30 Days into Adoption

I wish I could let every single person experience what we have experienced through this adoption. We matched with him in September, started our visits in October, and we are approaching the 30 day mark of moving Z into our family. We had him 8 days over the Thanksgiving break so I am including part of that. We will finalize our adoption in court in May. We will give him a middle name. We will keep his birth name and will also be able to share it and some actual photos at that time via social media.

If you ever doubt that there is a God and how powerful, amazing, and redeeming He is, adoption can prove that. If you also ever doubt how real, dangerous, and destructive the enemy is, adoption can prove that as well.

We like hard.
We like challenges.
We don't want easy.
We weren't made for that.

This may take me a long time to process what all just happened. The transition of moving a 7 year old boy into your home that has never had one is crazy. But awesome.  I think people are afraid of adoption because of the unknown. Especially with an older child.  All I can say is that it's going to be okay. Its okay to be scared, just give it to the Lord and have hope that he will make the dark places light. Hope is a huge part of our story and it always stands renewed.
Hope for the hopeless. It kind of makes life worth living.

For every emotion you can feel, there is the opposite of that, and it ricochets back and forth and all at the same time.

The joy of adopting. Of an orphan no longer being an orphan. Another child in our family. One less child in an orphanage.

But, the stress and hardship of your whole world changing. And adapting to a child that has no idea what's going on. Imagine a 7 year old that has had no boundaries, home schedule, defiance that is deep rooted, detachment from caring about a lot of things, major communication limitations, and deficiencies that you are still discovering.... and probably will be for a while. Very rare issues that have come up that we haven't even heard of before. Because this child has not had the norm at all. There have been many days we are exhausted beyond belief. Frustrations and failures. Epic Meltdowns. Bad trips out to restaurants, stores, and not leaving the house much. Implementing structure. Discipline. Social development. School. I could never even type what we have seen and had to take head on. Its funny, we are unbelievably exhausted and energized, elated and frustrated...all at the same time.

It is a big job. But, one we went seeking.... looking.... and searching for.

We are unbelievably happy. Our new son is unbelievably happy. And that's really all that matters. The journey in which we got here and even in which he got here matters less and less.

I won't share much about his past. Mostly to protect him. And also because it is something we have had to grieve. Its not really world wide web material.

The only thing and picture I can paint for you is that he has had no family. An orphan. No one advocating or fighting for him. No one giving him a chance. He has been kept in isolation. There have been all different levels of neglect stemming across his past. I can't focus on what he has been through, but straining ahead and pushing the ball forward. But, I do feel sorry for the people that have hindered this sweet boy along the way. That is in the Lords hands, not mine.  From basic needs being met to major needs being met. Everything is new to him. EVERYTHING.
We adopted an academically smart 7 year old. But, a socially developed 3 year old. Similar to an international adoption, our sweet son has no idea about really anything out in the world. And really  no idea how to interact with others at all yet. His own language, so to speak.

He is doing awesome. Each day we are hitting MAJOR milestones. It is bittersweet seeing him see things, discover things, and experience life for the first time at the age of 7. It cuts to the core seeing  his "twin" David who has lived a full little life in his 7 years. I see the holes. I see the gaps. And I think Z is seeing and grieving what he has been through. And that is good.  I can also see so quickly them being Healed. Filled. Transformed. Made new.

He is wanted. And he knows that. He is loved. And he revels in that. He feels safe.
He can see now, physically and mentally. We got you glasses on Wednesday, buddy! He is given independence. He is given choices. He is given outlets. He is given so much food and he is loving it.  He is being told no. And more importantly, he is being told yes. He is being parented. He has started calling us mommy and daddy. The three of our kids interact as if it had always been. David and Mackenzie love him and are doing really well with the transition. They are protective of him and look out for him because they know everything is so new to him. Its really sweet.

He has a family. And it is a beautiful thing to watch a child that has never have one experience that.  God gives big grace.

BIG grace.

He equips us. Strengths us. And His mighty, mighty power to look after and care for the orphans is radical. I don't know how people adopt that don't know the Lord. For that matter, I'm not quite sure how people parent without knowing the Lord.

You have to give your kids to the Lord.

You do your very best. And then you ask God to step in and direct their steps. I pray really hard for my kids. Adoption has brought that to a very real level for me.

Adoption has not just given me a new son, but it has made us a better family. Made me a better mom. Tim a better dad. And our children better people.  They are right now exposed to a child with special needs. And they will get to see how a child like this was not just persued, but fought for, prayed for, and ultimately healed. Because we know God is going to heal him.

We covet your prayers. We are blessed beyond measure. Our family is a rock. Our friends are saints. And our whole entire church brought us food the month of December.

It has been the best Homecoming ever. Ever.

I hope all of you and yours have the best Christmas ever. This may just be our Merriest Christmas yet.

Here is our verse for 2014 for our family and most importantly, Z.
Isaiah 42:16
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.

Happy Birthday Mackenzie!!

Happy 5th Birthday, Mackenzie! You are our little Christmas gift! I will never forget how fun and crazy it was 5 years ago to have you one week before Christmas. We loved it. It was the year we were the most organized. I had everything ready for Christmas a month before you came. The hospital was all decorated, Santa was roaming the halls, and I got to go home within 24 hours because you were so easy and everything was fine! This year,you spent the day with your grandma and great grandma going shopping and had a girls day! You still hold the title of the only grand DAUGHTER on both sides of the family so you may be a little bit spoiled. We had family over that night for pizza and cake. And then we celebrated with your girlfriends later and had a tea party with dolls. You are so much fun, Mackenzie. You are a really amazing sister and a very caring and thoughtful daughter. Even so young, you put others first and always speak to everyone. We are so proud of you and love you so much!!!



On December 4, 2013 at 5:45pm we picked up our new 7 year old son! We GOTCHA buddy!
Welcome Home, Z!!

I will have details soon, but its crazy town over here!
Z is finishing his 2nd day of Kindergarten right now.

Praise the Lord.

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