Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tomorrow, fourteen months ago....we were HOME with our SON!

Our son, Ethan, was about ready to go on flights that would change his life fourteen months ago.  His life was drastically changed in moments.  It only took less than an hour for us to go into the orphanage and do what was needed and get into the van.  THEN, the changes began.
In these fourteen months, the changes have been HUGE!!!  Four months ago to now, just in THAT time, is a GINORMOUS difference.  Ethan was consistently hurting his siblings.  It was SO consistent and exhausting.  For about six to eight weeks it was so constant that i thought i was not going to make it.  IF i could tell you the reason WHY i would but it would be from cuddling or playing or sitting doing nothing to reading a book to tickling to kissing to all of a sudden BAM!  Nope, it didn't coincide with Scott leaving that time either.
As a mother, i have NEVER been SO consistent with ANY of our other children as i KNEW that i could NOT waver.  I was so scared, lonely, exhausted and felt like no one understood.  In fact, i felt as if it must be all my fault as i looked 'around' and saw that 'everyone else' seemed to be having 'no problems' with their transitions for their children.  What was completely SHOCKING to me was when i FINALLY wrote it out and not ALL of it out but SOME of the tough stuff.  I got SO MANY responses from other moms who were also struggling GREATLY!  REALLY!?!?!  I wish i would have known that. The first year was SO TOUGH!!!
We were nearing a YEAR home and things were NOT looking HOPEFUL for changes for the future.  Ethan RARELY 'acted out' in front of people that would pop in occasionally.  A few people DID see BUT it was RARE.  My helpers DID see and it was overwhelming.

Ethan RARELY and i mean RARELY hits his sisters now, nor bites them (can't remember the last time) and RARELY pulls their hair.  Yes, he is still a boy and throws things and sometimes throws things AT them BUT again, EVERY SINGLE TIME....."Ethan, that is a NO!  We are not mean to our sisters, we are nice to each other.  We do not throw our toys.  You are in a time out (on the bottom step...where he has also learned to stay there until he is done with his time out-AMAZING progress but that took about thirteen months).
Ethan moved to hitting himself over the head whenever he is upset.  SO, again, we are consistent...EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  "Ethan, NO....we are NICE to me nice" and he has to show HIMSELF nice.  THAT is happening a LOT lately.  I am praying that THIS doesn't take thirteen months of training.  I have no idea where it came from...just one day out of nowhere.
I will NEVER forget one of the most HOPEFUL statements that i had ever been told.  'Connie, they say that when you adopt (no matter if it is domestic or international) that your child starts their 'life' all over again.  SO, what does a baby do?  Bites, pulls hair, hits, etc.....'
Well, we have now moved into the throw ourselves down and scream stage....which i guess would be about the correct age ;)  I am praying that this stage will be short but if it isn't.....we will be consistent with this stage too.  
To be able to watch Ethan grow and learn and transform before our very eyes has been an amazing thing.  We cheer louder than we would have had this come easy.  We make a bigger deal out of his making good choices than we would have had it been more 'natural' for him.  We are SO VERY PROUD of what he is choosing to do instead of what he used to do.
He now is acting like a big brother to his little sister (fifteen days younger).  The two of them will often wake up and greet each other with a hug or will hug each other TENDERLY before taking their quiet times or bed times.  There are WAY more kisses that are sweet and tender and his hugs RARELY get aggressive now.  AND Sophina is responding with WAY WAY more trust.  OH how i am so grateful that she is trusting him.  He is showing himself trustworthy and he feels proud of himself as soon as he acts in such a kind manner.

He is growing physically too.....he is 40lbs. at 14 months home.  When we first got him....he drank and drank and drank his water.  We couldn't keep it filled.  Yes, we made sure that he didn't overdo it BUT we were shocked as to how dehydrated he was.  BOTH Scott and i said that in the few days that we had him BEFORE his doctor visit in BG, he had already gained weight that we COULD FEEL in just picking him up.  On that doctor visit he weighed 22lbs. So, i have always said that i thought that he gained two pounds just in hydration in those few days.  He doubled his weight in 14 months.  His shoe sizes are STILL growing SO fast!  I bought him size 8 shoes a couple weeks ago & this week already, they are not big at all!!!  So, i believe he has grown four shoe sizes in these 14 months and is close to going up another size.
He is SO VERY STRONG!  He is learning more and more.  He has ALWAYS loved music....from the first day i met him.  He STILL LOVES music.  He throws 'his tantrum' if the song stops and there are two seconds in between songs that he loves.  He LOVES Signing Time and is using more signs-sometimes surprising us with ones we didn't know he even knew.  He absolutely LOVES anything that is a 'gadget' or has wheels or is technological.  I have said it before and it continues....he knows instinctively how to turn on any clicker or toy that needs it.  He loves to sing and be sung to and we LOVE it when he starts singing and continues.  One time this past month, Sophina was in the bathroom singing at the top of her lungs and i was downstairs putting on oils onto Ethan who started singing made our helper, Alyssa and i giggle with glee.  Oh my word, i didn't want it to stop!  They were a hoot!
Ethan LOVES water.  He loves to splash.  Our neighbor has a system where if they have out a certain flag that that means that the neighbors can use their pool as long as we follow their rules.  It was so cold and rainy for so long this year that the kids have just recently started being able to go over there.  ALL of the kids love it.

One of the biggest things that happened in these past four months is that i one day realized that when i thought of Ethan....i LITERALLY felt that he had been born from my womb.  It was something that i had to REALIZE as i was thinking it was a FREAKY thought that i had heard others say that happens.  I wondered if it would for me BUT IT DID!  He is our son COMPLETELY....yes, born from my heart BUT WOW, it is REALLY close to my womb!!! I know that that may sound corny BUT that thought blows my mind.

Is everything easy peasy now?  ummm....NO WAY!  Are there really hard days....ummmm-YES!  Remember there are four daughters who live here along with Ethan.  Also, remember that i miss my hubby PROFUSELY as he works away for LONG periods of time.  Sometimes, my body PHYSICALLY aches for him to hold me after a long day/hour/moment/week!  The Lord has been faithful.  He has given me a friend who 'gets it'.  A friend whom i have never met but who understands.  The Lord has prompted people and things to happen at just the right moment where i feel like i can't take one more thing (and sometimes....many times i find out that i can't but WITH HIS HELP i have had to take three or four or five more things than i thought i could handle).  
I am so grateful that the Lord asked us to go to Bulga#ia and bring home our son, Ethan.  It has not been easy but it has been SO VERY WORTH it.  Thank YOU for all of your help in bringing him home, in creating quilts with love, bibs with care, garage sales, bake sales,etc....  Thank YOU for whatever part you had in our bringing home Ethan.  
This is NOT something that i am 'good at' or 'Connie can do that' because CONNIE fails.....i am seriously a regular mom who makes a LOT of mistakes.  I desperately need your prayers as well as our entire family does.  There are MAJOR struggles and we sin like crazy.  We are SO. VERY. HUMAN.  PLEASE KNOW that adopting is NOT for the 'perfect family'.  PLEASE KNOW that adopting is NOT for the 'wonder woman'.  PLEASE KNOW that we are NEITHER BUT God amazingly asked us to do this EVEN SO!!!  I am ALWAYS BLESSED

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