|Lissie at 10 weeks old|
Today we mark the 10-week anniversary of our most recent adoption.
As we contemplate all that has happened over the past 10 weeks, the photo above provides an illustration of two very important things.
First, when we see a 10-week-old infant, like our Lissie above, none of us would expect a family to be fully adjusted to the addition of a new life after such a short time. The change to the family is just too big for all the bumps to be smoothed out.
The same is true for an adoptive family after just 10 weeks together. In our case:
- We still face a language barrier that makes day-to-day life sometimes frustrating... sometimes comical
- Our newest kids still periodically miss Russia
- Our other kids are still adjusting to sharing bedrooms, bathrooms and the attention of their parents
- The two of us are more stretched and tired
- Even with the language barrier, we have experienced more laughter and fun, due in part to Daria and Alexander's great senses of humor
- Daria and Alexander have both worked hard to learn English and are beginning to put simple thoughts together in their new language
- Oksana, at just six years old, demonstrates daily that she already understands a tremendous amount of English, responding to our English requests with alacrity
- The rest of the family has learned a fair amount of Russian from Daria and Alexander, putting us on the path toward our goal of becoming a bilingual family. Full conversations now go on daily in Russian in our home.
- Daria and Alexander have both memorized their first scripture passages in English (likely their first scripture passages in any language!)
- Others in the family have memorized their first scripture passages in Russian
- We've seen sweet friendships develop between our newest children and those who were already here
- We've also seen friendships begin to form between our newest children and kids in our community
- Since Daria is a gifted cook, we've been introduced to Russian cuisine... much to the detriment of our already challenged waistlines
- We've watched Oksana's sense of security grow, manifesting itself in happiness that makes our hearts sing
- By God's grace we've been able to work through the few sibling disputes that have arisen, despite the language barrier
- God has stretched our parenting skills, teaching us to be that much more dependent on Him for wisdom and grace
- God has taught the two of us to be more patient and less critical, helping us build stronger relationships more quickly than in our two other adoptions of older children.
The world would say: "Don't adopt," and "Don't adopt older children," and "Don't adopt teenagers," and "Don't adopt multiple children."
But God says, "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of [Me] is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress..." (James 1:27).
He also says, "Trust in [Me] with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknolwedge [Me] and [I] will make your paths straight." (Prov 3:5).
Although we have a long way to go as a family, we also have much to celebrate at just 10 weeks!