This Blind Faith

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7

Adventures with Jon August 25, 2014

Filed under: Adoption,Ukraine — Faith Gibson @ 10:09 am

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Tony Gibson Jr.

The Last Papa Post for a Few Days
We were a little nervous about our visit with Jon today since we would be headed out to his remote village with no translator. He hasn’t got a grasp on the using iPhone translator app which we have relied so heavily upon with the other kids. I don’t know why the heck we were ever worried about communicating with him. He makes it so easy. He just talks away, with so much animation and expectation that you have no choice but to understand.

Attachment is a huge deal. Some adopted kids never attach and some don’t attach appropriately. (They can sometimes receive or show equal affection from just about anyone without distinction.) Not this kid. With complete conviction, he really acts like we have been HIS papa and mama all along, and somehow we feel the same way about him. We got to meet him at the Black Sea today for an outing. The minute, we arrived, he ran to us, jumped into my arms, hugged us both, and then grabbed the football and Frisbee out of my bag. Without a beat, he immediately led me out to the water. We did lots of tossing and swimming; one of his games was to see how far he could throw the ball away from me. Then he launched, jumped and flipped off of my shoulders until I finally had to think of an excuse to go in (since I am also the American version of a “papa”). The minute we hit the shore, he began shivering, wrapped up in a towel, and went straight to mama’s lap to cuddle up. He has been in an orphanage since he was three years old, but that whole scene today played out exactly like it naturally should have. I am so excited for us, and we are so excited for him. This is not always the case in adoption, but our immediate and natural (actually supernatural) love for these kids has mirrored biological birth in that same way that you just can’t imagine the love you will have for your first child before they arrive, but somehow in an instant your heart is full and you can’t imagine life without them.

On another note, Jon did finally make some progress with the translator app today. Today, just before we left, two sentences actually came out clearly. First, I told him we were picking him up next Friday. He got the translator to say, “I want to go today.” Then just before leaving, he opened the iTunes store on Faith’s phone, switched to the translator app and said, “I want to download music!” Mama didn’t need a translator to say, “nyet”. Time to put passwords on our phones.

 

Lefties

Filed under: Adoption,Ukraine — Faith Gibson @ 3:26 am

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Had a blast with the two older kids today. Sam was pushing the boundaries, getting a lot of ‘no” and dealing with it. This is a great thing because it demonstrates a growing trust and comfort level when he isn’t just on best behavior. Both Sam and Alina were doing great mimicking us in English and Sam was also trying out some of the English words that he already knows on me. We threw lots of football, and early on he pointed to his throwing arm and yelled out, ‘Sam left, and Papa left.’ pretty cool. Along with the encouraging words that he was mimicking (like GREAT JOB) , he also proudly threw in a few that he already knew including several OMG’s (full version) when he dropped the ball. A couple of times, it was, Oh….. (followed by something much stronger.)!! Today, i just smiled, because he was proud, trying hard, and doesn’t know. It does appear that with all the English he will need to learn, there might be a few words that he needs to unlearn. Let the parenting begin…..

 

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Go Fish and Forever August 23, 2014

Filed under: Adoption,Ukraine — Faith Gibson @ 1:57 pm

Had a great time just chatting with Alina today and teaching her Go Fish.  It’s amazing the simple things of childhood that we take for granted that these kids just don’t get to experience.  Finally getting a close up of her pretty smile. Just having fun hanging out and making plans for the future. Trying to paint a picture for her of a new life to come. IMG_0845Favorite moment of the day was this convo via Google Translate:

Me: Next Friday on the 29th if the judge says ‘yes’ we will come to get you and take you with us.

Alina: Forever?

Me: Yes, FOREVER. 

Full heart tonight. That’s all I need to say.

 

 

We’re Not in Crestview Anymore

Filed under: Adoption,Ukraine,Uncategorized — Faith Gibson @ 1:53 pm

Well, we didn’t get see the kids today, but we did engage in “parent training and preparation” by eating dinner at McDonalds. The selife was taken just before dinner on Sovyestskaya Street, the awesome street that we get to walk in the evenings lined with coffee houses, cafes, parks, and filled with strollers, bikers, and skaters in the middle of the street – pretty much anything but autos! Hoping to hang out with our kids here next Friday night!!

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IMG_0806Mykolaiv Street

 

PAINTING NAILS: A Universal Female Language! August 22, 2014

Filed under: Adoption,Ukraine — Faith Gibson @ 11:58 am

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Alina is a quiet, introverted girl, but she is so happy to have a Mama and Daddy! She always greets us with a big smile and a tight hug, and doesn’t stray far from Mama while we’re visiting. She‘s a true girly girl and was so excited to paint nails yesterday. It will be so fun when we get home to take her to see Cyndy Gibson at Salon Nirvana for a day beauty!

 

 
At the camp they are always playing music (some fun, some questionable-LOL) and she is always singing under her breath. She LOVES singing and has such a pretty voice! I’ve told her everyone in our family sings, but of course she has NO IDEA! Can’t wait to hear her singing with her sisters (Lauren included), brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., etc! Her talents so intersect with our family and it’s beautiful to see! God is SO in the details of extending our family!
 

SAM IS THE MAN!!

Filed under: Adoption,Ukraine — Faith Gibson @ 11:52 am

image  By Tony Gibson Jr. from 21 Aug. 2014

I got to experience an awesome treat today. The kids from Sam’s orphanage were able to go to a water park for the first time and I got to go along. My boy’s excitement was contagious. For me, it was getting back in the “daddy saddle’ and I loved it. Turns out that all of my “gyming” hasn’t just been for my pleasure, but it’s going to be for my survival. There were no rules about running at the park, and I had to literally sprint from ride to ride with the tube in tow, and run up all those flights of stairs just to keep up with the kid who was motioning me to pick it up.
The best part was watching Sam interact with EVERYONE. He did an awesome job of balancing time with me and time with friends. He was taking charge with the kids his age in a great way, and was also confidently engaged with the High school group who all seemed to love him. The bitter side of the day was realizing how stifled his personality will be for the next season. With all of the foreign travel that I do, I know how hard is to express your true personality through that language barrier. He will be gaining so much, but he will be giving up plenty too… and have to do a lot of rebuilding. I am so thankful that I got to witness him in full swing today, so that I can anticipate and help him get back to that same place one day soon when everyone will get to know the real Sam.

 

Heeeere’s Jonny!

Filed under: Adoption,Ukraine — Faith Gibson @ 11:32 am

imageBy Tony Gibson Jr. from 19 Aug. 2014

This boy is full tilt! As the photo illustrates, he can tell you exactly what he is thinking with his face, and he does. Jon didn’t stop rapidly talking to me yesterday expect the moments when we were in the room with the judge. Somehow, he conveyed everything he was thinking with his face and his passionate tone including shock and disapproval of my tattoo which his brother, in contrast, had proudly pointed out to him. He even tried to play the role of firstborn with his brother, but I was glad to see Sam quietly hold his place. Sam knew that both of them had called top bunk, so within their first few minutes together, he scrolled to the photo, pointed to the top bed, and said, ‘that’s mine.” Surprisingly, Jon seemed to accept it, and it was fun to see how that little thing worked itself out in natural order without intervention. DEFINITELY NOT expecting that in all things. This awesome boy is clueless that we cannot understand him. He has already made us laugh a lot, and will definitely continue to do so. I also imagine he will make us cry from exhaustion on some days too. Great things come with a price!!

 

 
gracenotwasted

because God was so gracious, so very generous, here i am. and i am not about to let His grace go to waste. I Cor. 15:10

The Journey

led by Dianne Guthmuller