We have been home for 3 1/2 weeks now.....tomorrow (the 17th) it will be exactly a month since we laid eyes on Elijah for the first time.
Time is a confusing thing, isn't it? How can it seem like just yesterday that we were in Ethiopia and meeting Elijah, and yet seem like he's always been here...? It's hard to believe. Of course I remember the waiting, wanting to receive a referral, and then anxiously awaiting to pass court. I remember the travel plans, the lists of things to do, and the preparations we made. But, I also feel that I have known Elijah forever. I have said it before, but I am amazed at a God who places a child in your family from across oceans and yet they fit just perfectly. I know that everyone who adopts does not feel the instant connection and bond, but we have been fortunate to. We love this kid more every day.
Our "big" kids have transitioned well. They are all eager to help and love their brother. Their assistance has been invaluable...we are so proud of the way they have welcomed their brother into their family and embraced him. (It was just 5 of us for 10 years, remember!) They seem to really "get" why we started this adoption journey. They know he WAS an orphan, but also really embrace the concept that he is no longer. It has been an amazing thing to watch. I pray that God will use this experience in their lives to open their hearts up to whatever He has for them.
Elijah has had an amazing transition as well. He has just begun to become wary of people he doesn't know so well. He looks for Nathan and I if we are in the room and while he doesn't (usually) cry if someone else picks him up, he is definitely checking them out and wants to be able to see us. This is a great sign to show that he is bonding to us and recognizing us as his care givers. So, while he doesn't smile as readily for strangers, it's actually a good thing. Elijah's blood tests came back confirming that he is a healthy little guy and we are so thankful for that. He is delightful to be around - easy, happy, laid back and yet full of personality. We think he's charming! :)
How about mom and dad? Well, except for the early morning feedings, we've adjusted well. Many people have asked us how it is to have a baby again, and while it takes us longer to get out of the house, it really hasn't seemed much different. You just do what you have to do - it's your child! Nathan and I love being parents and enjoy having a little one around again - especially one this cute. There are, of course, times when a couple of them need me at the same time and I can feel pulled in more than one direction, but our oldest three have been awesome about being patient in those situations.
So, we are settling in and finding our new normal. We feel blessed x4 and wouldn't have it any other way!