Monday, October 26, 2009
I feel like my posts have been a little lopsided, and I promise my next one will have some pictures of my handsome Luke! Poor guy had dental surgery today and was a real trooper! In the meantime, I am so proud of Ms. Irina who is now feeding herself with a spoon! Look at my sweet pea in action!
Friday, October 23, 2009
That's code for: Trio of Terror!:) They are cute though, aren't they? Oh, and this was taken before Irina broke her brand new glasses. Sigh. Everyone got fitted for their orthotics today, so in a few weeks we get to go shoe shopping, which is always a challenge trying to get shoes for 4 kids that fit with the orthotics, including 2 boys with wide feet.....
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Last night I attended a fundraising banquet for Bethany Christian Services, the adoption agency that we used for both our Hong Kong adoptions. The theme of the banquet this year was "Love Stories", and they asked us to share one of ours. Here is what I shared:
Five years ago, my husband Adam approached me with the idea of adopting a child with special needs, specifically a child with Down Syndrome (DS). Adam had an adopted sister with DS and she had a significant impact on his life, and was the major influence in his choice of a career as a nurse. Unfortunately, she passed away due to an unexpected health issue when she was only 8 years old, so I had never had the opportunity to know her personally. I told Adam that I wasn’t really interested in growing our family beyond our four children, and especially not adding a child with special needs. I was sure I wasn’t “equipped” for the challenge of parenting a special needs child, and I was fearful of what it would mean for our future.
A few months later after much prayer and the Lord’s work in my heart, I found myself at a Bethany information meeting. My heart melted at the picture of a precious little boy named Ivan in the Lifelines magazine. Ivan fit none of my criteria for a child for our family. He was too old (nearly 7), he was in Hong Kong (we were looking at adopting through US foster care again), and he had Down Syndrome. We filled out our application and received information on several waiting children, but in my heart I knew Ivan was our son. We took what felt like a huge leap of faith, and committed to adopt Ivan. Nearly nine months later, we were in Hong Kong to bring him home. The day we met him is one of the favorite memories of my lifetime. He was an immediate joy and blessing! All fears I had about parenting Ivan were gone.
Everyone who meets Ivan is forever changed for the better. He has a wonderful warmth and affection, an enthusiasm for life, and he has a great sense of humor. Ivan was the inspiration for our church to start a program for special needs children in Sunday School. He has touched the lives of all his school teachers and therapists, his doctors, and has influenced other families we know to pursue the adoption of an older child.
Ivan is one of the most amazing and inspirational people I have ever known. He accepts others unconditionally and has transformed the lives of every member of our family. He brings limitless love, joy, and laughter to our home. Ivan is directly responsible for inspiring us to adopt four more special needs children, three of whom have DS like Ivan. We are so grateful that the Lord chose to bless us with this most treasured gift of a son! We cannot imagine our lives without him.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Oh my goodness, I feel like such a scatterbrain these days. I honestly don't know the date half the time, and I suddenly realized that today was October 14th, meaning yesterday was October 13th. Why is this important you might ask? A year ago on October 13th, Adam and I officially committed to adopting Luke (known as Ruslan at the time). Wow. It is just hard to believe how much your life can change in a year. What started as a simple act of obedience has completely altered all of our lives forever. Luke was facing an imminent transfer to an institution at the time of his 4th birthday, which was exactly 6 months from the day we committed to bring him home. Irina was not even in our thoughts or plans at the time! I am so thankful that the Lord had far better and more wonderful plans than we could imagine at the start of our journey! I am so thankful that the waiting and the adoption process is now complete, and I get to tuck two more blessings into bed each night. Sometimes I think I might need to crawl to my own bed I am so tired at the end of each day, but it is all worth it and I am overwhelmed by God's blessings!
I know I am a little biased, but doesn't Irina look adorable in her new glasses? Of course, as soon as we were done snapping the pics she took her glasses and winged them across the room. Getting her to keep them on is going to be a challenge, so pray for my stamina! I am one stubborn mom, so I am hoping that eventually I will be victorious....
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
A couple weeks ago we ordered Irina a therapy swing to hang in the living room (or should I say the converted play room). My hubby got the hardware and hung the swing today, and this little girl was all giggles and smiles! Please forgive her hair..she was just up for a nap and anxious to get back on that swing! Luke also joined in the fun. I realized when I was snapping his picture the irony of the shirt he was wearing. Superman. Hmmmm. I'm thinking maybe we shouldn't encourage any heroes that fly!
Monday, October 12, 2009
I had always heard that saying, but just thought it was a metaphor and not a reference to literal behavior. I have discovered that someone actually and literally had a child that swung from the chandelier and that's how it got said. I know this because I actually now have a child that was caught swinging from the dining room chandelier...more than once in the last week! Any guesses for who it might be? The first time I walked in the room the culprit was already down and laughing as the chandelier swung widly and the table cloth lay on the floor. Hmmm. He couldn't have! He must have thrown a toy or something. Nope! Hubby caught him the next day in full Tarzan swing. Oh my! This little boy gives new meaning to the term "child proofing". Really. We have invested in numerous gates and devices, rearranged and removed things, and he is exceptionally good at figuring ways around them (or over them). Did I mention that we meet with the school next week and he will be starting preschool? This boy needs to be kept busy, and this mama needs to be able to have a cup of coffee without worrying that Tarzan is going to come crashing into the kitchen!