Monday, June 14, 2010
One Year Later: LUKE!
A year ago this week, we found ourselves in Eastern Europe, meeting our youngest son (and daughter, but I am going to give her a separate post!)! It is hard to describe all the emotions you experience when the long awaited moment has come, and the child you have prayed for, dreamed of, and stared at their picture, suddenly appears before you in the flesh.
My first thought of Luke was that he was so much cuter in person, and I thought his referral picture was adorable! He burst into that room with so much energy and personality that first day! He was immediately fun and full of laughter and giggles. It was obvious he liked to play and enjoyed attention, and we had a ball engaging with him.
Now a year has gone by, and he has experienced so much, grown and developed so much, and played so hard! As I think back to when we first met him, he is still very much the same little boy. He is fun, affectionate, smart, and often mischievous. However, he has changed in so many ways as well. He no longer grabs food off of someone else’s plate (or takes his friend’s snacks at school), or stuffs a banana (peel and all) in his mouth and frantically tries to eat it, and he can (and does!) take turns (okay, as much as any preschooler). He has learned to share, typically not the toys he loves the most, but we are getting there! He has learned to use the potty and wore big boy pants ALL last week! (Yippee for mommy that she has fewer pull ups to buy!) He gets to ride the school bus, which he loves. He also loves water and to get dirty. It actually brings me tremendous joy to see this little guy play outside and get filthy. I don’t think he was really “allowed” to get dirty at the orphanage, so I love to watch him play with sand, dirt, sticks, rocks, and any and all things that boys love.
Luke also got to celebrate his first birthday ever, and boy did he like turning 5! He had a birthday crown at preschool and he wanted to wear it all day. He loved his cake, and really liked his gifts, his favorite being the matchbox cars and the stuffed puppy (that barks and howls) from Mom-mom and Pop-pop. More than anything, I believe Luke has learned that he is loved, that he has a FAMILY. He is learning what a mama and papa are, that they never ever leave you, and that sisters and brothers love you and take care of you.
It is heart breaking to think of the contrast of what Luke’s life would have been like if he had not been adopted; would he have survived a mental institution long enough to see his 5th birthday? Oh what a tragic waste it would have been for this precious child to not know the love of a family, and to spend out the rest of his days with his potential untapped, his beautiful face unseen, and his infectious laughter unheard. Thank you, thank you, Lord, for the precious gift of our son!