>What does it mean to be called “Mom?” Well, above is a pic of one of Tariku’s “moms” at the foster care house. This woman came, on her day off, to be sure to see this boy. She took time and money on her day off work, to travel across town and hug him and hold him. To dress him in the traditional outfit made for him. And we got to thank her in person, hug her and tell her thank you so much, God bless you. What a gift.
That, what she did, is something a “mom” will do. It’s that extra effort. And that love and caring that she, among others, gave him that taught him wordlessly what it means to be loved and thus enables him to love us. To learn to love us. To let me be his new, and permanent, Mom.
Perhaps due to his being in an orphanage, Gabriel Tariku is a bit speech delayed. He babbles. He squeals, he screeches with glee. But he doesn’t have clear or patterned speech in any language. Yet. It will come. We will wait…..
And today we have heard it. That name. Mom. Directed at me. We’ve been hearing it slip by for a few days, wondering and unsure if he really was using it in an intentional and directed way. Today, he is. Clearly. He calls for me and reaches. And it makes me smile and my heart leap with joy. “Mama mama.” He has had several mother figures. And now, it is me. Only and forever. He knows me and I know him. We are each other’s.
What’s in that name? Everything.