This Wednesday Ian will have been home with us for seven weeks. If you count the two weeks he was with me in Bulgaria, we've been getting to know each other for about 9 weeks now.
It seems like such a short amount of time, and I guess it is since I'm still measuring in weeks.
But, as hard as it has been at times, it seems like he's always been here.
He's the piece we didn't know our family was missing until that day I saw his face almost 20 months ago.
And, I have to say, that even with the hard moments, this part is easier for me than that 19 months of waiting were. He is here with us, I can look at him and check on him any time I want. I don't have to wonder how his heart and eyes are doing because I have the ability to take him to the best specialists that we can find. I don't wonder if he's hungry, or cold, or if he is being treated well. He's here and for that we are so grateful.
Our God is faithful.
And, we are so thankful to every single one of you who played a part in helping us bring our son home.
I know it may not seem like I'm all that grateful though.
I don't update my blog, emails and texts are going unanswered, phone conversations are cut short, and I've cancelled more plans than I've kept, often at the last minute.
This isolation that helps forge attachment for our family, it's something that we were prepared for, but I'm worried that I dropped the ball on preparing most of our family and friends.
People want to support us and don't know how because I don't reach out, I don't ask. But, please know that I know you're there and it means the world to me.
But, a lot of the stuff we're dealing with is hard, and some of it is ugly. And, we know that none of you would shun us or turn away if we shared with you. But, the reality is, Ian is going to be in our family forever. We pray that one day he will be past the struggles he faces right now, that our family will be past them.
His story, even what little we know right now (which I'm sure barely scratches the surface), it's his to tell, if he chooses to one day.
We believe that we serve a God who can make beauty from ashes ~Jehova Rapha (The Lord Who Heals) can heal us all from our pasts. We pray that he will give us the grace, wisdom, and ability to love this boy of ours well while his heart heals.
It won't happen overnight, most likely it will take years.
That's ok. We're in this for the long haul!
Ian has eyes that will haunt your soul. He's a survivor, but somehow he's survived with his smile, and humor, and sweetness still intact. They're sometimes overshadowed by the hurt that expresses itself in some hard ways, but they're there. They're who he is. He is not his past, his hurt, or his anger.
He's an 8 year old boy.
He's walked a hard road and most of his life he walked it alone.
Now we are blessed to have him in our family and to get to walk the rest of his life beside him.
Every day I am grateful for that fact.
Well, I started this post intending for it to be an update on Ian, but this has gotten long so that will be my next post which I promise I won't wait another 3 months to write.
But, I wanted to leave you with this.
Yesterday we went to church and my 'Secret Sister' had left a bag there for me. Along with a bag of my all time favorite suckers (Caramel Apple) was this candle. I don't know who my sweet sister is, I'll find out in December, but I'm grateful that she knew I needed this reminder.
And, in case you need it today too...