Monday, December 2, 2013

THIS is why we love. THIS is why we pray. This is why we give. This is why we GO.

Well, I started this post as a one-month-home update on Titus... but I'm clearly late in doing that... SO, we'll just play catch up here!

Wow we did NOT intend to wait this long to update everyone on Titus and how he's doing… that's life though right? :)

We returned to Illinois for an extended furlough late July and life has been crazy, incredible, hard, joyful, busy, special, and anxiety-filled since we returned. While we've LOVED having some time with friends and family it still seems not enough :(

a little IL sunshine! 

our big boy turned FOUR! (tear)

We have been traveling a LOT and we've had countless opportunities to share about what the Lord is doing in Guatemala with small groups, Sunday school classes, and many churches. We are so encouraged by these opportunities and truly thankful! We also held a benefit dinner early November to thank our partners, update everyone on what we're doing, as well a share with some new friends. What a blessing this night was... in so many ways. It truly helped us 'gear up' and move to a whole new level of joy and peace for our return to Guatemala.

We've also received additional language and field training while being back in the states, including 2 trips to Texas. Next week Dan and I are headed to Guatemala with Orphan Outreach for some additional training. We are so excited to meet all of the Guatemala staff that we will be working alongside (and catch up with those we've already met). The opportunities the Lord has given us are truly incredible and we could not be more humbled!

Our PRAYER is that we will be back on Guatemalan soil for good December 31st. PLEASE pray with us for the additional monthly financial support we need to go. Our house is packed (with the exception of a few outfits) to take to Guatemala next week and we NEED to be back in Guatemala (all 5 of us) by January 1.

In other news, Dan has been blessed by a GENEROUS couple that offered to fund his first album while we've been back so he's been pulling some super long hours trying to fit that in with the rest of the craziness and traveling and the CD should be released early January.
Now for the photos... and more details on Titus (that's what you're here for anyway, right) ;)

within 2 days of being in Ethiopia, Titus started crawling and feeding himself

Titus Charles Ibsa Ucherek was in our arms on September 29th in Ethiopia and arrived on US soil on October 3rd! Big brother Malakai was OVER THE MOON the first day while Finley just thought he was a sleeping baby doll and she poked him in the eyes a lot :) 

after a LONG plane ride home, this was just a couple hours after getting to our place in Illinois (10/3)... sweet boy is passed out! 

The first few days were really hard on Malakai and Finley as they realized that Titus was here to stay, that he needs a LOT of mommy's time, and is fearful of everything. 

he wasn't too sure of his new siblings… 

We learned when we found Titus on a waiting children's list that he had some specific medical needs that needed to be addressed immediately, which was another reason for our extended stay in Illinois. 

the 'twins' playing together

the adjustment to three has it's uniqueness... :) 

Titus has has more doctor (and therapy) appointments than Dan and I have had in the last 10 years combined (yes, including a pregnancy)... he is a TROOPER to say the least. We have been blessed and thank the Lord daily (usually hourly) for his progression! 

While we are still working through a couple unknowns, for the most part we've had better medical reports than we expected, which is a HUGE blessing. 

Titus has some sensory processing issues so we try to fit in sensory activities as much as possible

Titus is now standing (assisted), has NO problem eating all kinds of food and feeding himself, and makes a few consonant sounds. He has some specific nutritional needs, especially right now, so I've been learning to cook and prep food in a whole new way. 

Emotionally he has come a long way and still has a long way to go. Gone are the days of ZERO eye contact and while we still have a long way to go, we tear up and soak up the time when he gazes into our eyes... truly incredible! He is typically pretty guarded around other people, which is a good thing, and definitely is starting to prefer our family. He is OVER THE MOON for his big brother and big sister and the feelings are definitely mutual. The joy on their faces when they see each other each morning truly fills our hearts with enough joy to last the whole day. THAT is redemption friends... THAT is why children belong in families... NOT institutions. I could go on and on all day... the miracle of adoption is HARD.... HARD... HARD... and the blessing is HUGE!! 

the fall weather has come to an end in IL, but here's a shot after our visit to the pumpkin patch

Today was HUGE for us.... Titus had to get blood drawn AGAIN and it's not as simple as it is for you and I... so, we ended up at the hospital for TWO HOURS while the poor thing was poked in both arms, both hands, and eventually his heel. This was the MISERABLE part about the day... BUT after the appointment was as if something 'clicked' inside his little brain... something told him that he trusted us (at least for today)... something told him that we were SAFE... and as he finished the appointment, he wrapped BOTH arms around my neck and nestled in for the long haul! He did the same to Dan... it was pretty incredible. Then, after nap time he played with Malakai and Finley WITHOUT being held for almost an ENTIRE hour... now, for some of you this is no big thing... but for Titus and for us, this is HUGE. Since he's been home, the typical increment of time playing on the floor without mommy or daddy by his side is about 3-5 minutes MAYBE once a day. As we hustled about the house preparing meals for us to be gone, packing, doing laundry, etc... we smiled and were completely over-joyed watching ALL THREE kiddos play together... feeling safe, feeling loved, and knowing they are HOME in a FAMILY, where they belong! Thank you JESUS! 

THIS is why we love. THIS is why we pray. This is why we give. This is why we GO. 

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1 comment:

  1. What an amazing update Christi!!! I'm SO thankful that Titus is adjusting so well! I know it's not without difficult times, but praise God you are seeing progress and he is feeling safe!