There is so much to write, I don't know where to begin. The last time I wrote how everything seemed to be falling in to place. The boys were starting to connect and things were going very well.
The first week of April was Spring Break. We took off for Navarre Beach, Florida. Overall we had a great week. We learned a few things about Danil.
He liked the Ocean and was so excited to see it for the first time.
But he does NOT like to swim in it. The first time he got the salt water in his mouth, he was done.
He does enjoy hunting and collecting "treasures" on the beach.
Danil would rather swim in a pool then play at the ocean.
He likes to build sand castles and will sulk if yours turns out better then his.
Danil did well but we learned that the lack of structure that week caused him great anxiety. Toward the end of the week, his favorite past time was picking, whining, mean faces and fit throwing.
The next few weeks at home and school were rough. He got red and yellow cards at school. Therefore, his consequences were seen by him as unfair and tried to pass the blame on everyone else. We had a few screaming fits, tantrums and times when I had to hold him and reassure him that all the abandonment that he had experienced in the past would never happen again. It was hard on Danil. It was hard on our family.
I really try as his mom to be understanding, to like him through the bad times (because I always love him) and figure out what I can do to help him. Parenting Danil has been different then parenting my bio children. You could probably guess some of the differences. Thanks to a recent family search, we know where Danil was his entire life. But we do not know how he was treated, what he was exposed to and what he was taught. We are trying to rebuild a strong foundation of love, respect and a faith in our all mighty God.
Fears that Danil experiences on a daily bases are different then my bio children experience. I'm sure Abbey and Grant never consider the possibility that one day I might send them away. But Danil does, no matter how much a reassure him.
A few weeks ago, we had taken in a stray dog. After having the dog for 12 days, 2 ladies showed up at our house to take the dog. When I saw the ladies on the front porch I said "They are here to get him."
Danil hid in the corner. I thought maybe he was sad because the dog was leaving. While talking to the ladies, I asked Danil if he was okay. With scared, sad eyes he looked over his shoulder at me, then turned his head back and looked down. Abbey went to Danil and asked him what was wrong. He said "Are they here to take me?" See, different.
When Danil says:
"I don't want to be here" means "I don't want to leave"
"When I grow up I'm going to be alone" means "I'm afraid to be left again"
"I don't love anybody" means "I afraid nobody will love me"
"When I grow up I'm going to be a bad boy" means "Do you believe in me?"
Danil has taught me so much about love. How important it is to be loved and to have love in your life.
Danil also experienced his first Easter with us. The greatest part was talking to Danil about what Jesus did for us. And of course we also celebrated Easter with coloring eggs and Easter baskets
Danil colored eggs.
The kids with their Easter baskets.
It's now the 8th of May. 10 months home!! I sat down yesterday and watched a few videos of Danil while we were in Ukraine. It was amazing to think that it was only 10 months ago!
At the moment, Danil is doing great. I think he is finally back to my "March" Danil. And I am going to SOAK. IT. UP.
One more thing I want to record for Danil is the time that he started leaning on God's strength.
Four days ago while we were pulling weeds next to our house, you told me something that gave me great comfort. You told me that you had talked to God all by yourself. You told me that you had asked him to forgive you for all the mean things you say to your mommy and daddy. You also asked him to help you be a good boy.
I want you to know Danil that you can always ask God for strength and forgiveness. He forgives you, loves you and is with you always. He is your strength Danil when you have times that you don't know how or what to do. Just call on him Danil. Because together you make an awesome team.
My heart is so happy Danil that you are starting to lean on God because when I am not physically with you, I know he is...always.
I love you,