Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Welcome Little One

There will come a time when I no longer write about Roma in my blog posts, but today is not it. Not when it is clear Roma's life goes on in an enhanced manner. More often than we recognize, Heaven comes ever so close to earth in a cosmic connection. I am thankful when I'm aware of these sacred moments.

On Monday, May 1, my youngest grandchild was born. The previous evening, my daughter Kellie, texted to alert us that they were leaving for the hospital. She was still hopeful for an April baby, and several hours remained in April for that to happen. With baby number six, we all assumed a quick and easy delivery.

She texted us through the night with updates, stating that he was "a stubborn little guy!" They finally administered Pitocin to speed up the delivery.

As I awaited news of a new family member arrival, I was checking my Facebook account on Monday morning when the memories of "On this Day" popped up. Roman Sudzhashvili Michael's passport photo came up with the reminder that Roma had arrived on this day in the United States as a new citizen fifteen years ago. As I was remembering that special day and was about to copy recently found photographs documenting that Homecoming, Kellie finally called to give us the news about their own hours-old new arrival.

I grabbed a pen and paper to record the details to share.

With a crack in her voice, Kellie announced, "His name is Joel Roman."

My tears came so suddenly, I couldn't breathe or speak. They ran down my cheeks as I studied my own little new arrival from fifteen years earlier. For several silent moments, I trusted that Kellie understood my speechlessness. Finally I could force out a labored whisper, "Kellie, that is beautiful."

"And," she continued with a new enthusiasm. "He was born at 7:07." I gasped, knowing Kellie understood the significance of that number. Seven. That was Roma's signature number. 

Upon hanging up with Kellie, I immediately messaged Lia, Roma's aunt from the Republic of Georgia. I wanted to shared Kellie's loving tribute to the nephew she had been denied the privilege of knowing. Lia's immediate response was obviously the same as mine, and she instantly responded with the crying emoji with long tears. Then her messages of congratulations and well wishes and love came joyfully. We understand the paradox of grief and love all wrapped up in the same package.

God is so good. Just last month, God intersected my life with a new, dear friend. Irina is originally from Russia and shares my heart for Russian orphans. She has joined my story of Roma. She shared her wisdom on our Facebook announcement of my new grandson.
"I am so glad that Roma's name will continue in the newest addition of the family. Russians believe that every name has a very special unique power and quality. Every person who carries the name adds something of this own to it. Joel Roman will continue Roma's story. Have a wonderful and blessed beautiful life, sweet Joel Roman." 
Something remarkable happens to the memory of loved ones when they die too young. Any challenge or struggle they ever manifested is forgotten. In fact, they start to
Roma, May 1, 2002 arriving as a new citizen
resemble superheroes. It isn't realistic but it happens. Sweet Roma was by no stretch of the imagination what I would call an "easy" boy to raise. But it was impossible not to adore that beautiful child. Roma was the bravest little person I have ever encountered. He had a heart the size of Russia, and he was fearless. Nothing from his tragic early life could make him a victim. He enthusiastically devoured every delicious morsel of life. He recognized God, who was always up-close and personal with Roma. In life, Roma was a legand. In death, he has become a superhero.

Roma fulfilled an important mission in his short, full life. He changed me, and countless other who aren't the same because Roma lived. And died. Roma makes God visible.

Welcome brand new Joel Roman Ryan! Proudly embrace your strong name, and make it uniquely your own as you hear the legends of your uncle, Roma. No matter how outlandish the stories sound, they are mostly true!

We are blessed.

Start at the beginning of our story,
But the Greatest of These is Love

Join us as we go visit Roma's family in the Republic of Georgia. 

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