Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tonka Man

Joshie got a new Tonka bike from Grandma for Christmas, and here he is riding it for the first time. Yes, he is a Colorado Kid and rides even in the snow!


We took our Cub Scout Pack sledding recently, and here are a couple of pictures of Matthew enjoying the afternoon.

Shopping Makes It Real

Today I did a bit more shopping for "T", and I was struck by how, all of a sudden, it feels very real to me that I will have three sons soon. Looking at 3 pairs of PJ's in the shopping cart, each one a different size, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I will be allowed this chance to parent one more child. I think when you realize that you might not have ever had even one child, let alone a second or a third, you tend to have a deeper sense of appreciation for the experience of parenting.

For some reason, I am getting the biggest kick out of buying clothes for him, and I have been urged by Matthew to get matching clothes so I have a couple of outfits that I was lucky enough to find identicle in all 3 sizes. I haven't yet bought much in the way of toys or anything, as I realize we need to keep things low key initially. Of course, we will get a few small things but everything will be really scaled back for the immediate future as we don't want to overstimulate him. We have already prepared Matthew and Joshua that much of what they have will be put away for awhile and slowly brought out one thing at a time. We also discussed the need to keep the TV off limits for quite awhile as well as "T" begins to adjust to his new life and environment. So far, no real arguments from them about it.

This is very different than adopting an infant, I find myself thinking often about what his personality is like, what will be his special gifts in this world, I wonder if he will like his new family or wish he had been adopted by a different one. Adopting an infant you worry more about "baby" things like if you have enough diapers for the trip, what kind of formula they will like most. This time I am worrying about communicating with him, trying to come up with ways to encourage bonding and attachment, and wondering how I will ever understand what gaps there are in his life experiences and how can I begin to fill in those gaps.

When I allow my mind to wander down that road, I feel so inadequate. It is almost mind-boggling what challenges lay ahead, what this little guy will be going through. While I would love nothing more than to walk around in ignorant bliss thinking love will solve everything, I already know that is simply not true. Love can't fix everything, much as we'd all like to think so. I worry that I am not up to the task we are about to undertake. And yet I know God has already determined and made it quite clear that he is ours, so He must know something I don't, and I trust in that.

So we'll continue to prepare for his arrival, to prepare Matt and Joshie for traveling, to prepare our hearts for whatever will come.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Long Distance Friends

You know, adoption can lead you down the most interesting paths, and thanks to the internet you can meet some incredible people. Sometimes you don't have to be physically close to someone to still have a close and meaningful relationship. It does take effort on both sides, but it can work if it means enough. We have some dear friends who live in another state, who even in spite of the distance have made a big difference in our lives. Our families have shared a lot together, supported one another in the ways we can, and been an encouragement through some good times and some bad times together. It is one of the nicest relationships I have ever had, because there is no stress, and we just do what we can do when we can do it, with the understanding that sometimes one has more to offer than the other, depending on life's circumstances at the moment.

The funny thing is, that we have only been around each other twice in person, yet we have managed to sustain a real friendship for over 6 years now. You would think that would be impossible or that it would somehow be less valid, but it is not. Although we are not up to date on all the little minutia of our daily lives, we somehow still feel connected as we share our greater tragedies and triumphs. When something big happens, we want to share it, get advice, and encourage one another. When the tough times come, we have each at various times found ourselves checking airline rates to see if it was possible to actually be present to offer practical help.

On Valentine's Day we received a special little gift from our friends, it was a big surprise and was so touching. It was their way of letting us know they really cared and wanted to be involved in the ways that they could. Our new little guy has an awesome adopted Uncle and Auntie who are thinking of him and wishing our family a safe journey. No doubt they will one day meet in person.

I am so thankful for this special friendship, and for the effort it has taken to keep it alive. What started as simply having a connection due to our children has long since ceased to be only about that. It has proven to me that friendships come in all shapes and sizes, if you just look for them and are willing to show you care. I will not post their names here, to preserve their privacy, but they know who they are, and that we love all of them very much.

Through this adoption journey I have met others who will no doubt be close to our hearts as time goes on, who have offered very real help with no desire for anything in return. Our immediate family grows with adoption, but so does our extended family, and it is with gratitude that we say thanks for all you have done.

Hearts connecting, people's what it's all about.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Waiting...and waiting...

Well, it has been a long time since I have posted! We are currently in waiting mode, soon we should be hearing that we have a court date, then assuming we are approved we then have a 30 day waiting period before we can travel. The past few weeks have been spent with all of us sick, fighting a nasty bronchial infection, and we are glad we have had it now rather than later!

We have begun to prepare in small ways, buying "T"'s first new clothing as we try to guess at the size, and some travel games to entertain us on the long flights. Other than that, we are just working and waiting. Soon we should have much more to post...or at least I will be feeling well enough to want to rattle off more on the blog!