today. We were reading Psalm 139, and I was struck by verses 13 - 16
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.
Pretty tight. As we let those words sit in space today, I couldn't help but imagine Elli praying that prayer to God. Looking back on the vulnerability of her early days and comparing it to her current vibrancy and being so thankful for the characteristics of God that are evident in her life. I really hope she has that perspective and that conversation with God someday.
On a lighter note, the other day Stacy looked at Elli and I and remarked, "She is definitely your daughter."
The cause for such an observation is Elli's new found passion for meat. The child has never been a big eater, but whenever she sees barbecue she goes bonkers. A couple of weeks ago I pulled ribs and chicken off the grill and she started absolutely begging for food. It was really funny, seeing as though she hasn't really mastered multi-word sentences yet. She resorted to a chorus of, "Chick'n! Chick'n! Snack! Chick'n! Please! Snack!"
She was serious, too. When we finally sat down for dinner she polished off two ribs and an entire chicken thigh. I was so proud.
Stacy and I decided that she must realize how much effort I put into my meat ventures, because kids her age aren't nearly so carnivorous. I figure there is some truth in that. She will typically help me check on the smoker, and she knows she isn't supposed to touch it since it's so hot. Whenever she sees it in the garage, she reminds me that it is indeed hot. I've almost got her calling it by name, but not quite.
Granted, she still has some things to learn. Like the other day when I was prepping a couple of racks of ribs and she started with the "Ribs! Ribs!" refrain. Sorry, kid. We cook our pork before we eat it. Granted, we slow cook it for 4-12 hours depending on the cut, but we cook it.
All I have to say is, chip off the old block.