uh…so he’s 18 (?!)

{OK…so this is just over a month late – so I guess really the last of my mea culpa series of posts…where I post things way too late. that’s my fault. mea culpa}

Well – as of now (yes…a month ago) we have an “adult child.” To be honest I”m still not sure how I feel about that (and not entirely sure even what “adult child” means)

(not sure why the chair he was sitting in to blow out 18 candles made him look like it was 2)

Jonah turned 18 at the end of December, where we were once again spending a few days down in Tanzania.

This is the 4th year Jonah celebrated his birthday in Tanzania, this year we decided since we were staying to spring for a 2-bedroom cabin instead of camping like we normally do.

A lot of people kept asking him if he felt old, but no one seemed to be asking us if we felt old now that we had a child who was an adult (!)

Sometimes it feels like there’s some kind of weird pressure on certain dates that are deemed to be significant milestones (turning 16 or 18, 25-year anniversary etc.) and to be honest, that makes me feel weird.

Are we super excited about the fact that this human we brought home from the hospital a cool December day in Grenoble, France has turned into the young man he is today? Completely.

Am I always just a bit proud that people say we look so much the same, and even that his mannerisms take after me. yes…totally, to be honest.

motorbike riding in dry season…leaves it mark on you.

Are we amazed at what God has shaped this person to be, through honestly a lot of pretty tough things in the first 18 years of his life? Absolutely

Are we all getting tired of me asking and then responding to my own semi-rhetorical questions? 100% yes!

In case you, like us, have lost track – here’s what Jonah (and his sisters) looked like when we moved to Burundi in early 2015

But 18 is in a lot of ways a big deal. Besides being legally considered an adult, this year he finishes high school, moves away (OK, moves further away for longer), and starts a significant new chapter in life.

Side note: we /he would appreciate prayer for clarity for this next year. Jonah still is waiting to hear back from some schools, and has several options open, but nothing decided yet.

Jonah is a kid who has learned what it means to adapt and to embrace new things. Born in France, grades 1 & 2 in Canada, grades 3-6 in France, 7-8 essentially homeschool in Edmonton, Bujumbura, Rwanda, & Kibuye, then 9-12 in Kenya. He’s lived in peaceful Alpine villages, ducked under beds while tracer fire whistles over the house, and was taking transatlantic flights on his own in 9th grade. He’s taught himself a lot of things and has been privileged to have experiences and go places that have opened his eyes to this world in ways that I had not until I was double his age (at least)

So here is to our now eighteen-year-old son! He is kind and thoughtful, brave and caring, and so clever. (note: writing about your own child in a public setting like this is a hard thing. I really don’t want to sound like a parent who is constantly bragging about how great my kids are like they’re some kind of trophy I have. I also don’t’ want to come off like I’m overcompensating for hard things and difficulties by only pointing out strengths. But, the full honest truth is that I am very proud of Jonah -and all our kids. )

So anyway, here are some images to remember what the past 18 years have been like.