Happy birthday! Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Heri ya siku ya kuzaliwa!
I can barely believe it has been 6 years since we’ve welcomed our firstborn son into the world on that crisp and cold January night. After many years of prayer, he was the answer to our hearts’ desire, the beginning of a completely new and awesomely crazy journey, and the one who made us discover new depths of love.
Besides his annual birthday interview below, let me try to capture in words a little bit of who Judah is…
He is enraptured by stories. He loves to be read to, listen to audiobooks, watch movies, beg Daddy for more good-night stories, re-enact stories, and tell stories himself. He’s developed quite the sense of humor and is the entertainer of the family. He likes to imitate voices, make his brother laugh, and tell his own little jokes. He has an imagination as big as the sky. It comes out in his many drawings, in his pretend play, in the stories he tells, and the ideas he has. He thrives when he is playing with other kids but also needs his space. He often gets lost in his own little world, drawing or playing for hours. He has a keen memory and remembers details of what people said or things that happened years ago. He asks lots and lots of questions and loves to know things. He prefers efficiency over thoroughness. He struggles with feeling guilty over things he shouldn’t feel guilty for. He has a tendency to worry about the “what-if’s” in life and to be afraid of things he doesn’t know how to do (Judah and I share quite a few weaknesses). He feels more comfortable speaking English but is quite good at switching to German when speaking to me. He is starting to understand more Swahili and form his own sentences. He freely gives out words of encouragement and has a deep love for his family. His prayers to God are often so profound and heartfelt that they make us long to have the faith of a child. He is our Judah Johannes Anyan.
Here is his birthday interview with 22 Questions for Judah:
- How old are you? “Six”
- How old is Mommy? “32?” (almost)
- How old is Daddy? “I know Daddy is a 3 and a 3.” (he means 33 and he is right)
- What is something Mommy says to you? “Only once a week, honey.” (I had said that to him the day before when he wanted to use his special toothpaste that we do, in fact, only use once a week)
- What makes you happy? “When God is in my heart, when Elias is funny and nice to me, when someone gives us money when we’re poor, and when God works in my heart.”
- What makes you sad? “When someone hits me or doesn’t play with me or takes away my Löwi or lies to me.” (Löwi is his favorite stuffed animal since he was a baby)
- What makes you laugh? “If Elias is funny and if Mommy or Daddy tickle me.”
- What is your favorite thing to do? “Hmm…play.”
- What’s your favorite thing to do outside? “Make mud cakes.”
- Who’s your best friend? “The Button boys, Elias, Jonas, Logan, Sammy, Selah, Miriam…”
- What are you really good at? “Hmmm… thinking.”
- What’s your favorite Bible story? “David and Goliath”
- What is God like? “He’s really good. And He likes it when we do good things.”
- Which superhero do you want to be? “Batman and Spiderman and Aquaman.”
- What’s your favorite food? “Cake, cinnamon rolls, milk, Bretzeln, carrots, chapatis, sambusas…” (American, German, and Tanzanian foods…a truly international selection!)
- What’s your favorite book? “It’s not really my favorite book but I have to get more on it… the Bible.” (this cracked me up). “And Narnia! All of them. But especially ‘Dawn Treader’ because I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen.”
- What’s your favorite movie? “Star Wars… if I had seen it. And Justin Time, of course.”
- What’s your favorite song? “Alle meine Entchen, Salut Cava (a little French song I taught them), Jingle Bells, Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.”
- What’s your favorite color? “Blue and red.”
- What’s your favorite animal? “Wolves, lions, gorillas, foxes, baby cats, eagles.”
- What’s your favorite toy? “Löwi, Playmobil, and animals.”
- What do you want to do when you grow up? “I want to be a secret agent for the police and a mountain man who finds diamonds in caves, sells them, and then gives the money to poor people!”
Happy birthday, Judah!