20 February, 2014

One month

It's been one month since Ian and Jovie were placed in our arms. Its been a hard month... I feel like we're in the eye of a hurricane right now. Today things are more peaceful than they've been. To be honest we didn't know how to anticipate how things would go. I'm not sure how you can prepare your heart and mind without just going through it... I am living in God's faithfulness.  I know that not not a single one of God's words has failed to happen. I know that He is eternally reliable! -The most freeing thing I've heard is: I am not responsible for fixing these children's hurts... God started this and he is the finisher. 

Difficult?, YES! But we wouldn't do anything differently. We completely LOVE that despite DNA differences we are meant to be the mom and dad to three unbelievably precious children. It's clear we love these children. Adoption is just hard... And so is our upcoming heart surgery. Things are getting easier and we are triumphing over our obstacles. 

Even though we were told ahead of time that our adopted children could reject one or both of us... I had no idea how heart breaking it would be live it: to have my son I'd longed for and dreamed of not let me even hold his hand much less hold him... When I tried to be near him he would pinch, bite, hit or kick me to show me just how he felt about me. I may never forget walking into his room after getting home from China and finally sobbing... because as soon as I walked in I saw all the things I'd stood in the store and gotten emotional about buying for him and how much time I spent in his room and dreamed of having him home. I have to tell you it hurts... But today Ian woke up and was actually smiling and excited to see me. I got my first kiss from him on Tuesday. Everyday we see the walls coming down more and more as he learns us. Jovie was so scared to let me out of her sight in the beginning and I couldn't even take a shower after she was already awake. She has gotting okay without me in the room with her. She doesn't insist I hold her all day long and my sore arms are thankful (: she is still a scared little girl at times... Or just (insists) I hold her but I'm so grateful she is bonded to me. 

At one month with Mae it felt like she'd been with us so much longer. Mae had such an easier time. She was okay with both of us from the start and although she grieved for her a-yas, she trusted us. 

I'm saying all this not because I want anyone to feel sorry for us or "look at us and how great we are"... Please know that isn't at all my heart. I'm saying this because there are others reading this that are getting ready to adopt, thinking about adoption, or know someone else that is. I am writing this because I don't want to show all the happy pictures and leave out the truth. The truth is part of God's redemption story for these babies. 

Can I just share with you a few of these hard truths? 

These babies have not only gone through a huge trauma by being taken from everything and everyone they've ever known. These children suffer because of a past full of loss, because the mother-baby bond was broken and they have learned to turn inward and distrust love.  Ian is older and we see a lot more distrust with him. Ian doesn't look to us when he's hurt... He didn't have anyone to come running to him when he tripped and fell in the past. When the kids are arguing he takes matters into his own hands. An adult hasn't been there to protect him or stand up for him. (This is different with Jovie... If one of them takes her toy away she will start yelling "mommy", because she knows I'll fix it.)

Ian is afraid of silence and being by himself, because he is used to the busy orphanage. He may have even shared his bed with someone else. He is terrified of the vacuum, the hair dryer, the space heater, the blender... The list goes on. If he doesn't trust in us, that we will keep him safe than this unknown new world is very scary to him. He hoards his toys and keeps them in bags so he can carry them around. Most of the time he doesn't even play with any of them... He just keeps them from everyone else. There's been times I've even wondered if he knows how to play with them. 

At dinner he eats everything on his plate very fast and I don't think he would ever stop if we kept feeding him. He's not starving... I think he still doesn't trust that he will get another meal. 

This is just to name some of the difficult things... Things that are challenges but ones God is bigger than. I want my children to read this one day and see all of it... And know God is the only one capable of being our healer. 

Another part of this hurricane is Jovie's heart surgery - we are having her catheter done on Monday. I'm already waking up in the middle of the night worried. I've never been in the hospital with my children before and I've never had a sick baby before either. On Monday they will put Jovie to sleep to do the catheter, ultra sound and other tests. She will have to lay completely still for 8 hours afterward so they told us to expect to stay overnight. How do they keep a 2 year old still for 8 hours? 

We can not thank you enough for your prayers for our family. We have truly have been humbled by the tremendous support we've felt during this time. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

This is just where we are today and it has been tough, but we have come such a long way in such a short time. Every single day we see changes for the better and it will continue... And God keeps showering Cody and I with his provision. And this is true: God is the defender against the enemy in every form, that no weapon formed against us will succeed, that the victory has already been sealed for us, in Jesus name, amen!


  1. Love you, friend! We're home from China now and I'm here to listen over the phone or stand beside you as needed...with a new never still 3 yr old in tow who also eats until he is sick and hoards his toys.

  2. I am one of those mommies waiting to be matched, waiting to go to China, waiting to see out little one and start the roller coaster you are in. I so appreciate your posts, your honesty about the whole experience. Thank you for sharing. When I have trouble falling asleep I look up your blog (like right now). It's true, until you're "in it" living it you can't really comprehend. There is so much hope and anticipation but we live in a stinkin broken world. I will be praying for your little Jovie and all of you as you transition and go through these upcoming medical procedures and surgery. It's so funny how you can feel like you can get to know someone by reading their posts. Blessings, Erin


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