Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One of those days...

You know it is one of those days when you start a post on Tuesday and don't get it done till Thursday! Tuesday was a crazy day with a doctor's appointment added unexpectedly, having no heat in the house, and a lawyer from the Bucks County Court house calling many times to help us figure out this registering the adoption thing. We are attempting to register Jonathan's adoption so that he can get a US Birth Certificate. Thankfully, we had Mom-mom here to help out with life! What a blessing she is.

So now I ask that you read the following post as if it were Tuesday!
We have been having quite a few of those days lately, but I have been told by other “experts” aka adoptive moms that the adjustment phase of adding a child to your family through adoption can take months if not years! I really feel like Jonathan is doing really well. The adjustment of Ben is taking a little longer, but we are starting to see some improvements. We knew Ben would have some “issues” with no longer being the youngest, but I think those issues went deeper then we were emotionally and physically prepared to deal with. With consistent love and discipline, I believe we are making improvements.

The one place we have not met success yet is church. I have been going into Jonathan’s classroom with him for over a month now. Two weeks ago, we really felt like he was ready for me to leave him, but within 60 seconds of me leaving he started crying. I went back in and stayed with him the remainder of the time in the class. This past Sunday as soon as we went into the classroom he started crying and would not let go of my neck. We have concluded that this is going to be a longer process then we had thought it might be. To us it feels like Jonathan has been with us forever, but we don’t know what is going on in his brain. It was only 2.5 months ago that he was taken to the orphanage by his foster mom and left there. In a room with other kids. Is he remembering that moment when his life changed forever? Afraid if I leave him in a room full of children (kinda like the orphanage setting) that I won’t come back either. I wish I could get into his head and hear his thoughts. So for now we won’t be leaving him alone in his church class.

Today, we went back to our awesome pediatrician. Since we arrived home Jonathan has had breathing issues. In the beginning he was snoring horribly. We found a medicine that cleared up that cold, but within a week he was wheezing again. It is only really bad at bedtime. So back to the doctor today we went and we are going to try another inhaler to see if that helps and we are also in the next few months going to try and determine if it is just a virus he can’t get rid of or if he has asthma. We are realizing how important medical histories are and wishing we had something to go on. Thankfully, I trust our pediatrician and he is willing to help us figure this out.

Today, we received a surprise email. When we met the Director of the Orphanage in China who brought Jonathan to meet us, she gave us her email address and asked if we would email her and send pictures. Shortly after getting home, I emailed her and sent a few pictures. We heard nothing from her till today. Today she emailed us and told us the names of Jonathan’s foster mother and father. Not a whole lot more to her email except a request for an update on how Jonathan is doing. Her English is extremely limited so I am not sure what form this email relationship will take. I believe that she loves the children under her care and is curious to how they are adjusting to their new lives. We will be emailing her back and also saving this email for Jonathan and who knows if we visit China some day maybe we can attempt to find his foster mother and father.

It is now Thursday and I am attempting to post this blog before another day passes. Amanda and Tyler are doing school work, Jordan is practicing the piano, Ben is piling up toys on his little desk in the hope of keeping them away from Jonathan, and Jonathan is pushing his dump truck through the house filled with his most precious treasures. One thing is for sure- life is never dull and God is always Good!

2 weeks ago for Tyler's Birthday we took a school trip to the NJ Aquarium. These pictures are from that day. This was probably our first big outing of just me and the kids. Thankfully, I had another homeschooling mom there to help me not lose anyone. Everyone did great and Amanda and Tyler are such awesome helpers at keeping track of Ben and Jonathan.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We are blessed

No, he doesn't hoard food, not sure why he is eating under the table.

I went upstairs to fold laundry and came down to the 2 of them helping themselves to cereal. Apparently, I wasn't quick enough at fixing lunch.

Jordan actually took this picture.

During school time, Jonathan will often sit at the table with the other kids and listen to music.

Christmas is over. The decorations are down. We finally can move on with life and attempt to get into a routine. We arrived home one week before Thanksgiving and since then it has been a roller coaster ride of surviving the holidays. I am happy to report that we survived! As much as I enjoy Christmas it is really nice to be back to the daily routine that we call life. Thankfully, we are done with doctor appointments for a while. Jonathan is done with physical therapy after only 2 sessions. This last session the physical therapist really didn't know what to do with him as he is really quite competent in using his crutches. Our goal for the next 6 months is to continue having him use his crutches and we also need to continue expanding his English vocabulary. He is doing very well in his language development and I know it will continue to improve with time.

As I look back over the last 2 months I recognize that we are blessed.
We are blessed that Jonathan has transitioned into our family so well.
We are blessed that he is sleeping through the night.
We are blessed that he and Ben are beginning to become friends.
We are blessed that we live so close to Shriners hospital and that they are willing to work with our family.
We are blessed that he has such a pleasant personality and is a joy to be around.
We are blessed that he has a contagious laugh.
We are blessed that for the most part he is such an obedient little guy for a 3 year old.
The list could go on and on. When we were waiting to travel to China, it was difficult not to dwell on all the things that could go wrong. God has chosen to take all of our "what ifs" and change them into blessings. We are so thankful that God has allowed us to be the parents to Jonathan Futing. The days are still long and some are more difficult then others. Life with 5 children is never boring, but I know we are blessed. We are so thankful that we took the risk and stepped out in faith - we have been so blessed because of it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's All Good

Today we spent the better part of the day at Shriner's Hospital. Overall, we were quite impressed with the staff and our overall visit. Jonathan decided he really liked Shriner's as it seemed like he got a new toy in every department we visited. Today's visit confirmed that his spine is straight and that he has adapted amazingly well to only having one leg. The staff were all surprised and pleased with how well he gets around. It was decided that he will not be getting a prosthetic just yet. This has a lot to do with his age and that, at this point, a prosthetic would be purely cosmetic. His goal for now is to learn to use his crutches proficiently. We are not abandoning the idea of a prosthetic for him, we're just putting the idea on hold for a bit. We will be returning to Shriner's in about 6 months to re-evaluate. We had a hunch the outcome of today's visit might go something like this, but it is nice to have some medical specialists confirm your parent's intuition! Jeremy and I are both confident that Shriner's will provide Jonathan with excellent care and recommendations in the coming years.

I started this post a while ago and then got distracted. During that time, it was time for Jonathan to go to bed. Tyler asked if he could read Jonathan a book. One book turned into many books. I sat nearby listening as Tyler read to Jonathan. Moments like these make the hard days more bearable. My little boy is growing up into a mature older brother. It is hard to believe he will be 9 years old one week from tomorrow. It seems like just yesterday that I was rocking and reading the same books to him in the same rocking chair.