Jan 24th

We are four weeks home this past Thursday, and, honestly, it feels kinda like an eternity.  Actually, just this week feels a bit like an eternity haha!  It’s been a really hard week for me, and not for any “real” reason other than it’s just hard.  I want silence.  I’m craving just a bathroom trip without a big kid banging on the door that they need to go or a little face right up in mine saying, “Hi!”  I’m so super tired, just desiring mental, emotional, spiritual and physical rest.  I thank God he gave me Colby as a partner to tackle this life stage with and that this morning, I’m sitting at Starbucks writing this and then I’m heading to Ikea with a friend…JUST BECAUSE.

In so many ways, it’s been a great week with many great victories for our little guy!  He started saying “Water” “Yummy” and “Hi” and giving high fives.  After several stand offs between he and I at our lunches, just the two of us at home, he’s begun self feeding with a spoon or fork.  He’s still pretty resistant and needs a lot of help, but I can begin to see the desire to learn…because when you love food as much as he does, it sure is nice to be able to feed yourself!

Big Boy eating!

And….HALLELUJAH! last night was night number three in his big boy bed all by himself.  Last night was the only night he’s woken up at all, which feels like a true miracle after co-sleeping with his foster mom for two and a half years!

In other ways it’s been just straight up hard.  Our big kids are still adjusting and that means an incessant stream of questions, comments, requests from both simultaneously…just the need to know that I’m still there for them.  And some “baby” stuff going on with little (umm, big?) temper tantrums over silly things and wondering why Titus gets to do/doesn’t have to do certain things.  Add on top of that, Titus’ growing affection for what I affectionately (maaaaaaybe-not-so-affectionately haha) call “screeching” where he lets out short bursts of high pitched, shrill, ear piercing screams for various reasons, and sometimes no reason at all, and at the end of the day, I’m so very tired.

This past Thursday was our formal developmental evaluation at the Special Education department of our local school system to see if he qualifies for developmental therapy (Speech, Occupational, Physical therapies).  We are grateful that we have not had to head down this road as deer in the headlights, bewildered and inexperienced, we’ve been down this road with Judah since he was born for occupational and physical therapy!  I was so surprised (in a good way!) that they were able to 1) get us in so quickly and 2) were able to find a Korean interpreter for the best baseline assessment!  Titus did a whoooooole lot of playing while being evaluated by several professionals including a speech therapist and a diagnostician.  It broke my heart a little to see his reaction to the Korean interpreter.  His eyes absolutely lit up when he saw her face and she began speaking to him.  He was so excited that he ran all around the room smiling and laughing in sheer joy.  It was such an in-your-face reminder of all that he’s lost and how much brokenness is present in the heart of every adopted child.  I was so pleased with the care that this team took to carefully evaluate each aspect of Titus’ development.  I’m so grateful that they are working really hard to get a truly balanced perspective of where Titus really is taking into consideration everything he’s been through and the types of environments he was living in while in Korea and how that has impacted his development versus a “true” delay.  While it will still be several weeks until the official report is given to us, we did get a general feel for what they observed.  As we expected from what we heard in Korea, he does not have many words, even in Korean, and is not yet able to form simple, two word sentences.  This is actually pretty common for a lot of adopted kids, even at his age.  Although it will be impossible to make any type of definitive decision one way or the other for quite some time, Titus does have some behaviors that could be suggestive of Autism.  We are trying to be in that place right in the middle that bravely faces that as a possibility, but takes into consideration all he’s been through, hoping therapy and being in a forever home that encourages him to reach his highest potential (whatever that may be!) will unlock the door to many of the areas he’s delayed in.  Let me tell ya, friends, this middle place is not an easy thing to accomplish!

