Friday, December 14, 2007

The Ups, Downs and Photos of our first week

The ups and downs of the first week have definitely been varied! Two days ago I was telling people this was basically a piece of cake. This morning, I was crying and thinking "I just can't do this". I had to remind myself of one of my favorite truths. . ."my heart is not the boss of me". That is a little catch phrase that my friend, Tina, and I made up to remind ourselves of Jer. 17:9 "the heart is deceitful above all things. . .". I know that my emotions are NOT indicators of truth, which is good to remember b/c when I am tired I get emotional and easily overwhelmed.

Davis has been doing well. . .most of the time. He seems to be really connecting to me now. He runs to me for hugs and clings to me when frightened or in public. He still runs to Greg and shouts "yeah" with the other kids when he comes home from work. He is super easy out around town and just sits in the cart of whatever store we are in gazing in awe at all of the stuff! He loves to play with the other kiddos and can throw and kick a ball like no other. His smile lights up an entire room and is the focus of attention for basically everyone who enters our home. He seems to know that he's basically the center of attention in almost any circle we travel in right now! He is (and we are) so blessed to have such a large community that has been waiting for him.

On the other hand. . .he seems to be struggling with some of grief along with still some attachment issues. He is in Greg's arms right now, doing some "holding time" while kicking, screaming and pinching (he tried to bite Greg too). It seems we've had to do this a number of times over the past couple of days. Also, when something little happens (i.e. he doesn't get the toy he wants) he freaks out way more than is normal for a 2 year old. I have heard from others that this is a sign of grief. They freak out about something little and it just snowballs into a 20 min. crying and screaming jag. This age is really hard, to tell you the truth. He is old enough to certainly understand that he has lost everything he has ever known and yet not old enough to verbalize it. It has to be so frustrating for him. He also wakes up in the middle of the night freaking out for us. He yells and panics if he can't see us for a moment and spends the rest of the night laying on top of me. Literally, he has to spread his whole body across mine and must be touching me at all times or he gets very scared. I am exhausted. He also spent this whole morning following me around needing to be held. That just doesn't work all the time b/c I had to get ready and help the other kids get ready too. Hence, my crying on the way to small group and desperate call to Jaci who just brought her 3 year old little girl home from China not too long ago. We keep reminding ourselves of how hard this is for him. I can't even begin to imagine what he has gone through. He was only brought to the orphanage in April or May of this year. This means in the past year, he has lost his mama, grown close to his orphanage friends and nannies and lost them too, all to come here with people he doesn't know to a country that is completely foreign to him. . .that is seemingly too much for a 2 year old, not to mention what he may have gone through before ever arriving at the orphanage. And, he fights us. He has no clue that we are here to stay. How could he? He has no clue that we have to offer is security, love, food, (you know, a home, hope and future!). And so he fights. . .and we pursue.

Again, I am reminded and oh so thankful for my Jesus. I fight and he pursues. I push away what He has to offer and he keeps pursuing me. He is absolutely determined to PROVE His love for me (as if dying on the cross wasn't enough) every day. And so, I pray for the endurance the perseverance and the strength to prove my love, no to prove my Jesus' love to this little boy every day over and over again. And, to remember. To let this experience change me. To be sensitive to the Lord. I don't want His heart to break like mine does with Davis. I want to respond to His calling, to His offers of home, hope and future. To be willing to give up my comfortable for his best. I don't want to "get through" these days, but to learn exactly what it is that my Jesus has intended for me.

Here are some pictures to remind me of exactly why we are doing this. These first few are of Greg and Davis playing with a roll. It was actually a big deal b/c he was actually laughing when Greg would pretend to take his food. In the beginning, he would freak out if anyone even touched his food, so this was big for him!
And, MY THREE KIDS!!! The first pic I have gotten of all 3 of them together!
This was Davis' first park trip. We went to the park with Lisa E. and Sophie yesterday. Davis thought the swings were AMAZING! and he liked the slide too! (the little girl is Sophie)


Lindsey said...

our lord is pleased with you. you and greg are in the thick of that which He has called you to, so be strong. take courage. His purposes are great, and great will be your reward (and davis').

prayers and hugs.

Lindsey said...

ps. davis is sooo cute!! i love to see his smile :-)

Laura said...

I can't wait to be with you guys in a week.

Love you

Christina said...

Just remember to slow down girl!!
You know I love you...but try to take it more easy...stay home, take a few days of just being "mommy", let everyone know you're not ignoring them, just needing to have some attachment time for Davis. It's really hard in the beginning, but you will get through, and have a wonderfully bonded little guy!! Call if you need anything!!Love ya, Christina

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

I can't imagine how difficult this has all been. I love ya and will continue to pray for you. I can't wait to hear how Davis liked Disney. Talk about overwhelmed with "stuff".

Anonymous said...

I loved seeing the pictures-you have a beautiful family!
I am praying for you-what a great phrase about your heart! You can do all things through Jesus-He called you to this and He will carry you through!
Julie L.

Missy said...

Hey Sweetie, Didn't mean to leave you hanging about the parenting stuff we were talking about. I just don't know if I have any answers. It is such a different situation than a newborn bio child. Also, the grief we experienced with Levi as an infant is different than the grief of a 2 year old. I just don't want to tell you anything wrong. I'm still praying for you to know the best way to handle these things. It's so hard to think clearly when you are so exhausted. I know it's easier said than done, but take naps, let the laundry go,order carryout and keep Christmas simple.
You have my #, call me anytime you just need a little empathy. Love, Missy

Anonymous said...

Sweet sister - you are truly a good and faithful servant...I am blessed by your heart, your realness and your love - for you little one and for the God that gave him to you. God cares more about the spiritual life of you and Davis (and everyone else involved) than anything else in the situation. There is no doubt in my mind that he will use this in HUGE ways in both of your lives. How amazing to think that you are teaching Davis who God is even as you hold him tight while he screams. His heart is seeing not only that he can trust you - but that he can trust God.
Love you - miss you...Renae

Christina B. said...

I forgot about that! Thanks for the reminder. I especially needed it this week leading up to Christmas. My heart is not the boss of me! Love and miss you, Christina

Mitch said...

hi guys this is the Goff's. Davis is so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!