Saturday, November 5, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Although it is so sweet to hear any of your children say, "I love you" just because they want to, this is particularly special to me. The first couple months were not good between Aiden and me. I remember Kenneth having to reassure me and say things like, "I just know that when he walks across the stage at his high school graduation, you will never believe the special bond you have with him and how muc h you love him." At one point I just didn't know if that was ever going to happen (the special bond part). Wow! God has brought us both a long way in just a year.
Even more than that, I cherish those words because it reveals so much to me. I feel like it communicates so much more than just an "I love you." He truly feels like I am his "mommy" and there is no other woman that he thinks about in that regard. He seems to have no recollection of his birth mother. Part of that makes me very sad, but another part of that is comforting that he is not confused about my role in his life. I also feel like it communicates his comfort and happiness with his life right now. It seems like he feels he has always been a part of our family and he doesn't remember otherwise. I love the fact that he has adjusted so well and is a happy little boy. It is what we dreamed for him when we first laid eyes on him. I praise God for the work He has done in Aiden, and what He has graciously accomplished in and through us by allowing us to be Aiden's Mommy and Daddy.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Bruce Family Gotcha Day
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
On June 3 we celebrated the one year anniversary of meeting Aiden and Asa for the first time. I will never forget what the moments felt like. I remember flying into the Ethiopian airport at 3 in the morning. We were so tired, but excited that we were back in Africa. Strangely, Kenneth and I both feel so “at home” in Africa. Even the thought of the smells bring a smile to my face.
By the time we got to the guest house where we were staying we were able to get about two hours of sleep before we left for the transition house. We were exhausted but racing with a million emotions.
As we walked into the transition house we were greeted by several children and I kept looking for Aiden. Sue, our case worker, told us that the boys were waiting for us upstairs in a special room. She gave us a quick tour of the orphanage which I barely remember. We walked up a flight of stairs and with each step the knots in my stomach tightened. I felt like I could hardly make it up the stairs.
We followed Sue into a room and I heard her say, “Do you recognize these guys?” I only saw Aiden. I don’t remember feeling anything. I just got down on his level and I was so worried about overwhelming him or scaring him. He didn’t know me, not really. He had maybe looked at our picture a few times, but he had no idea that I was his new mommy. He could not even understand a word coming out of my mouth. I started holding his hands and telling him I was so happy to see him and that I loved him. Aiden was so shy.
I looked up and saw a nanny handing Asa over to Kenneth. I could not believe he was our baby. He looked so weak and sickly. Nothing like the energetic little baby we had seen in the first pictures of him. Although he had a hard time holding up his own head, he was full of precious smiles.
The first few hours with the boys are mostly a blur. We went to the embassy after leaving the transition house. When our name was called we anxiously walked up the stairs. The real final step in getting the boys home. After a few short questions a man said to us, “Do you understand that this adoption is final and that it can never be reversed?” We said, “Yes.” He then stamped a piece of paper and said, “Congratulations.” That was it. We walked down the stairs holding OUR boys.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The other night we were praying for Ivory Coast, which is in Africa. The boys love getting a chance to say their own prayer for the country. That particular night Aiden wanted to pray first and his prayer was "Jesus, thank you for Ivory Coast. Pray for all the kids who have no mommy and daddy. Give them good sleep. Pray for Mommy, Daddy, Noah, Asa and baby." I could have cried. It truly blessed my heart to hear my son, who at one time did not have a mommy or a daddy, praying for other little boys and girls on his birth continent who do not have a mommy or a daddy.
My prayer is that God would continue to open up hearts toward adoption and that people would be obedient to that blessed (though sometimes tough) calling. I pray that all those children around the world would find a forever Mommy and Daddy. And I also praise God that He allowed me to be Aiden's Mommy. He is ONE LESS orphan. Glory to God!!!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
We never get calls on our home phone.
I answered and heard a voice say, "Congratulations Mommy!" What?! I remember thinking, "There is no way!" I was expecting a phone call or e-mail the next day because I knew our court date took place some time in the middle of the night (Ethiopia time is about 8 hours ahead). This was way sooner than I expected. The voice continued, "You passed court!" The only thing I could get out was, "Both of them?" I had heard so many people tell me that you usually do not pass court the first time, and we should really expect nothing since we were trying to adopt two boys who were not biological siblings. The chances of all the paperwork being there, the chances of both birth mothers showing up when they had to come from 14 hours away just to say that they could not take care of their boys, the chances of the judge being in a favorable mood, etc etc. On top of that we had the anxiety of, "What if she shows up and changes her mind?"
After Angela from our adoption agency confirmed that both boys had passed court I thanked her and hung up. I immediately called Kenneth with a huge lump in my throat. I told him the news and then ran outside to tell our neighbor, Gina. Funny, I had just finished talking with her before I went in the house and told her, "Yeah, we might not hear anything until the weekend. I'm not getting my hopes up. No one ever passes court the first time. But we do know that whatever happened has already happened." Between pushing Noah back and forth on the swing, telling him that he really did have 2 new brothers, and making several phone calls, I just wanted to burst into tears!
At that time I never would have imagined the life that I now live. I might have been a little scared if God would have given me even a glimpse at that time. I am so thankful that He has slowly and patiently led me to where we are today. He certainly knows what we can handle and when we can handle it, whether we feel like we are ready or not. Praise Him for that!
