Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Heart Melts once again.....

Happy 11 months to our sweet Toby!  The other day the kids and I were talking and we all agreed that this year has flown by.  In one sense it has been the hardest year ever and in another sense, time has flown and the joy that we have experienced is indescribable.   After having Toby in our lives for 11 months now, we are starting to see some good changes.  He is in a good routine and is starting to turn a corner in all areas.  (Notice the word starting to...)  We have not fully reached our goals, but I am seeing a lot of  promise.  Since the last blog, we have had some fun as a family with fall activities, Toby's first Halloween, Orphan Sunday at our church, Toby's 5th birthday, Toby's dedication at church and Toby's first Kidzpraise musical.  It also snowed on this 11 month celebration so that was an extra blessing to enjoy.    All of these activities have been so much fun for Toby and he has really grown closer to us.

The main thing is Toby is overcoming some areas that have been a struggle for him and for all of us.   Here are some examples:

 Just this week, Toby has been going to bed without me laying with him and for the most part, staying in his bed all night.  This is a BIG accomplishment.  I have been laying with him every night as he falls asleep.  Although that was not what I did with my other children, I felt that I needed to do this with Toby because of the terrified face he would give me each night.  I told myself that he will NEVER have to cry himself to sleep ever again once we brought him home.  Today marks one week of him finally understanding that he is safe and can go to sleep alone and when he wakes up, he will know that we are there for him!  We are so happy about this accomplishment for him (and I am getting more rest as a result.)

Toby was so well behaved at his first Kidzpraise musical.  He followed directions and sang all of the songs in perfect rhythm with the other hearing children.  He amazed me at this performance.

Toby can still be destructive at home and loves to make messes, but he is the first one to want to help clean up.  He LOVES to do chores and helps as much as possible around the house.  Yesterday, he was taking the trash out to the garage by himself without me even prompting him.  The full bag was bigger than him.  (:

My favorite change that is happening to Toby is his affection and expression of his love.  Since day one, he has always been affectionate to all of us, but not able to express with words how he feels.  (WARNING:  HEART MELTING MOMENT)    Last night, as I was tucking him in and praying with him, I told him in ASL " Mom is happy that you are my boy."  He responded with "Toby is happy that I am your son."  The tears flowed and he asked me why I was crying.  I tried to explain to him that what he said made me so happy and it is OK to cry happy tears.  He smiled and wiped away my tears.  What a precious heart he has!  (I told you that it was heart melting.. wink)

All of these good things are showing up more and more, but he still struggles with behavior and being mischievous at times.  Plus his energy level is still REALLY HIGH.  It is hard to keep up with him at times... especially at church on Sundays.  He also still has night terrors.  It is really difficult to see him go through this.  I have no idea what he has been through before we got him, but I think these terrors are evidence that the trauma is still in his mind.  He is sound asleep when he is going through the terrors.  When he wakes up, he doesn't know what caused it and he is back to himself.  It really is puzzling to me.

The upcoming month will be busy with the holidays and finally celebrating our 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of having Toby in our lives. Can you believe that it has been a year????  I can't.. our trip to China is still very fresh on our minds.  We are so blessed to have had this opportunity to bring this precious child into our home and into our hearts.  God is so good.   Please don't forget about the orphaned children both here in America and in other countries.  They need a home and they need to belong to families that will love them unconditionally.  Our lives will never be the same! Will you pray about what you can do?  Your life will never be the same either!

Toby's first Halloween!

Happy 5th Birthday Toby!

Everyone is singing Happy Birthday to Toby in ASL.  It was so heart warming!

This is Toby's expression as he is watching everyone sing to him.  This was the first time he actually had a language where he could understand the birthday song.  So touching...
Lots of friends came to Toby's big celebration!

Thank you to ALL of our family and friends who sent Toby a card.  He was SO happy to get so many cards in the mail!

Toby at his first Kidzpraise musical.  He did great!

Thank you to both Janet Boucher for doing so much to help Toby at church.  I so appreciate so many friends that have stepped up to assist Toby on both Sundays and Wednesdays.

November 17, 2014.... Really it is November...(:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10 months later....

Time is flying by way too fast in some ways, but still going slow in other ways.  It is so hard to believe that it has been 10 months since we were given the gift of Tobiah Jianke Faile.   I can still remember what we were doing one year ago to prepare for his arrival.  We had a month of fundraising in October 2013 and called it "Octoby" since it was all dedicated to getting that last bit of money that we needed for travel, etc.. And now we are back to October 2014 and we have him... it just seems so surreal .  I am still so in awe of the fact that we were given this precious boy. He is a precious addition to the Faile household and I can't wait to see how God is going to use him in the future.  But I always think about the question... WHAT IF WE DIDN'T OBEY GOD'S CALL TO ADOPT?   What would that look like?

Well I guess it would look like this....we would have a very quiet, comfortable life.  We would still love our three biological children and do things with them.  We would still teach and preach at our jobs.  We would still have joy and love in our home.   We MIGHT have a cleaner house. (LOL)  We would have a lot more down time.

