“You’re my sister now”

This evening, four months after their arrival in Israel, our sweet Mariya and her mother are boarding their flight back home to Kurdistan.

Mariya had her final consultation with the nephrologist today and he echoed the urologist earlier this week– for now, Mariya’s kidneys are fine, and surgery will only be needed in the future if there is a major problem.

Little Mariya has come a long way in the last four months. Her mom and I have been sharing lots of photos with each other from our time together, and we can’t believe how tiny Mariya was when we first met and how much healthier she is now. At the airport tonight, her mom told me how this flight will be so much better because Mariya doesn’t need an oxygen tube anymore.

Thanks be to God for his healing work in Mariya’s life.

Our last few moments together at the airport were emotional as we said goodbye after four months together. Mariya was the first Kurdish baby I visited in the hospital after arriving at Shevet, and her mom has been such a good friend to me and all of us in our time together.

As we hugged goodbye just before the security line, we told each other over and over, “You’re my sister now.”

While the goodbye is hard, I’m so glad to be sending Mariya home to her dad and big sister with a healed heart, chubby cheeks, and a beautiful grin full of six new teeth.

It’s been a beautiful blessing to have these few months with this sweet girl and her mother, and I’m forever grateful for God’s goodness in bringing us together.