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(Sleeping on the airplane with his head on my lap and his feet on Kris’ lap.)

This update is long overdue!
Thanks so much to the multitude who is praying for our family during this time.
We are so thankful for God’s promise that He is Always with us. Without Him, we would have failed at this a long time ago. He has given us a deep love for this child. A certain knowledge that this is our son. No matter the difficulties, you just don’t give up on your son! Yes, there have been times when it would have been FAR easier to give up than keep going. But, it boiled down to obeying God. And at the last moment God showed us clearly what an awful tragedy it would be to lose this child, and gave us more strength to carry on. We had a court order from 2 countries saying Send Him Back. But, God impressed upon us to NOT just blindly follow orders. 😉
We begged for more time, and his country graciously gave it.
A lot of the details need to remain private for N’s sake, but I will just say that he has endured unimaginable loss in his life. New details emerge occasionally and they just are SO heart breaking!
Anger and Control are how he has dealt with his pain and fear for a long time. Losing control is a very scary thing. He is learning to trust. It is a long slow process. But, we see such beautiful glimpses of the Real Boy inside more and more often.
A wonderful friend and God put us on the path to an “intervention”. Wow. http://www.parentingadopteescantrust.com
Debbie and Alan came in to our home for 4 days and changed our lives. They first told us to watch the TBRI videos. http://child.tcu.edu/about-us/tbri/
Then after us agreeing that we were open to making some serious changes, they showed up on REALLY short notice to change our lives. God opened up their schedule to make this possible. Kris was able to take time off work without repercussions. Friends and family prayed (and continue to!) and provided meals. We are STILL being blessed with meals as we continue to work hard on practicing these Biblical parenting principles. Debbie and Alan backed us up 100% on the biggest conflict we were having. There is just no compromising on some things – we had to obey God in this area and we are so thankful that they are Christians and agreed with us. We did come up with two choices for N in this area. Neither choice compromised our values, and whatever he chose was fine with us. It took him about a week to choose because he didn’t like either choice. But, not choosing was fine with us too since it just kept the issue in limbo. 😉
There is no internet time when N is awake. Almost every minute is spent together. The more connected we become, the less satisfied he is to go off and do things on his own. This is perfectly fine! It will not last forever. Right now he is getting exactly what he needs to heal and grow. He’s getting what he missed out on as a baby/small child. Constant attention. Needs being met. Learning to express his needs. Learning to trust that we will meet every need. Learning to use respectful words to express his needs. And one of the hardest lessons – learning to regulate his emotions using calming strategies. Practice practice practice!  It’s SO interesting to me that the issues we are dealing with now are SO different than the ones we dealt with during our 3 hostings.

We are in between trip 1 and trip 2 right now. The adoption is NOT final. On trip 2 he will be asked AGAIN if he wants to be in our family. He is SICK TO DEATH of being asked so many times. He says “I said yes 100 times! How many times do I have to say it before they believe me?” Hopefully he will feel more peace once the adoption is final. He is so fearful right now that something will go wrong.

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“Life lessons can be very painful.” – to quote a famous person. (RT)
N kicked an ice chest yesterday because he was upset that his earphones weren’t working properly. He had so much pain in that toe that he (and I) got very little sleep until 2:30 am! But, you know what he did NOT do? He did not blame anyone else for the problem. He did not say anything rude to me (Kris was at work), and he came to me later on his own to apologize for kicking the ice chest off the deck. That is progress! He is still limping this morning, but hasn’t had to take ibuprofen for the pain since 2 am. These lessons are things that a lot of us with loving parents learn at a much younger age, obviously. But, he’s had no one to talk him through these things so we talked about some other things he could have done. First he said he should have kicked with the bottom of his foot instead of his toe. LOL Then he admitted it would have been better to go punch the punching bag. Then I asked him what he could have said and he said “I should have said ‘I’m so upset!’” Kris has a shirt that says “I’m so upset” and it’s a family joke.  During the night while he was writhing in pain he said “Please don’t call 911!” I guess I need to explain that we don’t call 911 unless there’s no way we can get to the hospital in time to save someone’s life!

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