A New Chapter

During this last almost two years, Desiree and I have used this blog to document all of the wonderful things that Christ has done during the adoption of Sam.  God has shown up in many powerful and wonderful ways, and it was really neat to be able to document everything.  Well, I will be winding this blog down, and starting a new one at Trembling at His Word.  I will be focusing on anything from orphan care and family updates, to the upcoming trip to Ghana and goings on in the Church…or whatever comes to my mind.

Thank you to everyone who prayed and supported us through the entire adoption process — its not over, we still need and covet your prayers, as raising an older son has many challenges and blessings.

If you get a chance, head over to the new blog and subscribe…again Thanks!

 

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It Was the Eyes This Time…

Well, the last time I made a post back in June, I was posting on Sam’s Tonsil surgery, and how well that went.  It is amazing how life has become so busy — I have decided to sort of fade this blog out, as its original purpose was to document the adoption, and that is over now.  We are in the midsts of living with Sam, and dealing with the blessing and interesting times that comes with that.

God is so good — relying on Him for the adoption was awesome, and hard at times, but nothing compared with relying on Him for knowing how to raise an older adopted son.  I will admit that I know how to raise girls…its what I have done for the past 10 years — raising a boy (adopted at that) has been much different than I imagined.  It is far different raising one than just growing up as one!  As I have said, God is good, and He has brought our entire family to this point, and He will get us further — hopefully looking more like Him.

Today Sam had eye surgery to treat Exotropia – or lazy eye to the lay person.  The doctors literally detached the muscle from the outside part of the eye, and reattached it a few millimeters back — and it was all an out patient procedure!  Sam did great job and is at home playing Xbox right now as I type.  He is happy as he gets to miss school tomorrow.

As I fade this blog out, I may post on it from time to time — I want to personally think everyone who helped us through this whole process — I just wanted to leave everyone with one thought…since we have returned from China with Sam, so many people have come up to both Desiree and I and said “wow you are such a great person for doing that (adoption)…etc…”  or something to that effect.  I just want to say that Desiree and I are nothing — God has a purpose for Sam — had Desiree and I chose not to obey, God would have simply raised someone else up who would have been obedient to accomplish His perfect and holy plan. (to adopt Sam).  You see, God doesn’t need our money, He doesn’t need our ideas, etc…He wants us to obey Him so we can have a MUCH closer relationship with Him.  He wants us to obey so that His name will be glorified.

My prayer is that this whole adoption process will simply bring glory and honor to the one and only King — Jesus.

 

Now for some random pictures from the past 9 months — enjoy!

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Tonsils, Adenoids, and Ear Patches…Oh My!

Well, it has been a long time since i’ve posted here on the blog.  Things at the Stockman household have been very busy…As soon as we got back from China, we had our first visit from the Social Worker (went well), our family has been learning how to integrate a 7 year old Chinese boy who only knows Mandarin, and to top everything off Sam just had surgery to remove his Tonsils, Adenoids, and put a patch on his left ear drum.

Sam’s surgery went very well (Praise the Lord), and he is home and recovering — he doesn’t like to sit and rest though.  God has used this surgery to bond my wife and Sam closer to each other…Sam has done a great job so far in the bonding area — I will be honest, this was probably the biggest thing I was worried about when we adopted, but so far Sam has bonded great, and Desiree and I seem to be bonding to him well.  This whole idea of bonding to a child that is not your own, a child that you have not known since birth is a new one for me.  Each one of my daughters I have had the privilege of holding right after my wife gave birth and in that moment I knew I would die for them.

Throughout the adoption process I always thought to myself “would I feel the same way about this 7 year old boy we are about to have?”  “Will he feel the same way about us?”  Fortunately, I have a God who has prepared my heart for this, and who before any of this started, before Sam was born, before Desiree and I knew each other, back in 1988 decided to adopt me.  I have the same feelings towards Sam as I do for my girls — I will admit that there are times when my patiences level can be low, but it can get low with the girls as well.  Raising an older child is hard, and very rewarding — God is teaching me more and more about who He is through this whole process, and I am thankful for that.

In other news, our family is doing well, we have a busy summer ahead of us, and our oldest, Emma, decided that it would be a good idea for everyone in the family to do a research project on a different country so that they can learn more about different cultures.  I think this is a fantastic idea — my country is Ukraine.

Please pray that our family would continue to integrate well, and that Sam would heal well from his surgery.  Please pray that above all Christ would be glorified in all that we do.

