The official part? Our family has grown by one. The unofficial part? It won't be legal for six months. On March 23, 2013, a bright eyed, sweet, innocent, and energetic 3.5 year old little boy came to live with us. In a brief instant, our lives were forever changed.
For a couple of years, Curtis and I have discussed adoption. We've questioned baby or toddler; child with or without a disability; foster to adopt through child protective services or adopt through an agency. We never quite decided on anything. I prayed many times for God to just place something in my lap. As it turns out, that's exactly what He did. We didn't have to have answers to any of our questions because He made the decision for us. (Not that I didn't question His plan...don't we always tend to initially question Him when we're uncertain?)
Jordan comes to us from a family member. In order to respect the privacy of all parties involved, I won't go into the details. Suffice it to say, we have known Jordan since he was born, although we (Curtis and I) have not spent a lot of time with him to date. However, he and Wade have been together a lot, and they get along well.
We are beginning the process of a formal adoption. Both the mom and the dad have to sign over their rights. Once this is done, they each have only ten days to change their mind. Because we are not immediate family, we have to go through home studies and background checks. After this is approved and Jordan has been in our home for six months, we can go before the judge and make this all legal.
The past month has been quite challenging and different for us. Our normal--raising a child with a disability--just got turned upside down. Going from having one child who is non-verbal and uses a wheelchair to another child who walks, runs and talks quite well is...interesting! One is not harder or easier than the other; they both have their unique challenges. One of my least favorite things to do is feed Wade. It seems to take forever! Seriously, I'd rather clean the toilets! It's so nice to be able to put a plate of food in front of Jordan and he can feed himself every.last.bite. On the other hand, Jordan can make our house look like a tornado just went through in a matter of minutes. We've never had to worry about stepping on toys in the middle of the night before. It's actually quite a nice balance. I don't feel so locked in "disability world" now that we have Jordan; I have a healthy balance of both worlds. I'd be lying if I said it doesn't hurt my heart a bit to see Jordan running and playing and asking all those curious questions that I know are running through Wade's head. But thankfully, those thoughts only last a brief moment as I watch Wade laughing at all the silly things Jordan does. I also know that Jordan is going to be a more accepting and considerate person growing up in our home as Wade's new brother.
We decided that the boys would share a room, so we invested in bunk beds; a twin over a double. We've been having a lot of trouble with Wade sleeping through the night since he got his g-tube last June. After months and months of MANY middle of the night trips to reposition Wade and trying to figure out what was going on, I think we've discovered the problem--night time reflux. Since we were getting new beds, we decided to get a foam top mattress (similar to a tempurpedic bed) with an adjustable base so that we can incline the head and/or foot of the bed as well as set it to vibrate. Dare I say it out loud, but Wade has not woken up the past four nights!!! Jordan goes to bed a lot easier when it's time as well. He LOVES the top bunk!
We're still trying to get into the groove of things around here, but at least our house is finally put back together after switching bedrooms, putting down new carpet in the two bedrooms, selling some furniture and just reorganizing to make room for the new little guy! The first week was a little rough, to say the least. Jordan definitely tested his boundaries and limits, but it was amazing to see his transformation in just one week. We've gone from running off out in public, fighting bedtime, etc. to him telling me, "I don't want you to count to three," when he knows he's making the wrong choice. To be honest, while I knew this was the right decision, I did question whether or not I could love him as my own. It was my biggest concern, and I let his mom know this as well. But after just a few days with us, I knew it was possible. Jordan has filled a certain hole in my life that I didn't know I had. While it's not always easy, and we're learning how to raise a typical child as we go, our decision just feels right.
Oh! And for those who have caught on to his name...his first name is the same as our last name. We're not too sure what we're going to do about that. He certainly can't be Jordan Jordan for the rest of his life! But since that's our biggest worry at this point, I'd say we're truly blessed!
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