I was however slightly nervous about taking three two year olds to a 90 minute concert at a nice performing arts center (though I figured people couldn't get TOO bitter at the boys at least for wiggling around being that they, too, are from Africa--just kidding. Sort of.) But I needn't have worried--at all. We staked out five seats for us, though Biniam ended up sitting in Kevin's lap, and Anna and Yosef each had their own seat. The kids sat. And watched. And clapped and danced. They were amazing the entire time and I only had to take a kid out once--Biniam--but not because he was being loud, it was because he pooped. And you can't fault a kid for that! (The funny thing was, ahead of time I told Anna that she needed to whisper if she was going to talk during the concert. Well, the entire time we were waiting for the show to start--so while the lights are still up and people are milling around and talking--Anna was whispering! She really took that to heart!)
The choir itself was amazingly gifted and beautiful. These particular children (all orphans) were from Uganda and danced and sang and played the drums. African culture reflects so much hope, beauty, and energy. It was definitely an emotional night for us. At one point they showed a video that included a lot of footage of the severe conditions in Uganda. When I see video or photos of starving children, it hits very close to home, because I know that very easily could have been my own sons. For every Yosef and Biniam, there are millions of children who, once orphaned, are not fortunate enough to land in a facility that has the resources to care for them, and even sometimes find them a family. As I sat watching these disturbing images, and watching these orphaned children singing, I kept glancing over at little Biniam cozy on his daddy's lap, and little Yosef sitting in his chair, and thinking about the bigness of God and of His mercy, love, and provision for these two boys. I reflected on how only God can offer that kind of hope. And what a crazy blessing it is that Kevin and I have been blessed with the priviledge of having Yosef and Biniam call us "Mommy" and "Daddy", that God has decided to use us in their story.
If you get the chance, be sure to see the African Childrens Choir if it comes to your area. It is a great show, it's completely free, and if you have kids, they'll LOVE it! (I think Biniam is now planning on obtaining a job as an usher at the performing arts center. After the show was over, he was walking around the lobby, hands clasped behind his back, smiling and waving at people and apparently making sure everyone was having a good time. You'd think he owned the place!)