I'll try to keep it short...

Sorry for the long blogging hiatus.  For a while I just didn't feel like it.  Things were pretty rough for a few weeks after my last post.  I didn't (and still don't) want to sound like I was/am complaining, nor do I want to make things sound worse than they are.  But I also want to make sure I am totally honest.  And to be perfectly honest, this is not easy.  Like I said, there were some pretty difficult days in the past month.  A friend and fellow adoptive mama of a Filipino boy described it as "a darkness."  And I totally knew what she meant.  I just had this overwhelming anger at everything and everyone. But mainly James. Some days I really didn't even like him!  And I can't really even tell you why I was so angry.  I guess it was just everything, all the fighting and meanness, the lack of communication, the overall upheaval of my life.  But I was not a nice person for a while! But I can see that the Lord is helping me through.  While I didn't have this grand moment or experience with the Lord, (I wish I had!!) I have had some very dear friends speak and pray some wonderful words of encouragement, letting me know that I'm not crazy, I'm not alone, and we will make it through to the glory of God.  It would take me a while to detail every way God has shown me recently that He is with me, even though I don't always feel it the way I would like to.  So take my word for it when I say, God loves adoption.  This was all His idea, He invited us to join Him in the redemption of a little boy's life, and He has everything under control.  Does that mean it's always easy??  Not a chance.  I still have moments of rage, but they are moments, and no longer whole days (weeks).  This process is the redemption of me, as much as it the redemption of my son.  God is changing me, and I'm doing my best to let Him. :)
Ok, now on to what I know you all really want to hear, which is what James has been up to for the last month.  As I said, we've had some serious issues with meanness.  Lots of pinching and scratching and pushing and hitting, all mainly directed toward Liana.  It was to the point that she did not want to be in the house with him because he was hurting her so much.  But that seems to have calmed down in the last week.  Now he mostly resorts to sticking out his tongue at her, which she cries about just as much as when he hurt her physically.  But I can handle that much better. 
We've had a bunch of appointments, illness, and injury.  A few weeks ago he came down with croup, which was completely awful.  Poor boy would cough until he puked, and then cough some more.  But he is a tough little bugger and never even cried when he would throw up.  That lasted about a week or so and required two doctor visits and a trip to the ER.  Last week he walked in front of Aedan right as Aedan was making a slap shot with a hockey stick.  Bit almost completely through his tongue and put a tooth all the way through his lip.  Another trip to the ER, but they didn't do anything so that was a waste.   We also had our appointment with the ENT.  He wants to move as quickly as possible through the process to get implants.  It's pretty lenghty and takes several months, so we want to get going.  This past week was illness and injury free, but it was the week of many appointments.  We are going through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) for some of his developmental needs, and they came this week and evaluated him.  First came Sarah, the hearing loss/deaf ed therapist.  Then we met Stephanie, the special ed lady.  And finally, Darcy (who probably will not actually be working with James) who does speech and language.  I'll spare you the details of the testings, but he does qualify for therapy in all three of those areas.  Stephanie thinks that while he is pretty delayed in some areas, that's mainly due to his lack of language.  Once we can increase his vocabulary and communication, she is confident he will catch up.  He did quite well in the tests that did not require language, like sorting, matching, finding hidden pictures.  He did not qualify for OT.  His gross and fine motor skills were good enough, which surprised me a bit.  But I guess that's a good thing!  The bottom line is, we have a lot of work to do, but he is capable.  It will take about 2 months or so before therapy actually starts, so I need to be more diligent and intentional about working on things with him.  Oh, and he had his last dentist appointment and is now cavity free!
This week we go for the hearing aid evaluation where they will make molds of his ears and decide what kind to try, and hopefully we will have them soon.  He has to try them for 2-3 months, even though everyone is fairly sure they won't do a thing for him.  But we could be pleasanly surprised.
This weekend was our church's Easter musical.  Jason played Judas, and we went to all three shows.  James did so well, sitting and watching all three times.  He even paid (a little bit) of attention to the interpreters.  Every time Jason was on stage, James tried frantically to get his attention, and he would get so excited when Jason was able to look at him and wave I Love You.  And when Jason wasn't on stage, James was wanting to know where he was.  It was very sweet.  The final song of the show was Chris Tomlin's I Will Rise, but a different arrangement.  There's a bridge that just says "worthy, worhty, worthy is the Lamb" over and over.  Friday night I had James on my lap and I was signing along in front of him.  Last night when that part came he was standing beside me and I saw him signing "worthy worthy lamb."  I was so excited!  That's the first time he's done anything like that and I so wished I had my camera.  So I brought it today and got him on video.  I tried to put it on here, but for some reason blogger will not process it.  Sorry!  I will try and put it on facebook for those of you who are friends wit me.

At our Welcome Home Cookie Reception at church.

Notice the hole in his face from the hockey stick.

Disney on Ice!



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