I know, I know – I have been a very bad blogger. So many of you have been checking the site and I haven’t posted in a while. I have been so busy and so much going on and it has just been an absolute whirlwind. I will try to update you on as much as possible so read fast! Here goes…
1. Jake can now speak in complete sentences. Just last night at Olive Garden he took a bite of Jon’s Seafood Alfredo Pasta bowl and very loudly asked, “Mom, is this CRAP?” He meant CRAB! At least the sentence was complete.
2. Jake is no longer referring to himself as Petro. When he talks about himself he calls himself Jake. Imagine going from the name you have used all of your life to a new name in a different language. I still sometimes sign my maiden name to things!
3. Jake has begun to call Jerry Daddy rather than Papa. Although the term Papa fits his age better. Along with this new title, there has been a huge jump in love and companionship. Jake is trusting Jerry so much more. It just takes time to really see and make sure that Daddy is who he says he is.
4. Jake has learned to get my attention by calling “Mudder” very loudly. He will say “Mom.” then “MOM.” then “MOM!” then “MUDDER!!” I just ignore him until he gets to the “Mudder” part cause I love it!
5. Jon and Jake are amazing together. They have finally figured out all the things that annoy each other and are using them against each other with such skill. How can just touching someone cause them to go into orbit? I just don’t understand it. Jake cannot stand it when “Jon-a mook me!” Translation – Mom please tell Jon to stop mocking my accent. Jon on the other hand cannot stand it when Jake calls him the “baby”. You would think that correcting them would have some kind of effect – well it did, they began to annoy each other by mouthing the words, not actually saying the words. We have identified at least 30 different ways that children can maneuver around direct obedience. There are moments of complete sacrifice and brotherly love. Just the other day Jon wanted to buy something and when he didn’t have enough Jake was there with his money in hand, and when Jake came home to yet another mess by Pogo Jon was the first to help him. You know you are brothers when money and poop don’t matter.
6. Pogo, well, Pogo (Jake’s boxer puppy or should I say poopy) is mentally challenged. He can’t seem to learn how to be potty trained. He can sit, shake, lay down and stay, but go outside and pee and poop – NOT HAPPENING. Jerry has abused him, I mean really whooped him good and NOTHING! If it is raining outside he will do his business INSIDE every time and KNOW he is going to get a beating. Then he will jump right in your lap and love you and just want to be petted. Jake has done a wonderful job of caring for him and truthfully if Pogo could be catheterized or wear diapers he would be perfect. We tried the diapers and had to pick up poop with bits of diaper in it (he ate the diaper). I REFUSE to give him a catheter! As long as Chlorox makes wipes and Swiffer makes mops this girl is NOT going there.
7. Jerry is doing fantastic. He is really such a great daddy. He is perfect in almost every way. If he could get the habit of putting his dirty clothes actually IN the hamper rather than BESIDE it I would be he would be carried on to glory because that is all he lacks toward totally perfection. Football and weight lifting have been something that really are helping to build a relationship with Jerry and Jake. Jerry is teaching Jake to kick the football and Jake really is very good. And no, its not just my opinion. We have had a coach look at him to make sure that he has the talent so as not to set him up for disaster. Turns out that soccer players have a talent for accuracy and distance. Jake can kick an average distance of 32 yards and be so accurate that he can hit a target of only a few feet in width. He is really excited that he may get to play at Alcorn Central. Turns out they don’t really have a kicker. One of their linemen has been trying, but doesn’t really want the job. Can we say “God planned!”.
8. Jake has been going to school at ACHS for several weeks now, but only for a few hours a few days a week. To help ease him into public school, they have allowed him to receive services from the ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. He is learning so very much and everyone at the school just treats him great. He had to make and carry some homemade jam to some of his favorites the other day! We now have his school work along with Jon’s ALL over the fridge. He loves it when I put something of his on the fridge. You can just see the confidence and pride well up in him. We are still planning on getting him tested in several months just to understand what he lacks, where his strengths and weakness are and what to clearly stay away from. Turns out that he had never learned his multiplication tables. We uncovered this as he was doing Rossetta Stone, a series of computer lessons to teach a new language quickly. The little squirt learned ALL of his multiplication tables, in English and Russian, in ONE day. We want to have him tested so that we can be aware of what he lacks. Also some of our friends from church have told us that North Corinth Baptist Church does a summer school program where kids can study material specifically designed to get them caught up to where they need to be for their grade level. We are checking it out and hopeful. This would be a great transition into public school for Jake.
