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Not all of us are called to adopt, but you can always help a family who is.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Adoption Update

It's been almost five months since we brought Alex home, so it seems to be time for an update.  When we considered adoption (less than a year ago), one of our biggest concerns was how a six-year-old boy would fit into our family.  It took Alex no time at all to rid us of that concern.  Even with his limited English, he gets our family's sense of humor.  He also loves to do most anything we are doing, whether it's cuddling on the couch to watch a movie, ride bikes, or go farming with Grandpa.  Speaking of English, Alex has a firm grasp of the language with minor grammar issues and a vocabulary just like most other six year-olds.  People who meet him now don't even realize that English is his second language.  Bonding has also been a huge success for us.  Alex gives hugs and kisses all day long, especially to me.  The words "I love you" come almost daily now and we have learned to appreciate that he says it when he means it rather than just because it's the thing to say at that moment.  On Mother's Day, Alex got his piggy bank and asked AJ to take him to the store.  They came back with a cute arrangement of carnations and a card on which Alex wrote "I love you."  I will treasure that forever.

Another big success for Alex has been his academics.  He does well with his school work, usually completing his work quickly and accurately.  He reads English fairly well, as well as appropriate for a first grader.  His penmanship is beautiful and he enjoys writing stories in his journal.

Two issues came up after we brought Alex home, neither of which were anticipated.  The first was when we took him to his own bedroom the first time.  At the orphanage, all of the boys sleep on the floor in one big room.  For some time, our family gathered in Alex's room at bedtime each night to sing, tell stories and pray until he fell to sleep.  During the night, he woke and came into our room where he slept on the floor.  In the last couple of months, he has progressed to the point that we sometimes gather in the girls room and sometimes in his room.  He is comfortable with getting in his bed alone and waiting for us to tuck him in and he rarely makes it into our room during the night.

The other issue we are still working on is his desire to play.  Looking back on his time in the orphanage, the children spent most of their day at school.  If they weren't at school, then they were on an excursion, watching television or playing video games on the computer.  This has especially been a problem on school days because Alex finishes his school work quickly and has more free time than the girls who take longer on their work.  He is starting to enjoy playing with his cars, drawing and reading for fun. 

Our blessings are abundant and we count Alex as one of those blessings.  He adds so much to our family with his sweet personality and precious laughter.  Dinner is one of my favorite times of the day because we all sit and talk, usually much longer than the food lasts on our plates.  I'm looking forward to many more years with our daughters and son.

Below are some pictures from Alex's birthday party last weekend.  When asked what he wanted for his birthday, he answered, "a Cars party at church with cake."  How can I say no to that?

Singing Happy Birthday

Alex's favorite gift - a skateboard from Grandma & Grandpa

After the party, we went to a nearby park for a train ride.

Not everyone is called to adopt, but we are all called to help orphans.  We couldn't have adopted Alex without help from the Project Nic Fund.  The guidance, support and financial contributions were integral in bringing Alex to our home.  For Alex's birthday, we would love for you to make a contribution of any size to this worthy project.  In addition to helping with adoptions, the Project Nic Fund is supporting a home in China for children whose lives are impacted by AIDS.  When you click on the link, go to the "Give Online" tab.  You will have the opportunity to specify "Project Nic" in your donation.

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