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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy birthday baby

Dear Levi,

Today you are 2 years old. Wow!  You are such a big boy. It's your second birthday, but your first one with us. You'll learn soon enough that I'm a bit of a wreck on my babies' birthdays. Your story has a sad beginning, and my heart aches for the woman who carried you inside of her and gave birth to you and eventually, gulp, abandoned you. One day when you're old enough to read this we'll have a heart to heart about that, but for now, here's your story.

You are meant to be, my beautiful boy. You were prayed for and longed for and celebrated for 6 long years while we waited for you. And you were worth the wait!

You love trucks and trains and dancing. You have the funniest attraction to red solo cups (which I'm praying does not remain true when you're in college!). You love throwing things, usually of the truck variety, into cups full of coffee or water or the occasional glass of wine. You're really fast, especially when a flight of steps is in your sight.

You are resilient, a fighter, having had to rely on yourself for survival when no baby should.  I'm pretty sure you had the nanny in your room wrapped around your precocious finger.  She sobbed when we met her and she handed you to me. She told me that you were the smartest boy in the whole orphanage and that you played nicely by yourself, a much-admired trait in an orphanage, and one we are endeavoring to transform.

You are solemn until you feel settled and watch out world, then you're a laughing bouncing busy boy. You have two big sisters whom you adore. They get the most laughs. And daddy. But I get the most snuggles, so it works for me.

You're the little prince in our family, and I fear it will always be so. You are good natured and inquisitive and you love to scratch things.  You used to sleep and suck your thumb, but now you're learning how to talk so we think it's a good trade.

You like to do yoga with me, especially riding on my back from plank to downward dog. You love to interrupt our practice when you hear Lenny Kravitz's "Believe" because it's definitely time for us to dance.

So happy birthday baby boy. This is the day we praise God for creating you. I promise I'll pull it together with a happy smile when you blow out your candles!!!

Love you to China and back, for reals!


Friday, August 3, 2012

The greater good

Sooo...wrote this about a month ago, but thought its worth posting in the interest of full disclosure.  Adopting special needs is hard. And amazing.

July 10

Its been a rough week. Baby boy had big time surgery last Tuesday and I haven't slept much since. He's a thumb sucker, you see, so in addition to the pain that he's in from his mouth being literally reconstructed, he is really ticked that we are not letting him suck his thumb. And he's wearing these nifty little arm restraints that our surgeon lovingly (joking) calls "no-nos". Here's the rub. He has to do this so he can speak. There is no backing down, no relenting when he's wailing. It's for his long term gain.

 We all have no nos that we wear from time to time, some self inflicted, some we can't control. And I have for sure kicked and screamed and tantrumed my way through in hopes of avoiding pain. But there is a forever picture that we often forget to see, a greater good. For our boy it's the ability to speak. For the rest of us it could be anything really, the trivial getting into shape for a 25th high school reunion (wait, did I just say that out loud???) or the major kicking an addiction or you name it in between. So here's a shout out to the ones in the middle of the fight right now. And here's an encouragement. It's not over. Press on. It will be worth it. You just wait.

August 3

Turns out it was a rough month.  Little Levi went on a hunger strike so we invested hundreds of dollars in Pediasure and he's weaning off it now. Didn't know that babies stop sleeping when they stop sucking their thumbs.  More investments made in concealer for a tired mama.

And it's worth it. He's making so much noise!  Speech therapy starts next week. He's hearing (the tubes in his ears have given him full hearing!) and laughing and learning.

Here's to the greater good. May we all press on toward that which God has called us, including a good night's sleep!!