But with all the progress he continues to make, along with the challenges that each child as an individual brings to the table, I had to face something greater this week: myself.  The ugly, horrendous parts deep down in my heart that I didn’t even realize were lurking below.  The parts where you just don’t have one single ounce of patience for the big kids when you know all they want is the security of knowing their world is still safe.  The parts where you just want to lock yourself in a room with ear plugs in, just to have a brief reprieve from the screeching or the non-stop questions, requests, demands of “Momma!” “Momma!” and “MoMorePeaPeaMama!” (Titus’ version of “more please, momma ha!).  The parts of you that get angry when things don’t go the way you wanted them to or the way you’d planned out your day…didn’t get any time alone since Titus didn’t take a nap, or the big kids are going absolutely blasted bonkers at bedtime when it’s Colby’s night to have class so you’re going solo (shout out to my main man, because the second I sent out the SOS, he was in the car on his way home to rescue me as I hid in the dark crying).  How quick your temper can flare and you just can’t deal with things from anyone in your family and they all get a flame thrown from your tongue in the form of just downright mean talk, and the crushing guilt that ensues.  Yes, I pulled the covers up that night after the bedtime fiasco and bawled my eyes out in an ugly cry over myself and how truly deceitful my heart was to ever think I could do this in my own power.  I see that, I too, am that kid throwing a temper tantrum when I don’t get what I want or when I want it, and I’m so annoyed with myself.  Way more annoyed than with my 3, 4, and 5 year old….because I’m a grown woman for goodness’ sake!  And I see the gentle, loving way of our Father, and my heart breaks even more knowing there is still so much work to be done in my heart.  He’s so good to me, and even in His discipline, teaching me how to be more like Him, He’s so very gentle.  Don’t get me wrong, the message was clear and firm, but it was gentle…something I’m learning I need a whooooooole lot more of!

I pull into the parking lot of Donut Palace in Buda, Texas.  Yup, every Wednesday morning at 8:00 am I meet up with four dear friends and we talk life- victories and battles- and we hold each other up, point each other to the Word and give each other a little smack around when our head is not in the right place.  I need these people in my world so much.  So, anyway, I pull up, bags under my eyes after Eden woke me up twice and Judah woke me up once in the night (ironically, Titus was doing juuuuuuust fine in his big boy bed all by himself!  Bah!  Big kids!), and just feeling like I’m in Robot mode.  I get out and go to get Titus out of his carseat, and I’m surprised at what greets me.  It’s his adorable smiling face (I mean, that part wasn’t surprising), and he immediately starts belting out a tune I know very well, in Korenglish, but I’m shocked he’s picked up on it so quickly!


For my Austin Stone friends, CAN YOU HEAR IT?!  Oh my goodness, the sweetness, am I right?!  For everyone else, this is the tune to one of the worship songs from our church’s recently released album (the album is This Glorious Grace, by Austin Stone Worship… seriously).  And besides being totally adorable, why, you ask, did this feel so huge?!  Welllllll, these were the lyrics he’s been singing at the top of his lungs ever since Wednesday morning:
Ohhhhhh, I will trust in Jesus now!

Trust me when I say the irony is not lost on me.  My child- you know the one who has a speech delay in his native tongue and has only been in the states in an English speaking home for four weeks?!- is singing right to me the words that I so need to hear….loud.and.clear(ish).  I was going to just copy/paste the rest of the lyrics, but I decided it would be way better for you to hear the real version for a couple reasons.  One, because it totally amplifies the cuteness of Titus’ version, and 2) I just wanted you to hear this and know that this is my heart.  So here ya go:

Can I be real with you, friends?  Why in the world am I pouring my heart out with probably the most intimate (might be tied with my pregnancy with Judah…which I also shared- check out my archives!) season of our lives with someone? no one? everyone?  Why would I share all of these vulnerable moments and struggles with anyone?!  It’s been my prayer that someone who stumbles upon my ramblings and rantings would see my imperfection, but also see the source of my strength that is pushing me to get up on days that I’d rather hide with my ear plugs or run away.  It’s been my prayer that someone out there would Trust in Jesus Now.

PS- just in case you’re at work or something with no headphones…here are the lyrics

I will trust in Jesus’ blood
Blood You poured out on the cross
And this grace was given once for all
I will trust in Jesus’ blood

I will trust in Jesus’ power
By this power I will endure
Though my flesh may fail, I stand secure
I will trust in Jesus’ power

Ooooooooooh, I will trust in Jesus now
Ooooooooooh, I will trust in Jesus now

By Your blood, by Your power, every breath, every hour
I trust in You
All my life, all my days, I will give You all my praise
I trust in You
I trust in You

I will trust in Jesus now
Now by faith my eyes will see
Oh this life I live is Christ in me
I will trust in Jesus now

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