Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dear Gift of Adoption: 2011

We were blessed with 3 different grants through our adoption journey. One was from our church Grace Covenant Fellowship, one from Showhope and another from Gift of Adoption. The video was put together by Gift of Adoption in order for them to raise money for future grants. Our story is the last one. Enjoy!!!

This month is Gotcha month and it is amazing to think that it has almost been a year since Andrew left the doors of the orphanage forever.  Andrew is doing so well.  We have had such tangible moments of seeing his attachment. 

We had a dinner to go to in August, but none of our family was available to watch the kids.  Up until that point we have only allowed family to watch Andrew.  We ended up having a friend watch the kids.  The older 4 knew her, but she was a stranger to Andrew. 

We explained as best we could to him who was watching him and how we'd be home while he was sleeping.  He didn't seem to mind.  We weren't sure how he would react and thought that he might try to get really cute with her, sit in her lap and that there could be a bit of manipulation. 

There had also been a few times in the month before where Andrew would go get something that wasn't his without asking and decide it was his to play with.  So obviously we were concerned that he may try and pull something while we were out.

We arrived home and came in to the living room.  Immediately Andrew came over and sat down right next to her.  Then Jen picked him up to show Andrew something and he clung to her and wouldn't let go.  Our friend said he did totally fine and didn't do either of what we thought.

Just to help explain what is so amazing about this night, Andrew is not a cuddly kid.  He lets us hug him and kiss him, but he never iniates affection.  If we're watching a movie and try to cuddle him he will shrug you off.  A few days before this night Jen was talking about how she really could use some affection from our son iniated by him.  Here it was.  God knew what she needed and he gave it to her. 

The next night Jen went out before bed time, so Aaron put the kids to bed without her and Andrew cried for mommy.  He has never done that before.

Since that week Andrew has been very cuddly.  He will walk up to one of us and just lean on us looking for love.  He asks to be picked up and wants to be in our laps cuddling while being read to.  We're thanking God for all He has done.  It is so wonderful to see your child feel more and more safe and more and more a part of the family.

A few weeks later Jen was putting some old pictures on Shutterfly.  They were from 2009 before Andrew was home or known.  Whenever he sees pictures of the 4 other kids without him he asks where he is.  We always explain to him that he was in Bulgaria and we were trying to find him.  That he was in another mommy's belly and how she couldn't take care of him, but that God brought us to him. 

This time he looked at Jen and said,"I don't want to do that again."  Jen understood what he meant.  Then he said, "I don't want to go there again," meaning the orphanage.  She assured him he would never go there again.  This was another big change.  Usually he sees pictures from Bulgaria and says that he wants to go there, but apparently those days are over.  He now wants to be here with his family.

It is amazing to think about how our biological children go through these same phases, but of course they're suttle and we hardly notice them.  With Andrew we're able to see drastic changes, literally within a day's time, and it fill our hearts with joy.