It has been a week since we met Jack and our lives have been turned upside-down, inside-out, pushed sideways and ties into knots, all in the best possible way. He has filled up an emptiness I didn’t realize was there. Yes, I wanted to be a dad, but I really didn’t expect it to be like this. It’s one of those things that now that I am in it, I don’t even remember what I expected. The house is filled with laugher, tickles, Legos, Lincoln Logs, books, batman socks and the occasional whines of “Why do I have to eat THAT?”
We have three boxers and the youngest one, Mia, adopted him the moment he walked in the door. Even when my nephews would stay the night, Mia never slept upstairs with them the entire night. That all changed when Hack came home. Mia sleeps with him, cuddles with him and spends her day playing with him and making him laugh. She has always been the dog that most takes on someone’s emotions and John are I are both really hoping that her bond with Jack will help him adjust and work through all the things we know are coming.
Right after I had the stroke in Tanzania, Ulco bought me a stuffed penguin when he went to South Africa. In those days when I was angry and afraid, I took a lot of comfort cuddling with that penguin when I was alone. On his first evening here, Jack saw it in the closet and asked if he could play with it. Since then, we have built a penguin habitat, he has named her Rosey and he takes her everywhere. It is so great to see how he takes care of her. I told him the story of how she took care of me when I was sad and scared and that made him smile.
Yestrday I took Jack to Valley of Fire and taught him how to use my old camera. We went on a couple of hikes but instead of being in Valley of Fire, we were on Mars and instead of a car, we had a spaceship. Right now, he is upstairs with my nephews in a fort we just built, playing with action figures and having a great time. He is really coming out of his shell and it is great to see.
We know he has a lot to deal with. He has been through a lot and dealt with more than any 7 year old should ever have to. The thought of it all is more than intimidating, but this week has really given me faith that we can make a difference in his life. He has certainly made a difference in ours.
There was a time when we were getting so frustrated with the process of being matched with the right child and jack really is the perfect one for us. His personality is a great mix of John’s and mine. He does some of the same things we used to do when we were young. It really makes me smile to hear him singing to himself and it is such an honor getting to know him. I really hope that this works out to be our forever family.