As good as that sounds, there is A LOT that would be missing that we have experienced these last 10 months.   Since Toby has arrived, the joy that he brings to each one of us is overwhelming.  Every day, he does something that makes us laugh out loud.  His cuteness factor is off the charts.  His personality is so much more over the top than we knew, but wow, he entertains and makes us laugh so many days.  I guess if he wasn't here, that would have never happened.

 American Sign Language has hit our home in a huge way.  We all have to sign everyday, every moment with Toby.  Our children have all improved greatly in their signing ability.  We have had more exposure to Deaf culture, Deaf education, Accommodations, Benefits, Community support, etc..  It has been so enlightening to see so many people in our church, neighborhood and community impacted by this one little boy.   This would not have happened if we didn't have him.

My heart has been burdened for the orphan in ways that I can't explain in the past 10 months.  We visited orphanages and foster homes while we were in China, and it changed my perspective of life.  When I listen to people here in the states talk about how they can't adopt and give excuses, I would love to challenge them to go to an orphanage and see if it doesn't affect them.  It makes you want to bring more babies home, to love them and teach them..  I KNOW that not all people can adopt.  There are medical requirements, financial requirements, and even age requirements, BUT if your family could pass all the requirements, would you adopt?  Would your excuse be that you can't love another child that is not your own?  Would your excuse be that you have no room in your house for another child?  Would your excuse be that you don't have $30,000 to pay the adoption fees?  Initially, in November 2012, those were my reasons, but after I prayed with my husband and gave those burdens to the Lord,  HE wiped away those fears and doubts and as a result I have this little blessing straight from God himself!  He answered all of our prayers and gave us a stronger faith in Him.  We not only got a blessing with gaining our son, but we were blessed to see God take care of everything for us.  We would not have experienced these blessings if we didn't go through with the adoption..

Don't miss out on YOUR blessing!  It will be hard!  It will be a challenge!  It will be messy!  But all those things are worth the bigger blessing that you will get as a result of your obedience to God to care for the orphan.

Even though we don't have as much down time for ourselves (selfish reason) and our house is messier then it used to be (selfish reason), bringing our baby boy into our home was the best decision we ever made!  (blessing)  

Here is an update since the last post:

We finally got to celebrate Cassidy's 11th birthday here.  She chose to go bowling with a few friends and it was Toby's first time.  He went past the line and slipped hard on his bottom.  Of course, he laughed it off and we warned him to not cross the line. haha (Teachable moment)   Cassidy had a great time and we are so blessed that our little sunshine is lighting up our lives EVERYDAY!

We also had a Deaf Awareness event  here in Dayton.  I set up a table to represent our Deaf ministry at Patterson Park Church.  It was a very successful time to meet many Deaf friends in the community and get the word out about our church.  We even got to perform  two songs as the Ohio version of "Silence Broken" took the stage.  It was an awesome weekend both at the event and at church the next day!  Toby loved it too! He will definitely be a "Silence Broken" member one day! (:

My hubby had a hernia surgery, but is doing much better.  He still is not allowed to pick up more than 20 pounds so you can guess who has been carrying Mr. Toby around lately.  No wonder why my knees and back have been sore. (:

We also got to welcome another adoptive family home from China with their little boy.  What a joy it is to see so many obedient families from our church caring for the orphan through adoption and fostering.  Welcome Ian McDowell!

Happy 20th Birthday to our daughter, Bethany September.  We are so blessed to have our little jellybean in our lives.  She makes us so proud and we know that God will use her greatly in the future! (:

We had Luke's last IEP meeting since he is Senior.  He has made huge strides in his education and we are so proud of him!  He is looking forward to graduating in 2015.  Pray for him as he is thinking about his future plans!  Whatever he decides, we are confident that God will be glorified.

We had our first IEP meeting for Toby.  The teacher has told us that Toby is very advanced in her preschool class.  He is a little Einstein and it is hard to keep up with what he is doing educationally.  He is starting to read words.  He has a love for stories and math.  Keep in mind that he is 4 years old and only has had a language for 10 months.  He had nothing before that. Yes, he went to school in China, but he really did not have an opportunity to communicate effectively.   We are so proud of his accomplishments!  I am sure that he will be ready to start Kindergarten next fall.  He probably is ready now.

We had the opportunity to go to Cleveland to visit my Dad for his 75th birthday.  Toby was so excited to see his Namma and Poppy.  We had such a nice time together, but he got the surprise of his life .  We went to a flea market that my parents love to go to and Toby's best friend from China, who was recently adopted, lives in the SAME TOWN as that flea market.  It is about an hour from Cleveland.  Both of us moms arranged the meeting  and the reunion was priceless as you could hear little Jonathon yelling "Toby, Toby, Toby"  as he approached him.  The look on Toby's face was priceless.  He could not believe that his best friend was there with us in Ohio.  His first reaction was to immediately hug him and kiss him.  He couldn't stop hugging his friend.  What a blessing for us all! God is so good to have brought this two friends back together!

