Today is Mark's 32 birthday, and I'm so glad we get to spend it with him. We woke up at 4:30 this morning to Zane crying "Happy Birthday" in his best "singing" voice! How thoughtful! Thankfully he went back to sleep and we all slept until about 8:00. Best gift ever! We woke up and did our normal routine of getting dressed and eating breakfast together, then we headed out for a walk and to run errands. On the way back, we enjoyed m34RR4achiattos and sambusa (like an empanada or meat pie). We all napped for a couple of hours and then went to the Addis Lion Zoo. It's a cool park where they have black mane lions (like Scar from The Lion King), primates, and some interesting birds, like Egyptian geese. It's not a very big park, but it was good to get out and do something. We also enjoyed visiting with the Browns who went along with us with their son, Colton.
Having Mark here has been great company for me, and it's been a load of fun for Zane to have his "celebrity" Daddy here. He still looks at the iPAD, then looks at him, and asks, "Daddy?" For all he knows Daddy is a movie star.
It has been a huge transition to have Mark here. Every new component that is added to Zane's life is so incredibly overwhelming to him. We have read tons of books on attachment, connecting with children at-risk or sensory deficient, and we are seeing the need to review that information and recall what we learned. Zane is hyper-vigilant with sensory input, and we're realizing how important it is to be alone, interacting together, and eliminating all distracting components. Melt-downs have become pretty common in the last couple of days, so we could use your prayers for wisdom and strength to parent him the way God would have us to.
Zane needs so much. His life experience has left him a little insecure about adults, and his new parents look very similar to other white families that are in and out of the guest house. This creates a lot of confusion and a lot of heartache for us as we see him going indiscriminately to other parents. Please pray that God will help him understand that families stick together, and that he can be secure and at peace with us. Pray also for his heart to stop racing so much, and for him to trust us enough to love and protect him. His hypervigilance is causing some anxiety that is evident to us, as he cries about common things like sitting to eat dinner.
I have heard that it is common for children from hard places to make a lot of progress then seem to regress suddenly. I am confident that the Lord is healing his heart and making him whole. Pray for us that we can minister to him the way the Lord wants us to. Ultimately, God is his Father, Healer, Protector, Provider, and His Everything. We just want to reflect that to Zane, so he finds his significant and worth in the God who made him.
On another note, we have not heard from the embassy yet, but we are confident that God is in control and working all things together for good for us. Please pray that anyone who would seek to keep these children captive and away from their families would be dismissed from the embassy, and that anyone who wants to make a name for themselves would be thwarted. Adoption is God's business, and He alone should receive all the glory.
We are thankful that God has us together working through issues that are inevitable in adoption. We hope that this time together in Ethiopia will prepare us for a smoother transition when we return to the states.
Thank you again for your prayers!