Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Here, There & Everywhere . . .

Okay, so it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted a family update. I’ve been wanting to, and planning to, and even written a few in my head . . . but, unfortunately, it hasn’t gotten further than that for quite a while. I started this blog a few years ago to keep out of town family up-to-date on the kids . . . then my sister talked me into joining facebook and the blog died off. Then I restarted when we began our adoption journey a little over a year and a half ago now, to keep those interested updated on our process. Since we’ve been home, I guess I’ve been too busy?

In just a few days, September 6, we will mark six months that Isaiah has been home with us in the United States. It’s hard to believe. On one hand, it seems like it was just yesterday that we were going through all of the adoption paperwork, etc.; but on the other hand, it’s hard to believe it’s only been six months! One of the most common questions I get these days is “How do you think Isaiah’s doing/adjusting?” Which, to be honest, is really a hard question to answer. We’ve never done parenting from this starting point before. And, frankly, even if we had, every child and background can be so varied, it’s just really hard to tell. And so my answer usually is, we think he’s doing fine and adjusting well. He really is a pretty easy going kid, and almost immediately fell into line with the “crew”. Of course there are some differences in that we need to do more assuring him of his place in our hearts and family, while at the same time trying to set clear and consistent boundaries for a 3 yr old boy. By this time in their lives, our other children may not have liked their boundaries, but they had no doubts that we loved them and that they belonged in our family. He does seem to know that we are “his” and has a clear preference of us over anyone else, which is great in regards to the attachment/bonding that we pray will continue to grow between him and us. Of course, Isaiah is only 3, and he is a boy, so he doesn’t seem to have much thought past what is in the “right now” of his life, which I think is probably a good thing for him. But really, only God knows what is coming down the road for him and us, and we pray He will continue to equip us to be his and all of our children’s parents.

Over the past few months, we have been able to see Isaiah through a lot of “firsts”, and he seems to take it all in stride. Even some of the scarier medical things like doctors, immunizations, etc., he seems to deal well with. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll scream like you're cutting his leg off when he gets a shot, but he seems to get over it fairly quickly. Back in June, Joe’s two sisters and their families came out at separate times, so Isaiah was able to meet them and get to know them a little bit. Then at the end of August, we took our first long road trip out to PA to introduce Isaiah to my side of our family. He actually did really well for the 10+ hours in the car, although he does like to make non-stop repetitive noise to entertain himself . . . but he was always good about it when mommy or daddy just had to say “Okay, Isaiah, enough!” to which he would just reply “Okay!” . . . and then he would wait about 5 min. before finding a new noise to entertain himself ;o)

The week in Lansdale went well, and Isaiah seemed totally good with everyone and everything. Just taking in and enjoying everything. Then we spent a second week up at my parents’ mountain house, which all of us thoroughly enjoyed. Isaiah just loved riding and watching the four wheeler! Of course, if you spend any amount of time with Isaiah, you’ll quickly realize that he is absolutely enthralled with any type of vehicle. I mean, my other boys have liked to play with cars, but this kid is obsessed with them!

The other kids are also doing well. They love Isaiah and he loves them. Joshua and Isaiah are my favorite two to watch together – they’re hilarious! They laugh and joke together, and, somehow, Joshua seems to have absolutely no problem understanding exactly what Isaiah is saying. Of course, put the two of them in a room, if something bad “goes down”, they’ll deny it and blame each other to the death!

We just started school this week after an unusually long summer break. The kids were dreading it . . . and I’ll admit I was, too, but we are using a new curriculum for some of our subjects, which I think all of us are enjoying. And Joshua and Isaiah are again getting back in the routine of having to entertain themselves a bit more with the older kids and mommy busy with school. Joshua will be four at the end of the month, so he is talking daily about whether he will have chocolate cake or brownies for his birthday. I’m sure it will change at least 26 more times from now ‘til then!

We are also so excited to see what God continues to do! Some good friends of ours who walked closely beside us during our adoption journey have recently announced that they are beginning the steps toward adoption! So very excited with and for them!! We also had the opportunity while we were in PA to meet with some adoptive families who we’ve been sharing our journey with over the last several months, which was really so special! We’ve seen God continue to do amazing things in our lives as well as those around us . . . we are humbled to be able to serve Him!

Joe and I talked about this while we were Ethiopia, but we just didn’t think that we were done with adoption, or that God was done with it in our lives. We knew for sure that we didn’t want to go back to living “ordinary” Christian lives. We don’t want to be comfortable in our little corner of the world, with our comfortable “Americanized” Christianity. And thanks to reading “Radical” by David Platt, that mindset continues to be impressed on our hearts. We know what our desires are, but we also know that even things that look good and right may not be God’s best for His glory. We continue to pray toward what God has for us, and continue to feel that we are not “done” . . . now what exactly that will look like for us, we don’t know. But we’re praying and seeking God’s leading, and we have full confidence that He will direct our steps.

Wow, I guess I really should update this a little more often ;o) I’ll close with one of the funniest things I’ve heard one of my kids say in a long time – the kids were sitting down to lunch yesterday. Some of the kids were starting to eat and I was in the kitchen getting the last few lunches ready. Isaiah was one of the ones already eating, and he was eating spaghetti, which is his absolute favorite meal that we know of so far. And then I hear it . . . my 6-yr.-old Madie exclaims, “Wow, if all the kids in Ethiopia eat like Isaiah, no wonder they don’t have enough food!” Still makes me laugh! Anyway, enjoy some pictures!


the johnson crew said...

LONG POST! but I made it through... :) wow, how awesome you guys are pursuing adopting another addition to your family. Praise God!

Isaiah seems to be doing so well. He is ADORABLE! I am so glad he is with you now.

Awesome pictures. Who is the maniac jumping the four wheeler? your husband? and is one of your kids on with him? boys will be boys.

God bless you.


Kristi and Dale said...

It's about time! hee hee

The kids are sooo cute and Isaiah looks fantastic!! Thanks for the update!

Kevin and Christy said...

I love Madie!!! That is so cute! I loved the update and am so excited to see what God has done in your lives and continues to do! I can't wait to see how God works in your friends' lives too!! ;-) Great post!

Andrew and Esther said...

Loved this post. You are an inspiration to follow wherever He leads. Praying for the family you have today, and for the future. (And loved all the pics!)