Friday, June 14, 2013

home.

They're home!

The boys are here. With us. :)

I think the fact that I haven't yet blogged about THE MOST EXCITING THING EVER is a sure tell sign that this momma has been BUSY lately!! Plenty (and I mean plenty) of people told me that time disappears once kids arrive...and na├»ve me didn't listen. I had so many projects that I had bouncing around in my head to do before the boys came (including posts about our 1st trip to Ethiopia) and when I didn't get them done, I thought "I'll just work on them during naps or when they're playing"...hahahaha... :) Anyway...

We've been settling into our new life for 5 1/2 weeks and the boys seem to be adjusting really well. They're definitely attaching to momma and daddy, and for that I'm so very thankful, as bonding and attachment can be a concern with any adoption. However, I'd be lying if I said it's been all smiles and rainbows from Day 1. Adoption can be such a beautiful thing, but because it's born out of brokenness, it can also be hard. By saying that, I'm just trying to be real and honest...you know I'm not perfect! Truth be told, behind my rose-colored glasses of excitement, I wasn't emotionally prepared for how hard it was going to be (for them and myself) that first week. Despite plenty of adoption education and numerous phone conversations with our agency about the (potential) grieving process associated [toddler] adoption, I just kept replaying the sweet, smiley "Gotcha Day" videos from my list of stalked favorite blog sites. Although both boys had plenty of smiles for us, their sweet little minds had a lot of processing to do (and will possibly continue to do for a lifetime).  After we signed them out of their orphanage, our children experienced grief that I'll never fully know. And understandably so, as they grieved the only stable environment they had known and as they grieved the loss of their familiar caregivers (boy, did they love their nannies!).

But thankfully over the past month, they have learned to trust us and now their faces LIGHT UP when they see us. Each morning when they wake up, I love walking into their room to be greeted by the biggest smiles and sweetest giggles EVER...seriously, I wish you all could experience it! The heart change that has happened to both Carson and Noah over the past few weeks is miraculous and you can visibly see trust, safety, security, and love for us now in their eyes. We had been strangers to them, two people who looked, smelled, and talked differently than anyone they had ever been with...trying to hug them, rock them, feed them, bathe them. Just to think about the HUGE life change that our kiddos experienced overwhelms me, so I am incredibly thankful to God and His provisions with how well they are adjusting to our family life.  HE truly is the author of our story, and I am realizing it more and more every single day. We, as their parents, could never provide the unconditional love, grace, and security that they need moment by moment, day after day. I could never do it on my own, I'm far too selfish with my own time, my own life...but God has been using these 2 precious boys, my sons, to show me how much of my life isn't really mine - but a life to be used by Him to serve others. We spent a week in Ethiopia before bringing them home and one particular night, we were having a VERY difficult time soothing Noah to sleep (I can't blame him, his world was had just been flipped upside down). While I was rocking (and rocking, and walking with him, and singing to him, and rocking, and walking him, and singing to him...), I began to get so frustrated at myself that I couldn't soothe his frightened cries. I began to think of myself as a failure of a new mother, and as negative thoughts about myself and my inadequacy in meeting my son's needs, I began to pray.

I cried (ok, sobbed) to God, "What is the glory I'm supposed to see in this moment? I need you to show it to me." As I continued to rock in the darkness of our hotel room, I sensed God was saying to me, "Do you see how much Noah needs you right now? Despite how difficult it seems to meet his needs, to comfort him, calm him, and assure him he's being taken care of? That's how much you need me, my child. You've been trying to do things on your own, but I'm here to take care of you. I'm here to soothe your spirit and comfort you through the easy times, the difficult times, and the uncertain times. Quit being so self-reliant, find rest in Me." I was taken back by the analogy he had placed before me. Rocking my crying son in the middle of the night made me realize how helpless I am without my Father. While Noah didn't fall miraculously back to sleep after my conversation with God (wouldn't that encourage more parents to pray!), I rocked him with a new picture of what mothering represents. I'm so grateful for the reminders of His unconditional love for me. Seeking Him daily doesn't make being a new parent any easier, but it has made me more aware of the love I'm supposed to be reflecting toward my children...even in the midst of a hard day.

Wow...I really turned off course from this homecoming post! For those of you who stuck with me through the last paragraph of digression, congrats, you are rewarded with super cute pictures of the boys' over the course of the past few weeks:


Trying new foods (they never want to go back to the rice cereal they used to eat!):

 
 
 
 
Learning how to share and play together:
 

 
Hot day? A bucket, some water, and 2 cups can be REALLY fun:





 
 
They love to explore:
 

 

 


 
 
And they've loved meeting new cousins:
 
                                     
 
 
Well, nap-time's over. I can hear them chattering away to each other in their room, so I better go. I really do want to post about our experiences in Ethiopia at some point, perhaps by their 3rd birthdays? :) Until then, enjoy your weekend!
 
 
love,
erin