Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy Birthday!

So, we got our little guy for a while while he was four, but Thursday he turned five.  Of course it is bittersweet.  We are so happy we had him for his fifth birthday and for all of the ones to come.  We are so sad that we missed his first, second, third and fourth birthdays and that all of them took place in an orphanage.  We love celebrating our children's birthdays and it is a time for us to remember the day they were born and celebrate how far they've come.  For him, we don't know anything about the day he was born and we know that whatever happened in the six months to follow, it involved a surgery and a great loss.  It's just different.  Happy and sad and full of joy and grief.  There is also and will always be a wondering about the mom and dad in China and how they feel this time of year.  Do they miss him?  Do they remember the day?  Do they count the years and know how old he is?  We don't know.  We probably won't know this side of heaven, and someday he will realize that he won't get to know either.  We love him so much and don't want his life to be mixed with so much pain and grief, but we can now add joy and hope and Jesus to his life.  We can add hugs and kisses and cake and presents and family around him to help him to know that he is so very loved.  Loved by us and loved by his creator.  Our sweet little boy is five now and we are so happy that he is here in our house and that we can celebrate him together this year.

Praise the Lord.  Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.  Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.  Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.  Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.  Praise the LORD.    Psalm 150

Monday, March 9, 2015

Three weeks home

Well, we've been home for three weeks now and everything is going really well.  We are getting a little tired of the house, and we are trying to help him get some more language so that we can communicate better, but overall it has been a good transition.  He seems to be really happy in a family, the girls just love him, we are back to doing school and we have gotten him checked out by the doctor, we will get his orthotics this week, and we have an x-ray scheduled that should show us a lot more about his surgery and what is going on inside of him.

Honestly, the time home has gone so fast, and it seems like a long time ago that we were in China.  We have had time to reflect on our trip now, develop some pictures, and we are so grateful that it was such a wonderful trip.  If anyone ever wants to contact me, I would be happy to let you know any advice for going to China.  Our hotels were some of the nicest we have ever stayed in, the food was really good, we could find anything we needed at grocery stores (especially in Guangzhou) and we met some wonderful people.  The language barrier is definitely hard, especially any written language, but our guides were great and very helpful.  Overall, I think we packed just fine.  We did not know that the orphanage wouldn't give us his leg braces and walker, and he didn't like the stroller, so it was hard carrying him everywhere until a wonderful person loaned us a carrier that we used which was a huge help.  China has such a rich culture and it's amazing to see things you thought you would only ever see in pictures.  It's also a culture where you do not see disabled people, there are lots of orphans and it is just an accepted part of the society.  We even noticed in the commercials there that you almost always see two parents and one child.

Now that we are home and spending lots of time together, we are finding out so much more about his personality.  In China, he ate everything we offered him.  Here, he is showing more preferences.  He likes to pick out his clothes and toys and he loves to play with magnets and glue things and be silly to make people laugh.  We had so many people praying for him to just be knit into our family and he truly is.  Even looking at our pictures of Beijing, it looks like our family is incomplete to see pictures without him in them.  He has the most gorgeous smile and he is kind and playful.  We are just all so in love with him.

However, adoption is born of brokenness.  There is no way around that, and it is heartbreaking to know that he has had to go through years in an orphanage and go through a confusing transition and be insecure and have to learn a new language, but God will build a plan B that is beautiful.  He will now know love and God's word and hugs and kisses and sisters and a birthday and things that are just for him.  It's not going to be easy.  He is learning what it means to be in a family and how life works out side of an orphanage setting.  In the years to come, he will have questions that we do not have the answers to.  He will feel the brokenness and we can be here, but we can't know what he is feeling and what he is going through.

We are so excited to start to venture out more in the weeks to come and experience new things with him.  We are looking forward to him getting to know family and friends better, and celebrating his birthday and just getting to do life as a family of five.  Thank you still for prayers and support for us.  This is an amazing journey.  :)

 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.  James 1:16-18