Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The First Day of School

Today was the first day of school. It was infact, the first day I've EVER been alone with Eli. The house was quiet. Very quiet. My brain enjoyed it. I could feel myself slowly begin to unravel - just a little - from the profound and busy summer we've had.

So...what did we do today? The weather was so beautiful...just the right amount of "summer" left in the air. So we went for a long walk. I took a route I normally don't take. We enjoyed the sounds of dogs barking, the wind blowing, and Air Force Academy Cadets jumping out of airplanes over head...all things new to Eli. We walked along side walk paths and detoured onto the thick grass without our shoes for awhile. We picked wild flowers.

I enjoy my relationships alot. But I can't live without some quiet time. Really, if I go too long without quiet stints of time to think -- I sorta go crazy. Just ask ANYONE in my family. So this thinking time was good for me. What does Eli need right now? What does my family need right now? What do I and Billy and I need right now? All very good questions to ponder. My conclusion was that my family just came through a summer that was...well, profound...and we feel a tad bit tramatized over it. Elizabeth went on a long, international missions trip and has begun asking herself and the Lord all the big questions of life; Hosanna broke her leg and needed more help than she wanted, she grieved and she learned the lessons of contentment and perserverance; Billy took the series 7 test...twice and began a new career he's never even dreamed of having; We left our children in the care of others for 16 days -- and flew 1/2 way around the world to gather Eli....and from this whirlwind we are all still spinning. This summer was profound...blessed...and it made us very tired.

Having been home only 3 weeks, people ask us daily how we are doing. The last couple of days I have begun to answer, "We feel like we've just gotten our legs back under us...we're standing, but shakey...ask me again in 6 months when hopefully by then we'll be walking". I don't expect to run for sometime. It sort of feels like we've been holding our breath for a long time and have just recently decided it was ok to breathe again.

So...what do we all need right now? My thoughts today were that we need to continue doing what were doing....taking things slow...quiet...a pace and dynamic we're not used too. I believe that the next 6 months hold in store for us refreshing, renewal and regeneration --- and we will make it back to full speed eventually.

We weren't ready for this particular First Day of School. We all desparately wanted...needed more time....more summer. But it's ok. Today we took a few more baby steps towards slowly figuring out a new normal as we make Eli a part of our family and help him lose his instutionalized mindset....and even though we step slowly, we do step forward...with great peace.

Oh Glorious Day!


Last Days of Summer

One of our last days of summer we went to America the Beautiful Park and sat near the fountain for awhile...Hosanna was 2 days from cast removal so she even got a little wet. We also went to Prospect Lake and Uncle Wilbur's....yes, all on the same day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Helping Hands

Tonight we moved Victoria's bed into Benjamin's room -- and set up a new (old) bed for Victoria. Hopefully, soon, Eli will join Ben and actually sleep in this bed we set up for him (currently he's still sleeping in a crib in my office). Here's a pic of Eli climbing all over Billy while he's trying to assemble the bed!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Eli's first visit to Peditrician....

Today, Billy and I took Eli to his very first peditirican appointment. We were there a whopping 2 hours! It took quite a while for them to go through his Chinese immunizations and figure them out. Fortunately, Dr. Golda felt comfortable enough with them that he only had to have 1 shot today. He was VERY unhappy about it.

The bottom line is that Eli is a very healthy, smart little boy who seems to have had great care in the orphanage. He was in a program called Half the Sky Foundation -- and actually received some preschool there. The ministry is worth checking out online

Eli's small motor skills are right on target. The Dr. expects his gross motor skills to catch up in 4 weeks or less. He most likely had great verbal skills -- in China. She was happy with his ability to copy words and will see him again in 6 months to better access his speech development. All in all we were very, very pleased with the visit.

We are so excited about how well he seems to be doing since coming home. Each day he "comes alive" just a little more. All 6 of us are enjoying this time with him. We are thanking God for his mercy and joy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Moving into 2nd Gear.....

Yes, that's a pic of Eli eating a doughnut....welcome to America!

Eli has been ours for 24 days! We've been home for only 12 of those. This week, a little less jet lagged, having the excitement of re-uniting with our bio kids settle a bit, and our extended family gone home ---- we've really been able to more clear headedly observe Eli. He actually seems to be doing so well! He seems more relaxed, happy and playful. He laughs alot and enjoys the affection of all his family members. Eli has certainly become more familiar with the layout of our home and the dogs. Infact, he has yet another english word under his belt, "Maddy-Franklin". Our 2 dogs are named "Madison" (because it's cute) and "Franklin" (after the singer Kirk Franklin -- they look alike). He likes to walk around and yell their one name, "Maddy-Franklin"! He shows them whose long as they don't get too close. He regularly uses the words "Thank You", "All done", and "Bye Bye" at the right times. He's been said to have used "Stop!" as well. He seems to have begun to understand - just a little - that the 6 members of our family are special to him --- and that within that group -- there's something different about Billy and's all good.

I also believe I see in his questioning eyes an undercurrent of "how long is this going to last" - A tad bit of insecurity that tomorrow may be his last day here. He OCCASIONALLY calls me "Mommy" on his own, but he also uses the Chinese phrase for nanny alot. We gently correct him, after all, nannies come and go...but mommies stay forever.