Our days are full but so is my heart. Caleb has adjusted really well. He is speaking English and counting to ten, saying his ABCs, tracing letters, and playing hard each day at pre-school and at home. Caleb and Ella-Lu have become great friends and play well most days together. Some days they fight as would normal siblings:) Caleb is so much fun and provides us with so much joy. He has a big smile, a great attitude all the while testing the limits and learning the boundaries. I have been most impressed with his transition:) He has had 4 surgeries and we still have mountains ahead of us with more doctor appointments and tests and procedures. There is so much joy and fullness and love and encouragement and strength and peace….and we are so thankful for God’s goodness. We appreciate so many who continue to pray and encourage us. We press on. Some days are easy while others are harder but there is not a day that God doesn’t provide and show his faithfulness to us.
We are coming into a busy spring with both boys playing soccer. The 3 big kids are going to attempt archery for the first time. Ella-Lu, Isabel, Caleb and Mattie will all have birthdays in that order:) And Isabel will have 6th grade graduation. I am not even ready to go there:)
We are finding a new normal and routine but it is taking time…..and in the time I ask God to quiet my heart and allow me to be still. I am encouraged by Luke 10:42 “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” My prayer for me and you is that we would allow our Lord to be our portion in every circumstance and season. He is enough.
From Steven Curtis Chapman’s “What Now”
I saw the face of Jesus in a little orphan girl
She was standing in the corner on the other side of the world
And I heard the voice of Jesus gently whisper to my heart
Didn’t you say you wanted to find me?
Well here I am, here you are
So, What now?
What will you do now that you found Me?
What will you do with this treasure you’ve found?
I know I may not look like what you expected
But if you remember this is right where I said I would be
You’ve found me
My heart aches for the orphans of the world. Praying.
What an amazing day celebrating Thanksgiving and all God’s goodness. This particular year we are very thankful to have Caleb home. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, playing outside (we have had some beautiful weather), learning house rules, and snuggling. We are amazed at all the things God has provided.
We appreciate your prayers this week. Caleb received a great report at the dentist. No cavities nor rotten teeth. His teeth are stained but at this point we will keep brushing and in a few years he will lose those baby teeth. Monday we spent 3 hours of testing his vision at Vandy. He did great! He has perfect vision in his left eye. This is a huge praise! He will wear glasses to protect his good eye:) Total vision loss in his right eye….we already knew this….but it is still good to have all the test completed and written up for vision therapy, etc. We are awaiting a consult with the glaucoma specialist at Vandy and for a surgery date.
This coming week Caleb has two surgeries scheduled for Thursday. We hope his glasses will be ready. And we have a home visit as we are approaching our one month post adoption date. More paperwork is in our future as we will continue to have home visits for the next 5 years as part of our agreement with China.
Enjoying Thanksgiving today but I have promised the kids to put up Christmas decorations this weekend. Looking forward to celebrating Advent with Caleb this year and making memories with all the kids as we continue with many of our family Christmas traditions.
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:13
We have been home a little over a week already and this week went by so quickly. Overall things are going really GOOD! Caleb is doing fabulous. He is learning and growing and eating and sleeping and playing and hugging:) This week Caleb had his first hair cut, first pediatrician visit, and first eye exam. We had blood drawn and some immunizations. He is a real trooper:) Now when I look at the BIG picture I can see how God has prepared our hearts and Caleb’s heart for our unity together as a family. We are taking each day and making strides. Caleb watches the other kids and usually knows expectations. This is a huge help:) He is understanding more English than he is speaking. He continues to speak to us mainly in Chinese so we have picked up about about ten words that he uses consistently.
Caleb does have his moments….he has this awful fake cry that he uses when he doesn’t like what you are telling him or he isn’t getting what he wants. BUT we are already seeing less of this fake cry as we work through expectations and understanding of house rules, etc. And I believe this will continue to get better as Caleb grows is his language skills.
We are so thankful for the continued encouragement and support on this journey!
Prayer Requests: Caleb has three appointments next week. Monday we see the pediatric ophthalmologist at Vandy. Caleb is very afraid of light and does not like anyone to get near or touch his eyes. Please pray that he will do well and for wisdom of the physician for screening and treatment. Tuesday Caleb goes to the dentist. And Wednesday we are back to Vandy to see another specialist. Caleb has another medical issue that we were not aware of but believe can be resolved with a minor surgery.
We appreciate your continued prayers for our family and Caleb!
Caleb LOVES bath, bubbles, and bananas. Caleb LOVES hugs, hats, and helping.
Caleb likes fruits, veggies, bread/grain as well as milk, juice and water.
Caleb likes the outside, playing with toys, coloring and using stickers.
Caleb dislikes animals. Its not that he dislikes animals but he is afraid of animals. Fearful. Caleb dislikes heights (AKA his daddy shoulders and Noah’s top bunk:)
Caleb dislikes meat of any kind except eggs.
Caleb eats with his right hand while colors and draws with his left hand. I have noticed several times him putting his left thumb up to his mouth. I wonder if he wanted or tried to suck his thumb as an infant to soothe himself.
Caleb eats without making a mess and is adamant about keeping himself clean while eating (both hands and mouth). He wants to help clean up the kitchen after meals.
Caleb folds laundry…..imagine my surprise as I am folding laundry this morning he comes to help and folds laundry better than my 7 and 8 year old. I tried to tell him he need not fold laundry…..re-affirming him with hugs and kisses. I want him to know he is loved…..that he was chosen….but for a four year old this is going to take time.
We are learning so much about Caleb and thankful we get to call him son!
WOW! We are home….YEAH! My heart is full! I know I have said on here that Caleb sleeps and eats great! These are huge praises and we are prayerful that this will continue. Also, the fact that he sleeps and eats well will help Jason and I to teach and help him with his behavior issues (because hopefully we will have more patience with good sleep:). And I believe with time, learning English and routine these behavior issues can be addressed effectively. (And most importantly prayer for him to learn self control and fruits of the Spirit.) He is very smart and eager to learn and participate. He is very affectionate too!! Last night, when we arrived home. I was giving him a tour of the house. We had placed several photos of him around the home so we could communicate in some way that we have been waiting and wanting to bring him home. Each time he looked at his photo he pointed to himself and said Caleb and gave me a huge hug and kiss. I wept!!
We are thankful to be home safely and still very healthy! And continue to be at awe with God’s hand on this journey!!
I wanted to post a quick note on Isabel. First, all the 3 big kids did great:) But Isabel was our extra hands when we needed them. She helped us in so many situations and instances. We are so thankful she was eager to help. Also, Isabel took almost all our pictures. With a 2 and 4 year old I really did not have opportunities to take many pictures. But she took my camera and went to taking pictures. Can not wait to upload them to my computer to look at:) We probably have at least 1000 pictures!
Also, once we arrived in GZ Isabel (and Mattie and Noah) did great making new friends with other LifeLine families. They quickly built relationships with both the bio and adopted children. They look forward to continuing their friendships as pen pals. There was one particular 14 year old girl that was adopted just 4 days prior to her 14th birthday. (Fourteen is the age out age in China.) Isabel and her had so much fun and her mama was so happy to see her interacting with Isabel.
So thankful we took our children to experience China culture, the adoption journey and open their eyes to the lostness of the world. May their hearts burn with a desire to be missional for the gospel!