In the next blog, we will be celebrating Toby's birthday!  It will be his first one with his family.  We are so excited for him.  I am trying to arrange a "Long Distance Birthday Party" for him.  He LOVES Disney greeting cards.  Every time we go to the store, he wants a card for his birthday.  I keep telling him that he has to wait until his birthday.  So if you wouldn't mind, could you send him a Disney birthday card for his birthday?  I would also LOVE a picture of your family signing "I LOVE YOU" in ASL so he can know who you are.  This would be a great gift for him to get mail, get his favorite cards and see how many people love him.  I would appreciate you doing this if you can!  His birthday is November 8, 2014.  He will be 5 years old.

Our address is:
2125 Wedgewood Drive
Beavercreek, OH 45434

Thank you and God bless you all!

Its hard to believe that both of them are in the same youth group. One is a Senior and one is a 6th grader.

Happy 8th birthday to Chia!

The best place in my parent's house!

Happy 75th birthday Dad!  

Toby showing Jonathon how to sign his name..

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Love, kisses and affection

 (THIS BLOG WILL COVER AUGUST 17 - SEPTEMBER 17... Yes, I know that I am trying to catch up) Since August 17, we have had some very busy times in our household...( anniversary celebrations, the start of school, the start of school year activities).  Here is an update on each of us:   David is keeping busy at church doing a GREAT job as a Teaching Pastor as well as being in charge of Outreach and Hospitality.

 I am still teaching ASL at Wright State University and am excited to teach my students to learn this beautiful language.   I also am privileged to care for my niece once a week.  She has a disease called MPS. ( http://mpssociety.org/) And in my spare time,  I am also a substitute teacher for Beavercreek City Schools.

  Bethany turns 20 on September 28 (more of that on the next blog) and is a Junior at Wright State studying Studio Art.  She works at Chick Fil A.

 Luke is a Senior this year and also works at the same Chick Fil A.  He just purchased his first car.
 Cassidy started Middle School and is in the 6th grade.  Yes, I have 2 kids in the youth group at church again.  She decided to learn how to play the trumpet in the school band.

Toby started Preschool again and is enjoying school.

Let me start first with our anniversary celebrations.  On July 29th, David and I celebrated 25 years of marriage.  It was such a joyous time to reach such a milestone in our marriage.  It is so hard to believe that we have been together for so long, but at the same time, it just seemed like yesterday that we started dating.  Our children wanted to do something for our anniversary so we had a couple of celebrations.  We had one at our church where many friends came to congratulate us.  It was such a blessing!  We also had another party up in Cleveland where the majority of my family live.  It was SO beautiful and made us so happy!  We are so thankful to all that participated and blessed us with their presence.  We were so touched by so much love that was given to us!     Someone asked me why we wanted to celebrate so much for this occasion.. I guess that question made me think about how many couples actually get to 25 years together.  I know that it is even more rare to get to 50, but we were so excited to celebrate this great event in our lives.  Unfortunately, there are more divorce court dates today than 25th anniversary parties.   It has not always been easy, but David and I are committed to each other.  With God being in the center of our marriage, we have been able to get through our issues and love each other no matter what.    So if you hit a big anniversary... Celebrate BIG!  I am so glad we did this year!  \

Let me update you on Toby... He has been such an affectionate and caring little boy this summer.  His random kisses and hugs just thrill my heart.  Many of our quiet times are right before bedtime.  He still has a hard time going to sleep at night either because he is so wired that he can't sleep or that he is afraid to be alone.  I usually lay down with him and we just wind down together.  At that time, he tells me on his own.. "Toby loves you".   After seeing him tell that to me, it makes the frustrations go away.  I see the transformation in his life as he is trusting and actually expressing love.  It is the best feeling!  Toby has come a long way in this area.  However, we could still use prayers for some of his behavior issues.  He still can be mischievous and destructive on purpose.   That is very hard at times on me because as much as he loves me, he will act out with me the most.  So I am praying for patience and understanding during these times as it is not easy to clean up messes constantly or have to have our "talks" about his behavior.    I think some of this has escalated too because during the summer, he was home so much, but now that he is going back to school he is out of sync a bit.    Praying for a solid routine so that Toby will adjust once again.  (:

We had a lot of activities this past month.  We went to the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival and had a blast.  Toby loved the kettle corn!  We also got to celebrate Cassidy's birthday and my birthday as well.  I introduced Toby to Polish culture by taking him to a Polish festival up in Cleveland.  He loved dancing the polka. (:

We are so blessed by our little boy!

Our College Junior
Luke's new car!

Our 6th grader
Our High School Senior

Our Preschooler

These two were in the same foster home and now they both live in the same town.  

One of my sweet students brought me a birthday cake.. SO thoughtful!

Finally getting to go on the train in the mall.

Celebrating Cassidy's 11th Birthday.  Toby bowled for the first time.

Pray for Toby's digestive system.  He is still having some issues.

The picture on the left was the first picture we saw of Toby.  He sure has come a long way.

Pirate Day at Krispy Kreme

He is a great patient at the dentist!