We celebrated Jackson's 3rd Birthday yesterday. We always sing "Happy Birthday" to our kids first thing in the morning. Jackson grinned from ear to ear, completely tickled that we were singing to him...so we sang it again.
I can't help but reflect on where I was and what I was doing 3 years ago. I do remember an incident very clearly about me trying to figure out what God wanted for us. You can read about it here.
I remember being completely confused, wondering what Haiti had to do with what God was trying to say. If we were suppose to adopt again, was it from Haiti? If so, some huge mountains would have to be moved because Haiti was not open to Sk residents. Long story short...we travelled to Haiti to work at God's Littlest Angels. I worked very hard the entire time not to fall in love with all those adorable and lovely kids. Even though I loved them with every fibre in my body, I did not have the connection I have with my kids even before they arrive home...except perhaps with one or special kids. ;) I walked away from our trip to Haiti knowing we would adopt again....strongly knowing we would adopt again. I had this incredible urgency that we needed to start the process NOW...or better yet...yesterday!
Martin, being the realist, wasn't so sure. In fact he was convinced we were done! Can't say I blame him! The poor guy comes home day after day to see and hear all that has gone on that day, to see his wife exhausted, frustrated, and feeling isolated and alone...and then she says we should adopt? To be truthful it sounds downright stupid!...even to me! But that's were the power of God's still small voice and constant prompting comes in. How do you ignore God? How do you say "no", when you are sure God has more in store for you? The next year was spent praying, begging God to show us, to change Martin's heart if we were to adopt again and if not, to remove what I was feeling. By Mother's Day 2012, Martin began to see how convinced I was and began to see there was in fact another child waiting for us. He gave me the SWEETEST Mother's Day gift ever...a note saying that he agreed we should adopt again! :)
When we finally got our proposal my eyes welled up with tears when I saw Chen Wenlong's (Jackson's) birth date...May 8, 2012....right around the time that I seriously believed and felt with every fibre of my being that there was a child waiting for us! How cool is that!?! That God would lay that on my heart so I could pray for our child even though he was a newborn and on the other side of the world...and pray I did!
So to celebrate Jackson's birthday is indeed special. Special because he really is the sweetest boy ever! And because it is a reminder of how much God cares for us, and how He never leaves us...He is always there, waiting to have a conversation with us.
Jackson has been home now for just over 9 months. He is slowly bonding more and more. His speech is slowly coming along. He still rarely sleeps through the night and seems to have a lot of things that make him feel insecure. Any change sets him back. Being in close proximity to Asians stresses him. Walking into an institution like a hospital makes him tense. He is easily hurt. Even being lifted hurts him. I understand that trauma causes all kinds of issues. I do understand why he is like this...sometimes it's just hard to see and hard to know what to do.
Jackson is smiling more. Yelling more. Playing harder. Loving more. Giving hugs more and even kissing me on the cheek. (He used to only kiss Martin...little stinker!)
Jackson has an incredibly tender spirit and is easily hurt...but is also very easily humored. He loves to giggle and be silly. He loves to draw. He loves to do puzzles. He loves playing cars. He loves his scooter. He loves his trike and rides it like a real biker. He loves being outside. He loves jumping and crawling all over the couch...and falling! lol! He is a boys boy with a soft and gentle heart. I fall more in love with this amazing boy each and every day!
Jackson is still profoundly deaf in one ear. The other ear has healed itself and his hearing is fine in that ear. Jackson has had so many ear aches that were left untreated, that it has caused the holes in his ears to be way too big. So big, in fact that he will be having surgery to correct it. Our wonderful doctor has put a rush on things so we expect Jackson to have day surgery sometime at the beginning of June. The surgery is considered quite urgent due to the issues with Jackson's speech delay. The surgery will significantly improve his hearing and as a result his speech should also improve.
Jackson loved everything about his birthday, but refused to blow out his candles. He sat there and smiled! Little monkey! Gotta love that boy! :)
I was quite disappointed in myself. Growing up without much fuss around my birthday has made me determined to make out kids' birth day special. However, with 2 days of appointments, kids wanting to shop for Mother's Day, trying to finish school by next week, little sleep, no energy...well, lets just say Jackson's 3rd Birthday was the lamest party ever. lol. His cake was super simple and took a matter of minutes to decorate...and it looks like it too! There were no balloons...forgot to buy some. However we did have a banner. Even his gifts were unusual, in the sense that they were recycled gifts. I meant to sell/donate some of the toys the oldest 2 boys had outgrown, but never got around to it. So instead of spending a bunch of money on the same things we bought for the boys many years ago...we recycled them! And Jackson didn't know the difference! Haha! Love how God is helping me get over being so...you know what!
He loved his barn and all the cool animals...and the $3 worth of cars that were on his cake! :)