Jordan changes poopy diapers without hollering too much about its repulsive effect on his nose. That’s impressive. One of my greatest pleasures these first three weeks home with Kira is to watch Jordan pursue Kira. Kevin and Jack were with her from the beginning in Uganda and every day she’s known me, they were there. But Jordan spent one busy week with her during Christmas. He’s fifteen years old, a boy with ipod cords stringing out of his ears, opinions about the perfection of his outfit, pressures from teachers to study more, and a relflex response to the vibration of his phone against the inside of his pant pocket distracting him away from his physical moment and into his own social happenings. I was not sure how he would attach with Kira, or if he would do it on his own without my prodding.
She hasn’t made it easy for him. For some reason, maybe his deep voice and his big manly looks (he’ll like that), she pushed him away over and over again from the beginning. As I watched this I didn’t interfere or interject, but I thought carefully and observed minutely. He rejected her rejection. He continued to pursue her pleasure in being carried by him. He gets down on the floor with her spontaneously and enjoys her baby toys with her. He is quick to settle into the cushion of the couch and feed her a bottle and tell me to go away so she’ll focus on him. He will take her out of my arms when I need both of my hands whether she complains or not, and he’ll find a way to distract her from her disapproval. He has found her ticklish spots in her collar bones and armpits and knows just how gently to poke so she’ll squeal with giggles. We all covet her giggles because we receive them as her approval of us. We have become approval addicts.
As I watched Jordan chase his sister’s affections I swelled with an unexpected emotion. I observed his genuine love and desire to show her love whether she accepted it or not. It requires a mature heart to return over and over again when someone has pushed you away. I wonder if he’s been reading Hosea, or maybe the novel ‘Redeeming Love’ by Francine Rivers. The rewards are rippling in for him these days, as she now reaches out her arms for her big brother, smiles easily and giggles naturally in his care. I am overcome with a joy and gratitude that tightens my throat and reddens my eyes when I feel his commitment to her. I didn’t expect it. This is a gift for me to unwrap slowly and savor like a belgian truffle, firm at first but creamy in the middle. I know she needs him to go after her and love her deeply. She needs to know unconditional love from all of us. Watching him show her she can trust him and rely on him multiplies my love exponentially. Watching my teenage son love his baby sister with a tenacious hunt is stunning. It vibrates with a supernatural presence in him. I have to sink to my knees and say “Thank you God for the unexpected gift.”