Thursday, February 6, 2014

A New Normal

Things are quiet and pretty settled into a new normal in the Brown household. Henry obviously loves his family very much and loves to say "my Daddy," "my family," etc., as well as, make up "I love my family" songs. He has also made up an "I love airplanes, hot air balloons, rockets..." song. He's very entertaining and adorable. His new interests include astronauts and rockets, playing hide-and-seek, and shopping. Oh yes, and he just LOVES playing with his brothers.
We had a low-key Chinese New Year...we made paper lanterns which have decorated both home and church so nicely. We were going to get family photos taken and then eat Chinese dumplings out, but our middle son had a migraine and just wasn't up for the trip. So, three of us ate Chinese food right here in town and brought some food back to the other two. We are getting family photos this Friday though, so are excited about that. 

After worship on Sunday, the church family had an adoption celebration potluck with great food and a sweet cake that said, "Every good and perfect gift is from above," from James 1:17. Looks like Henry and I will be given an adoption shower in March. That should be fun too!
Every week, we head to the library to exchange Henry's stack of books for another. He also loves to attend story time on Friday mornings, which always ends in a craft. Besides the library for more books, we have laid low at home today. We were both tired from a quick (long) trip to Seattle yesterday to turn in Henry's stool samples, and I'm a little under the weather.I am also trying to get Henry's different medical appts. squared away. Unfortunately, it looks like we'll be back and forth to Seattle and Portland for now, both 2 to 2 1/2 hour trips one way. I do have some big praises though...we have the funds to pay off our last adoption trip expenses, as well as, cover some of these initial medical costs. We are still awaiting Henry's citizenship papers so we can apply for his SS number and then get medical coverage. In the meantime, it is important that he gets his different exams going to make sure nothing is in critical need of attention. He has been complaining of eye pain so is on the waiting list at Seattle Children's Hospital for an eye exam. We should also be talking again with Shriner's tomorrow to finalize Henry's MRI appointment date to see how his spine is forming and affecting his neck. Please keep all these things in prayer...thank you!

Even though we are slowly getting to a new family normal, the adjustments are still there for everyone. The guys have less of Mom's attention and energy as I give most to Henry and to just keeping up the house and meals. Long medical trips out can totally take my time and energy for a couple days as well. I think I may always wonder how I'm balancing everything and if everyone is getting the attention and care they need, and very grateful to know that HE is enough. I am trying to be patient, especially with myself, as I seem to be experiencing the most adjustment challenges. Returning to parenting the toddler/preschool age is a huge change, not to mention the special needs and cultural differences. All the lifting and lowering can throw my body out of alignment pretty good, and being on call 24/7 is draining for someone who needs a good bit of sleep. BUT, God's strength and grace are sufficient each day and I am doing much better than I thought I would. It is important that I remember to be filled up through time with the Lord so that I have what is needed to pour into those around me. I also have to keep the schedule pretty slow when feeling extra stretched and stressed. Some days are better than others, but I am thankful for new mornings with new mercies.

I want to share such a beautiful thing we are witnessing right now- Henry's incredibly tender heart towards the Lord. As we holds hands and bow to thank God for our dinner, he wants to repeat line by line whoever is praying. And today as I was drifting off to sleep with him at naptime in our bed, he began saying his own prayer, "Thank you God for my family, for loving me, for...," all in his sweet, broken English from a sincere heart. He loves praying, reading his Bible, singing Jesus-songs, going to church, helping however he can, and asking all he can about things. Did this start with us? Oh no. I believe he has been loved and touched by the gracious hand of God, saved and set apart since birth for God's great purpose and glory. I know he was prayed over time and again at New Day Foster Home, and we are getting to see the beautiful fruit of those prayers. As much as Henry loves to think deeply about things, we teasingly, but perhaps not incorrectly, say he may become a theologian. I will say again...big things can come in small packages! 

Most of all, I feel so blessed and so thankful for the family God has given me. To be loved and needed by them is a great gift that I do not want to take for granted. To be loved, forgiven, valued, and believed in by my Father in heaven is also a gift that I do not want to receive in vain. We are all in the pruning process and I feel especially so at this time in  my life as God works to more thoroughly produce the fruit of the Spirit in me: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). This is true for all of us I am quite sure.

Anyway, thank you everyone for prayers and words of encouragement. I thank God for you often. The special needs adoption journey is like no other and we are just getting started. What a beautiful, adventurous, and sometimes messy, journey to God's heart!!! Blessings!


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