Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Reward

We had a really awesome experience tonight.

Our first parent/teacher conferences.

Even though I drop the boys off and pick them up from preschool, every time, the two minute, "How are the boys doing?" conversations were not good indicators on what was really going on in the classroom.

I was wide-eyed as their teacher went through their portfolios with us. When did LJ learn to trace lines? And how is it Ty can recognize the number 8 when asked? They are cutting and matching and patterning...all while learning how much Jesus loves them!

While we were curious about both boys, we were most concerned about LJ's progress, attention, and attitude in school. In 8 months, we have seen a complete transformation. We know what LJ is capable of and the challenges he's faced, head-on. What we didn't know, was whether or not his progression translated to the classroom. Another brand new experience for him.

My mama heart BEAMED with pride at the teacher's words.

"...Ty is expressive in his participation, curious in his learning, and kind-hearted and polite in his actions. Laron always has a smile on his face, gives the most hugs, plays really well with the other children, and follows direction. Both boys are truly a joy..."

I am proud of BOTH of my boys for the men they are becoming and the actions they are displaying, away from home. I was elated to hear about Laron. Not because we play favorites, but because that kid has been through a whirlwind of change in the last several months. He went from not being able to drink from a cup and throwing defiant tantrums at whim to cutting straight lines and raising his hand when called on, in class! My son, did that! He can do anything. I always believed it, but HEARING his teacher say the words was like a God song.

I'm sorry, but I have to get out my soapbox, here.

My son was a state ward. His profile was sent to, what most consider, our state's "unadoptable" website. (i.e. case workers are not able to find families for the children listed). My son was listed with moderate emotional and physical needs (physical being the "severe" asthma he does not have). My son lived in FIVE foster homes, two of which he was removed from for CPS violations, and he swapped out siblings like I pay our car insurance. He spent his first weeks with us void of most emotion and the next several weeks, crying. He has scars on his body that I cannot explain. He wouldn't laugh when we tickled him. He didn't know how to go to the bathroom on the potty or eat properly or problem solve. He was a tripping maniac and had little hand-eye coordination. He had a constant line of drool streaming from his face because he hadn't properly learned how to suck. He cried for "home" every time we left the house because he didn't understand that we would be back. He didn't know how to sit still on my lap when I read him a book. He called me "mama" from day one because the name held no meaning. He didn't talk much, and then when he tried, his words came out in stutters.

He didn't know security.

He didn't know how to belong.

He didn't understand that family is forever.

In eight months (EIGHT!) That same boy...MY BOY...is an outgoing, full-of-life, passionate, energetic, leader in his classroom. He is confident and secure and knows his place in our family. He is a stickler for the rules because they mean something to him. They provide him with healthy boundaries, while allowing him to explore and dream and be creative. He knows that EVERY good gift comes from God and that Jesus loves him more than anyone else on this planet. He knows that his brother is his best friend. He understands that he will never live in another home again. He knows that when Daddy lays on the floor, it's wrestle time. He gets what we mean when we ask him to act like a gentleman or pray from his heart or to "dip responsibly" (table manners).

The same boy that couldn't figure out how to back his monster truck up from underneath a table is now painting within lines, leading his classmates in songs, and recognizing the letters in his name. I am in awe of what God has done.

Isn't it amazing what one little "yes" can do? We said yes to our son before ever seeing his picture or meeting him in person.

Isn't it amazing what a little lot of patience, time, love, and expectations can do for a three year old?

It's an absolute privilege to mother these two boys. I know the love and pride in my heart, for them, pales in comparison to God's, but, man, I am just EXPLODING, tonight.

I always wanted a HUGE life. I wanted my actions to make a difference.

I have it. They are.

My boys are going to change the world.








30 comments:

  1. What a remarkable testament to what his PARENTS are doing for him. He is learning strength, stability, love and security ad well as the simple tasks we often take for granted. The patience you have shown and how much you've given of yourself is amazing. No one need ever doubt that this family was created exactly how it should be. You are all so lucky and blessed to have one another. You're raising strong, confident, respectful and compassionate men. Congrats Ty and LJ on doing a great job in school! You have so many people who are super proud of you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wish you could see my face. I have the biggest smile on my face while I was reading this post.... I'm speechless... WOW! Amazing and beautiful. Amazing parents..Amazing boys!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is brutal and beautiful all at the same time. What a sweet story you are blessed to live!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So awesome!! Our God is the healer of hearts and when He chooses to use us in the process...it's breath taking really...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Once again your passionate words have brought me to tears. Even though we've never met, you couldn't pick me from a crowd, I am humbled by your experience, and honored that I can share in your journey in this way. The way God is working through you and Ben to raise such sweet and loving boys is just awe inspiring. Yay for great conferences, and yay for GREAT parents.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's awesome what you have done.

