Six Months Home
On this day, six months ago, I saw a boy; a boy with wide, frantic eyes. Head down, eyes fixed on his destination, walking as fast as possible without running, he looked like a bull going after a red sheet. I looked at Tate and he looked at me. “What have I done?” I thought. For the first time since meeting him 18 months before, I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life. Within seconds, the Lord’s peace overcame me and a few minutes later the scared boy that I met in 2015 walked out. Walls were too thick to bulldoze. They were made of stone. He was terrified and so were we. He wouldn’t speak. He wouldn’t eat. We were strangers who had come to take him away from his comfortable world; the only world he had every known.
This weekend an old friend saw him for the first time. He looked at me and said, “Tate seems like he is very patient with him.” My response was, “Yes, he is much more patient than I am.”
The truth is, Asa is the patient one. By choosing to be his parents, he has taught us how big the Father’s love is for us. He also taught us how much we must trust our Father. If He is always just and is the perfect standard of righteousness, why would we turn to anyone else, especially ourselves, for reliance?
Asa learned how to protect himself in the orphanage. In fact, he learned skills that will benefit him for the rest of his life. But now he is learning a new set of skills; he is learning that he can trust us for everything.
Today, six months into our new family, he got up, picked out his own clothes, dressed himself, brushed his teeth, washed his face, and was ready for school without me saying a word. #progress
He is telling us complete stories of what happens at school and stringing up to six words together at a time. He can count consecutively to 16, is learning to tell time, can spell and write his entire name, and can read basic sight words.
His favorite food is still noodles and his favorite toy is still a ball.
However, he has a new favorite “thing.” - - - > Friends.
You may think, “But he had friends in the orphanage, right?” Yes, you are right. But I don’t think he had friends like these. When he is in our neighborhood and sees a “friend” (this could be someone his age or one of Mama and Daddy’s friends) he beams with excitement and joy.
My biggest concern with bringing him here was that he would be treated differently than his peers. And he is treated differently. He is the stand alone child - - - in the best way possible. He sees and feels the amount of love everyone in our community has given him. He is like Luke Bryan in Tifton. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
Tate and I can’t even begin to thank every single person that has welcomed him with open arms and made the decision to love him. He is loved as “my own” by so many…and he knows it. He feels it. He sees Jesus shining through each and every one of you. He no longer asks about Buddha or engages in Buddhist tradition like he did the first few months home.
He sees, feels, and knows that he is loved in a supernatural way.
We have the best of both worlds - two gifts (well, three now!), complete opposite of one another, yet so beautifully interwoven in each others lives. Not a moment goes by when they are separated and one isn’t asking where the other is. Watching them run in circles chasing one another, bellies jiggling with laughter, yet being eight years apart in age makes me think about how much we would have missed had we said, “No, Lord” to this calling.
One last thought - On November 16, 2015, I prayed for the Lord to match the desires of my heart with His desires - and I meant it. On November 17, just one day later, He fulfilled my request and added to it. He simultaneously placed the desire in my heart and my husband’s heart for this child; a desire than had not just been absent, but had been completely dismissed as unimportant and unrelated to our family. Great for others, just not for us.
If you are anything like I have been so many times and you feel too busy, too tired, too reluctant, too fearful, or too _____________ to complete the task the Lord has set before you, be bold and move. Take one step forward, then another, then another. Watch as He opens and closes doors. Rely on His Word to be your guide, rather than a feeling, person, or thing. Expect big things from your big God. After all, if He can create the entire Universe and everything in it from absolutely nothing, what can’t He do for you.
Here is a little something extra for your enjoyment: