Happy birthday to our son! Nine years ago, a very small baby boy was born prematurely in a home in Donetsk, Ukraine. Despite lack of appropriate medical care, he somehow survived. And he kept surviving, through severe illness as an infant, through terrible, hard times in his early life, through institutionalization, through the abrupt change of culture...
Today, a bright-eyed nine-year-old looks across the table at me, and I am amazed. I clearly remember sitting in an administrative office in Ukraine, at the National Adoption Center, across from a respresentative who passed a 3-inch stack of orphan files into the hands of our translator/facilitator. I felt completely overwhelmed. How would we ever choose a child from all those needing families? Immediately, an image, a vision, filled my mind. There was a treasure chest, overflowing with coins and jewels of various colors and shapes, brilliantly sparkling and glittering. As I saw this, I knew God was speaking: "These are my precious jewels. Just choose one and be blessed."
How blessed we are to have Ethan Gregory Tapper in our life! This past year has been a time of growing confidence for Ethan. We have seen him overcome some of his tendencies toward anxiety, and to gain much more self-control. He has made great progress in school this year and has continued to progress in reading throughout the summer. We have also been enjoying his blossoming sense of humor, full of deadpan sarcasm!
Ethan is our hard worker. Don't let his 46 inch, 42 pound frame fool you! He is one strong guy and one tough physical labourer! (He can also do monkey bars like nobody's business!) He also has a special sensitivity to emotional undercurrents. He is amazingly quick to notice when I am disturbed about something and will come along with a hug and an encouraging word. Such gestures from Ethan have a certain insight, an emotional resonance, that is particularly meaningful.
Indeed, we have been blessed with a real treasure. We call Ethan "Prince" because we believe he was born (and survived) for a reason--that he was created for something special. What an honour it is to be a part of his incredible story! We love you, Prince!