We skipped blogging yesterday since it was Sunday and we really needed to take a Sabbath. Everyone says that this process is overwhelming, but it is something that just can not be put into words. We took the day to lay around, sleep late, take naps and listen to a sermon online. We were blessed with an unexpected visit from friends, who are also adopting. We were able to share a nice breakfast with them. Brad went to buy eggs after walking to pick them up from their bus stop and we all laughed that Brad practically had to cluck like a chicken to communicate he wanted to buy eggs. :)
Today was our first visit back to the institution after a 2 day break for the weekend. After our visit, we got a phone call from Sasha, who I have started to call our fearless facilitator :) saying that she needs to know our son's new name for the paperwork that she is filing. This had been a real struggle for us for some reason. We had one name all picked out but it just didn't suit him when we tried to call him that. Last night we finally came to a tentative decision that we felt confident about today when we got the call. We took a picture of the text we sent to Sasha with his new name. :)
Jacob Aaron Wall
It feels right...it feels like our son.
Jacob in the Bible was born a fighter and struggled to find his way, but ended his life a hard worker and a triumphant follower of God. Aaron was my great-grandfather's name but it also means "mountain of strength" and our sweet boy is indeed a mountain of strength to endure all that he has in his young life and still retain that delightful belly laugh of his. We managed to get a few pictures of him with his eyes open today. I think he keeps them mostly closed to keep the world out.
Institutional life has robbed him of all the skills he had from when he was in the baby house...the ability to talk, to play, to make eye contact, to be calm, to feel safe, to pull up and walk.
We were overwhelming to our sweet Jacob today. The touch and eye contact were too much. He would enjoy it for a few seconds and then it was too much and he would rock violently on his hands and knees or flail on his back. All institutional behaviors that we were told to expect, but it is shocking to see and experience in person.
The difficulty is compounded by our ever present chaperone. He name is Ludmila and she is very sweet and speaks a little (very little) English. We are in a room that is about 6' x 7' with a small couch, 2 arm chairs, and 2 end tables, a small play pen and a small coat closet. We are crammed in tiny room with a scared and overwhelmed child. It is difficult for Brad and I, I can't imagine what it must be like for Jacob. Our poor baby.
The institution itself seems like a good one, but we are still very tightly controlled. We are not allowed to see into any of the rooms with the kids and when a group of older boys (about 8-12 yrs old) walked by our door to go outside and play, the nanny noticed me looking and closed the door. The nannies seem to really care about the children, but they also don't have any expectations for them either.
Some mom's who knew Jacob in the baby house have been very encouraging to us by recounting what he was like before he went into the institution. We are praying and greatly anticipating our little boy finding his way back out of his shell. Please pray with us that God will heal him and restore him and that we will be able to discern what he needs from us right now.