What a camp-out! Two of the funnest times of my life have been at CHRF (our church) camp-outs. I think the camping weekend was a great way to introduce Jonathan to our church and for him to have two full days with us as well.
Jonathan has now spent his first two nights with us also. We have had some of our first negative experiences together. Bedtime last night, for instance was a challenge. A car ride home from the park yesterday turned into an interesting exercise in containment for Nathaniel. Due to the massive amounts of time Jonathan spent in a car the first three years of his life, car trips can be quite the ordeal right now. We are currently looking for a booster or car seat that a six year old cannot extricate himself from. Any ideas? I am wondering how the two hour car ride to Richmond will go with him today. Windows, door locks, spitting, kicking, throwing anything that can be reached, squealing loudly, cussing...it's quite an experience. By God's grace will we prevail.
Most of the time, Jonathan is a very sweet, lovable little boy. He loves his new brothers and wants to do everything exactly as they do, right down to eating the same number of slices of bacon. He adores our cats, enjoys the dogs, though the puppy can be overwhelming, carries the turtle around regularly and keeps an eye on the frog to be sure it eats. He is not intimidated by the chickens or the goats. If given the freedom, he would probably live entirely on the trampoline and his bike.
I have seen a miracle in my sons, Nathaniel and David this week. They have both magically become men. Whitney has always been quick to step in to get things done when needed and I have always appreciated and at times, taken advantage of it. To see how the boys are jumping in to help get things accomplished is a great blessing. I saw huge piles of camping equipment left in the living room "until later" just disappear while I was occupied with Jonathan. The boys continually stop what they are doing to answer Jonathan's questions or help him out with any small matter. They step in to distract him when the need arises and seek to comfort him when he is discomforted. I watched in pride and amazement as Nathaniel dealt with the incident in the car yesterday. I saw tender, patient love, concern and prayer in the midst of a violent, uncontrolled outburst. I have never seen the level of maturity I am seeing now in my sons. It makes my heart so full, it brings me to tears.
Today, we take Jonathan back to his foster parents' house. We are all dreading that, for many reasons. Jonathan hates the drive, its four hours of driving (four for us and two for Jonathan), and we don't want to say "good-bye" to our little boy again. We are still on schedule to have him with us for good on Monday the 2oth. Please continue to pray for us during this transitional time.