Monday night we had our three month post placement home study, and our social worker confirmed that Zane is every bit a two year old. We're so glad to see that he is developmentally on track with his peers. However, turning two is just like turning 16; I'm sure of it. Between the word, "NO!" and running away from Mommy and Daddy like it's a game, Zane is really a sweetheart. Like all two year olds, he has a "split personality": demanding and whiny or hilarious and cuddly. We love both because it's all a part of who he's becoming as an individual.
When we first met Zane, he was a reluctant, quiet child who preferred the background. It took a lot to make him laugh. We couldn't even tickle him to make him laugh. On occasion though, he would smile through the window at the transition home when his friends yelled his name. He'd light up when the nannies chanted, "Addisu-Addisu-Addisu-Addisu!" clapping their hands in rhythm. But for the most part, he was a stoic observer of the world around him, always investigating the leaves, grass, and outdoor life he had only watched through the large pane of glass that separated the toddler room from the great outdoors.
Today, I know a different child. Zane is eager to laugh, always joining in anyone's laughter as if he knows exactly what the joke was. He's affectionate with family and close friends, and he loves to "pay??" (That's "PLAY").
In the Veggie Tales episode "God Made Me Special", Larry jokes, "Nothing says, 'You're special!' like lots of colorful balloons!" So Mark and I took that word of advice and planned a balloon surprise for Zane. This morning he woke up to "baboons" (that's a hybrid word for "balloons" and "bubbles") floating into his room!
I'm sure he knew he was special when he saw them.
When I was thinking about what to do on his birthday, I asked myself, "What would you like to do on your 2nd birthday?" The answer? "Eat CAKE for breakfast, of course!" So that's what we did next. (I have to insert here that I put the cake on his plate to let him dive in for one of those cake in the face type pics...HOWEVER, this precious boy would rather use a fork. Hallelujah! God knows our needs. My OCD husband and I have secretly stressed out about the messy cake photos. Please don't take offense if you have one...but they gross me out.)
I've never seen Zane more happy than he is now. Not just today, but everyday. He is full of happiness, love, and anticipation. And Mark and I? We are elated. We've never felt so fortunate, so honored. God gave us an amazing treasure in Zane.
Many people look at adopted children and note an extreme amount of growth when they finally settle into their forever family. Some may say that it's the result of having parents. Some may conclude they are getting better nutrition and care. I know better. Nothing that Mark and I have done has produced the amazing results we've seen in our little boy. There's no way! If anything, we'll screw the poor child up. What we've witnessed in Zane God's miracle of adoption. Only He has transformed our little boy. God, his Father, has made all things new. He's given Zane a new joy, new meaning, new outlook...He's picked him up out of the pit and set him firmly upon a rock. He's given him a new name. Addisu, "the new one", has a new heart with which to love and be loved. He's being restored everyday. Only God's grace can do this, which is why we always knew that his American name would be Zane, "God is gracious." We thank God that he still lavishes his grace upon us and calls us his children. I know Zane knows this love first hand, and everything in his being radiates with it.