|Would you believe that it actually all sounded pretty cool together?|
Life is good. Oh so good.
But, Andrew and I have been …sad… since hearing the news in Russia…
who outlaws families? Oh yeah…
While driving I asked Maria,
‘Did any of your friends in Russia hope they would get a mama and papa?’
‘Oh yes,’ she nodded, ‘all of them.’
‘Would they talk about it?’
‘Yeah, they all want a mama to come take them away.’
‘Did anyone not want one?’
|This is home, sweet boy.|
Finley recently found out he has something called, ‘muscles’ and that they make him strong.
Last week, Andrew and I commented how different Elijah was. Like a burden had been lifted off of his shoulders. When he laughs now, it’s out of silly, uncontrollable joy,
not a hollow reaction–hoping for help.
The skin on his hands is like a baby’s; soft and chubby. No more miniature man hands, skinny and chapped. He is our resident koala, and when he needs mama or papa, he climbs us, wrapping his tiny arms as far around us as he possibly can, laying his head on our chest, soaking up every minute, making up for lost time.
Since he spent his days in a crib, he never got to explore, and never had a chance to play with toys, so now that he is free, he is a man on the go.
The first weeks home, he would pick up a toy, and just as fast throw it to the ground, toy after toy. I think part was inexperience with toys, and partly he was protecting his emotions in case it was taken away. But now–he holds, he inspects, he rolls wheeled cars along the ground, delightedly rolls mama a ball.
We are starting to train the kids in a couple areas while showing lots of grace in others. We decided to teach Elijah the phrase, “Don’t touch,” and even had a training morning with 10 thirty-second ‘time-outs’ in a row until the last time, when I said ‘don’t touch’ with a smile by the oven, he backed away grinning at me, the other kids cracking up. “He did it!”
And when he started saying, ‘no!’ I would quickly kiss him on the lips, which is very surprising and weird when you have never been kissed. He would look at me shocked like, ‘Mom, seriously, did you think this thing through, what are you doing!?’ But it was two birds, because not only did he stop saying, ‘no!’ but he also got used to kisses, and last week while feeding him, he looked me in the eyes, pursed his little lips and leaned his face into mine, expectantly staring at mama. I leaned down and kissed his lips and he grinned SO big.
“Elijah just kissed me!”
“He did what!?”
|Um, hello sir, have we met? I don’t recognize you, but you sure are cute!|
Maria is such a blessing. I honestly can’t believe how close we came to not bringing her home, how close we almost caved into fear of the ‘impossible task.’
|Best friends playing babies. Maria’s are Tanya and Dora, and Finley’s is Tanya, what a coincidence!|
Something most surprising to me, is how close Maria and Finley have become, they are truly best friends. I am surprised, because if I was adopting in order to have a playmate for Finley, I would have adopted someone so much younger and a boy, not a 10 year old girl–but I guess that’s the beauty of listening to what God has, not what I had. (I honestly scanned so many, so many younger children, hoping, just hoping someone else would have the same calling we felt about Maria, anyone, please, anyone a better fit….)
But God was clear.
‘Fine then, God! A ten year old!’
When driving, it’s hard to take care of chubby toddlers strapped into seats, no matter how demanding their protests. Which is why, I can’t even describe the sweet joy and relief I feel when I see Maria, unprompted, sharing food and her own water with her little brother. How is this even happening? What kind of child shares so readily, with such tender kindness?
“HANK you, ‘aria!” -Finley.
|The rest of the time in the car, they spend laughing, just laughing together over their own little jokes. How can a mom even describe this?|
|“One, two, buckah mah shoes!”|
It’s funny, the changes happening within Finley. Things that I have prayed for, hoped for, and only now see within his little heart with the addition of his new siblings. He is happier, more confident, more talkative and spilling over with laughter. He readily shows kindness to others, even gives complements. He and Maria spend so much time making forts, creating and imagining together.
|There are 5 minutes per day that she’s not smiling and it’s when she first wakes up, but Finley LOVES it. “MARIA!!! HI! Cute, maria, hi! I lub youuuuu!! Cute, Maria!”|
|Gramma and Grampa came to visit this week, we had so much fun! Maria thought they were the coolest, and they are!|
How blessed we are to even be called servants, to share Your love with others. May we never stop saying yes to you, yes to more, let us step out across that water, eyes focused on you, and not down at our feet and fears. May we never feel like serving ‘just one’ is not enough, but do so with gladness.
|First time she got to say, “mama hug?” when she got a boo-boo|