August 2011, two little 4 year old boys from an orphanage in Eastern Europe were picked up by their Daddy and brother Gabriel.
What a mess!! LOL!!
We were prepared, and not prepared!
They did not like leaving the orphanage. They wanted to go "home" to where they came from! When Tom and I skyped, they were so loud moaning and groaning and complaining, I could not even hear Tom!
These sweet boys were like no other children we ever adopted.
Their "survival" skills were deeply ingrained. They saw no reason to stop surviving now, during what seemed to be the worst days of their lives! They did not want or need us!
But we needed them. And that's how we bonded!
By the time they got home to the USA, they were 2 separate heavily grieving toddlers. They ran (well scooted) in opposite directions from us. They did not find comfort in us or each other. They even attacked each other! They clearly did not like adults. (us) They did however like our children and often accepted a little attention from them. They'd sit and stare off into the distance, if they weren't running away. Pauly hated toys, Julius loved a few odd toys that he clung to for dear life. So we used those toys to help him have some control in his life. We made sure he had them with him. He picked them.
The first time they bathed they froze in fear. I wanted to cry. They easily would refuse food, so we had to be careful not start control battles over that. Now they have a few foods they don't really enjoy but will eat. That's wonderful, because we can't make separate meals for everyone!
They were like living "dolls". They had no real likes. They were loud day and night. Pauly bit. Julius was (still is- ugh) a world class champion spitter. Pauly now only bites when over excited, Julius spits..............well we're still working on this! ;o) They had diaper blow outs constantly, which we think was caused from their emotions. Their emotional distress seemed to be causing them to "hold" it a long time and then blow outs would occur. They no longer do this! We've seen other young children do this when distressed. Eating our foods caused tummy distress too. They weren't used to how we ate.
Even through all of the hardship. We knew that there was something unbelievably special about them. Something very different. Was it because they needed us so much? Or that their little lives depended on us. I just don't know. All I know is no matter how hard our days were, or how loud our nights were with them, we went to bed feeling so good about what we were doing with them. So satisfied with each day's tiny progress.
By the time their 3 new Eastern European brothers came home, we knew that Julius and Pauly were part of us. No longer strangers in a strange land. No longer the "new" boys. We were completely bonded for life with them. We knew everything about them, their smells, their hugs. We could no longer remember a time that they had not been our boys!
It was so satisfying to be bonded to Julius & Pauly, it helped our hearts celebrate the three new boys coming home! Three more to get to know. Heart to heart!
And this time, (with the three boys) we really thought we were once again prepared. But were we? Nope. We were not prepared for how incredibly special they were! How much we would LOVE them and they would LOVE us back!!
Home. Home is where the heart is. My heart is with God, my physical being is home here with my husband and children. I thank God for "home" here! I know our true home is Heaven! I thank God for that incredible blessing. But to have my heart filled with "home" (Tom/children) here are also a huge gift from God, I am so blessed!
Now if my Dear husband will pleeeease take some pictures tomorrow! ( I've only asked 4 days in a row! LOL!) I will share about 3 extraordinary little boys who have amazing capacities to LOVE!