Sunday, November 10, 2013

4 Years Home

Four years ago this weekend, Jeremy and I met Jonathan for the very first time. As I was tucking him in bed last night, he asked me about the first time we met him. Lately, Jonathan has been asking questions. Questions like was I in your tummy? Was Ben in your tummy? How did you know I was in China? We do our best to answer all of his questions in a honest way and at the same time stress to him that he is loved and he is our son.
Meeting for the first time.

Jonathan is now 7. He is beginning to figure out his identity and what it really means to be adopted. We cycle. Jonathan asks one or two questions, we answer. Jonathan then becomes silly. Silliness is his protection.  I think he is protecting himself from the fact that he did enter our family differently then "most" of his siblings.  Jonathan witnessed Leo's adoption and he knows in his mind that Leo has another mommy, but I don't think that information has reached his heart yet.  Why?  Because if he acknowledges that Leo has another mommy than he will have to come to terms with the fact that he has another mom.  He is not ready to go there yet.  I wish his China mom could see him now.  See how well he is doing.  See what an incredible boy he is.

Brothers (first weeks home) I have also been reflecting on how far Ben and Jonathan have come in their relationship in four years. When Jonathan came home, something happened that we knew would, but not to the extent that it did. Jonathan and Ben are just 13 months apart in age. Ben is older. We knew we would have to deal with some jealousy. We knew that Ben and/or Jonathan might have trouble adjusting and sharing but what we didn't realize was how much Jonathan's arrival would impact Ben. Ben's world was turned upside down and shaken to the core. He regressed horribly. Jonathan did great. It was like he had always been here. He fit right in. Ben wanted to send him back. It took a little longer then a year for things to even out and for Ben and Jonathan to really become brothers.
 They have come so far in the last four years.

Today, the two of them still fight. Ben still need what he calls "loney" time (which is his way of saying "I need my space"). But I really do believe they love each other like brothers. They are family. Some days you might even say they are friends. They either are playing great together and getting along great or they are battling. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. Ben definitely needs his space and time alone and if he has that he is good.

Jonathan has thrived and grown so much in the last four years.  He is a chess champion.  He is reading. He is excellent at math.  He is a social butterfly and makes friends with everyone.  According to him, he has the biggest muscles in the family.  He knows who God is.  He is now part of AWANA and has been actively memorizing a ton of scriptures.  We are waiting for the day that his relationship with God becomes personal.  We are so blessed to have Jonathan as part of our family.  It hasn't all been easy, but nothing worth having is. Probably the biggest compliment to Jonathan is when Amanda says- "Yes, we can adopt again but it needs to be another Chinese boy just like Jonathan."
We love you, Jonathan, and are proud to call you our son.

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