Many “Connected Child” books talk about “Family Age” as the amount of time a child has spent in their forever home. In this regard, Phoebe is officially 1 month old now!! 🙂
It has been an incredible month. There are still new things we experience and understand daily. She is learning English exponentially, and there has been an increase here even in the past few days. (by “Learning English”, I don’t mean you’d understand much of what she says. Rather, I mean 1 out of 10 words might be English-ish.) Our local church family has been an incredible gift, and the time/transition back into work schedule has been extremely gracious – which has helped a ton. We knew this would be work, but we had no idea this. Would. Be. Work. 🙂
This past week, Phoebe attended church for the first time Wednesday night to see her sisters receive their awards from our church children’s programming. It was obvious she wanted to be on stage with them. Yesterday was her first official Sunday morning worship experience. I’m sure there was some familiarity with it, but also a whole lot of foreign-ness to what was happening still. I can’t imagine what she’s thinking as everyone around her knows her name and is so excited to see her. Her face shows – “I’m not against this, lol, I’m just a little overwhelmed and weirded out.” She enjoys just being with her sisters, and takes her cues from them.
Bedtimes can still be difficult – but hey, they were difficult before bringing her home too! This morning was almost too awesome for me as a father, as all three girls stayed in bed all night long until 6am – and Phoebe cuddled a bit with me this morning as Sarah and I still laid in bed. (By “cuddle” I mean she included me in the playground/jungle-gym she considers her parents’ bodies in bed to be.)
There have been some important moments of struggle: a 45-minute stand off between Phoebe and daddy after she had a meltdown and wanted to leave the room. In French, I reassured her several times, “Daddy is gentle. I love you. Daddy will not hurt you. I will wait for you to be finished crying.” It ended with a long hug that is still burned in my memory. 🙂
Even on nights where we all want to just climb into bed, Phoebe asks for the dependable evening routine of family prayer. When asked if she wants to pray, she often agrees and prays “Jesus thank you. (several unintelligible words and phrases) Aaaaamen.” That about sums up many of our best prayers, eh?
More and more families continue to receive word they can come bring their children home, and we are celebrating with all of them – even as we pray for their struggle in country. We look forward to the day we can say all adopted children have been allowed to go home…and we look forward to the day all children are born into healthy, stable homes even more so!!!
Pray for the DRC, and a peaceful transition of power. Even last week, as John Kerry met with President Kabila – it seems like the same generic rhetoric: “Kerry urges timely/credible elections, Kabila expresses need for funding/logistical support. Both smiled for a picture and went about their day.” Meanwhile the Congolese people need someone to lead them who champions the hopes/causes/needs and rights of the people.
Today as I write this, Sarah and the girls are preparing for a trip to the Amish areas nearby. I can’t even imagine what this girl thinks of her new home country. We watched some videos last night of our first visit to see her, and the videos included her friends from the orphanage, and foster home, etc. She smiled, and was obviously shy about seeing herself. She also kept asking where Addie/Sophie/Ruby were, and wanting to watch videos that had her with each of them instead. That seems like a pretty good thing. 🙂
Thank you again for all of your prayers and encouragement, and for celebrating with us – as our family continues to discover its’ new shape and schedule. 🙂