    We have an open adoption and I love reading your stories. You are a very good writer with a heartwarming story. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yay!!! This just makes my heart happy. To see the change is sweet LJ's face from your first photos, to now, is such a transformation. He knows he is loved-a forever love. I look so forward to your blog,that I am going to start blogging. I have wanted to for so long. I think there is nothing better than to have an online journal for the kids to read later in life!! I love watching your family grow and these to sweet boys are just the beginining of your incredible journey. Kudos to you and Ben for raising such little men.

    -Heather

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this! I read your posts via Google Reader, and this morning - I just had to click over and give you a virtual high five. Good job, Momma! I am so incredibly happy for your family.

    ReplyDelete
  9. wow! i only dream to be a parent like you one day! :) this is very comforting and touching to someone who is experiencing infertility and is looking into adoption!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I too smiled from ear to ear. God is so good and he loves your boys so much. And you are such a faithful servant of His and look how it has blessed you and your family. You are such an amazing faith full woman. I am so glad to 'know' you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a transformation he has made! I know you are one proud Mama!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a GREAT example your whole family is of God's healing power and perseverence!

    ReplyDelete
  13. WOW!!! What an AMAZING post! I'm in awe. I'm so Happy for you all. Thank you for sharing! WAY TO GO boys!!! (mom and dad too!)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your boys are going to change the world because they have parents who believe they can. You have every reason to be a proud mama - of the boys and of yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Praise God! Awesome, awesome, awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm so happy for all of you. You and your hubby are raising two lil men. Stand proud. You both have done it. The love and patience you have given LJ has changed him. You have every reason to be a proud mama and daddy. This is an amazing post. YOU ALL have come a long way. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Rebekah this is beautiful! One of my favorite posts ever. They ARE changing the world in their little ways already. And I am so very proud of the therapuetic work you all have done with LJ just by being a normal, functioning family. We too have seen BIG changes in a short time with our boys from foster care. Wonderful, life giving, affirming actions that bring us to our knees in gratefulness for a God who ALWAYS comes through in His timing.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Amazing!! GOD IS GOOD!
    Way to go boys, you make your mom & dad very proud!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am sitting here crying. What an inspiration. You are truly an example of how God wants us to live. I can't imagine what you have all been through, and I know it's been far from easy, but it's amazing to see how far you have all come. God is faithful.

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us all.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This post made me smile, made my heart beat harder and made tears in my eyes! I know I say this a lot, but YOU are ah-mazing and those boys are SO lucky to have you. YOU are changing the world. YOU are simply AH-MAZING!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. That gave me goosebumps. LJ has come so far with the kind, loving, stable guidance and influence of you, your hubby, and Ty. A beautiful example of what God, love, and stability can do for a hurting child. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Such beautiful words from such a beautiful heart. You are doing a great job. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. thank you for making the world a better place!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.
    C. S. Lewis

    This post makes me so happy. It's amazing how an abused and neglected child can bounce back with some love and stability. To go from being a sad and confused little shell of a person, to a happy, confident boy, ready to take on the world. "Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives."
    C. S. Lewis

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am overjoyed that everything turned out so well. How wonderful that your first report card was so fabulous.

    I agree about the boys potential. God says of you, "Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel.(the world.)" Is 8:18 NKJ.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I cried reading your post today...in happiness and sadness. Overwhelming happiness for the beautiful story of unconditional love, and pride that you have in your precious little boy! Sadness, because he had to endure horrors we cannot understand. Happiness because your love and the love of Jesus has given him a gift that every child deserves...the gift of a forever family! So blessed to follow your blog! Thank you for your honesty, and for sharing such intimate stories from your heart. May God continue to work wonders in your family!

    ReplyDelete
  27. So happy your boys are doing well. Loved this post!

    ReplyDelete