Although life is absolutely crazy and I have some really tough, rough days with all the boys...I WOULD NOT CHANGE IT. I feel so incredibly blessed that God called us to adopt and that he brought Aiden and Asa into our lives. I wouldn't want to imagine life without them! Sometimes I just look at them and think about the magnitude of the true miracle God has performed for our family.
Monday, April 11, 2011
On Saturday we were eating lunch and the boys started telling "knock knock" jokes, only their knock knock jokes never make any sense. For example, we will hear: "Knock Knock." Who's there? "Table." Table who? "The table is brown." Mostly it is Noah coming up with the random jokes, laughing hysterically, and then Aiden repeats whatever Noah says, laughing hysterically. Then Kenneth and I laugh at how non-sensical it is. Anyway, on Saturday, Aiden made up his very own joke.
"Secretariat!" He said it in the funniest little voice too.
We started cracking up! You have no idea how thankful Kenneth and I were that he actually knows Secretariat is a horse! And that he made up his own joke that he thought was sooo funny. It really made me think back to about 10 months ago when he could not even speak English. In those very trying first couple of months I never imagined that I would be hearing him tell jokes in English and for those jokes to make a half a bit of sense. God has brought him a long way! And me too.
When we first brought Aiden home I was convinced God was out to get me. (Not really, but it was rough). Aiden was so destructive, so defiant, so opposite of me in every way I could think of. He and Noah fought ALL the time. I struggled to get through the day with him. I blamed myself for how it seemed I messed up Noah. I remember asking God if there would ever be a day when I just loved Aiden so very very much without forcing myself.
Wow, what a blessing that those first months are a blur now. I love that boy so much! He is a joy (Well, about 98% of the time. haha) Sometimes I just look at him and get tears in my eyes thanking God that he was brought to us. I cannot imagine my life without him. I am thankful beyond words that God, and Aiden's biological mother, allowed him to be my son. I have delighted in watching him grow and become secure in our family. He seems so happy and carefree now. The transformation in just under a year has been nothing short of God's miraculous grace and power at work! What a sight to behold.
Monday, March 7, 2011
"The Battle Is The Lord's"
I Samuel 12:47b
Best news...He NEVER Loses!!!
~Praying that every person that has anything to do with our children being ready to go into court will not be able to get their faces, names and situations off of their minds and hearts until they are ALL in court.
~Praying that the visable favor of almighty God rests on our children, on every document, every paper, every detail and signature of all of children's adoptions until they are set free, pass court, have birth certificates and VISAS!
~Praying James 1:5 - that the wisdom of God will flood the hearts and minds of Sue, Dejere, and EVERYONE at EVERY office and part of the process to free our children and bring them HOME to us. That creative ideas will come to their minds-even as they sleep to ensure our children's cases will be attended to promptly and thouroughly and not one item will be forgotten or overlooked in the name of Jesus!
~Praying that NO person dealing with any of our children will grow weary or be distracted from completing EVERY child's adoption paperwork quickly and correctly and our children will be HOME sooner than anyone could have dreamed or imagined!!!
~Praying that we will all be brought together in such a strong bond of spiritual unity for our children's lives -that every plot and scheme by any person and the enemy will be abandoned -and they will flee at the sight of our union of FAITH for our children's freedom!!!
~Praying that others will witness our strong stand of faith in our God and that it will cause lives to be changed and souls will be won into the Kingdom and God will receive ALL the GLORY!
~ Praying that NOBODY will grow weary -at any part of any of this process -that we will all lock arms and walk forward into this one step at a time - crushing the enemy EVER step of the WAY!
~ I am praying these things with GREAT expectancy and with GREAT FAITH in MY God who created our children and has a plan for their lives - a plan to give them a HOPE and a GOOD final outcome!!
~In The MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS AMEN and AMEN!!
Friday, February 25, 2011
Life is good, but it is incredibly busy with 4 boys! There is never a dull moment in our house. Noah makes us laugh all the time, Aiden loves to follow Noah around and do whatever he is doing, Asa never stops moving and Nathan wants his share of the attention too. By the time we get everyone to bed and pick up just a little bit, we are exhausted!
Aiden is doing well with pre-school, as far as we can tell. We never get any bad reports, but he never talks about school either. He always tells me that he has a good day when he gets off the bus but that is about all I get from him. He is just in his own little world and that is just fine with him.
Asa is improving with his weekly occupational therapy. The biggest change we have seen is in his attention span. Before therapy he would not sit still for 30 seconds. Now he can concentrate long enough to listen to a very short book or play with blocks for a couple of minutes by himself. We feel like we have a long way to go, but there is improvement!
I look back at a year ago and cannot believe how life has changed. At this time last year we had just accepted our referrals for Aiden and Asa, and found out that I was pregnant with Nathan a week to the day later. Wow. When I look at my journal from that time I admit that some of my worst fears have come true but it isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I feared being so tired and so overwhelmed. I feared feeling like I didn't have enough time or attention to go around. I feared how crazy things would be with 4 boys. Although all of those things are true for our life right now it comes in the midst of enormous blessing as well. I cannot imagine life without any of my children. I think to myself, "Life would be so boring without all this chaos!"