21 months ago today Edric JoonSoo landed with us in Denver and officially met his brothers and joined our family. 21 months before that to the day, just 2 days before Christmas of 2013 Clint and I sat in the adoption agency office signing papers for Edric to make us officially matched and waiting for him. He has now been home as many months as months we spent waiting for him.
Kind of crazy to think…when we signed papers for Edric, Caedmon was just 19 months old and Leighton was in his first year of preschool. And in the 21 months that Edric has been home our family has gone from 4 to 5 now to 7….
We have photos of the day Edric came home and he looks at them and asks “who’s that”. We tell him it is him and he says “that not me”. Even the older two boys remark on how different he looked then. We were told he was shy and timid….this now being the same boy who asks the construction worker across the parking lot in a not so quiet voice “What’s your name worker-man?”. 21 months ago he had no voice and no words to speak and ask and communicate with. And because of that he had a lot of anger and frustration that has taken a lot of work and time to work through and equip him with the tools that he needs, but last week he was evaluated and the team felt that he was speaking at an age appropriate level and no longer needed focused speech therapy. His speech is still far from being perfect and there’s still lots of work to be done, but this child has climbed some big mountains to get to where he’s at. If you told me 21 months ago that I would frequently say “Edric, let’s just be quiet for a few minutes, ok? I would not have believed you. (Nor would I have believed you about a number of things in our lives right now).
The loss of his foster family and before that his birth family, along with language, culture, history and all that he had will be something that he carries throughout his whole life. We still see and likely always will some underlying anxiety and nervousness and fear of loss. And its going to look different but we will walk through it and help give him the tools he needs each step of the way.
He is a super sweet boy, his hugs are true and genuine and he has a very soft heart. And he often has good intentions…even if the end result is far from that. I think he is a little Curious George…starts out getting distracted by something and before long is in a whole heap of trouble. That’s pretty much the story of how most days go. He has challenged our parenting and our prayer life, and made us stronger and taught us way more than we thought in these short 21 months.
Adoption is a journey, it is one spent often looking back at where one has come, while looking forward to what is to come, all the time celebrating what is the here and now. The 21 months spent waiting for him to come home were lonely and hard times. Many tears were shed and my heart longed to have him home and in my arms. In the 21 months that he has been home, again tears have been shed but my arms have been filled. I’ve messed up more times then I’d care to admit and been humbled by so much, but I’ve watched a scared little boy grow and develop and learn new skills and become a little guy that makes me smile each day. Edric I am so glad that 21 months ago you came home, and 21 months before that we signed papers to make you our little boy!