Our little Leo turned four on February 2nd, well according to us anyways! You see we have not been able to get his US birth date aligned with what his medical and orphanage records indicate from Rwanda. The problem is that when our case was approved in Rwandan court they listed the day that he arrived to the orphanage as his birth date. Based on his weight, picture, and a letter from the head nun at the orphanage we know he is at least 6 months older. His growth is now also catching up to that of a 4 year old. His measurements when he came home placed him at the 25th percentile for weight and less then 1st percentile for height. I am happy to report that when I measured him this week he is now at the 50th percentile for both height and weight (for age 4). I could not believe it! Here I had been thinking that he has not grown all that much in the last year but I guess when it happens right before your eyes it is easy to not see the change. He has actually grown almost 6 inches in height in the last year!!!!! He was soooooo excited about his birthday presents and cake. Ever since his big brother's b-day back in November he has been asking for his very own birthday cake. His facial expressions caught on camera where priceless.
It is completely amazing to me when I think of where my little boy came from and what he has survived. I can only imagine what desperation led his birth mother to abandon him. I am confident that she cared because she left him somewhere where he would be found. And found he was! He was taken in by the loving hands of the nuns and nannies at the Home of Hope Orphanage (the one run by the sisters of Calcutta) in Kigali, Rwanda. I still remember being told when we met him, that upon his arrival to the orphanage "He was so so skinny, so so skinny...". And that he was. Perhaps this is why his birth mother made the difficult choice of handing him over to fate, knowing that she did not have the resources to care for him properly. I can only thank the Lord that it was not to late when he was found and not only did he survive, he has thrived! Yes, many days my son exhausts me with his energy and curiosity but over and over again I remind myself that it is that energy and enthusiasm for life that makes him so incredibly amazing. I wish that his birth mother could see him, that she could have some acceptance in knowing that he is o.k. I regret that we will never know her or his birth father's story, or if he has brothers and sisters in Rwanda. I am sure she that when she made that fateful decision, that she could not have ever imagined that he would not only be saved but would take a journey across the world to his forever family. Whatever her circumstances were, I am so grateful that she made the choice to give him life.