Sometimes, on the hard days, it is difficult to see that there is light at the end of this long and dark paperwork tunnel. One of the things that keeps me going is staying in touch with other adoptive families who are further along in the process or who have already traveled across oceans and back with their children. It is a reminder that the end goal of all of this filing paperwork and waiting and filing paperwork and waiting again, is a child's life redeemed and an entire family changed forever.
Sometimes all I see is the storm. The whole reason we're doing what we're doing is because Titus, and millions of orphans around the world, have experienced unfathomable tragedy in their short lives. The very first rainbow appeared to Noah as a beautiful sign of God's promise never to flood the earth again... AFTER nearly everything and everyone on the face of the earth were wiped out by the flood. And so the beautiful things we are learning through adoption, about God's love for us, are all coming out of tragedy. Rainbows don't show up when the whole sky is sunny. And that brings me to our latest update on Titus! This week God gave me the blessing of spending a short time with our friends who are newly home from China. It was such joy to me to see their daughter in their home, already a changing little girl with the knowledge of her parents' love. They gave me the gift of a new video of Titus. They were apologetic that it isn't a better video, that he wasn't cooperating, that there isn't much to see in it. BUT, through the tears (or because of the tears!), I see an rainbow! The video is a large file and difficult to upload, so I took some still shots of it to share with you! Just look at all the beauty:
When they came into the room, Titus had been standing at the gate. He saw them and began running away, then settled down with a toy. They say he is generally afraid of strangers.
Here the nanny gently rolls up the sleeve on his short arm. I sure hope the new shirts and coat that I tailored fit him! I was happy to see her caring about him being able to use that hand.
Our friends ask if they can see him to get a photo.
Here's my favorite part!!!! Paul tells the nanny, through a translator, that they have friends (us!) in the process to adopt him.
I LOVE the look on her face and her gestures in holding and patting his back as she receives the news!
I believe that Titus is well loved!
Now he's had enough of the strangers and runs away.
See how the nanny in the back holds her arms out to him...
...then embraces him?!
So, although he is crying throughout the video, this video is a treasure for me! Here is the rainbow I can see here that I haven't seen in any of the other videos we have:
1) He is loved. When we began his adoption process we did not know what kind of orphanage he was in. We have found out that he is in a special sponsored area of the orphanage where there is a better ratio of nannies, they have more resources, and the nannies are trained in attachment, bonding, and other necessary elements of a healthy childhood. I believe I see genuine care in these nannies and that they are giving him love and affection. I think they're doing the best they can in a difficult situation.
2) He knows he is loved. He knows who to turn to when he is upset and that his needs matter. He knows he is worthy of affection and comfort.
3) He knows how to love. Showing preference for his caregivers over strangers (even at the offer of food or candy) is a really good sign. I am already hurting for how he will grieve the loss of the nannies he loves. BUT he knows how to form a healthy bond with adults and he will eventually learn to transfer that bond to us, his parents! Children who have never had a healthy connection with an adult are more prone to serious emotional and social problems and a much more difficult time bonding with a new family.
Also, not included in the video are some comments the nannies made to our friends. They said that he is strong and tough. He can hold on to toys in his little arm so tightly that even bigger kids can't tug them away! He's gonna need that skill when he meets his new little brother!
We are encouraged by all these things and thank God that he is being well taken care of until we can get him home. Please continue to join us in prayer for:
1. His health and development
2. Our current paperwork to continue moving along in a timely way
3. His nannies and orphanage directors to have the wisdom and resources they need to provide excellent care