|S'mores were a big hit! We just used the gas grill to heat the marshmallows.|
|Joshua ate about six!|
|We made new friends at the zoo!|
|I love the views from the zoo. You can see the whole city below.|
|Caleb was amazed when this birdie landed right on his shoulder.|
|And then, Josiah found a friend of his own!|
Being a family of eight has been nothing short of miraculous. Most of the miracles have occurred in the routine of daily life. They would be easy to miss if we weren't looking. But we are looking...trying to be aware of how the Lord is at work in our lives and the lives of these little ones. And we are amazed. Before the boys came home, one of our very specific prayers was that they would be prepared to have a family. God answered that prayer and worked in their hearts so that they were ready to love us. From the first day, they have been able to show affection and want hugs from us. There is still work to be done in this area, of course. Attachment is a long process. But we are so thankful for the progress we've made.
We prayed that they would be able to transition from their life in China to life here. We asked God to give them comfort. They have grieved at times, but for the most part, they seem genuinely happy and glad to be here. Each new day is an adventure for them. I am trying to give them as many sensory rich experiences as possible. Bubbles, the park, the zoo, the rice tub, painting, play dough, water in the sink, window markers, drawing, sandpaper letters, blocks, shaving cream...we do it all. (And some TV, too, when a quiet break is needed).
We continue to pray for their understanding of the Gospel. It is cute to hear them pray. Joshua has memorized The Lord's Prayer and he likes to say it with us when we pray it together at church. It blesses our hearts to hear him even though the meaning of many of the words are still out of his reach. The boys are good about reminding us to pray before bed and before meals.
There are certainly hard days. Times when the road ahead seems long and it is all I can do to focus on the day ahead. My brain gets tired of trying to decipher their Chinglish and I can only imagine how difficult it still is for them to understand all of the particulars not only of our language, but of our culture. There are mornings when I dread the arrival of all of the little feet coming from their bedrooms ready to start the day (with lots of needs and demands from the moment their feet hit the floor). But there are also the smiles, hugs, giggles, and the joy of belonging. Of being safe and well fed, loved and disciplined...of being HOME and part of a family.
We are so thankful for the love and support of our families and our church family. They have embraced the boys (despite their quirks) with love and acceptance. This extended family has already enriched the boy's lives so much.
Ordinary miracles every day.