I vividly remember the day that I found out I was pregnant with Mathayo. After over 4 childless years since Elias, we were not expecting to have another baby. Especially not one that was going to be born in Africa. But there they were, those two pink lines that would be the beginning of yet another wondrous chapter of our parenting journey.
That evening, I told John I needed to take a picture of him for a church bulletin back in the States (thanks, Peaceful Valley Church, for giving me the perfect excuse to get John in front of my camera). Instead of picture mode, I went to video mode, and instead of telling John to say, “cheeeese,” I told him to say, “I’m going to be a Daddy again!” John started repeating it before realizing what he was saying and the rest is forever captured in one of our family’s favorite videos. Let’s just say he was just as surprised as I had been!
Being 9 months pregnant during hot season with frequent power outages was definitely not my favorite part of the year and there were other challenges that came with simply having a baby in another country and culture. But looking back, we marvel at how the Lord orchestrated every detail of Mathayo’s birth from finding a German (!) midwife to take care of me throughout the pregnancy, to having our car break down and fixed the day before (!) I went into labor, to a hospital experience that could not have gone any better (besides the fact that apparently there were no towels to be found in the entire hospital).
Today, we celebrate Mathayo’s 1st birthday. His name, “Matthew” in Swahili, means “gift from God” and that is truly what he has been. Throughout one of our most challenging years ever, our Mathayo has been a source of joy and comfort to us. In times of grief, sickness, and darkness, we saw God’s goodness through the miracle of new life given to us.
Mathayo has been our happiest baby and loves to smile, eat, walk everywhere, play peekaboo, stuff his toothbrush into other people’s mouths, suck his fingers Spiderman-style, cuddle with his blanket, babble, wave, climb up stairs, turn around in circles and giggle, throw balls, play with cars, cuddle, say “Mama”, feed his mushed up food to others, clap, and nod his head.
Oh, and he may just be the cutest thing since baby bunnies.
Happy birthday, Mathayo David!