One year ago sometime shortly after noon Edric JoonSoo stepped into the Denver Airport as a new American Citizen. Hours (and hours before) he had bravely held our hand as we stepped on an airplane leaving the only home he had ever known. Everything changed for him, and for us. We knew and understood the enormity of the changes for him, I think we were a little naïve to the changes that were in store for us.
To say that the last year has been a walk in the park would be a total lie. Although we have walked to the park many many times. It is one of Edric’s favorite places. Nonetheless it has been an uphill battle, but the hill is leveling off and we are no longer struggling with each step of the way. The story of adoption is often touted and acclaimed as a good story or a story of redemption, but many miss the fact that it is a story born out of brokenness. Adoption doesn’t happen because families are whole, adoption happens because families are broken. For reasons unknown Edric’s first family could not raise him….the blood and shared genes that connect so many families was broken and torn. While we know that family is more than blood, the loss and brokenness if very real. Edric’s foster family was so sweet and caring and loved on him dearly from the time he was in their care. I still remember seeing and holding his dear foster mom and we both wiped tears from our eyes moments before he was passed over to us in the van and we drove away. It was a good family for him and yet, it too was taken away and more brokenness was added to his story. Many will say, “yes but he was only 2½, how much could that have played into things or was he even aware”. Trauma does things to children at the earliest of ages and while they may not have the words or ability to express that hurt/pain/confusion it is still very much a part of him and a part of his story and something that he will carry throughout his life.
And he came to our family. And became a part of our family. And his brokenness became a part of our families story and identity as well. However by no means were we perfect or had it all figured out before he joined us. We were quite broken people long before his story became ours.
And so what happens when you take a bunch of brokenness and add more brokenness to it? Honestly there are times that really suck. Sorry, no fancy fairy dust or way to make it all roses and rainbows. It has been a really hard year.
But it has also been a good year. We have traveled paths we never even knew existed. We have learned, we have grown, we have cried, and we have conquered. Out of the ashes new life has come. There have been things in both Clint and I that needed refining and adjusting and at times flat out changing. And God has brought about newness and change that would not have been possible without this past year.
It has been a fun year, and often we just shake our heads a laugh. Edric has no fear. Like NONE whatsoever. How we have not broken a bone or had to get stitches is still a mystery to me. We have gone through more than our share of Band-Aids though. Our expectations have changed….the other two never would have thought of climbing ON TOP of the little play house, and yet today I found myself calling out the window “Edric no dancing on the roof of the house, you can sit, but no dancing on it”, because you know, not only did he find a way up there, once there why not dance? Forget not even being allowed to be up there, I’ve settled and been ok with sitting on the roof….because you have to choose your battles and at least with sitting there’s slightly less risk of falling off right? Granted approximately 2 seconds after I told him to sit on the roof he promptly stood back up and jumped off the side of it.
Edric has got a great smile and can light up a room. He is a joy to be around (as long as you are ok moving constantly). He finds joy in all sorts of things around him and it is fun to see him explore and discover things for the first time. He has great trust in us and things if he asks us for “more please” we can make whatever it is happen. For example, we escaped to the mountains last evening for dinner and to hear the elk bugle and see the changing leaves. While we were eating our picnic dinner an large bull elk wandered not far away calling to his cows, and as he wandered off, Edric looked at us and said “more please”. I had to laugh and I told him, “buddy, if I love that you think I can make elk appear and bugle just like that, but that’s a little out of my control”.
And he has learned so much. Routines are key and he quickly caught on to the routines of our crazy house and jumped in with both feet. And while his language is still miles behind, he has made leaps and bounds and it’s been exciting to see.
And so Happy Family Day to us! Edric JoonSoo we are so glad you are a part of our story and days and lives and loves. What a year, and we look forward to celebrating each year because while far from perfect, we think we have a pretty rocking family.