Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Three Years Ago Today . . .

Just because you are obedient doesn't mean your life is going to get easier. We learned this three years ago when our adopted son arrived here in the States and our lives would be forever changed. Yet despite how hard it got at times, we could not imagine our lives or our family without Cava in it.

It's so amazing to see how love can transform a child, to watch him gain confidence and trust. To see him going from being unable to make it through a week of school without being suspended for a few days to making the A/B honor roll, getting elected student council for his fourth grade class, was in our local Christmas parade, and, most recently, getting the Character Trait award for "kindness." We have seen him go from being the troubled child to now being the one who helps another boy at his school who struggles as he once did.

Just the other day, I was sitting with Cava as he worked on a word search (one of his new favorite hobbies) and I told him how truly blessed and happy I was that he was my son. Then I surprised him by saying, "You have taught me so much."

He looked up from his word search. "Really?"

"Yeah. You just thought I taught you, didn't you?"

He laughed, "Yeah, that's right."

"But you have also taught me so much. One thing you have taught me about is bravery. When I was in elementary school, I was small and shy, so I get picked on. Unlike you, I wasn't brave enough to try out for robotics club or make a speech in front of the class to run for student council and then get elected or just put yourself out there like you have. You have real courage. And you inspire me to be braver and to work harder because I see how hard you strive to reach the goals that you have for yourself. You've also taught me how to be a better dad."

And he has. I had to relearn how to be a parent with him. He has helped me work towards being more patient, empathetic, compassionate, and one who stops to pay attention to the beauty in the world around me. I am definitely more aware of birds than I ever have been in my life.

Cava makes me laugh. I love his silliness. I love his boisterous laugh and him saying, "Oh Papa, you make me so funny" when he means, "Oh Papa, you are so funny."

I love his enthusiasm. Nobody I know has the enthusiasm that I see in him daily. It's infectious.

He is a literalist. When I took him to get his haircut, the lady asked, "Do you want me to take some off the ears?" He freaked out. "NO WAY! Are you CRAZY???" I had to step in and explain, "She doesn't want to take off some of your ears, she wants know if you want her to cut the hair around your ears." He eased back down in the chair. "Oh yeah. Sure." I mean, how could you not love that?

He is resilient and strong. He is caring and kind. Cava has a hear as huge as his smile.

Those who meet and get to know Cava can't help but love him. He is lovable. Not to mention that he gives great hugs.

I love that when he went to his first school dance, he told us, "I'm gonna' dance like there's nobody watching!"

Cava is my book buddy. He can spend as much time in the library or bookstore as I do - sometimes even more than I can. I love to watch him reading or listen to him read or read to him as he snuggles up beside me to listen. I can't help but delight in hearing him ask, "Can you read just one more chapter so I can find out what's going to happen next" because it sounds just like me.

I love to hear Cava singing. He reminds me of a drunk person at a concert: he sings loudly and, it doesn't matter one bit if he doesn't know the lyrics, because he will sing something anyway.

I enjoy being around Cava, spending time with him, getting to know him better, and watching him develop in so many ways. I can't wait to see what interests he develops and what new thing will spark his imagination.

Everybody goes on about how much we have changed him for the better but they don't see how much he has changed us for the better. He is an amazing kid and not a day passes that I don't thank God for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be his Papa.

I am in awe of how far Cava has come in only three short years. I will be even more overwhelmed by how much further he will be in three more. He is one of my heroes.

For those who don't believe that prayers are answered or that miracles can happen then you haven't met Cava because he is both.

Cava, my heart is full every time I say, "I love you, my son" because you have taught me so much about what love really means. 

To read the original post about his arrival, here is the link:

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