The day that both our kids came home. Also the date of my mom's birthday. I'm for sure never going to forget that one.
Story arrived home on October 23rd, 2009 & her brother Amos finally got home on January 23rd, 2010.
So I get asked all the time … how are they doing? Are they adjusting? Do they miss Haiti? You doing okay? I thought I'd give you a little update today on both of them.
HOW ARE THEY DOING?
Great. They are both doing great. We have made miles and miles of progress with both of them. Story is a normal 2.5 year old that throws fits and speaks her mind! She is so beautiful and will make you laugh with her crazy personality. We have had a few doctor appointments and so far all is good. She seems to have some issues with food and we're not sure if it's adoption related or medically related, so we're proceeding cautiously with both. She runs this house and seems to think she's in charge of all three of her brothers!
*at dance class with Ms. Jen
Amos is doing well too. We had a hard first couple of months, but I finally feel as though I have my head above water most days and can breath. Amos still pushes our buttons lots and struggles with being told no or correction. If it's a good day he reacts well to correction, but if it's a bad day it goes downhill with correction. We haven't had a pee in our pants episode in a few months, although he did threaten to poop his pants about a month ago. He changed his mind when I explained the clean up process and smell that would accompany him all day long. 🙂
If you remember he used to tell us “I don't love you” or “I will go back to live with Licia” when he was really mad when he first got home. He hasn't said either of those in months, but his newest one cracked me up. It is as if when he's in time out and mad at me he tries to find something to say to really make me mad. He has learned that the ones listed above didn't make me mad. I would just tell him that I love him too much to ever let him leave me. We're stuck together. So, about a month ago he was in time out and I could see his little mind spinning trying to come up with something to really make me mad when he said “God did not make me!”. I couldn't help but laugh out loud. He was clearly trying to make me mad, but instead he made me very happy b/c I knew he had been listening very well at church since that is what they had been talking about! Oh his little mind!
Him and his brothers play well together most days. When he first came home you would hardly find him playing with the boys, bust mostly with Story. Now he's one of the guys. Just this morning him and Deacon were talking up a storm about school this year. Deacon was filling him in on all the details of preschool! Amos is so excited to go to school!
He is still on his TB meds & takes those 2 times a week. I think we also killed all his parasites!
*In his new jammies that Great sent him!
HOW ARE THEY ADJUSTING?
I think I answered a lot about Amos above, but I must say that he is doing well. I see his adjusting being a life long journey. This kid has been through a lot in his life. Besides being abandoned by his mom at such a young age, he was severely malnourished and had to fight for his life. I'm convinced that through Licia & Lori at RHFH God spared his life. I know that God has big things in store for him. I just know it! I have said before that us visiting him so much in Haiti was good and bad. Good in the sense that he truly knew us when he showed up in America. We had developed a relationship. He knew we were mama and papa. He knew that we loved him. BUT bad because each time we visited him we left. Towards the end of the 2 years that leaving became increasingly hard on him. He struggled big time when we first brought him home with fearing that we would leave him, especially Aaron. We still have hard nights when Aaron's on the road.
We are having much less outbursts with him. About 90% of the time he obeys w/out causing it to be an ordeal. He is very affectionate with me. He also pushes my buttons way more than Aaron's. He minds Aaron better and seems to respect his authority more.
Story is adjusting very well! We hardly have any nights where she cries in her sleep anymore. We have had 2 this week, but she usually goes back to sleep very easily with some love from one of us. When she first came home she was crying in her sleep every night and hardly ever awake during those times. I truly believe that she was grieving in her sleep and not sure how to handle it. It seems as though she has been here forever!
DO THEY MISS HAITI?
Yes and No. It's funny because they both didn't really get what Haiti was. I mean they knew that they were from Haiti because we told them, but actually knowing what Haiti was/is was a mystery to them. I have shown Amos many times on the map and he's getting it. Story's just too little. What they do know is LICIA. That's what we really talk about most. Licia and her boys are talked about daily. That was truly my kids family before they came home, so yes they do miss them. Many times we'll talk about something that was pre-Amos&Story and Amos will comment that he was in Haiti with Licia. That's the reference point for anything that happened before he arrived home! We talk to them about going to visiti Haiti one day. At first Amos acted freaked out and I think he thought he was going back to stay and we were leaving him. When we explained that we would ALL go and ALL come home together he showed lots of interest in going back to see Licia, Lori and all the kids! I truly look forward to the day when we all visit Haiti as one big family!
This week a girl was talking to me about adoption and Haiti when Amos pulled me close so he could whisper in my ear. He said “I not in Haiti anymore. I with mommy.” It was as if he needed the reassurance that he's with me forever. I love reassuring him of that!
HOW ARE YOU DOING?
Thanks for asking! I'm doing great. I finally feel somewhat normal some days. I said some days … not all days. I have my moments and Amos and I have our moments too. Sometimes I can get so frustrated with him and that leads to so much guilt and then so much remorse and then so much guilt and it's an awful cycle that I can get on. Satan loves to get in my mind that way. He is a hurt child and when I remember that I parent him so much better!!!
I am beyond grateful for my family. We had such a long journey and the ways that God grew me during those 2.5 years are monumental. The other day we were driving down to go on the river in canoes and I had a moment of realizing how blessed we are. Our family is all here. We are complete. My kids are wonderful. I truly cherish them so much and look forward to seeing how God works in their lives and through their lives.
So, I'm doing good. I feel as though I'm finally walking around and not in a daze. I don't have that glossed over eye look anymore. I'm truly happy. Although some days are truly VERY VERY VERY hard, most days are great and mostly hard because I have four crazy kids and not b/c of adoption struggles.
So, happy 9 & 6 month anniversary to my sweet Story & Amos. I am so glad you are finally home!
*July 2010 at Grapeland Safari
I am so happy that all of your kids are home now! And glad to hear that they are adjusting well. I got a little teary reading this post. So thankful that God is so faithful.
Our process has been so similar. I can relate to all of us, right down to the pushing of buttons and creative ways of getting mommy riled up. Kembe is much better for Mark, too. Is it us, or is it them? Sheesh. 🙂
He said “I not in Haiti anymore. I with mommy.” Made me cry. Thanks for posting this. It has been good to share in your public journey. I pray it inspires others to love. I am preparing to build an orphanage for 20+ in Kenya and I will be in and out. Not really a mommy. I hate that I cannot just stay. I hear your testimony about his difficulties when you had to leave him. I wonder about the bonding process, if any, the children will have with me. God bless you! I pray the love Jesus has for you empowers you to love in the hardest times and places. You can do the impossible when you are sure and satisfied.
dreams really do come true! I’ve loved knowing you, and learning from you, especially through all that God has done through your adoption journeys. you are amazing. my prayers continue for you and your precious family. much love.