9. I am doing fantastic. I am still so amazed at how well bonding has been going and how well he is adjusting. Oh, there are moments, but the good times FAR outweigh the less than good. We really haven’t had ANY bad times – all praise to God who has blessed us beyond what we ever dreamed or deserved. God has just been weaving us together as a family and it is evident. Jake is beginning to just come and give us hugs and kisses for no reason other than to show us love, and for anyone that has every adopted a child like Jake – you know this is a HUGE step. Only God could make him a part of our family under the conditions in which he came. He is beginning to open up and talk about his past. My heart literally breaks in pain for him. How could anyone look into his beautiful eyes and even lift a finger to harm him, but it has happened and happened often. I am trusting God to use all of this to Jake’s good – and I am confident that He can and will and desires to. Jake is learning more and more about God’s goodness. He watched our church’s Passion Play 3 times. Just last night Jake asked if I thought he would ever kick a football for Mississippi State and I said that I didn’t know, but that God had a wonderful plan for his life. With shock Jake looked at me and asked “Ree-wee (really), me – Jake?” and I said YES, then he said “What about Jon-a?” He had no idea that God would take the time to care about him. As the language progresses so does his interest in God and we ask you to pray for us as his family that we fully allow God to live through us for him to see.
10. O.k. so what’s up with Mississippi Steak. Well, Saturday we took the boys to MSU for their spring game. It was, without a doubt, the best day we have ever had as a family. To be honest, it was the first day that we have had since Jake got home in January that we had the whole day as just a family. We loaded up a picnic and headed to Starkville. We also know the center, D.J. Looney #66. He is a friend that we met in B’ham and he has a love for orphans. D.J. had not saw Jake or Jon since the summer and the boys really wanted to see him play. He saw us and hugs went around and the boys we so thrilled that he took time from the busy day to talk to them and love on them. They also got his “after-graph” (autograph) We love D.J.!!! He is awesome and we can’t wait to see him play this fall!!!! The boys got to go the bookstore and get new caps and new t-shirts, by the way when I say boys – that includes Jerry. I got a Christmas ornament. We took lots of pictures and video. State now has the biggest TV in their stadium so the boys were just awestruck and loved watching every minute. Between the autograph signing and the scrimmage game we had our picnic and made a quick trip over to the Mossy Oak outlet in Westpoint. One of our family friends has introduced the boys to turkey hunting. Don’t worry, Jake doesn’t get a gun. Both boys have been dying to get turkey calls. Well they brought some money with them from their Easter gifts and both boys got turkey calls. We drove all over Starkville and I just knew that a flock of turkeys would be following us. Do you know what it sounds like to have two boys, both learning how to properly use a turkey call, squawking in a car for several hours? I didn’t think it was possible for your ear drums to literally fall out of your ears, but I think mine did yesterday. We got back to the stadium, found great seats, got popcorn and coke, watched D.J. and his maroon team win and cheered “GO STEAK” with pride. I didnt’ have the heart to correct him. Oh, he also got to participate in his first national anthem!
So, what is next on the family agenda. Well, Wednesday is a big day for us. Jake, because of his age, will have to take the American Oath of Citizenship. Now granted he IS already an American citizen, but just to make sure, he will have to say the oath as well. We are excited for him. Next is the re-adoption in the US. He is 100%, fully, down to the legal letter our son, BUT if we want a birth certificate in English he will have to be re-adopted by and American judge. So we are beginning that process as well. More updates on that when we know more.
Well, there it is in a nut shell. I must really give praise and thankfulness to God. Those three years just seem to melt away when I look at us all together. God’ promises are worth waiting for. We are doing quite well. Really our only struggle as of today is that he is still quite scared of kids his own age. Remember those are the people he lived with and that treated him badly for most of his life. He just simply doesn’t trust them, but our kids are just loving him anyway and we are beginning to see the emotional walls crack. It is like poor Joshua and the children of Israel walking around Jericho. Sometimes you have to make more than one trip to get the walls to come down.
Family is beautiful and we are blessed to have both our boys. We feel so honored that we have the privilege to have one by birth and one by adoption. Love is a great thing!