I think one of the most challenging things with older child adoption is that when your child comes home you don't really know them. When you parent a child from birth you know them so well. You can look at them or hear their voice and know what they are feeling or thinking.
When a child comes into your family at an older age this takes a little bit of time. In the early days I spent so much time and energy wondering if they were really o.k. I wondered what they thought and if they were happy or scared.
I have heard older child adoption likened to a dance. It really is. Sometimes you glide flawlessly across the floor and other times you inadvertently step on each other's toes. It takes time and grace to learn this dance.
The past two years have been such a blessing getting to know our Ghanaian sons. They are as different as day and night, yet each completely wonderful.
I never have to wonder with Joel if he needs some loving. He is always snuggled by my side and loves to talk and share with me. Eben is quieter about his needs., I have found that if I don't pay close attention I can easily miss it. Eben loves to do things with me. Those who visit with us know how he loves to work beside me in the kitchen. He is now a better cook than I am and 20 times more on the ball. Still it's our thing. I have found when we are cooking away he opens up and talks and asks me questions. It really is a precious time.
Today was a busy day for us and as I cooked breakfast and lunch while he was busy with school. He and our eldest son made dinner while I had some errands to complete before the weekend. By the time I made it into the kitchen dinner was almost done. I took one look at Eben and sensed something was wrong but he insisted he was "Fine."
Over the course of dinner he wondered several times how I was going to play basketball in a skirt.. I had to smile as we had played basketball last Friday night and obviously it was going to be a tradition. After dinner we had a group game of b-ball (I did change out of my skirt). It was fun. My team got beaten badly. Eben's team won..As we were cleaning up to head inside he made the off handed remark that "he was the best."
Well, that's all it took and the gauntlet was thrown. We spent the next hour in a fierce game of one on one. It had long grown dark and the score was tied when we decided we were sweaty enough and out of breath enough to call it even.
As we headed inside Eben said, "Mama, you know I was joking about being the best." I knew he was and he knew just how to get me for some "one on one" He had studied *me* well enough to know that I can't resist a challenge.
God has truly blessed our lives and family through all of our children.