Sunday, June 22, 2014

Half time!

 When we got Toby and started posting about our journey, I met so many sweet adopting Moms through Facebook that were somehow connected to Harmony Outreach or adopting a Deaf child.  I knew that it was a "God thing"  that I had met so many wonderful  people to help encourage me on what I call...." THE hardest thing that I have ever done".... adopt a Deaf child.    From day one, I knew that this was going to be a lot harder than I thought.  I knew that I was not used to having such an active boy that had a hard time knowing what boundaries were and what the word "NO" meant.  David and I looked at each other that first day and breathed in a deep breath.  Were we up for the challenge?  Yes and No.   Yes......we were committed and loved Toby unconditionally, but NO because we were not quite there  physically and mentally. Some of the other families in our travel group had shy, grieving children that clung to their new parents, but our little guy, did not grieve in the same way... not one tear was shed.  He laughed and smiled and thought that being silly and mischievous was so fun!   His energy level was at an all time high and has not stopped in six months.  While other families were standing together holding their quiet children, all five of us Failes were literally running after a wiggle worm the whole time in China.  I am sure it was quite a sight.  We were encouraged by some Veteran adoptive parents that we met in China as well as meeting new friends online that it will start to get better between 6 months and 1 year.  Well... here we are at 6 months and we are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited that we have come to this point in our journey with Toby!  We are at the half way point to that glorious one year mark.  I can honestly say that we are not quite where we want to be in terms of behavior, BUT the good news is, we are improving!  I have seen glimpses of hope and we are getting through in some areas.  Sticker charts, consistency and constant reminders are what we have been working on.  We are thankful and proud of how far Toby has come in regards to obedience and behavior.  As far as communication and his ability to sign, we can not explain how he has gotten so advanced in such a short amount of time.  He literally can communicate all of his needs and wants, stories, and feelings.  His ability to remember signs only shown once to him is almost miraculous.  He really understands!  He has a language and he is using it in an unbelievable way!

Since my last blog post, here has been what has happened in the Faile household!  Toby finished up Preschool and the other kids finished up for the summer as well.  In the fall, Toby will continue going to Horace Mann Elementary School and go to the Preschool class set up specifically for children with special needs as well as children without any.  Horace Mann is "Deaf friendly".    There are teachers there that sign as well as many interpreters.  There are several Deaf children there as well.  We wanted Toby to be around other Deaf children and people that understand Deaf culture.   Cassidy will be attending middle school next year... (6th grade).  I think I am struggling with her promotion more than the other ones.  I really am having a hard time thinking about her growing up so fast.   Our Luke will be a Senior!   I can't believe it!  He has come so far and we are SO proud of his accomplishments in school.  I pray that he will be a shining light during his last year in high school.  Our Bethany will be a Junior at Wright State and studying Studio Arts.  I was so happy for school to end just to have more time with everyone at home this summer, especially Toby.  We have spent so much time together since school has been over.  It has been a good thing too because I really have more time to snuggle and cuddle with him as well as have many teachable moments.   My older two have been busy working at Chick Fil A, but I am with Cassidy and Toby 24/7.  I have REALLY enjoyed this!  Summers are so much fun and I can't wait to expose more and more fun activities to Toby.  His eyes light up when we introduce him to new things.  He got to enjoy his first Mothers Day and Fathers Day, Youngs Dairy Farm, Playgrounds, he got to go to a pool, and he got to experience Vacation Bible School.   WOW... did he LOVE VBS!!!  He had such a blast and I am so thankful for the team that he was on.  They really explained to him what was going on and Toby learned so much about Jesus during VBS.  He also loved the music and dancing too. (:   We are encouraged at his progress, but please don't stop praying for us and for his little heart to understand that we are his forever family.  His abandonment has affected him in so many ways.  Whenever we are not with him, we have to tell him because if we don't, he will come looking for us.. even if it is a simple trip to the bathroom.  He is such a joy and has changed our lives!  We are so blessed to call him our son!  Here area a few pictures since last month.   Also included are pictures that we took at the airport when we welcomed two new children and their families back from China.  Toby now has more Chinese friends in his life.  We are so blessed to be in a church where adoption and foster care is a top priority. God bless you all and don't forget to keep orphan care on your radar screen.  There are so many lonely and hurting children here in the US and internationally.  We are ALL called to care!

I was able to go to Cassidy's end of 5th grade Farewell party.  Can't believe my baby girl will be in Middle school in the fall.

Our little Preschooler!

The brothers!

Making Welcome signs for Toby's new friends!
Meet Tessa Joy!

Meet Silas!

Agent Toby in disguise.
Our entire family is highly involved in VBS.  Bethany worked SO hard to put scripts and Videos together.  We were so proud of all the work she did for VBS this year!

Toby even got to do a song on stage!  He did awesome!

Best crew ever!

We love strawberries!

I love this picture of Cassidy and Toby holding hands!   It has such meaning!
Youngs Dairy Farm!

Toby spending time with Jakob and Elijah, his cousins!

Happy Fathers Day to David Faile!   Wow is this guy LOVED by his family!