The rest of our first moments with our kids consisted of us taking them to a local park for the day, swimming at the hotel pool, and keeping them overnight for the first time in a small hotel room. Not to skip over the details, but we had alot to learn about these kids and we were very much thrown into instant parenthood without knowing even what they liked to eat or what time they normally go to bed. Now I know that babies do not come with an instruction manual, but most of the time you get to write your own manual on that child as they grow. We not only didn't have a manual, we didn't have the beginning secrets of what made them who they are. We had a great first weekend with them and we sure did figure out fast what their "triggers" were and we saw how they were going to try and push our buttons. Remember when we said this wasn't going to be easy...like any child who has an opinion about anything, we were to find out just what kind of love and structure Waylon needed, just how tender Elva was, and just how much they would get very close to pushing us over the edge. BUT we also learned what things made them laugh, how we could get them to smile, and that they would do anything when bribed with sweets (me too :)
Its fun and emotionally draining figuring out your child for the first time, while still trying to connect to them and form a bond, but without taking things too fast. We, again, were very cautious not to mention adoption or staying with us forever as through this whole process it boils down to the kids' choice after we have them in our home 6 months. Yes, the kids have their own special amount of rights and after we have them for 6 months, they will get asked if they want to be with us forever. How frightening that our kids could say no to us after all the hard work we are willing to invest. BUT thinking that way gets my anxiety up and honestly, this is in God's hands. He wouldn't have brought us this far and invested our four lives together if it wasn't in his purpose and plan. SO, I can think about the next 6 months or I can just take it one day at a time.
After we saw the kids for the first time ever in November, we began to keep up with them through phone calls. We would rotate days, calling one child a day just to say we missed them and couldn't wait to see them again. Its kind of weird to think back to those first few phone calls when we really didn't know what to say and how hard it was not to scream our WE LOVE YOU to end the call. Elva's conversations usually consisted of her just saying hi, I miss you, I drew a picture of a______ today, I miss you... and so forth. Waylon had more to say on the phone, but we had decided for the sake of making things easier on him, to have Robert call him on the phone.
I have to insert here that Waylon is a very good kid and just needs to be loved by a real family. BUT he once had a mom. A realization that we will live with forever, for he had to watch his family fall apart and take care of his little sister through it all in order for us to get where we are now. Waylon has seen love fall apart at too young of an age. I will never be able to take away his memories to start fresh, but I can show him how real love can be true and genuine.
So with that being said, Waylon was not very responsive to me at first. I was very cautious to follow his signals to keep the affection to a minimum and to watch my words. It was very important that I not push myself as a new mom onto him. Elva, sweet girl, was hungry and thirsty and for a family and latched onto us like a leech. We had to watch how much we gave her attention vs Waylon. All things you normally dont have to think about with your children on a daily basis, but it was something that was constantly on my mind.
SO... during phone calls, we would have Robert call Waylon, you know, to have man to boy talk...
until the one day that he finally asked to talk to me. I must have looked like a fool all giddy as I was. I called his foster parent and heard his excitement from the other side of the phone as he asked Waylon if he wanted to talk to me. To hear that excitement was such a warm break through in my heart. Maybe, just maybe he would give me a chance. Now conversations with an 8 year old aren't the most interesting, but we talked about games and upcoming visits and what things he might like in his room... err uhh the one he would stay in when he came to visit... if he wanted to. Remember we had to avoid the conversation of forever and adoption for the time being, so to say what do you want in your room had to be further explained.
From that moment on, we would call both children together and spend time talking to each of them individually. I realize now how important it is to document your child's first words... but how even more important for us was to document the first time our children said I love you to us. November 22nd, the day we drove through sleet and freezing temperatures to reach our kids was the day that Waylon first said I love you to me on the phone while he waited our arrival. Elva first said those sweet words sometime in the week before while just having a typical conversation. How great those words are to hear. And how much I want to earn the emotions and feelings and meanings behind those words. I still can't wait for the day they call me mom, but I know I may have to wait for that one a little longer.
BUT wait I will do. Whatever it takes, I will wait.
11 days. The sounds of the kid's voices on the phone at this time are so much more filled with joy. We say I love you freely and openly to each other on the phone now, although at times Waylon is a little more reluctant to say it, but thats ok. Through everything I've learned to just accept things and to know that things are ok. God has a plan, He always has a plan. Do we want to follow it or not? Do we want to live in fear or anxiety or do we want to live in peace? frankly at this point, I definitely choose peace. 11 days. Counting down...to our little piece of forever.
Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all! 2 Thessalonians 3:16