WOW!!!! What a year makes!!!!!! One year ago we stepped foot on US soil with our 2 newest American citizens!! We forever changed their lives and our whole families. For 17 months we dreamed of what life would be like..how would it look? How would we all adjust? Would it be a fairytale like we had been hoping or dreaming? Actually better! It is reality! They are real kids and we are a real family..we have our struggles, our triumphs, our disappointments, our accomplishments, tears, laughter,fears..but most of all its real. I say this because as most adoptive parents or expectant parents know..we spend so much time picturing our kids in our minds, how they might look, how will they respond to us? Will they embrace us, Love us, Trust us? Will it be the same as with our biological children? They know no different they loved us from the start unconditionally but will our adopted children? How will our Biological kids and adopted kids learn to love each other? Will it be a hard adjustment? Sooooo Many Questions!!!!!
This year we have answered most of them and discovered new ones but in the end I feel so blessed and so relieved! No adoption isn't easy and believe me it is NOT always as pretty as the pictures! We have had our struggles but we work through them and pray we come out on the other side. God placed these children in our lives for a reason. He never said it would be easy. On the whole our experience has been fairly"easy". We did not have major adjustment issues. They both attached to all of us. Both at different times in different degrees. Tommy was so shy and closed off at first and Milly well she was too "Unshy"(those who know her know what I mean) I actually worried she would not bond or attach to us because, she loved attention from anyone and everyone! This is NOT a good thing even though everyone thinks its so cute. We had to explain.NO not everyone should be holding her or taking care of her. So much that we are still learning. I think alot that they do is part of their personalities but when you adopt and children need to bond and attach with you, you QUESTION everything! I feel at peace as we begin year #2! We read the books, we did the best we could and we PRAYED alot!!! It is still a life long journey but one we are so blessed to be on!
One year ago our 3 Biological kids had to learn to share Mom and Dad and learn to adjust to more siblings. This was hard at first. The older girls had anticipated this right along with us but when it was a reality it went a little different. At first, Tommy and Milly were like new toys. They loved to play with them, care for them and show them off! Then they realized "Hey! They are staying forever and they are taking away from my time!" Slowly things started to fall into place. We got our new routine down pat. We learned how to be a family of 7 and how to spread our love around evenly(well as best as parents can) Matteo, being our youngest, had the hardest time. He was everyones baby for 7 years. How it breaks your heart to know your child is hurting but he was. He never really understood what was really going to happen so when it did I think it was emotional overload. Share your room, your bed, your friends and your parents! I really worried that he would never learn to love or accept his siblings but he did and now his brother is his Best friend(his words), "He is my brother but he is my best friend, now I always have someone to hang out with!" That really melts my heart! God can do anything and change anyones heart. All 7 of us have a new outlook on life, on love, on adoption, really on what really matters most in life:)
So to all of you on the journey, stay strong, hold onto what you know..God called you to adoption and God will work out whatever needs to be worked out! No not on our timetable, or in the way we think but in the end it will all work out and God will be Glorified! Tommy and Milly are blessings! On the tough days and on the good days! We can not even picture what our life was before they were here..we knew something was missing and now we know WHO!!!
If you aren't adopting but may have always felt a tug at your heart, or just curiosity. Pray about it, read one of the millions of blogs you can find like I did! Talk to someone who adopted or is adopted. Educate yourself on a whole world of orphans that you may never have thought of before. Sponsor a child, become a foster parent, go on a mission trip, whatever you might feel led to do. It will change you..it will break you! It will encourage you to do something, even if its just to pray or help support someone who is!
I look at the children that walked off the plane 1 year ago..I look at the family that first met at the airport. We are all different ,unrecognizable!!! We are so blessed! So many people tell us how great we are for what we "did". We didn't do anything..we just allowed God to show us how we could glorify him and his children! Yes we changed their future but they changed ours!
|December 11 2010(Day 1 of our family of 7)|
|1 year as a family of 7!|
|1 year as siblings!|
|Our 2 Ethiopian Blessings!!!!!|