Another milestone for Jackson…

It was one year ago today, black Friday 2011, Jody, Caleigh and I drove the four hours west to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, got on Cathay Pacific flight 101 and flew 8,000 miles to the other side of the world to embrace a little boy who needed a forever family and who had lived the last four and a half years in an orphanage in Zhongshan, Guangzhou.  He was about to leave behind everything he knew in his young life.  I can still vividly remember meeting little “Bo Bo” as the kids called him and as we still call him today, for the first time.  He was a happy and joy-filled little boy.  It seemed at that moment he would be a perfect fit for our family…and he was and he is.  However, there was that dreaded 72 hour transition period, he would have to experience, in losing everything he’s ever known in his young life and embracing a whole new world.  Can you even begin to fathom this reality?  Losing everything, for as little as it might seem to us, but everything for him, gone in an instant.  Rather than the transition period last 72 hours, it only lasted twelve hours, but twelve hours was long enough.  The most vivid memory I have of that first night was Jackson sobbing uncontrollably and walking over to the door of our room every five minutes, attempting to escape, wanting to go back to the orphanage with all of his lifelong friends.  The tears were just streaming down his face.  His words were unrecognizable.   It was not possible for him to go back and in our minds it certainly wasn’t going to happen.  Around mid-night that evening, I remember being physically and emotionally exhausted.  And throughout the late night and early morning hours, Jody and I found ourselves praying at different points in time that God would bring a calm and quietness to his spirit – and He did.  The next morning when Jackson woke up, he had a laugh in his voice and a beaming smile on his face, and never looked back.  The great news today is, not only has Jackson embraced his family, but every one of Jackson’s friends in the orphanage has been adopted out, a handful that he has seen on this side of the pacific, far beyond the gates of his orphanage – a place he once called home.

Every new day this year has literally been another milestone in his life.  From simply learning a new word or using a fork or tieing his shoes or zipping his coat or brushing his own teeth or petting a dog…every day is a new milestone.  When you think it is easy, it is not.  When you think things will happen sooner than later, they don’t.  It took Chloe two years to finally say the words to us, “I love you,” and it took Jackson one year to finally give me a “big ol’ hug” something he sees Caleigh and Chloe do every day, multiple times a day.  This Thanksgiving Day was very special because it was Jackson’s first with us.  While we celebrate the day very simply with our family and friends, to look into his precious little face and know what his life was and what it is today, in many ways simply overwhelms you.   Over the last year, he has come very far.  He went from knowing no English to speaking English fluently.  He went from having no idea what school was about to attending full-day Kindergarten – and doing very well.  He’s made many new friends at home, at school and at church.  The hole in his heart is healed, his hernia has been repaired along with some other “plumbing” issues, and his eye sight is improving with each visit to his ophthalmologist.  While he has made some wonderful strides and is well on his way to adjusting to this new life – he still has a ways to go.  We know those adjustments will  come with time.  As a family, we went into this third adoption believing Jackson would complete our family and he does.  Our lives are full…full…full – full beyond measure.  The 18 hour days – day after day after day, to raise these beautiful children God has given to us, is well worth it.  To hear there laughter, to see their smiling faces, to witness their joy.  Or simply to hear those heart-warming words for the first time this morning as I was making breakfast for Jack, “You’re the best Dad!”  Another day, another milestone.  Today, we celebrate Jackson, our little “Bo – Bo,” our “nutty professor,”  who will reach perhaps the most memorable milestone to date thus far – his first year with his forever family.

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About GrippedByHisGrace

Our home is Okemos, Michigan. Our life is the work and ministry of Jesus Christ. Our worship is of God alone. Our goal is to live a supernatural life.

Posted on November 23, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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