I guess that's a good thing. It's part of the natural progression of this process. Abe has become less of the "new kid" and is simply "one of us." Yet, there are still those moments when the reality of how he came to us and the magnitude of the change he brought are so very obvious.
People still ask me on a regular basis. "How is it going with Abe?" The bottom line is, it is still a very day by day existence. We love him, very much. We are proud to be his parents. We are still fascinated by his beautiful eyes, his precious smile, his zest for life, and his strong sense of justice. But, we are also very aware of the depth of his need and his sin nature (which strongly resembles our own, and that of our other 4 children.) The bottom line is, parenting a toddler is hard. Parenting a toddler who is language delayed and screams frequently may be a little bit harder. Parenting a toddler who is language delayed, screams frequently, and struggles with obvious insecurity is downright challenging. I said all the time during the adoption process that, "Adoption is not for the faint of heart." Well, I can tell you now that I am in the parenting part of the process, "Adoption is NOT for the faint of heart."
However, adoption IS for the called. The ones who can't sleep at night with the thought that there is a child who needs someone to call mommy. A child who doesn't know that somewhere in the world there is a lady who would love to read them 7 board books in a row and make every animal sound on every page. A child who doesn't know that brothers and sisters fervently pray for them. That's where we were, God brought us to the point where we could not have lived with ourselves had we not stepped out in faith and made our lives a little less orderly and a little more demanding.
And the joys, oh the joys that we have reaped because of our decision to be obedient. Almost every day Abe and his siblings show me the love of God and my need for a saviour. They show me how to extend grace and how to love richly. We see little glimpses of progress that are so valuable to us. Like this photo.
This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it was to me. You see, since Abe has come home, he has slowly accepted the fact that he is one of 5. He was okay with Abby from the start, but the others- not so much. Over time, he has become more and more loving toward them- but he still stuggles a lot with Lily. Which is hard for her. She's only 5 and she loves him so much. She so wants to love him and squeeze him and fight him for a turn in the Cozy Coupe. You know how it is. So, I am always delighted when I catch them having a moment like this, where they are enjoying time together, even if they are apple thieves!
This one delights me because, well, Abe is sitting alone. He is entertaining himself ! When Ryan noticed it the other night, he said, "Look right there, that's progress." and then he ran for the camera. Six months ago, I didn't think he would ever self-play.
Or, what about this one. The other night, I was working on closet purging in the boys room and Abe needed to go to bed. Abby offered to take him to her room to see if he would lay with her. I told her she was welcome to try, but I knew it wouldn't work. We have never had success with him sleeping outside of a crib and he's just too darn ornery. A 1/2 hour later, I went to check on them, and this is what I found:
So, day by day, we're making it. And day by day, it's getting a little easier. And according to God's word, today is the only day I need to worry about. So, I guess we'll take it, day by day!