Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Better Day, Short Skirts, and Kisses (Mini Video)

Skirts are short here…just sayin’.  Even the graduation dress (a uniform) has…mmmm….less than liberal material.  Also, I gotta say….the shoes look painful.  I would break my ankle.

Yup, that was my random statement of the day (one of them at least).
Today was better.  Oh, I probably have a little handprint on my face, but I also had a little boy that kissed his hand and then held it out for me to kiss.  Progress….(BIG SMILE)

He also put both of his hands on his daddy’s cheeks gently…awesome.
I wrote to Michelle earlier (she knows who she is, don’t worry) that it hit me today.... what is going on with Benjamin is a lot like our relationship with God. 

We smack him with our sin.  We hurt Him.  He figuratively grabs our hands and says, “Nice, Nice”….and loves us anyway.

It’s been a reality check to see firsthand exactly what we do to God.  He is SO patient with us. 
The cool part is that every once in a while, we get it.

Today when we sat in the gazebo, waiting for Benjamin to be brought to us….the groans, screams, internal torment echoed within the walls.  It’s hard…hard hearing precious children of God making these sounds.  Please pray for EACH child/man here.  That God would give them a peace that passes understanding.

We did have “periods” of roughness today…smacking…self-harm…but are starting to see cues to what is going to happen.  A “Donald Duck” sound means he’s agitated  (sorry, there's just no other way to describe it...we've tried) and unless we change the situation, a smack is coming.  Sometimes it takes a little distance (throwing the ball) since he’s sensory overloaded (touch overloaded is often the case).  Sometimes it takes kissing his hand or rubbing it BEFORE the blow comes.  That seems to remind him.
Today he kept heading to the gate…the one gate that he has walked through to get his passport picture.  Our thought is that he wants to leave with us.

We can’t wait until that day comes; yet know it will be so much harder keeping him safe.  He knows no boundaries…everything will be thrown; running in front of a car would mean nothing to him.  Starting from scratch with a nine year old (almost ten) in a four year old body, leads to some challenges....all worth it.

The one very successful first we had today I didn’t even think to get a picture of.  We fed Benjamin some applesauce.  This may not sound like a big deal, but Benjamin has trouble drinking and eats nothing solid…more like baby food consistency.  We don’t know if it’s his teeth or another issue with his muscles or tongue.  He ate easily and swallowed well.  This is great.  Now we know that at least we can get liquids easily through a spoon.
The non-successful part of the day?  We tried soft music with earphones.  He started stimming immediately.  We may try again in the future, as we the food was already so new to him (coming from us) and it could just have been another form of overload.

Since this post is fairly short today, I thought I’d answer some questions we’ve been getting.

The biggest question has been about our time frame. 
This particular country is fairly unpredictable.  It’s NOT bad and there are SO many kids in need here…it’s just there are a lot of variables.

Here’s the gist…

1. We have a required ten day wait (called the period of appeal…or some such).  This ends on Sunday, June 2nd for us.  Monday (day 11 since court) will have the government officials typing up the official adoption documents.

2. On Tuesday (day 12 since court date) we pick up the papers first thing in the morning.  This is usually done on Wednesday, but they are being kind to us.  We also go pick up Benjamin (we still cannot officially take custody yet) and drive two hours to the major city of his birth.  There are three things that have to take place at this point.  Passport and birth certificate being the primary two.

SIDE NOTE: We need Benjamin’s name to be taken off the orphan registry at this point.  The complication can go something like this (since the office personnel handling this are new and don’t have any experience).  She CAN require the passport be presented before taking him off the registry.  The passport people (in the large city of birth two hours away) require his removal from the registry BEFORE  they will place a specific stamp on the passport that we need to bring Benjamin home.  If they require this, then we need to apply for the passport in the large city, go pick it up another day (usually done by another facilitator, but we will have to do it if this complication happens) bring the passport to the city of the institution, get Benjamin removed from the registry, take the passport back to the major city of his birth, get the stamp, then come back here to show the director and get custody of Benjamin.  Clear as mud, right?  Please pray his name is removed from the registry easily.  This could cause delays and is an expense we didn’t exactly plan on.

