Wednesday, May 16, 2012

6 Months Home...Holy Moly.

Lately, Carter has come in to the 'terrible twos' stage.  This week, we celebrate 6 months home - and the honeymoon is officially over.  Throughout the day, I catch myself thinking "He's crying...again - for the 20th time today...".  His fits are small compared to some, I know.  But it's a fit, nonetheless.  He probably is stuck somewhere that he doesn't belong, or Moses is in his way and won't move, or he wants to go outside...again.

I'm not complaining.  I love that sometimes, this little boy needs me.

Most days, he's busy as a bee - darting here, moving this over there...happy going about his business, alone.

But some days, he needs me.

+Photos taken at our new church property, on tree-planting day+
So I stop what I'm doing, and I go to where he is.  I pick him up, and he hugs around my neck.  He wraps his little chubby legs around my waist.  And if I'm lucky, he rubs my back.

What a difference 6 months makes.

He knows how to be held.  It seems crazy, I know, that a 3 year old should have to 'learn' how to be held.  But when we first met him, Carter didn't know what to do with his stiff legs when we picked him up.  He didn't know where to put his arms.  It was all so new.

In three years of living in an orphanage, he was never held.  Moved from this play pen to that chair - but never held.

When we picked him up in the orphanage and in those first weeks home - his legs would be stiff and stick straight down.  His arms would be tight to his side.  We had to teach him how to mold his legs around our bodies - we had to help him learn how to be held.

And today, he knows just what to do when his mama comes to scoop him up.  He hugs with his whole body - legs tight around my waist, arms snug around my neck, and head tucked into my shoulder.

Nothing better than picking this boy up, and letting his body mold to mine.  It's what a baby and mama should do, naturally.  But for us, it took work.  And it reminds me how much orphanage slime this boy had on him.  He was in an excellent orphanage - but it's no substitute for a family.

As the orphanage slime gets washed away, I'm amazed that a little boy full of life and energy is still under there.  He was existing all along, just waiting for someone to come wash him up.  He didn't fade away, he was just covered up.

Only God, really.


As we celebrate 6 months home, a little girl in California is celebrating her first day home.  Sometime in late October, we met this little lady in Carter's orphanage.  Her family asked if we would try to deliver a blanket to her and maybe get a photo or two.  After begging our facilitator to talk to the orphanage director, and arguing with the orphanage director after he said 'no', we asked one last time.  Miraculously, it worked.

That day, I had the extreme privilege of holding this blessed girl in my arms.  I told her that her mama was coming soon.  That she had a family that loved her already.  That soon, she wouldn't go to bed without a thousand hugs and kisses.  I kissed her head and rubbed her chubby cheeks.  It brought such joy to my heart to know - for sure - that this girl had a family coming.

Today, sweet Olivia is home with her family.  Home.  Right where she is supposed to be.  Surrounded by love.  Home.  Forever & ever, home.

One Thing I Know For Sure: God sets the lonely in families....blessed to watch it happen before my very eyes!
+As a side note (not because it's not important, but because it's late and this tired mama is ready for bed!) - this little boy has a family.  Praise GOD!  You can visit their blog here - go, and share some love!


  1. Carter throwing fits??? Really? The little boy that does NOT make a single peep for an hour and half in church??? Sorry, not buyin' it! You'll have to prove it to me sometime. LOL

  2. Ashley, A mutual friend of ours told me about your blog. We are adopting from the same country that you did. I would love if you emailed me so we could chat. I have LOTS of questions.

  3. Happy 6 months home. Ahh you go to church with Jill and Pat? Oh we are SO jealous (we met them in U and just love them).
    Yep, we saw those kinds of behaviors here with Dariya too. Hoping he passes this stage quickly!

  4. I am reminded how much I love your posts and writing. Can totally relate to all of this. Last night I was rocking Micah to sleep and I was just thinking exactly about how we had to teach him to cuddle and be held. Now he can't get enough! :) He wakes up and runs to us for morning kisses, grabs his blankie, and cuddles on the couch for cartoons. Ah, love that boy! Love our bonding... it took at least 6 months for him to feel "comfortable" with our routines. I can't believe we were meeting him almost exactly one year ago!

  5. Hello,
    I am Keegan's Dad. I am so thankful to people like you and helping me to bring home my son. I love the post about when you went "overboard" LOL...I keep thinking those same thoughts and eventually I will put them in a nice facebook message. :) Just to let you know, we have been doing about 7 months of work in the past few weeks...just pray for strength and AGAIN I cannot thank you enough for advocating for our little man. I cannot wait to hold him - I have been crying all day about my son...we had some signups this morning for a fundraiser and OUR GOD is providing...just wanted to give you a straight update and to thank you in "person". Oh - side note - I love the pic with the white stuff on his face and he was smiling! LOVE all the pics... :) Be Blessed!!


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