Sunday, June 30, 2013

Time out

It's amazing to me how fast the days go by. With isaacs routine it seems that the days are flying by! Sometimes I find myself getting so wrapped up in all that has to get done that I forget to just stop and be.
I was trying to rock Isaac to sleep for his nap, he fell asleep quite easily but when I went to set him down he woke up. He looked at me and cried to be picked up. I was a little bit frustrated after the third time of putting him down. Then it dawned on me. In the middle I my thoughts of all the things I needed to get done, laundry, dishes, cleaning... There were so many times over the past 7 years I would have given anything for this moment.
So I stopped, in my mind, and became present in the moment. I am home with my son. There is a baby sleeping in my arms and he is mine. There is no one to tell me to put him down. He is crying for me to hold him... It's all real now. All these moments I could only dream of are here and now... And I don't want to miss them... Not for a second!
So I sit down on the rocking chair I bought to rock my baby to sleep on. And we rocked.
Ill never regret this moment.
And as I sit here I think of our God, how good he is, how he is our redeemer, the giver of gifts, he is the one that calls us by name, the one who sets the lonely in families. He is the reason my son is sleeping in my arms. He is the reason my shirt says "mom" on it. He picks us up for the mud, sets us before him, cleanses us and makes us new... Most literally and figuratively. My son is proof, and so is my heart.
I'm so grateful in this moment that I have a God who loves me, who takes my best interest at hand... And I think I'll just rest now

Friday, June 21, 2013

Finally home

We have been home just over a week now... I haven't blogged much because we have been settling in. I can't tell you how happy we are to finally be home. Not just from Ethiopia, but to finally have Isaac home. It took 12.5 months to get all the papers we needed to get him on Canadian soil. He has only been alive for 13 months so it took pretty much his entire life to get him here. It feels like we can breath again. We have spent the past 7 months preparing for Isaac's homecoming. Since the day we got the phone call that we were matched with him, we have been doing paperwork, phone calls, appointments, travelling, emails, and just generally preparing for him to come live in our house. And it is finally over, our little boy in Canadian and as I write this, he is fast asleep in the crib we painted for him months ago. It feels surreal. Everyday it hits me at least once, that this is reality. I've been so frantic for 7 months doing all the work we needed to get home, that it is weird for me to be able to just relax. He is safe now. No one can come and take him. He is ours now.

I have so much to say but I can't really sort it all out now, so I will post a bunch of pictures from our first week home!!!!

First night in our bed! Only woke up once and for about 20 min... he slept for 12 hours! 

Exploring the deck and making friends with the puppies

First time in the chariot... I prefer to carry him but when we go biking this is how he rolls!

First day of Arnie back to work... out for a stroll with mama

Trying out the car seat!

In his room!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

One Month With Isaac

June 1st marked one month with our son. We picked him up for good on May 1st and have now had the privilege to have spent one whole month with our son!!!
We have seen changes in him already, it is amazing really, to look back and see how far he has come in just one month.
One month ago our son did not know how to eat anything that was not pureed. He choked on mushy food as he tried to swallow everything without chewing. He did not even know how to eat oatmeal as it was too thick for him. Today he can eat diced food. We can give him pieces of bread and he knows how to chew them a bit without choking. We gave him a full baby cookie and he has figured out how to bite off bits of the cookie a little at a time. He also eats about twice as much as when we first brought him home. He did not finish anything we fed him during the first week except his milk... which he has loved from day one :) We had no idea if he was hungry or full. We guessed at how much to feed him and when we thought he had had enough. Now he is getting better at vocalizing what he wants! When he sees food he wants, he gets very excited and will whine if you don't give it to him. We still don't know when he is full but when he stops showing interest in the food we figure he has had enough. He whines at us if he is still hungry as well.

He is learning how to communicate quickly. The first week home this boy hardly uttered a word, now after a month, he has become a very loud and silly boy. He whines now to be picked up, be fed some food or milk, not to be put down, to get to a certain toy, etc. While it is hard at the time to see this as positive, we remind ourselves that this is how he lets us know what he wants. We do not give into tantrums (crying and waving his arms) but we respond to him when he whines to let us know he needs something. He has learned to sign the words, Please, Thank-you, More, All-done, Pray, and Sorry. He is a very smart little boy. We run through all the signs through out the day, sometimes he gets stubborn and does not want to do them, other times he loves the attention and does them very willingly! We are so proud of him and how quickly he is learning.

Our attachment for Isaac is growing as well as his attachment for us. We went swimming two days ago, it was a great day to see how he is attaching to us. I arrived at the pool in the first car load so I had some alone time with Isaac. When Arnie arrived, he got so excited and started to whine to see Daddy. At one time I handed him to Arnie to go and get some food, he actually started to cry for me to come back!!! I was so excited I ran back and picked him up. How can you resist being cried for?? He continued the day whining if one of us went to do something. Most people would find this annoying, but for us this is huge!!

He has also made some big steps physically. It is hard for us to tell how much weight he has gained as we have not had the same scale twice, but we will weigh him when we get home. When he first came home he would "crawl" around on his belly. A few days ago I set him down on the floor while I went to the bathroom... to my surprise I noticed he came crawling into the room on all fours!!! I was able to grab the camera and catch a little video. He is very slow but he has learned so quickly, we know it is only a matter of time before he starts to walk. He can also now pull himself up to standing using the couch. At first he would whine at your feet to pick him up then he started to pull on our pant legs and then finally used the couch to get to standing!

While we are so proud of Isaac for all his accomplishments, a little piece of me is sad how quickly he is achieving them. I'm realizing how hard it is to have missed the first year of his life and every time he does something new I'm reminded of the fact that he is growing up quickly. I am reminded that even though I missed his first year, Jesus has been with him everyday. While I may have missed months of his life, Jesus was watching him every step of the way. I am also grateful that I will not miss out on any more. We celebrate every achievement with such vigour this boy will soon think he is a superstar!!!

We are becoming more settled as a family. Isaac is becoming more secure in many ways and we are enjoying more and more being his parents. We have been bonding as a family of three and it's only been a few weeks... I can only imagine how it will feel after a year!! We have done many things deliberately in regards to attachment but many things have also come naturally. We co-sleep and feed him breast milk skin to skin. We also carry him in a sling everywhere. When he is playing on the ground we sit with him and let him climb all over us. There is not much time he spends without one of us touching him. We purposely have not let others hold him... except for when it is out of our control and have spent lots of time the three of us just playing. We pick him up when he reaches for us and rock him to sleep so he doesn't have to cry himself to sleep. Like I said a lot of these things have come naturally as most of these things we would do with a bio child...but sometimes it is deliberate and we recognize that putting in the exra work will only benefit Isaac! We love being parents finally and are so excited to be on this journey!!