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...(: