As I was sitting here on our deck watching all 4 kids playing in the water of the Albemarle Sound, I think back to the day we brought the LJ, AJ and JJ home. They were so shy and quiet (then). They had no idea what was ahead for them in America. All they had was the fantastic tales told to them by others who themselves had never been to America. They had imagined downtown New York City with skyscrapers and millions of people. We lived in Ft. Mill SC, a suburb of Charlotte NC. They had imagined money just falling from the sky or the trees; Americans so rich that we all only wore our clothes once and threw them away (no need for washers and dryers). We aren't paycheck-to-paycheck, but we do live on a budget and watch for deals. They also imagined a country so self absorbed that they hated outsiders and "threw them off the tall buildings because they were from other countries". That is not too, far afield from the truth.
They didn't understand much of any English as I'd said before. They only knew that they should be polite and cooperative, so they nodded yes to everything. We gave them "American" Names and tried to explain it to them. They smiled and nodded approval. It wasn't until recently that they admitted to us that they didn't have a clue what we were talking about. We could have been explaining the theory of thermonuclear dynamics and had gotten across just as much. Now, they are not so quiet and shy.
We know that their love for and their comfort level around us is growing, because now they tell us what's on their mind (with respect), and tell us what they like and don't like. (mmm, maybe we should have kept them in the fearful, shy stage a little longer - like say 10 years). They were so afraid of everything and really everyone. Now they venture out on their own and talk and play with kids they don't know. They continually enlighten us with tales of life in Ethiopia. At times, it brings us to tears and at others to sheer laughter. They are comfortable enough to ask us for cell phones, which after two years we've done. (What have I done?)
God asks, demands us to love and care for these 4 children. He has also called us to open our hearts and our home to another 3 more that need a mom and a dad to love, nurture, care for and protect them. We are following Christ. And it is such an exhilarating joy to watch how God is "growing" our babies!