Happy Birthday Artem Kayin

To my long awaited child,

Three years ago you broke forth on the world on the wings of the dawn. Night threatened to engulf your brand new existence but it could not because the Spirit of God himself held back that midnight tide, saying this far you may come and no farther. Every force that would threaten to undo you was pushed back and you, my child, were born into promise and light.

In His hand, you rose. Smiling, eating, growing, and learning, becoming your tender self. When I met you, you were so fragile. Your joy easily tempered by fear. I remember your silence as we took you from your orphanage. I remember how you shut down and fell asleep in the car, just to escape it all. I remember how you pulled your brow together in worry and how you whimpered and shook when we took you to that Russian doctor for you visa exam. I remember how you stayed awake until 1am when we flew home, too scared to sleep. I remember how you sat silently in your stroller, hands folded in your lap, with a blank expression in your face.

You didn't know. You didn't know what was happening. You didn't know who we were. You didn't know who was going to take care of you or even that you didn't have to take care of yourself. You didn't know.

Even in the middle of your fear, we saw you shinning. We saw the proud look on your face when you met us in the orphanage with the monkey we gave you. We heard joy in your voice when you laughed, tickled under Papa's hands. We saw the way you coyly smiled at the Russian doctor when he shook your belly and called you Baby Buddah. We recognized your mischievous smile when you tried to sneak up out of your airplane seat to play with the window shade. We saw your little mind finally finding peace between flights home as you at last lay down on a bench and fell asleep.

Since you've been home, over six months now, the fear and anxiety is slowly slipping away, making room for that joyful side of you to shine. You loved to be tickled and you love to laugh. You put the towel on your head after bath and shout, "Where are you???" through your giggles. When we first left our house with you, you stuck right by our sides not daring to wander even a couple feet. Now you RUN down our sidewalk to the park and yell for us to push you on the swing. You used to rock yourself to sleep and now you ask us to stay and run our fingers through your hair until your eyelids can't stay open anymore. You used to push us away if we touched you too much and now you snuggle in as close as you can and rest your head on my shoulder when I read you a book.

You are brave. You were scared of the bath and now you plunge your face in the water and tell us to watch while you blow bubbles. You were upset when your feet were without shoes and now you run through sandy shores in bare feet. You were scared to ask for what you needed and now you demand, "More!" a dozen times per day.

You are my long awaited child, but you were a long-waiting child too, weren't you?

You were rising, even still. Even without us, you were rising. I know why. It's because even if you rise on the dawn or settle on the far side of the sea, even if you go as deep as the depths or as high as the heavens, God is there. His hand will never leave you. He knit you together in your birth mother's womb and since your conception, all your days have been ordained for you. Your life is on purpose.

Your story is just beginning little one. Keep rising. He will lift you up.

Happy Third Birthday.

All my love,

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,

    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?

    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;

    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand
    when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!

    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.


  1. Beautiful words and pictures!

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your precious boy and the Almighty God who ordained him to be your child. :) Happy Birthday Arie!!!

  3. Anonymous6/07/2013

    So beautifully said! Happy Birthday Arie!

  4. Happy Birthday, Arie!


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