Sunday, April 13, 2014

Number 119

A few weeks ago the adoption stats came out on the .gov website. I've been looking over those numbers since we began our journey. There's information on each country, updates, and the most profound tidbit are the numbers.

Only 119 children were adopted to the US from India in 2013. Compared to 2306 from China and 993 from Ethiopia. International adoptions are down overall but in India the numbers keep dropping...

I truly believe orphans in India are forgotten ones - and that makes my heart sad. India is extremely difficult to adopt from but is it worth it? Are these children worth it?

Absolutely! Someone has to be willing to fight for them. To do the hard work.

Here is Mr #119, or at least I'm assuming he was the last one to slip in since we stepped foot on American soil December 24th. Adoption is hard. Indian adoptions are excruciatingly painful - the unknowns, the delays, the waiting, the every-city/region-has-different-procedures-that-change-every-time-you-blink-rule.....IT WAS ALL SO HARD. But HE so, so was worth it!

Someone has to be willing to fight the good fight, and step in and do the hard work. Is that someone you?

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37) I read this recently and thought of the harvest we reaped through adoption! The blessings we've received are too great to count! I can't imagine what we might have missed had we said No to adoption. I can't fathom missing out on this precious little boy but to also miss all the goodness God bestowed upon us during the hardest of times and the most joyful of times. Those are the blessings I'm thankful I will be able to count from now until eternity. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Three months home!

I didn't plan to wait a month between blog posts. March flew by and now it's April. How did that happen?

March was a pretty busy month. We took our first weekend road trip to Atlanta since Ryan came home. He isn't real happy in the car. In fact, we recently bought a larger car because 2 big kids + a toddler in a car seat = an unhappy experience for all five of us. Plus our trunk was full with just the things we needed for 2.5 days. Needless to say, Ryan was fussy a little on the way up there. He had a really bad fussy spell on the way back. Like I said, the car is his least favorite place to be. But what a great place to annoy your big sister, right?

We made it to Atlanta and hung out with cousins and spent the day at Georgia Aquarium and then Coca Cola museum the next day before we went home. I was anxious about how Ryan would do sleeping in a new home but he rolled right with it. He didn't nap much Saturday and we were on the go the entire day. He crashed in the pack-n-play both nights we were there and didn't wake at all. So maybe he's ready for a week long vacation that we are planning for November?

The rest of March was filled with lots of days spent together as I was soaking up the last few weeks before I return to work. Most of the day, Ryan is happy and joyful. I'm not sure how we got so lucky with this amazing little boy. Out of all the orphans, God chose ME to be his Mama. I'm his "my Mama" as he calls me when he pats his chest, proudly reminding everyone I'm HIS Mama. It's so very sweet. Those moments are the ones that make the other moments worth it all. Ryan does have his cranky times throughout the day. In usual toddler fashion, he gets super cranky when he's tired. Sometimes I can predict it, others I can't. Of course he has moments when he should be perfectly content and the only thing that makes him happy is for me to hold him. Of course I'd love to do this all day long but I can't. Because of this, there are lots of days when he can be found clinging to my legs, head between my legs as I attempt to cook, wash clothes, move from one room to another. Nap time is still difficult since he doesn't sleep the entire duration of rest time. I have to put him back to sleep a few times in the 1.5-2 hour time span. I am so grateful he sleeps well at night so I try not to complain about the lack of naps too much. Then there are times when he has to be touching me all day long. By touching, I mean holding my hand, pinching my arm, rubbing his hands on my legs/arms/belly/back. I must be within arms reach and let's not even talk about me leaving the room. He's super attached to me and that's exactly how it's supposed to be. 
Here's a great example of dinner time clinginess. I'm trying to cook and Ryan is in the Ergo carrier - happy cause he can touch me and see me, even if it is just the back of my head. :)

But who can resist these sweet, sweet smiles? I look down, see this and my heart is so very happy!

It seems that his language has plateaued. I'm watching it carefully and trying to offer more language rich experiences for him that include talking to him all day long - explaining what I'm doing, where we are going, why we are going there, what color the car is, the sounds it makes, etc, etc. His receptive language is excellent. He understands 98% of what we tell him which I think is pretty amazing! I'm sure if he spent more time with kids close to his age, he might be talking more than he is but that's not an option right now so we have to be creative. 

Ryan's Certificate of Citizenship arrived this month. That's the official document that proves he's now an American citizen! With this we were able to send off for his Alabama birth certificate which is the very last of the adoption paper work to complete! SO EXCITED TO BE DONE WITH PAPERWORK - in just under two years to be exact! 

Last weekend we spent the day at the beach. Ryan had a blast digging in the sand, walking on the beach, throwing the beach ball into the waves which resulted in two very nice gentlemen that kindly retrieved it for us.
My crazy little people. I adore them so so much. 

 I do believe we have a little beach babe on our hands. 

I have been praying about how God can use this adoption experience for his glory. The entire story is HIS story, not ours. God did this through his provision, his guidance, and his faithfulness. I feel compelled to advocate for all orphans, specifically those from India since that's where my heart is. In all of this, I feel God is calling me back to India. I'm not sure where exactly how or where but I do know when - 2015. At the moment I'm praying about joining or leading a mission trip to work with  children in orphanages and children's homes. I've requested information from a few organizations that do this type of work and I'm waiting for a response. I'm sharing this because I KNOW someone reading this may want to do mission work with God's children in India, too. So pray with me about this, ok? :) Let's see where this road leads us....

Three months home! Thank you Lord for this sweet blessing.