Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Week

We have had quite a first week with all our family together. Henry has done so well, even with the adjustments and challenges for all of us. The first few days Henry was home, there was lots of exploring and last preparations for Christmas. The boys played with him so much that by the third day, they were going to their rooms for some down time. Henry wasn't sure what to think about that but has been learning that the rest of us all need brief periods of rest and that it's okay. We'll always make sure he is taken care of and be back to normal as soon as possible. He also is learning that everyone needs love and attention (not just Henry) like when I hug the boys or Daddy, and that everyone wants time with him, not just Mommy. We talk about what it means to be a "family," that we all love and hug and talk and take care of each other. We know it's a process but want to establish some important realities of our home early on to help him through his fears and insecurities. The fact that he lets Daddy stay in and play during his bathtime before I come in and wash him is huge progress, as well as, that he is seeking out both brothers and not just one. It is wonderful to see his comfort level growing, not just in our home, but with each one of us. 

 Reading with Daddy at bedtime

Before I get to Christmas, I just wanted to share some things Henry is really enjoying...bathtime, mealtime, playing-with-brothers time, riding in the car, seeing Christmas lights and decorations, Dora the Explorer, asking what everything is, sitting in the desk chair watching me cook meals, riding on his airplane, listening to music, and playing with his tractor. Here's a photo of some silliness around here:

We had a really nice time driving around and looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. It was the first Eve in many years we didn't attend a Christmas Eve service but we felt it would be too much for all of us. Henry had no idea what was coming Christmas day, as much as we talked about how much fun it would be, so to see his surprise and excitement at waking to a full stocking and time for opening his Christmas gifts after reading the Christmas story was such a blessing to say the least. We had a great time opening gifts, then eating breakfast, resting and playing, and eating Christmas dinner together. Here are a just a few highlights:




Well, Thursday evening, we were ready to get out of the house so three of us headed to Zoolights and Henry loved them. He is used to large crowds so that didn't bother him...it is when everyone is looking and talking at him that he gets shy/nervous and shuts down. So, the zoolight outing went great. Friday, it was unanimous with the boys that a swimming outing would be fun, so we headed to the local YMCA. Henry was nervous and excited, letting me slowly get him deeper and deeper so that he finally got comfortable. He wants to go back! It was really good bonding time for he and I as I held him close and he learned to trust me. I loved it!


Our family lighting the Christ Candle in worship today
We took the weekend easy as I needed to have everything ready for church this morning. We have been hoping for some sunshine this weekend for a walk outside but that hasn't happened yet. We were unsure how Henry would do during church this morning with both his parents leading and up and down...he did great! We had already given him a tour of the building and I had been prepping him on what would go on. He pretty much went along with everything, getting restless toward the end, and then almost crying when I went up to lead the closing song. He held it together though with his big brother holding him, and our first service with Henry was over. Praise the Lord! He really enjoyed it as far as we can tell; apparently he was checking everyone out during the service but was a bit shy before and after. He's taking everything in and will be socializing before we know it! One of the funny things he said when we first sat down was, "Jesus no coming!" That meant, "He's not here!" He has been noticing photos of baby Jesus wherever we go and apparently thought He would be there in person at church. Well, Jesus was, just not visible to our eyes...hard to explain to a 4 year old that this special Someone lives in our hearts! We love Henry's open heart to baby Jesus, the Bible, to worship music, and to prayer. God has a beautiful plan for him!

Lastly, Henry and our dog have been quite a pair the past days...Ollie seems to have come home from the kennel depressed; we figure it is because we were gone for so long and that he came home to a new small addition. He hasn't been eating or acting the same at all, and the vet says he is healthy, but each day we do see some improvement. Henry has not been sure what to think about him...giving him the commands we say and noticing everything he does and telling us about it. He gets nervous when Ollie gets near his face but I saw him give Ollie a hug a day or two ago, and is petting him more now, so progress is made there. On Ollie's end, I found him in bed with Henry last night and after moving him out, thought that was a good sign as well:).

We will be going through this newborn attachment and adjustment phase for awhile. I, personally, am trying to rest when I can as Henry gets me up a few times each night, sometimes not letting me go to sleep until late. We're still working on a bedtime routine and sound sleep will come with time...I still wonder how much we're still on "China time." I also am finding that time for household duties is less so am sneaking in what I can when Henry is playing with the boys. The bills, dishes, laundry, floors, etc. can only go without attending for so long! Not to mention my church responsibilities...the guys are helping me a lot more, of course, but we're still getting a schedule and plan of action in place. It will come!
I love this photo of his first night asleep in his bed! 

That pretty much sums up our first week with Henry...it was a big one! How special to have this Christmas gift with us to celebrate the greatest gift of all. We are looking forward to all that 2014 will hold with our wonderful family...challenges, adjustments, adventures, and all. God is so good and we are so blessed. Thank you for sharing in this journey with us and for your prayers. They have carried us through some very trying and weary moments, and we feel them!!!  God bless you richly with every spiritual blessing in Christ in this new year.  


 




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