Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Shirt

Remember this shirt?

Yikealo was wearing it in about half of the referral photos that we received of him in March 2009.

He was also wearing it on June 5th, when our caseworker took lots of photos of Mr. Y with his birthmom.

He was wearing it on June 15th, for his very brief appearance in Kristi Johnson's now famous "Lucy Lane's Gotcha Day" video. (Check out the little curly-top at the 2:43 mark!)

And last, but certainly not least, he was wearing it again on our gotcha day of June 29th, 2009.
It was the defining article of clothing for our son while he was at Hannah's Hope, and he still remembers it quite clearly.

Well, yesterday, Erica received a photo of one of her little guys from another traveling family, and guess who was wearing the EXACT. SAME. SHIRT??

Yep...he's definitely meant to be part of our family! Yikealo just beamed at the photo on our computer screen and said, "They must know that he is my cousin!"

In other news, Chris and Erica learned today that they have their court appointment on August 5th! We've also heard that the courts close for the rainy season on August 6th, and won't open again until sometime in late September. We are praising God that He worked out the details for them to meet their precious sons before the court shutdown!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Laying Low

My little boy thrives on having a schedule. He has been that way since the very first week that we had him in our home. Before he could understand much English at all, we had learned that he NEEDED to know the plans for the day - it makes him feel safer, more secure and in control. This isn't surprising, considering his background, and many adopted children have this same need. There is less chance of surprises that way, and having us talk him through a day's schedule helps him to know that we're planning to be with him throughout the day.

Normally this works out just great - after all, I'm a bit of a control-freak myself, and I also like having a schedule. However, the month of June was a bit crazy for our family. It started out with our Nursing Home's silent auction and garage sale: I was busy every single day for the first week of June, and Yikealo was shuffled around to various extended family members for parts of most days. For the next two weeks, I was involved with a Genesis-themed VBS that some good friends of ours organized, and I wasn't able to devote the normal amount of Mama-time to my little boy. Following that, Y and I traveled west and stayed with my parents for a week so that he could attend VBS at their church. It was a fun, relaxing time for me, and Yikealo enjoyed his time with his cousin Zavier, but by the end of the week, his safe little world was definitely fraying around the edges. Things had been weird for just too long, he hadn't seen his beloved Daddy in five days, and on top of that, Chris and Erica got their referral that week. All of a sudden, there was lots of talk about Ethiopia and lots of pictures floating around of two scared-looking, dark-skinned little boys. Yikealo began to get nervous, and he regressed in his normally very secure connection with us by about a year and a half. If I left a room while he wasn't paying attention, he panicked that I had left him. He began to bring up memories of his fear when Mihiret left him, and he was by turns very clingy and very distant. He got way too friendly with acquaintances of ours that he doesn't know all that well, and he cried much more easily than normal. Things desperately needed to return to the status quo.

Thankfully, our lives have gotten back to their nice, boring, typical schedules! After being gone for three weekends in a row, this is our second with absolutely no plans. Mr. Y and I have had two weeks of long, sunshiney, stay-at-home days - full of snuggling and reading stories and long walks and playing in the wading pool.
He is back to his normal, happy, self-confident personality. I am so glad that he shares his feelings and fears with us, rather than keeping them bottled up inside. I am so glad that a few days of normalcy returns him to his sunny self. I am so glad that we have made so much progress over the last two years, and that, for the most part, he trusts us.

Oh yeah, and then there's this scary pirate who showed up in our home this week: constantly brandishing his sword and threatening to slice off various body parts of his captured victims. Unfortunately for him, this Mama isn't too frightened by a pirate in Miss Sally socks who diligently practices writing his letters at the kitchen table...

One more thing: our June and July numbers. I was obviously a bit lax in posting them during June, but last month we were at #53 for a girl and #40 for a boy.
There has been a nice amount of movement in the referrals over the last couple of weeks, and for July we are at #46 for a girl and #34 for a boy...although we are already a bit lower than that, as there have been three more referrals just this week!