**This post is part of my seven kids in six days series. Over the next six days I will be recounting how each of our kids joined our family, not THEIR story, but OUR story. This is the story of FPD and my journey to each of them. Throughout the posts, I’ve linked to the adoption agencies and people who helped us find them. Well, the ones we would recommend anyway.***
Giggles and ShyGuy are our only two children that are biologically related. It’s funny, because they spend the least amount of time together. Giggles is firmly rooted in her place as eldest. She spends the most time with the Diva and is the one who is most excited about Dolly joining our family. She is very much a nurturer. When she first came home, I tried to tell her she didn’t have to help with the cooking, cleaning and care taking, until one day when she got brave enough and told me “mom, I like to help. It makes me feel like I know my place.” She helped in Ghana, she helps here. It makes her feel less lost. I get that now. So, when she stands next to me and helps me sort laundry, I let her, because it’s her way of bonding. God had a plan when he kept her in her role as caregiver for her siblings.
ShyGuy flies under the radar. He always did, and he still does. God also had a plan for him when he kept him one of the boys. He was always the little guy at the orphanage that had a group of boys to play with. He was always out on the soccer pitch, running, laughing and in the thick of it. He is here now too. He and ResponsiBoy are best friends. Both are athletic, both are true boys, and both of them are LOUD when they play. Emotionally, we’re working on drawing out our ShyGuy. Slowly, but surely, he’s finding his place here.
While ResponsiBoy’s adoption was the most emotional, these two were the most painful. They have a birth family that we adore and had to leave. Painful. Their adoption paperwork was all kinds of screwed up and I ended up living in Ghana for weeks trying to fix it, never sure if we were actually going to make it out. Painful. They came with all kinds of information about what day-to-day life at the orphanage was really like. Painful. They made me hate Ghana a little. Painful, but a little better now.
As corny as it sounds, when we decided to adopt them, it was because I woke up one night in a cold sweat with their little faces in my mind. I had gone to sleep thinking about them, about their situation, and about their birth mom’s hopes for their future. I woke up absolutely knowing that we were supposed to add them to our family.
FPD wasn’t so sure. He went to meet them, and instantly fell in love. He bonded to Giggles and ShyGuy in a way he hasn’t ever bonded to any of our other kids. Again, here he is, right beside me, walking through what could have been a minefield.
|The first pic FPD took of our Duo while visiting Cape Coast.|
|While FPD was sure about ShyGuy, ShyGuy hadn’t had a dad before and probably wondered why the heck he was carrying him?|
|At the orphanage.|
We got them home, learned a little more about their lives before us, and realized we had no clue what we were doing and what was to come. I cried A LOT wondering if we had ruined our family. We had introduced two strangers into our homes that had come with so much baggage. How bad was this going to get?
It was about to be really… amazing.
|Giggles was probably wondering what the heck this giant duck was that we have in the U.S.? She’s always up for new experiences though, so she went with it.|
|ShyGuy retained the Ghanaian trait of patience. He can make a toy out of ANYTHING to entertain himself while he waits. His fork and napkin were fighting each other in some sort of really epic battle while he waited for his turn at the buffet.|
I waited, and waited, and waited for the other shoe to drop with Giggles and ShyGuy. It never has. They’ve been home 2.5 years now and they are still doing great. Yeah, we had our moments, but they’re done with therapy for now. They’re working at grade level in school, and most importantly, they seem firmly rooted in their place in our family.
Do they struggle? Yeah. Will they always to some questions, anger and just general emotions that need to be addressed regarding their adoption? Absolutely. We talk about it every single day. It’s part of who they are. There’s no denying where they came from, and we would never want to.
They have two moms too. They always will. That took some getting used to for me. Now, I love it. I celebrate the person who brought them into this world and gave them the love that led them to be the little people they are. It was so needed, especially knowing what we know now about Bubbly.
Their adoption taught me so much about life, love and hope. It made me feel like we could do it again. Dolly’s adoption has really cemented their place in our home too. I keep waiting for them to react negatively, to wonder if this means they’ll get less love in our home. Instead, the Duo is THRILLED that they are on the other end of it this process time. As Giggles helped me put all of Dolly’s clothes in her closet she looked at me and said “when I came home, there were clothes in my closet, you did this for me?” Yes, love, yes we did. I told her how just like we pray for our Dolly everyday, we prayed for her and ShyGuy too. Every day. She knows that now, and I think it makes her feel a little more sure about just how much we love her and her brother.
who does love them both. Very, very much.