There are so many things I can say about Vincent, so many adjectives to describe this little boy. Feisty, funny, cuddly, smart, hysterical, fun-loving, obstinate, stubborn, willful, adorable. He dances, he sings, he imitates, he teases, he laughs he cries. He screams-oh how he screams! Just ask the people in the AC Moore we had to carry him out of the first weekend he was home because he was screaming and fussing so hard!
Vincent was happy to get out of China, and he will tell you that. He was so looking forward to coming into our family, and once Maeleigh told him he better listen to her or we would send him back to China (yikes!) ans he was so upset, he cried and cried. Now he jokes around and says "Bye, bye mama, go to China!" I pretend to cry and tell him how much I will miss him, and he laughs and says, " Okay, Mama, I am back!" and I hug him and kiss him and tell him how much I missed him.
In one month, Vincent's language has developed so that he understands almost everything we say, and can answer so many things in English. The best is when he says "Thunk you so mutch!"
I can remember about 2 years ago when I saw the video online of WeiPing Xian, listed as 'Shawn" and saw the most adorable little boy, walking down the steps of the SWI, laughing and playing, splashing water at the Ayi, and I instantly, instantly, fell in love. We had not even had our first home study visit for Maeleigh, and were just getting our heads around adopting again. How could we even begin to think about adopting one more?And why was I so taken by this little boy? I knew the future he would have in China, knew that this boy was smart and capable, that blindness would not hold him back. But how could we adopt 2? Impossible!
Oh, so much I have learned, going through this. So many blessings, so many challenges. God is so awesome in His plan, so willing to help us through all of these hurdles, and we are often so stubborn, so sure that we have the answers, the ideas, the solutions. When I showed Matt the video of Vincent, he said "That is my son, we need to go and get him." I felt the same way, but was sure God couldn't be asking us to get him! Maybe he wanted us to 'find' him a family! So, I began to advocate for him, sending his video to friends of ours whose son I had worked with. Wouldn't this 'little guy' make a great brother for Andrew? When Andrew's family said they could not even think of adopting, I began to think again, and by the time we had the first homestudy meeting for Maeleigh, we knew we were going to get Ping Xian as well.
God is so good, and so faithful, and somehow he helped to pave the way and open the doors to help us to adopt two children literally in the space of one year, while still recuperating from the other two adoptions! We did fundraising, people generously opened their hearts and their wallets to give us money to bring Vincent home. We were blessed by an unbelievable donation from the most wonderful family: the father had gotten a Christmas raise, and they donated the entire raise to us, and because of their generosity, we were able to pay for all three flights for the travel. Aother woman donated 600 dollars to us, and when I sent her an email to thank her, I had to tell her I did not even know who she was! She had come upon my blog, and they had brought home their son a year ago, and she felt moved to send me the money. Friends sent us hundreds of dollars, people bought soap or chances for our Kindle Fire (Yay Dave Acker, our winner!) Wow...can you even imagine being on the receiving end of so much generosity? It is humbling, to say the least, and it brings me to my knees, literally in thanksgiving to God for letting us experience the wonder of these people, all because we said yes to adopting.
Having eight children is...awesome. I have to tell you, So many years ago I prayed for one child, and God has given us 8!!! Now many nights I have to count heads to see how many for dinner, I cook as much one night as some people cook in a week, and buy more milk in one shopping trip than my sisters buy for a month! I am busy, I am tired, and I am so, so happy. Our family is complete, and I know that deep in my heart and my soul. Vincent has come to our home and has brought us full-circle, to meet at both ends and complete us.
With Vincent at home, we play tag, make snowballs, play hide and seek, There is screeching and giggling in the bathtub when he and Shane take a bath together ( a nightly highlight for the two of them), we eat ice cream differently, we eat pizza with gusto, and we hug and kiss and say "I love you" in ways that make your heart melt. This little boy does screaming and temper tantrums better than most, but he does love best of all.
Vincent is blind, and for most people that is a special need that would be so difficult to deal with. I will tell you that it is barely even an issue. I know that sounds hard to believe, but it is true. Vincent has a way to make you forget that he cannot see, and instead, makes you want to 'see' the world as he does. He is full of joy, full of laughter, full of love (okay, full of screams and stubbornness too) and I am so happy he is here, in our home, in our family, as he should be.
|Meghan and Shannon with 'the boys'|
|He told Maeleigh: "Tell them I waited so long to play in the snow!"|
|Mama and Vincent at "Bouncing off the Walls"|
|First day of school!|
|Discovering our neighbor's barn...he had to go into each and every stall!|
|Visiting Maeleigh at her school|
|jet lag continued|
|Playing with "Mickey ge-ge"|
|Rub a dub dub two boys in the tub!|
|He loves the animals|
Thank you, God, for making it possible for Vincent to come to our family. And thank you to everyone who helped us, supported us, and prayed for us.
Let the games begin!