Here are a few pics of the kids — enjoy:


Tonsils and Ears

Sam had a full physical the other day…finally. Since day one, we had noticed that he has had trouble breathing, especially at night — It almost sounds like he has sleep apnea. We found out that his tonsils are so swollen that they are touching, so in a few weeks, Sam will have both of his tonsils and adenoids removed. The Doctors say that this will clear up his breathing, and we will be able to hear his true voice for the first time, as it sounds a bit “muffled” right now. Please be in prayer for Sam — this is just one more thing to deal with in a long list of things he is trying to get used to right now.

In other news, I REALLY miss China! I miss real Chinese food, I miss hearing Mandarin all around me, and I miss the people.


And Life Goes On…

Well, as the Stockman family settles in, things are starting to get back to what I am calling a “new normal.”  Sam is now in school and doing well, our house is a bit more cramped, and we have to get used to teaching a not so modest boy how to be modest with his three sisters running around!  The language barrier is getting a little bit better, thanks to Google Translate — everyone in the house speaks “Chinglish”, and Sam’s own dialect of trying to pronounce English words, so in a way its a bit like trying to figure out what a toddler or a baby is trying to say when they are learning to speak.  Over all, things are going well — I will admit that some things are a bit harder than I had planned, like disciplining a boy who had no discipline for 7.5 years.  So we are all learning at the same time.

When we where in China, Jesus pretty much forced us to rely on Him for everything, and even though we went through some pretty crappy things (flight stuff, etc.) it was really awesome to see Christ work, and to feel His presence.  It was really neat to draw close to my Creator with my wife, and to go through an experience like that.  Now that we are back in the US, at home “in our comfort zone”, I find myself relying on my own strength for things, and slowly drifting away from His strength, and power.  I DON’T LIKE THIS.  So, as life goes on, please pray  that the Stockman family would rely on His power and strength for everything — as I see it, its the only way that we will be able to truly integrate as a family like He wants us to.


Not Done Yet

We have spent a year doing paperwork, been to China and back, and Sam seems to be fitting in nicely — we are done, right?  Nope!  We have to do 6 post adoption reports in the next 5 years…you heard that correctly, SIX post adoption reports!  Please see the following requirement from China:

China requires 6 post-adoption reports from the social worker and 2 reports from the family:

  • Social workers must submit post adoption reports at 1 month, 6 months, 12 months, 2nd year home, 3rd year home, and 5th year home from the child’s arrival date.
  • Families are also required to submit family progress reports at 6 months and one year from the arrival date.
So, when Sam is 12 years old, we will no longer have any “State responsibilities.”
On a side note, I just want to say thank you to our adoption agency — AAC…They have been nothing but fantastic.  Marcie has been our main point of contact this past year, and has really been a true God send.  I really don’t know what I would have done without her.  Every question I have ever had (and there was a ton) was answered quickly and thoroughly.  If God ever decides that Desiree and I need to adopt again, there is no question we will use AAC again — I sound like a commercial!  All of that aside, it is an amazing thing knowing that Marcie and the office staff — Nicole, and Regina had actually been praying for us specifically.  That means more to me than anything.

Settling In

Well, after fighting tooth and nail with the airlines (United), not mentioning any names, we are finally back in the United States and catching up on sleep.  I am back to work, and life is slowly starting to get back to what I am going to call a “new normal.”  It was so good to see the girls, both Desiree and I really missed them — we even missed Gunner our dog.

Sam seems to be adapting nicely, he eats really well, and sleeps through the night with no issues…so far life is good.  Everyone in the Stockman family is busy teaching him how we do things here, from discipline to eating.  As I am making this post right now, Desiree, Rachel, and Sam are busy playing a game of memory, and Emma and Molly are downstairs busy practicing an original song that they are convinced is going to make them famous.

I have to be honest, the girls have gone out of their way to be extra nice and patient with Sam — they show him things, etc.  Part of me is just waiting for this dream to wear off.  Its really surreal now living with our son — you spend a year planning, working, and praying your way towards this goal, and when it is finally here, there are almost no words.  I guess the real stuff starts now…

Thank you so much to everyone who prayed — we needed it, and still do, as I am sure that there will be hard times raising a young man that speaks a different language, and that spent the first 7.5 years of his life in an orphanage.  Thank you to Amy Rainey who posted on our blog while we spent 2 weeks in China, and dealt with phone calls sometimes in the middle of the night asking for prayer.  Most of all, thanks to Christ who in His infinite wisdom decided that Desiree and I could endure this process called adoption — thanks to Him for the opportunity to raise Sam, and most of all, thanks to Him for the opportunity to praise His wonderful holy Name.