Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Children are like a box of chocolates....

Today we took Charlie for another speech evaluation, this time through the school system. It was a complete battery of tests, also testing for developmental delays as well. Turns out, my son is a genius. Yup. I knew it. Now it's just officially on paper. It always surprises me the amount of knowledge tucked away in that little brain. When a question is asked that I think is out of his league, I am always pleasantly surprised. 
Thank goodness he did qualify for speech services, so now we can have FREE LOCAL help! Yippeee! We'll go twice a week for speech therapy. 
Thinking back to the little boy I meet almost two years ago in an orphanage, I can honestly tell you the child today is not the same withdrawn, sad little boy. When we returned a year later, his dislike towards us had only magnified. I was talking with my mother in law tonight quite a bit about it. Now don't stop reading when I make my next proclamation. Either you'll agree 100% or you'll think I am some kind of religious nut. (Which I can assure you I am not....)There is no other explanation than a direct intervention from God. I know what you're thinking. But if you could have SEEN Charlie in the orphanage. He was so angry. Despite our best efforts, he never cracked a smile. He rocked himself back and forth. From years of anxiety, he had sucked his thumbnail clean off his finger. He would literally see us coming and hide. When we tried to hold him, he arched his back or became stiff as a board. His eyes would well up in tears. Being with us caused him physical pain. It caused my heart more pain than you could imagine. 
We thought We KNEW that the months following our return home would be an uphill battle. Not only did he not love us, he couldn't tolerate the site of us. How were we suppose to remove this child from his "home" when he wouldn't let us remove him from his work table. I knew in my head that this child wasn't suppose to love us or even like us right away, but that didn't mean my heart didn't hurt by the fact that I couldn't even pick him up without a struggle. 
So, A-day. Adoption day. Charlie is dressed hastily by three workers and literally thrust out the door, into the VW bug. He cried. For about a minute. Then he cuddled up against my chest, breathed a sigh of relief, and fell into the most peaceful sleep. We drove a few more hours. When we arrived our host family's house, he woke up, looked around and smiled. He crossed the threshold of the door and never stopped smiling. He ran, he laughed, he sat in my lap. He talked about "mama" and "papa". I just starred in disbelief. It was literally as if a light switch had been turned on. 
Now, I am not telling you Charlie is perfect. He's not. We have our "talks" our time outs and our temper tantrums. But, Lord have mercy, I'm telling you....THIS is a different child. There are so many things about this adoption that has made me believe in miracles. God still performs them on a regular basis in the adoption world. If you want to see the face of God, be part of adoption. Only God can change a person's heart so completely and so drastically. Only God can make a way through the wilderness (also known as middle of nowhere, Russia...) Only God can take heartache so profound and turn it into something so beautiful. 
Children are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. We were prepared for the worst. With God's grace, we got the very best. 
This time last year, we were in Russia. Preparing for court in 3 days. Not really sure if this would end in heartbreak or homecoming. But more on that to come....
My sad little guy...

My JOYFUL boy!


  1. We've experienced the same transformation with Marina - simply amazing. All they need is love!! So happy for your beautiful family and enjoy the special anniversaries that are on the horizon.

  2. I love this post!!! I know it's true! I had prepared myself and my family for a child that was scared and unsure how to open up and give and receive love. When Vera and I left that orphanage, like Charlie she never looked back. I watch old videos of my first trip and then ones I took days ago and it isn't the same child. I mean she is but she is so much more... You know what I mean :-) and I believe God and love have everything to do with it. Adoption and Vera are the best things I have ever been a part of ....

    Enjoy the day and all tnose anniversaries to come! It's just the beginning!!!!

  3. Loving what you wrote! Charlie seems like such a happy little guy. Glad he has adjusted so well!

  4. Amazing. God is so good!! Thanks for posting this!

  5. I found your blog through Jessi's blog :)
    I'm always looking for other families who have adopted from Russia.
    I can so relate with what you have written and firmly believe that it was only by the grace of God that the sad, sad little girl I met in Vladimir is the happiest, sweetest, most attached little girl in just under a year! On the three different visit trips I made she never once allowed me to hold her without crying and throwing a big fit, she rarely smiled and ran out of the room after the caregivers if they would try to leave her alone with me. And yet, very quickly after we left, she began snuggling with me, hugging me, smiling, giggling and laughing all the time. Anyhow, just had to say I have lived through a very similar situation and have no other explanation...God is good!