We did it! We made it! Wendem is home for good!
Our little man has been home for 7 weeks and it feels like 7 days and 7 years all at the same time. You who have adopted or remember what bringing your baby home from the hospital is like in those first few months know exactly what I am talking about 🙂 It all happens so fast but then you can barely remember life without them!
Driving home on September 9th from the airport was so emotional for me. It was exactly 13 months earlier that I had put this dear sweet boy on a plane back to Africa…and now I was driving him home…home to our house…FOREVER! It almost felt like it was the first time I had taken a deep breath in 13 months. I could now officially breathe…this part of our journey was over. Every single day of those 13 months I was acutely aware of what we needed to do or had to be done and that something was missing. There was always something to do, something to work for, something to strive for, something to pray for, money to raise, something to anticipate. Now I could finally breathe, I honestly felt like I left a huge weight sitting in the airport parking lot. I exchanged it for this cute bubbly brown eyed boy whom I couldn’t and still can’t stop hugging.
In the time since Wendem arrived home so much has had to happen. We went through the re-aging process to determine his true age. With the help of our amazing pediatrician and bone scans we discovered that Wendem was turning 8, not 10 like his birth certificate states. In the coming months we will have to officially start paperwork to make that correction. We also let Wondimagagne pick a “American” name….after weeks of deliberation he chose Wendem, it incorporates his birth name but it much easier to spell and pronounce 😉 He not only has an new name but a new nickname as well that his silly Dad gave him…if any of know my husband at all you know what I mean. Daniel calls Wendem “Dubs”, as in W. Wendem had to receive several rounds of immunizations to be able to start public school. We had to start from scratch so he had to receive every shot from infant until now…that was tough! We enrolled Wendem in school and start working with the ESL teacher in our district. He is a big 2nd grader at Irving school here in Bozeman. Grandma helped us get him a bicycle for his birthday and he is learning to ride a bike for the first time..(training wheels on)
Some days have been easy and full of smiles, others are filled with frustration and tears. Trying to navigate all the newness and not speaking the same language is quite the challenge. The days our son is upset or grieving I want so badly to be able to explain to him and console him through my words. Instead I just hold him through the tears or anger he has and keep telling him how much we love him and that he gets to stay here forever. We tell him over and over again that he is our son, that we love him and that he now is part of a family, our family and nothing will ever change that. I will say that as each week goes by we are seeing major progress. It is amazing how his English is coming along and how much better we all are communicating.
The last 7 weeks have been beautiful, messy, amazing and hard…but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life in our house looks very different as does any home where a new family member is added. We are daily learning our new “normal”. He definitly has a sense of humor and loves to play which fits perfectly into our lives. His little smile and smirk can light up the room or make me smile in an instant. Chase and Wendem are often found wrestling or playing football in the yard. Chase is a super big brother, it actually brings me to tears often ! I love watching the boys together! Taylor is so busy with college and work but always finds some time to give to us and we take it and count it precious when we get all three of them together for some good family time!
I look forward to blogging more on our “new normal” and helping other prospective or adopting families see a little window into what all happens after your kiddos arrive home for good. God is teaching us all so much and we look forward to sharing that! Blessings to you and yours!
Hugs, The Herzogs