Each day on the 35 minute drive to the institution I am able to pray and listen to praise music on my Ipod. I have started to look forward to this brief moment of peace before our day begins.
We are driving through the most beautiful countryside. It is not lush and vibrant, but it is a quiet sort of beautiful. Vast open snow covered fields as far as the eye can see with rows of Swedish aspens lining either side of the road. All at once it will surprise you with a flock or bright yellow meadow larks or green pheasants. Breathtaking.
Jacob is kind of like this landscape. Beautiful with lots of hidden surprises. It is heartbreaking that no one has noticed what treasures this child holds. He is not talked to or delighted in. Until now.
When I first began the process of adoption, especially international adoption of an institutionalized child with special needs, I could not fully grasp what it meant to be "rescuing a child." I heard others talk about international special needs adoption and use language like that when describing their experiences, but I didn't understand. Now I do.
No one talks to my beautiful boy. The injustice of it brings tears to our eyes and sets our jaws in anger. He is very well cared for physically, but no one loves him. Just the simple lack of love has taken a lively active child and made him afraid to open his eyes and look at anyone. He stopped talking and walking. He just gave up.
Today was a flock of yellow meadow larks and green pheasants kind of day with Jacob. He was calmer and leaned into us when he held him. He uttered an annoyed "Mama!" when I wouldn't get out of his way. This is a far cry form the drooling unresponsive child they brought to us the first day. We hugged him and kissed him and held him and told him that we love him and that God loves him. It might be the first time he has ever heard those words. As the nanny rushed in abruptly and scooped him out of my arms saying "Times up!" Brad rushed forward with his phone and played the Russian recording we made. "I will see you tomorrow." Jacob looked at us over his nanny's shoulder and waved.
Love is truly rescuing Jacob and transforming him into a different boy.