Wednesday, November 2, 2011

worth celebrating

This week Z had an appointment with his doctor, a pediatrician who specializes in international adoption medicine. We haven't seen her for 6 months so it was time to check in, get some shots, and run some routine follow-up lab tests. If you asked Z how it went, you'd probably get mixed reviews: Well, they did have chalk and a chalkboard in the room and I got cookies afterward, but I also got something sprayed up my nose and lots of needles stuck in me. Fair point. Z may not have loved it, but from a mama perspective it turned out to be a huge blessing.

In the somewhat-controlled chaos that is life with 3 little boys, most days it is hard to see beyond the dirty socks and sibling squabbles to notice the miracles God is doing in our family. Like standing too close to a Monet, it's basically just a big mess until you step back and look at the whole thing. That's what this doctor visit gave me -- a chance to back up and look again. I looked down at the Patient Information form we fill out at each visit and realized I could circle "no" under every single thing in the "Do You Have Concerns About Your Child's..." column. I could place a check mark under all the developmental milestones for his age. I could fill out the whole form without hesitating or thinking, "Well, maybe this is an issue but I don't know him well enough yet to be sure." I gotta say, that felt awesome.

Maybe it's because Z is two and a half, maybe it's because I tend toward perfectionism, maybe it's because three children are constantly asking me for three different things and thus monopolizing the bulk of my mental space, but I don't often sit back and simply celebrate how amazingly well Z is doing. It is worth celebrating! I think sometimes my hyper-analytical self thinks that if I dwell on how great he is doing it will undermine the real difficulties he has faced and may continue to face as he integrates his past and present stories and situations. Plus I'm kind of allergic to sugarcoating stuff, which is fine I suppose, but that doesn't mean I can't celebrate the very real victories God has given us. And so...

We celebrate health: Z is growing well and has not struggled with any persistent health problems since coming home.

We celebrate healing: Z's club foot is, in my not-so-professional opinion, completely healed. He is a speedy little runner and kicks a mean soccer ball. Nothing's gonna hold him back!

We celebrate development: Z's language, gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, and social skills are all within the normal range for his age.

We celebrate progress: Z still likes to throw a good fit and pick fights over control issues, but he is able to recover from these things much more quickly than he did at first. I know what works to calm him down, what tone of voice will comfort him, and what phrases will resonate with him in a given situation. And he knows family skills like saying sorry, asking nicely, and using words before hands (well, we're working on it anyway).

We celebrate love: It would be impossible to count the number of kisses Z gives me in the course of one day. He is so sweet and affectionate it can actually be overwhelming at times! He loves us. We love him. It took time and patience and tears, but God gave us love for one another and it grows every day.

Yes, there are messes and mess-ups and mishaps, but I hope those things never keep me from seeing the bigger things that God is doing. He is working, both in the daily challenges and the greater context, and that is always worth celebrating.

Celebrating cousins / best-buddies.


  1. love it, haley! love that he's doing well, and love that you can celebrate it. :)