After three long days away from our sweet boys,
we were greeted by this sweet smile:
and this bouncy little boy:
(Gideon, by the way, is always way too busy to stop and pose for a picture, so when you see pictures of him caught in mid-action like this, or better yet, a blur racing past the front of the camera lens, just know that there is a lot of happy energy fueling that blur! This boy has been waiting his whole life to play and explore and run!
And speaking of play, here was our breakthrough moment of the day:
Micah seems to be a boy who is very certain and dignified in expressing his wishes. When I offer him a sippy cup, he pushes it gently away. No thank you. When I tried to pick him up the first couple of days, he slid off my lap, carefully and calmly. No thank you. When I try to convince him to hold a toy and play with it, he generally pushes it away, ever so gently. No thank you. He does not want trucks or trains or airplanes. He does not want to try to color. No stacking toys. No toys inside of containers. No blocks. At first, he did not want to have ANY toys near him. He just wanted to hold our hands, stare into our eyes, and smile at us. Tickles were good. Toys, no thank you. This is going to be a long learning process for him, to be sure. So far, we have gotten him somewhat interested in playing catch with a ball and playing with a big punching-ball-type balloon. Well, today I pulled out this plastic tube thingy (from the Dollar Tree) and low and behold, he likes it! He thinks it is funny to bop himself on the head with it. (In case you are wondering, his hydrocephalus does not seem to cause him any pain, and he definitely doesn't mind bumping toys against his forehead like this.) This is not exactly meaningful play, and it is not ideal, but believe me, it is better than seeing him refuse to even touch the toys!
And then he discovered that he could that he could do this with his finger! Hey, it was a breakthrough. I'm excited for him!
Gideon, meanwhile, just can't get enough of the toys. He stops occasionally to eat a snack or cuddle, but usually he is busy stacking blocks, driving trains, or coloring during our far-too-short visits:
Gideon has come so far in the last year. From what I knew of him and his situation a year ago, all I can say is that he has come so far.
I am so grateful to the sweet nanny who has taken the time to become somebody special to both of our boys. I hear her gentle tone of voice, even if I cannot understand everything she says to them, and I see them smile up at her with trusting eyes. This was such a HUGE answer to prayer! I have been praying for the Lord to put somebody special into their lives until I could get there, and I am still somehow shocked to see that He really has! God has never forgotten these boys, not for a moment, and I am so grateful to actually be here, and to see for myself that He has been with them.
I am grateful to the director of this Children's Home for caring about these little guys, for making sure that their needs have been met, and for arranging for Gideon to have the surgery on his legs which has enabled him to walk. I am grateful that she is allowing us to come inside the facility and to adopt these boys. I am grateful that they ended up in this particular facility. The facility is clean and bright, decorated with children's photographs and artwork. The director does so much with such very limited resources. I know she would like to provide the children in her charge with better educational and therapy opportunities, but her budget is very small and her caseload is very large. However, she truly cares about the children, and that makes a world of difference.
Exactly a year ago, these two tiny, confused, lonely little boys were taken out of the orphanage. After spending their entire lives there, they were packed up together and sent off in a car to go live someplace different. They were "too old" to be there anymore. Did they look at each other as the car bumped down the road? Did they reach out for each other's hands? Did they enjoy the thrill of finally being outside of the orphanage, for probably one of the only times in their lives? Did anybody take the time to explain to them what was happening? Were they scared? Nervous? Terrified? I don't know. I wasn't there. I didn't even know about them then. They could have been transferred to just about any institution in the country. Wherever there was a bed available . . . The Lord was with them. He was watching over them. And I am so grateful that my boys ended up here a year ago, when their transfer date came. I believe it was the best thing that could have happened to them.
God has kept them safe until we could get to them.
My funny, sunny little boys!