Oh ... romantic is what it has not been.
I try to be very transparent and very real. I type what I think and don't edit. Sorry about the typos :)
Let me be the first one to say how UNromantic this journey has been and ... is.
We have amazing moments. And amazing days. But the journey is hard. Very hard. And leaves us many time looking back to God with total assurance that HE called us to it and that HE will carry us through.
We had that moment last night.
Taizi woke after a half hour of sleeping and was in fits of loud hysterical giggles. That turned to wails. That turned to giggles. That turned to wails. I hope you are entering into the moment. Then we would hear Zihao stir. The big boys stir. Izrael stir. And we were waiting for him to wake them all up.
Finally we moved his bed back to our room...our closet actually. We have a huge closet and it's nice and dark and yet attached to our bedroom and we can hear every sound he makes. Interestingly enough...after over an hour and half of this in his room...he went to sleep instantly in our room.
We both fell into bed...exhausted...and I was the first to say "I feel so unequipped for this job". Dean looked over at me and said "no. We are equipped. God has equipped us for it and for him. He's our son and we can do this".
So many people ask "how do you communicate with him...?"
Answer: we hardly do. We try! But there's very little actual communication.
He's partially blind.
His cognitive state is unknown though guessed to be severely delayed.
He exists completely, solely in his own little world.
To back that up...he never ever lights up with us. He is attached to Dean and I..most definitely. But never lights up in seeing us. Never smiles and connects when we walk into the room (though he will scream if we leave the room).
BUT...let him see a mirror...? Oh. My. Goodness.
We actually don't let him see many mirrors. Clearly there was a room with a huge mirror that he entertained himself for hours...days...weeks ... and years....in the orphanage. It's still crazy how he completely lights up....gives direct eye contact to himself...and starts fits of giggles. 100% of the time.
So I took him to the eye doctor and of course, the office is ALL mirrors. Oh heavens. He was almost uncontrollable. He writhes into any position to see the mirror and goes crazy when he sees it.
The questions: does he think it's someone else? An old familiar friend..? Or does he know it's himself? Why does he not react/connect in any way in seeing us? He doesn't. Nor with the children (less with the children).
Zihao has had an amazing week. He went from wailing at every and any instruction and turning his bedroom into a hurricane-aftermath at every 'nap time'. I was wanting to buy a video monitoring system to see what in the world he was doing in there. Finally it sunk through that he has to stay in bed, he is NOT allowed in the closet or drawers (yes they would be dumped) and he's not allowed to move Taizi's crib all over the room (yes, he was doing that!) and that I will come check on him every 30 minutes. If he's still awake after an hour of down time (which he needs) I will let him up. Well 90% of the time ... he's sleeping because he's exhausted. So that's been a huge change this week.
Zihao has also really exploded with his vocab! The other day he was outside singing. At the top of his lungs (sorry neighbors). The kids were all telling me "mommy we can't even hear each other!" I let it go for about 10 minutes and then called him in. He said "Coming Mommy!" :) he came in and I told him how wonderful his singing was. He beamed! I asked if he could just sing a LITTLE quieter. He said "ok mommy" but got somber. He went back outside and I saw him wiping the tears away. It broke my heart! I watched him for a few minutes in the window and he picked up the baseball bat again and started singing away. A tad quieter. Not much but it worked ;)
Then later he had a toy phone. He was walking around in the back yard with a hand on his hip talking 90 miles a minute! "yes...i know. Not now. Ok. Yes. Yes. Good. Good boy. Izrael! Yes. Piggy! Yes. Cake! Birthday!" Tirzah said "hey Zihao come here!" and he put his hand up and said "Tirzah...not right now please. I am on the phone!" I think we all doubled over laughing!!! It was very cute.
Zihao's first craniofacial appt is March 18th and we are looking forward to it.
We don't have the results from Taizi's bone scan back yet as his cranio doc was going to India for 2 wks and we wanted to wait for her to tell us the results. :)
Other than that...we are chugging along. One day at a time. If this post sounds romantic...please read it again :) Days can be long. Filled with incessant laughing that is unstoppable and unemotional and refusing to do anything else...to long evenings trying to get him to fall asleep at all with little communication-abilities.
We do have something very exciting to announce. No we are not pregnant! Yes...never mind. We are. But you already knew that! ;) Actually...24 weeks pregnant! And let me be the one to say it's the fastest pregnancy ever. I actually am in shock that in 15 weeks or so...a precious little girl will join our family. Yes we have her name...you will find out around the end of June or early July. Will you like it? :) If you are hoping for Jane or Sally...no. :) If you are aware we have a Tirzah Liberty, Azahria Peace and Izrael Promise for little girls so far...then you just might ;)
We have lived here almost 10 years. The summers are long. Hot. Dry. And amazing. We live on a river and it's beautiful. Boating is big here.
This is the first time ever...that I suggested getting a boat. It didn't take any convincing for Dean as he's wanted one for years. However, our reason was different this year. Our life changed dramatically by adopting Taizi. We are much more home-bound. The van seems to sit in the driveway day after day unless we are making a trek to Seattle or the dentist. (Our gas budget dropped bigtime since the adoption ;). And...well...I'm definitely feeling a little 'cabin fever' as my parents would say. The activities we can all enjoy ... all.... are very limited. But boating is one of them.
So we went looking for a boat. A used boat. A good deal. But we needed a minimum of 14 passenger.
We found a few options in Seattle and Spokane. But then there was this one right here in tricities. It was 18 passenger. A 1998. In amazing condition for a very very good price. We went and saw it and knew this was a great boat for our family. It's a pontoon boat. It's in beautiful condition.
To make it even a better deal...we recently refinanced our mortgage to lower our rate. We didn't take the equity out just lowered our rate. We lowered our monthly payment by $220! Our boat payment is $217 including insurance. :)
The children are so excited. They can learn how to tube, ski and all sorts of fun things. Taizi LOVEs the wind in his face. The last owners bought a brand new bimini (sun shade) which is huge for us! There's a potty and bbq on the boat as well.
And this Mama is going to have a great tan this year ;)
As Dean says "we didn't buy a zoo. We already had a zoo. We bought an ark!" :)
Oh something else neat is that when we built our house, 4.5 years ago, Dean put a driveway all the way back of the fence. I've not liked it...felt we could have used the extra grass and we've never used the driveway! Ummm...until now. We have a 28ft boat in our back yard and room for a full RV there as well! (no plans of that but our hotel days are gone with 10 children!). So we don't have to pay to park the boat as it fits in our yard.
We are hoping to go out for the first time this wknd as weather is predicted in the 60s :)
That's about the only romantic thing that has happened recently...besides well...I love my husband. And he's romantic. :)
This is our life. The life He chose for us. At the end of a very long day...we truly wouldn't have it any other way. Not because it's easy. Not because it's always fun. Not because it's beautiful and romantic. But because this is the life that He chose for us.
Those who cling to worthless idols...forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to You. What I have vowed...I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.