Today is one of those days that God has shown me just how much progress I have made with my boys.  It’s so difficult for me to see it most days.  It’s like the weaver staring so intently at the line of weaving being done and noticing every last imperfection as she goes back and forth to fix it.  I don’t step back often enough to notice the progress of the entire project.  God decided to make it very easy for me to step back this morning and just see and marvel at the progress.  I am so thankful.

Even though I’m really not much of a routine person myself,  (I like change – an understatement really)  the rest of my family enjoys a pattern…a rhythm to our day.  The boys wake up before I do every morning. I couldn’t get up before them even if I willed it.  My body doesn’t work that way.  I spent years getting up at 5:30am with them when they were little.  I was never more addicted to coffee then I was in those years.  You have no idea how thankful I am that they can play in the morning while I sleep for another hour or so.  I’ll hear them each taking turns going to the bathroom in the morning which is my first alarm to wake up for the day.  I press snooze.  Then I hear them quietly playing with each other.  I hit snooze again.  Then someone inevitably starts running, jumping, declaring their hunger, or crawl in next to me and start talking to me – and there’s never a snooze button for that.

As I sleepily walked through the upstairs hallway this morning to go downstairs and start making breakfast, I caught a glimpse of Justin’s room.  I’ve trained my boys that they get dressed and clean their rooms before breakfast.  They never want to be late for food so generally they only have to clean up the immediate toys they are currently playing with.  As I passed Justin’s room, I noticed his bed was already made but it struck me as very sentimental.  I almost kept walking.  Almost.

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I went back to his room and stared at his bed for a moment.  In that one bed was an emotional heartwarming moment for me.  I hadn’t realized until just then how sentimental Justin can be and how much it meant to me.  Let me explain.

My boys have a hard time expressing their emotions.  Some more than others.  But…they especially have a hard time showing love.  They’ve been hurt deeply by their birth parents from neglect and then feeling as though they were thrown away…unwanted.  They guard their hearts heavily – most heavily against me.  The pain would be far too great for them to risk showing their love to the person who takes care of their every last need every single day and then have me walk away from them just like (how they feel) their birthmother did.  Therefore, I rarely – and I mean rarely – get any form of affection from my sons.  This bed is the most affection I’ve seen from them…possibly ever.  I almost started crying.

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This light blue blanket is the blanket I had given Justin when he moved into our home at 12 months old.

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This Batman blanket used to be Zach’s.  Zach got a new blanket and Justin had picked this one out of the closet when we changed out bedding.

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The last time I switched out the kids’ bedding to be washed, I was shampooing Chris’ carpet (from a mess Lily had made) when Justin tapped my arm.  He asked me to get a pillow case for him out of the linen closet.  I told him he was allowed to pick whichever one he wanted.  He told me he already had.  “I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want the one on the top shelf and I can’t reach it.”  Okay.  I turned off the shampooer and went to the closet.  He pointed at the top shelf and told me, “I want the one that looks like your blanket so I can snuggle you at night.”  My heart melted.  Seriously melted.  I pulled it down for him and immediately went and told Les about it as I was completely choked up.

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Niki made each of the boys a pillow case for Christmas.  This is the one Justin received from her.  It has iconic pictures of England on it to remind him of the trip we all took together 3 years ago to England.

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Meet Justin’s teddy bear that goes almost everywhere with him.  He named the bear Leslie Kevin after his daddy.  He says he named it Leslie Kevin because he misses dad a lot when he’s gone on trips and hugs it when dad is away and he wishes he was home.

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Justin asked Chris to cut out a heart for him.  Then he asked Chris how to spell “nouna”.  On the heart (upside down but who cares) Justin wrote “nouna” and “LJ”.

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This is the Christmas card we received from Justin’s godparents.  He’s kept it in his room since Christmas but this is the first time he placed it in the middle of his bed like this.

Justin represented every single person in our family and his godparents on his bed this morning.  I’m touched.  Deeply, deeply touched.