A few days into being home from Ethiopia, I decided to continue writing in the journal I took with me on the trip. I’ve found it nice to write thoughts specific to the journey we take with Taye now that we’re home. This hasn’t been an everyday sort of journaling but rather a chance to capture an ephemeral moment in our lives that may be significant to Taye one day. The thoughts in this post have come from those entries.
This is our second week home. Jenna is volunteering at VBS at a church around the corner. The three older kids are having a great time, and honestly, so is Jenna! She loves being the snack coordinator for over 500 kids. Taye hasn’t had all of his blood-work done or started his vaccination schedule; so we feel better having him stay with us at this point rather than putting him a nursery with other kids.
This has given Taye and I the perfect opportunity to work on some bonding.
I find it amazing how much relational growth can happen in one week. From literally screaming when I had to hold him to really having FUN together, the journey has been great. We put the top down on the Jeep while we were running errands. We’ve sat and chilled out to Baby Einstein. And we’ve laughed together and wrestled around on the living room floor.
Oh…and I introduced him to the wonderful world of Apple computers and my quasi-daily Photo Booth pictures:
Not once did we have any bonding issues. I admit; I was nervous. As he realized that he wasn’t going into the car with Jenna and the other kids, he began his Taye-crying-fit that he does so well. I picked him up, brought him into the other room, and within seconds he was calm and smiling at me. The rest of the day was filled with smile after smile. And I realized I had nothing to worry about.
Taye continues to struggle at bed times with being left alone in his crib to fall asleep. He needs someone in the room or he’ll start “Taye drama” which is more suspense/thriller than actual drama I must say. He is consolable, yet we are working to cure this. Language is a barrier. We try to communicate that we’re still there and will be there in the morning when he wakes up, but he can’t express what he’s feeling or why he’s crying.
We know this will pass. All of our kids have had trouble going to sleep at some point growing up. This is no different. And really, Taye is a wonder! He’s SO good and a complete joy to have in our home. We can’t imagine life without him in it. But no one gives birth to or adopts a perfect child.
We all have that nasty baggage that comes with being human, baggage we either give ourselves or are given by others. The job of the family is working together to lighten the load, remove the baggage that contains all the issues and replace those with others filled with love and hope.
It’s not easy, but no one said that parenting is supposed to be easy.
And after all, it’s what Christ did for us. Through Him God took all off our issues and replaced them with love and grace. He accepts us as we are and in spite of who we are still calls us sons and daughters worthy of inheriting the kingdom of God. He patiently waits as we conform to the image of Jesus and learn what it means to live as a child of the King, a task that will take our whole lives as we travel into eternity.
I need to remember that Taye will go to sleep without screaming long before I look more like Jesus Christ.
I can offer grace to him, stay in the room, sing a few songs, and bask in the glory of watching my son drift off to sleep. These moments with him are beautiful. They are moments I will miss someday. I will savor each of them as long as I can.
Seriously. I’m so blessed to live my life.