Samuel has been home for almost 5 months. I have so much to share yet the words don't easily flow. My review of Samuel's progress and God's goodness will never be sufficient in giving God the praise He is due. I think that's part of the reason I haven't written a post lately. It's hard to put in to words how mightily God has worked in our lives, in the lives of our littles. Still, God calls me to sing His praises from the rooftops and I gladly give it my best shot.
Samuel has made incredible strides. When we were in China, he was barely walking. He would take a fumbling step or two at a time. He now runs through the house yelling for his big sister, "Nei Nei!" (That would be Mei Mei... Oh and yes, she sings, "watch me whip, whip, watch me Mei Mei." That girl is something else). Samuel's weight and height are completely on track for a child his age. He's saying about 15 words and clearly understands everything we tell him. He has the most beautiful belly laugh of anyone I've ever known. I'm convinced those baby belly laughs will be the sound that echoes through heaven. He has formed a genuine attachment to all 6 of us and has a very healthy balance of affection and fear towards others. When he first came home, he was terrified of anyone and everyone, except for our immediate family. He shuttered if someone said "no" and was clearly traumatized by previous events in his life. This sweet boy is now healthy, confident and secure. Truly miraculous. Only God can transform a life like this. From ashes to beauty, that's God's specialty.
And his "special need"... y'all. This kid is amazing. He is incredibly resourceful with his little hand, as we call it. He has learned to pick everything up with it so that he is able to manipulate with his fingers on his right hand. He does whatever the other kids are doing, with no problem. We encourage him to try everything before we help him. "I can't" is not allowed in our house and we will expect the same from Samuel. The biggest tragedy resulting from his special need is the fact that he was abandoned because of it. While this need seems insignificant to us, his birthparents probably felt that he needed serious medical intervention. And of course, the people of China have very little access to any sort of medical resources. I have a painful desire, literally a physical ache, to share with his birthparents how very well he's doing. Apart from the tragedy of abandonment, we consider his special need a gift. We know that in ALL things, God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). I am sure that God has huge plans for Samuel. Plans for pain, no doubt. But in the end, pain that leads to faith. Plans to prosper. (Jeremiah 29:11) Despite what our culture tells us, we know it's a privilege to have a thorn in our side (2 Cor. 12:7-10) because Jesus uses that to bring us closer to Him. My prayer for Samuel is not that God would take away the pain, the questions, the physical limitations, or the teasing from other kids (which we already endure). My prayer is that He would use this thorn to draw Samuel into a greater need for Christ. "Head winds are right for royal sails." ~ RW Emerson
Neat side story while I'm talking about Samuel's little hand... We are at a fall community event, maybe 500 people there. Kids are running around, we're all enjoying the day. A man sees Samuel and we hear him say, "Timmy, come see! His hand is just like yours!" Long story short, we began talking. Their teenage son has amniotic band syndrome and they just happen to spot Samuel. Y'all... this is a RARE special need. Turns out this boy is the baseball pitcher at our local high school. He pitches the ball with his left hand and quickly puts his catching glove on. Amazing, right? So we ran into them again and his mom brought us a goody bag with some very special things. One of the items is a glove that Mizuno fit and made specifically for their son. They wanted Samuel to have this! I am so overwhelmed at how God works through every day situations. Truly another miracle. We couldn't even find another family in the area with this if we tried. But God. God orchestrated our meeting so perfectly. Do you reckon we'll be attending some of his baseball games? We can't wait!
Yes, the Lomans are doing well. We are forever grateful for the support you have offered, for the checking in, and the prayers that you faithfully pour over us. This season of life is extremely hairy but it's what God has blessed us with and we roll with it every day. I am so often asked, "Is your family finished growing?" Oh goodness, that reminds me... a sweet angel contacted me the other day and asked if we'd be growing. She wanted to know because she felt called to help financially, the way she had for our journey to Samuel. Do ya' think I was humbled? Man! Could that be God reminding me that He will always faithfully provide when we are doing His will? I've learned never to guess what our future holds. God's plans are not ours and thankfully, his prevail. I do know one thing. I feel a tad restless. I sense that in my husband too. Restless in the sense that there is too much work to be done for Christ. Too many orphans, too many who don't know Christ, for me to be sitting in cozy suburbia. That being said, I also feel a deep peace in what God has given me for now. He has called me to be a supportive wife, to shepherd our children, to educate them at home. It's clear they are where my focus should be right now. It's not always easy and it's often thankless. But God sees. And He wants me right here. So I wait. Restless but content. I press on, hopefully honoring God all my days. I don't know if our family is complete. He hasn't revealed that to us yet. I don't even know what tomorrow holds. I do know that we are His and I find immeasurable comfort in that. If He leads us to a dirt hut in a volatile land occupied by Christian haters, then we'll go. But today, God has us right here. And today is sweet.