This photo was taken at the beach in Seaside this weekend. We had a wonderful, warm time together as a family making memories...the best Mother's Day gift I could ask for!
I will start with my favorite time each day with Henry. No matter how tired I may be or how hard the day may have been, our nighttime routine infuses a sense of closeness, security, and love into our relationship...a retaking, at times, of peace to help him lie down and sleep well through the night. It may take us an hour to include everything: bath time, pajamas, brushing teeth, reading books and Bible or devotional, tucking in, then lights out to hold hands for singing and prayer. This is by far some of our most tender moments, when this busy boy relaxes with Mommy's hand and voice. He usually falls asleep during prayer, and though it is dark, I can hear him begin to breathe deeply and slowly let go of my hand as he drifts off. Sometimes he is still awake when I finish and we give our final goodnight wishes, but what joy I (and His Heavenly Father must) feel to know he is at peace enough to rest. The first months with us were full of insecurity, fear, distrust, and more, affecting sleep for all of us. We have come a long way and I am so thankful!
Some of my other Henry-blessings are:
- his English-speaking attempts and learning...tonight he said he was going to do something in particular because he has a very smart brain; he changes verbs to past tense the best he can, like "hided" instead of "hid; sometimes he will take a word or phrase and use it in a totally different context, like "I have freedom!" when partially taking off his seatbelt, or "Mom, you have a bad case of the kisses and hugs!"; and my favorite is when he repeats a word he has heard but doesn't quite get it right, like "venenom" instead of "venom," or "Octimus" instead of "Optimus" (he really likes Optimus Prime and the RescueBots right now!). Henry has an incredible memory and out of the blue will say, "Mom/Dad, what does _______ mean?"-words he heard in a conversation or on t.v., like banished, prime, and engineer. Henry is a deep thinker and very, very verbal. He challenges and amuses me every day!
- his vivid imagination in play...Henry can see or hear about anything and immediately get to role playing it. He acts out and verbalizes everything he knows about the particular subject, using props and anybody who will join him. I never know what he'll ask me to role play next: skunks, termites, rescue (of course), Bolt from the movie, cooking competitions, etc. He also knows exactly how it should be played out and gives attention and direction to every detail. Every day is an adventure with Henry!
- his determination and focus. When Henry sets his mind on something, he is ALL about whatever that is. He doesn't let his physical limitations trouble him too much, he just pretends to do whatever he wants to do or does what he can with all the energy he has. He doesn't give up unless really tired or hurting, and dreams big dreams about what he will do when he grows up. While we talk about the reality of his special needs, he has a lot of passion to do many things, so whatever he can do, he will do with all his heart. I love this about him!
- his snuggles...need I say more?
- his tender heart towards Jesus and God's Word. He amazes people with his knowledge of Bible stories, and he loves Jesus' songs.
- that he loves me. That, in itself, astounds and moves me to tears sometimes...like tonight, after a sweet Mother's Day filled with love and attention from these amazing guys. I am blessed beyond measure, especially to be loved as mother by one who I did not bring into the world.
I am one blessed Mommy!
UPDATE: Henry's genetic testing has confirmed that he has Metatropic Dysplasia, a rare condition in the spine and joints that worsens over time. However, we have a GREAT GOD who hears and answers prayer, so please continue to lift up his health and well-being to the Father, and stay tuned for updates!