This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

7-8 November 2009

Here we are at the end of our fifth day of parenthood.  We're not going to kid you, being parents is some seriously hard work, but we're so amazed at the rewards we're already seeing from this initiation by fire.  All the adoption professionals we've ever talked with have told us that in the first weeks after adopting children, parents should be prepared for all sorts of testing.  It's part of learning to trust.  We SAY, "I love you" and we SAY, "we are a family" but their little hearts need to make sure that this is for real and they're not going to be hurt or abandoned or disappointed.  Testing.  

Day 4 was the biggest testing day yet.  There was more weeping and gnashing of teeth than we've ever experienced first-hand in our lives.  (And mom and dad weren't the only ones weeping.)  We knew it was coming, and we'd seen hints of it in the first 3 days together, but we found out how ugly the testing monster really is.  Woah.  But here's the beautiful thing.  We both have felt miraculously peaceful during the hardest and ugliest moments so far.  This is what they mean by a peace that passes all understanding because if it weren't for the power of God's great grace, we would not be able to write about the beautiful way that things are turning out and the strong foundations that are being laid.

Day 5 was exceptional.  There are things to work on, but it's clear to us that a trust is being built and that the logistics of moving 6 people from one place to another (and getting them all out of the pool) are starting to fall into place.  Tantrums were few and short (hallelujah!) and working together as a family to write the day's schedule on a piece of paper kept disputes and meltdowns to a minimum (Praise the Lord!).  Also, writing out the bedtime routine meant everyone was sleeping well before 10pm with no tears at all (can I get an Amen?!).  OK, so that's pretty late for small children to go to bed, but it was 100 times smoother than all of the other bedtimes we've ever facilitated.  (Parenting tip:  try a timed race to brush teeth and put on PJ's before reading a story.)

Praise God for His faithfulness.  Right now.  Just do it.  He is faithful!

As we're getting ready to go to bed, and four amazing little children are sleeping nearby, we can't help but soak up the miracle that we're in the middle of.

Practical stuff:  we've mored to a different hotel for the week since Betania is all booked up for an event.  Lar Rogate, where we are staying now, has a pool which has been a great bonding place, behavioral incentive, and testing grounds for independence and also dependence on mom and dad.  Kim is learning to deal with curls--another foreign language.  We are MUCH happier now than we looked in the first two pictures.  Brayan is always putting stuff on his head--and today he "found" some gum and ate it.  We're pretty sure it was pre-chewed.  Luana loves to snuggle and falls right asleep after swimming in the pool.   Abraao Lucas likes to be called Lucas and knows the power of his heart-melting smile.  Maynara is starting to trust us more each day and today showed her maturity by walking herself from Dad at the pool to Mom in the room, and then bringing the room key back to Dad.  Dad hasn't shaved but twice in the last week and Mom has given up her silly habit of wearing makeup every day.


Pat & Heather said...

Curls? What do you need to know? =)

I love reading about you both as "Mom" and "Dad" you've been parents in your hearts for so long and now you're getting to live it with the kids. We too, were surprised when Pat wasn't shaving as often and I only wore make up on "special" days! =) There are more important things in life as you finding pre-chewed gum! What a great adventure! I love you both and can't wait to talk with you in a handful of weeks. Love and prayers from all of us.
PS-Gabe says all of your names now and loves looking at pics. of the cousins. =)

Kiki said...

What a fun update to read! Praise God for His faithfulness indeed! You two are doing wonderfully! Have you tried taking a family picture yet?!

Brent said...

I can only imagine what a shock to your systems all this is.. and how exhausting it is right now to care for all the needs of your gargantuan family!! :) We are praying my dear friends for energy & love galore as you all settle in, and for continuing patience during the tests :) These pictures are amazing and I'm so thrilled that you are all enjoying the journey of family together!! God has been so faithful!
~ The Hixsons

The Princess said...

We loved this posting the best of all you have posted from Brazil. When I saw the first two photos I said to Avo, "James and Kim don't look as energetic in these photos as they did in the first ones they sent." You don't know how precious every photo of your family and every word you write is to us. When you come for Christmas you can sleep in and we will get up and tend to the children.
Amor, Vovo
Children are like sponges. They absorb all your strength and leave you limp. But give them a squeeze and you get it all back. -- Quoted in Lincoln Lines
You never know when you are making a memory. -- Rickie Lee Jones
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. -- Robert Drault
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. -- Kalil Gibran