It's been a fun last couple of days at the Gates Home.
Now here's the thing about that... This past Wednesday I took Henry and Lincoln for haircuts, and it was Henry's second since coming home. After being a really good, calm boy the first time around, he was an absolute train-wreck the second time. Something about actually knowing what to anticipate. So the real test will be next Sunday, but we've got a whole 'nother week to pray about that!
Secondly, our times with Dr. DeGeorge at Oak Adoptive Health have been helpful for re-enforcing some positives and making clear that there are neurochemical reasons for our stresses.
Thirdly, Jenn and I have intentionally taken some time to see how far things really have come over the last three months. The before-and-after photos are very helpful.
Fourthly, when we learn of some of the struggles that other adoptive families have had, we see that in many areas, we don't have those degrees of struggles. To be clear, even if someone has greater issues than we have, that doesn't mean that ours are not difficult or that they aren't significant within our home. But we are soooooo thankful that Henry sleeps through the night, that he naps reliably, that he doesn't have anger issues and that he doesn't have possession issues. And he's slowly making progress on the communication front. Seeing that there has been progress on this front is encouraging.
Also helpful are the times we revisit CCAI's website to look at the current group of Waiting Children. The need is so great, both in terms of numbers of kids and in individual terms. Looking at the stories of these boys and girls is sobering... and to think that at one point in time there was a page just like these for Henry, with a description of what little history he had as well as his physical limitations. When I read some of the stories of the boys and girls I think to myself, "Who is going to adopt these kids?" And my next thought is, how many people looked at Henry's page and said to themselves, "Who's going to adopt this little boy?" Well, we did, and he's growing up into a neat little boy! And that's just it, these kids need loving families, and they can thrive and overcome what life has dealt them if they are simply provided a loving family.
Are things now going to be all lollipops and roses going forward? Ha! Fat chance. The main reason I share the above is for prospective adoptive families to get a small glimpse into the world of a current adoptive family that wasn't all smooth sailing from the start. If you're thinking about adoption and you'd like to learn more details than I've even shared here, don't hesitate to contact us. You deserve to have as much information prior to your big day as possible.
And as Jenn and I were reflecting on these things today during lunch (after we told the kids to go entertain themselves!), we actually talked about adopting another. We're crazy. We know.
But in all seriousness, despite the difficulties, the feelings of guilt that have emerged from time to time along the way, and all of the chaos, we still believe we are acting within God's plan for our family, so who knows what will come.
Now moving on from Adoption stuff and back to Gates Family stuff. We were outside the other day, I was power washing the house and Jenn and the kids were washing the car, and Lydia decided to clean her guns. Our first thought was, "Grandpa Doug and Uncle Jeremy would be proud!"