A year ago this week we were frantically doing our last minute packing and laying in a supply of groceries for the kids who were staying behind. We started our 28-hour trip to Xiamen, China, almost exactly a year ago.
Monday is Leo’s “Family Day;” the anniversary of when he was first placed with us, his forever family.
All three of our adoptions have been different. Our initial time at home with the two girls was spent on various medical appointments, especially for Lybbi, who was very sick. With Leo, who has a seizure disorder, we were dealing with more behavioral issues. Leo had been abandoned at the orphanage when he was just over two years old. He suffered from frequent seizures and was in very bad shape. He had a feeding tube placed and was put on anti-seizure medication, and, to the best of our knowledge, the seizures stopped. He remained in the orphanage almost four years. Like many kids from hard places, Leo has sensory issues. He displayed indiscriminate affection to anyone and didn’t have much in the way of social boundaries. This past year has seen slow (sometimes very slow) but always steady progress. Most of the behaviors have gone away. He’s making more eye contact and we’re working on saying hello and good bye. He sits longer when we read books, and he’s using a few words. His receptive language is very good. He started kindergarten this fall and his classmates love him, even though he often doesn’t give them the time of day. His full-time Instructional Assistant says he makes progress every day. Our older kids have been rockstars through all of it. They love Leo unconditionally, and they sometimes handle his behaviors better than I do.
Adoption is hard, and raising kids from hard places is hard. But Leo’s making great progress and he’s loved unconditionally by his family and his classmates. It been a huge blessing to be part of his story, and we’re so thankful that we were called to be his parents.