I realize that I never posted about the anniversary of K. being home and part of our family for two years now. While it has been a roller coaster here for the past two years, that is not because of K.'s presence in our lives. We have been blessed that K.'s transition to our family has been one of those fairy tale, rainbows and happy trees, types of adoption stories. It just feels as though he's always been here.
For those of you who might be new to this blog, I'll give you the short story of his adoption. Because we knew that it could take a while to be matched with another child, we started the adoption process again 6 months after coming home with TM. We were expecting a year's wait to be matched, so were very surprised to hear from our agency just two weeks after turning in our application that they had a 7 month old baby available and were we open to cleft lip and palate? After reviewing his file we said yes, even though we knew that he was in a province which was historically a little slower than the others. So instead of a 4-5 month wait, this province was taking 7-8 months. We decided we could handle that, especially we weren't really planning on everything happening so quickly.
That 7-8 month estimate turned out to be a complete pipe dream. We waited 18 months from referral to travel and some families after us waited over two years. The reason? We never really knew, except that the province was slow. Meanwhile, we would receive quarterly updates on our son. We knew he was having trouble gaining weight and was considered malnourished. He had surgery on his lip without us. He had his first birthday. He had his second birthday. He learned to walk. And he grew before our eyes through pictures. It was incredibly painful and I fought depression during the last year of the wait. I prayed continuously that God would protect him both emotionally and physically... especially emotionally. I knew first hand what a traumatized child could look like.
But finally we were allowed to travel. So we packed up: J. and I, along with TM, M. and B. and headed to Vietnam. We met our son and found him to be a tiny boy, wearing 9-12 month size clothes. He was covered with scabies and the scratch marks and missing hunks of hair that go along with it. We discovered that he had never eaten solid food and was virtually silent, making hardly any sounds and didn't seem to have any language at all. We also discovered that his palate, which we thought was cleft, was completely intact. We would hold him and he would cling to us, looking at us with his huge, confused eyes. He was a compliant, well-behaved boy, but we wondered what the future would hold for him.
Fast forward two years. We laugh now that we thought him a quiet boy. He loves to shout, growl, shriek, laugh, and TALK! And talk and talk and talk. And it's real talking... in complete sentences. I am loving hearing what is going on in that little head of his. Today, we had a thunder storm, and K. told J. that it was thundering outside and that it sounded like dragons. No wonder he's afraid of thunder if he thinks it is giant dragons surrounding the house.
He's also growing, though I think he will always be on the small side. His waist is about the same size as the babies'. Physically he is much, much stronger than he was. His biggest accomplishment this year so far has been to figure out how to ride a two-wheeler with training wheels. I wish he would figure out that he needs to look at where he is going, though. He wants to focus on watching his feet which has caused more than a few tumbles. A few days ago, some visitors asked if K. was 4 or 5. That was the first time he has ever been judged to be his actual age. I was thrilled.
He is a sweetheart and we love him; even when he's whining. (Though that is starting to get better.) We are so glad we made the decision to accept his referral two years ago. He was certainly worth the wait.