It is that time, once again, for an overdue update post!!
Simon is still loving school, and we are sad that soon the school year will be over. Today we went to Madonna to do his placements for therapies over the summer. We are planning on getting him started in PT, OT, Speech and feeding therapy, twice a week over the summer. It was exciting as we did the OT evaluation because the therapist hadn't seen him since last summer, and we could see definite progress. Simon did a great job opening wide for his food...it was great to see. He still pushed the spoon away at times, but he was doing it to tell them he wasn't ready and when he was ready, he would touch their hand to give him another bite.
Simon will be getting his tonsils and adenoids removed on Tuesday. I am a little stressed about the recovery. I hate seeing Simon in pain. I also don't like that we can't really explain to him why we are doing it and why he will be in pain. The doctors told us to plan on at least one night in the hospital for sure and possibly a second night.
Even though our children are very different, I have learned a lot from being in touch with other mothers who adopted from the Pleven orphanage. I turn to many of these women when I am having really hard days. I rejoice with them when their children take steps, draw pictures or learn to speak. I mourn with them when they have bad days. Some of them have had really, really bad days. At this point, three mothers have lost children they adopted from Pleven. Ishmael and I pray for the Lord to heal their hearts each night. There is a part of me that I suppose is supposed to understand why God would bring a child into an adoptive family and then allow them to die just a year after they get here.. but I simply don't. There is a part of me that is supposed to say, well, they are out of pain, they are in a better place. But that part of me isn't really working just yet. I think that part of me is being eclipsed by the angry sobbing mess of a woman that I have been this week.
My frustration also goes in concentric circles. I am frustrated that children are ever abandoned by their familes at all, and I am even more upset that some of them are left because they have special needs. The injustice of special needs children then being neglected in orphanages, and experiencing even more trauma, is just too much to take at times. But my heart also breaks for children that aren't abandoned, and are hurt by their own parents. The stories of children being prostituted by their parents, beaten by their parents, verbally abused by their parents--they haunt me when I look into the eyes of my 7 month old baby, my 5 year old son and my Simon. I love them so much, I would NEVER do those things to my child. How do people get to that point? Why do they do it?
The only answer I come to is that pain brings more pain. Broken people break people. How can a mother who was abused herself figure out how to parent without abuse? How can a person addicted to drugs be expected to put their kid's needs before their own? How can a person that believes that they are nothing instill in their child a confidence that they can overcome in this world? They can't. Many of these things are examples of cyclical poverty...and the only way I have found to break someone out of it is to love them. To love them with more abandon than you ever thought possible. To love them like Jesus, to lay down your life for them. To invite them into your home, family and life and let them expeirence love first hand. Then pray that you can keep loving them when they struggle to love themselves.
Back to Simon, though...the worst days with Simon are the ones when he is in pain and we can't figure out why or how to make it stop. On those days Simon hits himself. Simon hits himself like you have never seen a child hit himself. He uses both fists and throws them across his face hitting his nose and forehead, leaving red splotches behind. The noise is maddening and can be heard through the walls and through the floors. On the worst days, when you grab his hands to stop him from hitting himself, he bashes his head into the floor. At that point I end up sitting with him on my bed. I lay him down and put my legs over his arms and hips, so he can't hit himself and if he tries to hit his head, it just bounces on the bed. It is in these times that Simon's pain hurts us. I have to remind myself what he has been through, so that I don't get angry with him for doing this to himself...for doing this to me. For showing us that the love we offer is not enough to heal him from some things (at least that is what it feels like he is saying). But what I need to give him is grace; what I need to give myself is grace.
Simon has come SO FAR. Just this week we were told by two different doctors how good Simon looks, how much he has changed and how good we are doing. It is nice to hear it. I feel like there are times I need to just post those words in my house somewhere. He does smile a lot, and his smile lights up the room and radiates warmth. He pulls our hands towards him and he pushes them away, and in that he communicates. He makes eye contact and communicates with those eyes. He laughs, and his laugh can bring us such joy. He is so much more interactive and aware than he used to be. We can see so much progress in level of engagement with the world around him.
Simon is a fighter. He is a survivor, and there are people who met him in that orphanage that never thought he would make it out of there alive and he did. He is the boy who lived. And I want to enjoy every day that I have with him....because someday I might have to join the circle of those who have lost their children...
Please take a moment to read a little about Tiya, she needs to get out of that orphanage. Please pray for her to find a family. And if you feel led, donate to her adoption costs.
Brandon, now has a family: Please support their adoption..
Mikah, also has a family and they could use your support and prayers.
Here are some pictures taken in the past 4 months:
|We attended a friend's wedding and Simon was able to try out the suit he got for Christmas. He looked pretty sharp.|
|this is his suspicious face.|