Monday, August 6, 2012

No Training Wheels

So I looked out the kitchen window and there was Josiah, riding his bike without training wheels.  Um, hello?  When did this happen?!?  Derek said, "Oh, he asked me to take them off, so I did."  And off he went.  What a big boy!

"Mom, look at Josiah go!"
Gideon is always watching the big kids and trying to copy them

big boy!

Gideon doesn't like the bigger trike yet.  He prefers to scoot around on this.

Gideon loves trying to keep up with the big kids.  He is always working so hard to make up for lost time.  I just love how resilient and cheerful he is.  It seems like, from the first day that he arrived here, he barely questioned his place in this family.  He just fit right in, like he had been waiting his whole life to get started with living.  I have cared for a lot of kids over the years as a foster parent, and I've seen a lot of other reactions from kids who suddenly find themselves dumped into a whole new world.  I've seen raging and fighting, regression and aggression, hiding and withdrawing, I've seen absolute refusal to even try to make the new life work . . . and I've understood every one of those reactions.  It's a huge thing to deal with.  

And I was expecting some or all of those reactions from my newest sons.  I can't even begin to understand how completely earth-shattering and shocking it must have been to have left a laying down room in a mental institution and to be swept into a busy American household with boisterous siblings, piles of toys and books, freedom to move around, freedom to get into stuff, freedom to eat however much of whatever they want all day long, strange food, strange language, strange expectations, strange rules, multiple therapy and medical appointments each week, all the inside jokes, traditions, and habits of a completely foreign group of people, and all those mommy and daddy hugs and cuddles all day long.  

And yet here is Gideon, cheerfully bopping his way through the days, fitting in like he has been here for ages, completely at peace with this sudden turn of events in his life.  Not that he does not have his moments where he feels overwhelmed and completely freaks out, because he still does.  But aside from those moments, he is doing so amazingly well.  I am just saying that I truly admire his courage, his strength, and his joyful attitude toward life.  I am not sure exactly what I was picturing when I imagined actually having these boys home, but I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that the reality is far brighter and better than everything I had ever imagined.

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