Feb 15, 2014

What i've learned one month home.

I wish there was more information out there on older child adoption, but there simply is not.  I understand why.  Who wants to put "their junk" out there for the world to see?  

It can be a lonely road to travel though when the going gets rough.  I would travel to Uganda in a heartbeat to bring these 2 kids home.  We do see glimpses of true joy even in the midst the storms.  

I have no regrets. Not one, but some days are HARD.

What have i learned this month???  

I have learned that bringing home a 12 year old boy is way different than a 7 year old girl. Both bring different challenges.

Bringing home and bonding with older children is also similar to bringing home a new baby.  

I have learned that i need to initiate affection.  My soon to be 12 year old son is not going to come up and give me a hug or hold my hand.  It's just not cool.  I have to be creative.  I need to put my arm around him if i walk up next to him.  I need to sneak in love pats whenever i can.  Touch matters.

Even though he acts like he doesn't like affection, i can see it in his eyes that he craves it.  It's been years that someone cared that he didn't feel well; let alone feel his forehead to see if he has a fever.  

I need to initiate eye contact.  The more times i give him a wink, the more i see him looking at me when he does something that he wants me to see.  Something so small is so big when it comes to older child adoption.  He wants me to look at him.  He wants to see me smile at him.  He wants me to look deep into his eyes even if he glances away.

Food.  Food is where the magic happens.  Pure and simple.  Kids will stop and eat when you make food. Conversation happens over food. Food brings the family together and bonding happens over food.  

Y'all adoption weight gain is real!!!  And this is why!  

Parenting is hard work.  There is no magical formula or quick fix and what works for me won't work for you.  

However there is Jesus and there is grace.  Lord knows, I am making lots of mistakes along the way and I thank God every day for His redemption.  

Feb 9, 2014

Happy Adoption Day

One year ago today, after traveling 30 plus hours, we arrived in Uganda and went from a family of  5 and became a family of 6. We had no idea what to expect, but God somehow blended all of our hearts into a family.

She was scared.  She was feisty.  We had read the books and attended the classes, but honestly we had  no idea what to expect.  At that moment, we just knew we were exactly where God wanted us to be.

She told us about a brother.  An older brother that she loved dearly.  We started praying for Him.

And...God told us to do it again. We got on another airplane and traveled 30 hours and God blended our hearts again.  We went from a family of 5 to a family of 7 in less than a year.

Today we celebrate Brenda's Adoption Day.  Tomorrow, we finalize Joseph's adoption in the US.  Both of them will now share our last name.  This is the final step in our adoption journey and they are officially ours.

It's been one of the most rewarding, God seeking, adventurous year of our lives.  When i reflect on all of the mountains God moved to bring these 2 kiddos home, I realize that this was His plan.  Not ours.

Brother and sister living under the same roof.  The way it should be.  

Happy 1 year to our lives being forever changed!  Thank you Lord. To YOU be the glory!