27 May 2011
When we finally said “Yes” to Brandon at the SDA office in Kiev back on April 8th, the only information about Brandon they had to share from his file were two adjectives—Neat and Joyful. What in the world did his caregivers mean by “neat and joyful???” Now that we’ve officially known Brandon for 6 weeks, we fully understand what they meant.
Brandon is neat in most every area in his life. He keeps his bedroom neat. Brandon eats neatly. He pours his drinks neatly. He likes his hair neat. His penmanship is very neat. He likes his toys neat and his bookcase neat. He even keeps his upstairs bathroom (that he shares with Katie) VERY neat. I hardly had to clean it this week. Besides being “neat” as in clean, he is also “neat” as in he is a really cool kid! He is very well-rounded. He loves sports and is really good at most that he tries. He’s obedient. He’s helpful around the house. He eagerly helps to set the table, pour drinks, clear the table, sweep the floor, help mow the grass and take out the trash. He’s friendly with his sisters. Don’t get me wrong. He is a very big tease! But he is very good with his sisters. He shares with them and lets them play in his bedroom.
As far as being joyful—you can clearly see the joy on his face. He wakes up with a giant smile and falls asleep with a smile. His laughter and smiling is pretty constant throughout the day. He is happy even when he has to do things he doesn’t like to do such as work on English Rosetta Stone or tuck in his shirt. He’s so full of life and so thankful for each and every thing. For example, I handed him a pile of freshly cleaned clothing that I wanted him to put away in his dresser. As I handed it to him I expected grumbling about having to put them away. Instead, he said, “Thank you, Mama” and he took a deep breath as he smelled his clean clothes. At every meal he thanks me for pouring his drink and putting food on his plate. He even eats anything and everything and 2 helpings of every dinner I prepare!!
As he smelled his clean clothing, I teared up because I thought that this sweet, little boy has never ever had a mother who washed his clothes, changed his sheets, hugged him as she tucked him to bed at night or told him she loves him and thinks he is the best little boy in the whole world. What a tragedy it is that there are thousands of precious little boys (and girls) out there with no mommy to do these things. I’ve heard so many people say they would adopt if they had more money or they would adopt if they were guaranteed a “good” child. Many are afraid of adopting an older child. Why not just trust God to work out all the “what ifs” and doubts you might have? Had we not obeyed God’s calling in our life, what a NEAT and JOYFUL child we would have missed out on the privilege of knowing and raising!