So many people commented on his visible joy and he definitely has it. He's emotional at every level. So he cries at the drop of a hat and laughs at the next moment. :)
The other day we had gone for dinner then took the kids to a playground. We had stayed in the van drinking our coffees but we were RIGHT in front of the playground, literally feet. Up to the right was another play area and at all points we could see the children. Well, Zihao would run all the way up to the top then run...and I mean RUN..back to the van and stand beside my window and tell me a story. "Mommy!!! Mommy!!! I saw coming! It's coming!" No idea what he was talking about but I'd ask him questions and he'd laugh and then say "Bye MommY!!!" and run off. And 20 seconds later the same thing. He must have did this trek 25 times. He was panting and out of breath! It was pretty cute.
We are still struggling with his health. There has to be a reason why he is always sick. ALWAYS sick. Since adoption day he's had a runny nose, a very dry (empty) cough and just sick. If he's ever not sick it's for 2-4 days before he has something else. The rest of the children...? Nada. Perfectly healthy. So it's not like it's a virus that the others get. We know he has a fistula (hole) in his palate which can cause drainage and therefore infection. We have no idea if this is what's going on but it's getting old. :(
Taizi is my stretch-me-to-where-I'd-never-go-without-You gift. Yes. Gift. The Potter is molding this lump of cracked, imperfect clay called Janice.
I have been feeding him infant oatmeal cereal for breakfast and he hates it. Well this morning he opened his mouth for every spoonful. :) Seriously...progress...that is painfully slow.
On the amazing front...yes...amazing...I'm not joking...he's walking. Not completely unassisted but we had him take over 15 consecutive steps this weekend...several times! I will get it on video. It's a very very labored walk and it's hard for us to envision him with the ability to walk as we do...simply because he definitely gets very very weak and tired by the end of it. Either way...it's amazing! We are both in shock (shock yet it's not a surprise since we've been working hard with him toward this for 6 months)...as we saw it way further down the road.
Other children are doing great.
Zion and Azahria are near twins. Not only do they look alike (our 2 dark haired children) but they are sooo alike. They are do-ers. They are spender-time-with-you-ers. They are quality-time-ers and they are both big hearted.
Azahria is so much like her mama it's funny. She wanted to sing Daddy a song last night but asked if she could sit BEHIND him so he couldn't see her :) We just laughed. Of course you can. :) If you look directly at her...she's going to freeze...regardless of the topic.
Tirzah reads the Bible for hours a day. She is completely enthralled with it. Thank you Auntie Joss for the picture Bible! If you summarize a Bible story, she can correct you with the details...she LOVES it.
Zunduka loves to read. And we are glad. It's such a personality thing for him. He's quieter, not the life of the party and reading is so perfect for him! And he's an amazing reader!
Chazano is still the crazy artist. He draws for hours a day. We love fostering imaginations in our family!
Things get built, taken down, rebuilt and all over again the next day! We love it. This morning they all were packed up to go 'camping' in the back yard. It did get briefly interrupted for school but it resumed :)
Izrael is quirky and then some. Completely potty trained for months now...is a dream. She's best friends with Zihao and looks for him wherever she goes. She's quickly passing him in height...poor boy...we are going to do our best to make sure he's happy with how God made him, despite having sisters that tower over him! (he's 4y, she is 2y!)
She is so excited for the new baby and kisses my belly all the time in anticipation. :)
Azlan. Oh my Azlan. I work so hard with him and his heart is tender. He said the other day "do you think I will ever have a friend...?A friend that is not my brother or sister or mommy or daddy? Someone that just likes me?" and my heart hurt. Honestly...it will take one special little boy to enter into Azlan's world and love him as a friend. He's the most loveable, fun, funny, witty, caring boy...yes. His speech is seriously a hindrance to this idea though :(
I asked Azlan a few nights ago about God. I said "does He love you?" he said "Oh yes" I said "how do you know?" he thought for a second and said "well because the Bible says He does." I smiled. I said "does He make mistakes?" he quickly said "No, mommy...NEVER". I said "so when he gave you an ear that doesn't work and a cleft lip...that wasn't a mistake...?" he looked and said "no, definitely not. I'm not sure WHY He did it but I know for sure, mommy, it was NOT a mistake. Because He can't do those". My heart was ready to explode. I said "do you have questions for Him about the way He made you?" he said "well, I do. But I think He'll show me." I have a lump in my throat just TYPING this out. Let alone hearing it and seeing the total sincerity on his face. I said "do you love God?" he said "oh yeah. I do. A lot. He made me." I asked him about Heaven. "what do you think Heaven is like?" he smiled and said "it must be amazing! I can't even imagine. But I think I'll fly in heaven!" I said "really?? Fly...? Why?" he said "because I just dream of flying and I think God made me that way...he made me dream of it...because I'll do it someday in Heaven. I really do think that. Do you?" (having read Heaven is for Real...my heart was pounding...) "you know Azlan, I've always wanted to fly too. I don't know if we will fly...but that would be pretty amazing!" :) I kissed him goodnight.
I've never seen faith like I see in our children. It's deep. It's real and they passionately believe it. It's incredibly beautiful.
Last night the "drawer fairy" visited. That sometimes comes with much regret. The drawer fairy shows up unannounced every few weeks with money in her pockets and it goes to the kids with the neatest drawers. Based on personality...it's shocking who wins. Azlan has won every single time. His drawers look like I folded them at all points in time! Last night (we always award 2) it was Zion and Azlan. Zunduka has received full mention for the absolute worst drawers each time. Hmmmm. Tirzah was sad b/c she feels it fair to warn them ahead of time ;) Ahhh no. It's about not knowing when the fairy will indeed show! ;)
We started offering our children 50% interest on money earned in their piggy banks. Wow has this inspired them (yes I know...50% is intense). So for every $10 of earned money (bday money doesn't count) they get $5 from Mommy and Daddy. We have kids that went from spending every cent they earned ... to children with $30, 40 and $50 in their piggy banks! How do they earn money...? Picking weeds...working with daddy...doing laundry for Mommy and other jobs we offer :) Zion wanted to bathe Taizi the other night and I'm telling you that boy was sweating after that job! A well earned 50 cents!
We just received updates on all of Taizi's bloodwork. Several tests were red flagged. We are waiting to hear back from CranioFacial on the interpretations.
Yesterday was our 13th wedding anniversary. Thirteen years. That's crazy. Really. But then again...with ten children...I think 13 years makes perfect sense :) We got a sitter and went out to a fun restaurant. We then went to Target after to buy a housecoat for the hospital...as Tirzah cannot believe I don't have one :) It was a beautiful evening and I can honestly say this man gets better with time. And better looking. ;)
And here I am at 35 weeks!