3. Thomas leaves Wednesday, June 5th and my brother Steve replaces him.

4. Because the embassy only does medicals on Monday and Wednesdays, we will probably take custody of Ben (if everything works out) Sunday June 9th .  We PRAY we can be home BEFORE June 15th (when the teens leave for an activity). 

5. All of these things could be accelerated or go slower depending on the hiccups. The above is why I really don’t have a countdown to taking custody on the blog right now.  I have at least two more weeks here…at LEAST.

I was also asked about the fruit. 

We bought the bananas for the institute and gave them to the nurse in charge.  We are confident they made it to the boys.  Another family has done this and we know they use the fruit.  Tomorrow we go to the open air market again and we hope to buy apples this time.  Since everything is made from scratch, we know they could use different recipes using apples.  Also, we will keep an eye out for other items they may need.
Well, I’m determined to get to bed in the next half an hour, soooo….here’s our randomness and Skype pictures of the day (followed by the prayer requests).

Another cat falls victim to levitating goat (Thomas said I had to put this picture in here...lol.)

Checking for the levitating goat....

No levitating goats, just barbeque meat cheese lovers (above and below)

The entryway where we remove our shoes and put on slippers. (Above and Below)

SKYPE PICTURES OF THE DAY~Some awesome kids in the States....
Just for cuteness sake...
We are explaining the cat squishing levitating goat to our cat back home - note the look of concern.
We have tough girls in our family. Goats beware!

We continue to appreciate all prayers.  We ask that you please continue to pray for Benjamin’s name to be removed easily from the orphan registry.  It can be complicated, time extending, and expensive.  ALSO, please pray for protection of Ben when we are not with him...not only from others, but also from his fears and anger (anger because we left him and fear of us not returning).
Two extra prayers...(1) For the nurse at the institution who seemed to be very upset today.  Please pray for peace that comes from a relationship with God.  We care a lot about her. The language barrier makes it hard to find out if there is anything we can do. (2) For a family dear to us that is fighting for the life of a family member against the addiction to drugs.  Please pray he turns to God and seeks help.
ALL Prayer Requests

*Please pray that God continues to prepare Benjamin's heart and calms his spirit.  Giving him restfulness.  Please pray he attaches and learns to love (and learns what family is) quicker than we can fathom.  This will be scary for him.

*PLEASE pray that the master of lies hands are tied. 

*Please pray that the small town's gates are “figuratively” thrown down and God’s love floods the streets.

*Please pray our children at home (and on a senior trip) are safe...physically/emotionally/and spiritually.  Attacks on the kids happened last time we were gone on the trip to bring Jael home.  PLEASE cover them. 
*Please also pray as our children at home try to stay organized in our absence, that things go smoothly for them and time passes quickly.
*Please pray for my husband and I, for our SAFETY and that we remain WELL.  We are going somewhere VERY rural with no one that speaks English most of the time.  
*Please pray for my mom, brother, and friends as they care for our children (safety, smoothness, etc.)

* Please pray that the current trip has a speed that can only be explained as a blessing of God. 
*Please pray that our trip home with Ben is peaceful and uneventful.  Please pray that calm (beyond understanding) reigns for our sweet Benjamin and that we see what we need to do to help him.

*That ALL paperwork needed is sped (by God's Will) in country (with NO hiccups). That the registrar quickly and easily removes Benjamin from the orphan registry, making things easy.
*Please pray for comfort as we continue to mourn Jonathan.
*Please pray for us to have a connection with the head of the institution. God has given us a love for the head of the institution and the caregivers.  Also, please pray for our connection to those in the village.

*Please pray that the head of this institution shows us where Benjamin has resided these last two years...and around the institution and laying rooms.  This is a wish, but we respect their decision.

 *Please pray the trip  itself is smooth.  There are NO issues.  That every blip, every hiccup...is ironed out before us.

*Please pray that our lines of communication with our children are successful (Skype, Magic Jack, international texting).  We will be in a very rural region.

*Please pray that we will feel rested and adjust to the time change while here.


"About Benjamin He said:
'Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him,
 for He shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.'

Deuteronomy 33:12

1 comment:

  1. Praise the Lord!
    Precious video clip! I just loved hearing that wonderful, happy little laugh!
    He sounds exactly like a couple of my dearest little students, also with Down's. Trying to imagine them in a situation like he is in.... boy, he is a trooper!
    Praying, and so eager to hear that he is home! :)


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