Israel has adjusted so well, like he has always been here with us. He traveled great on the long plane ride, greeting the wonderful friends and family at the airport to greet us home, riding in his car seat, and coming into our house for the first time.
Our friend Joanna captured Lyndlee hugging Israel and it is the sweetest picture. Lyndlee prayed for so long for Israel, even before she met him she was praying for him. And the Lord answered her prayers.
I wish I could know what his little brain was thinking as he was completely surrounded by all new things.
But he is brave and strong and took everything like a pro. He eats all the time, he sleeps through the night in his big boy bed.
I am lucky if he naps for 40 minutes during the day. Today I snapped this picture of Israel and his daddy taking a nap.
He hated baths for the first few days but loves to splash everything and everyone in sight now. He loves to follow his sister Lyndlee whom he likes to call La-La.
He knows I am his mommy and Brennan his daddy and that our dog is Sasha. He says Jesus, Bible, and puts his arms high in the air to say hallelujah. He laughs and smiles all the time. He can throw a fit by being so dramatic and throwing his body on the ground. Of course he is always watching to make sure someone is paying attention to the fit. He is stubborn and will sit in time out and even giggle. He laughs when I tell him no. He runs from you when you are about to change his clothes or diaper. He runs away and giggles. I tell him he is like his big brother in so many ways. He loves to pray. He folds his little hands together and starts talking to Jesus. He says bye-bye, hi, no, and thank you. He uses sign language for please and more. He nods his little head when he says thank you and it is the sweetest thing. He loves his doggie which is his blanket that a special family gave him when he was just a little baby. He loves to have it and suck his thumb to fall asleep.
He has made Lyndlee giggle her silly giggles again. He has brought more laughter and joy into my family.
He loves the beach and the park with his sister La-La.
Israel is our son and such a blessing from the Lord, such a sweet addition to our family. He is my renewed hope.
We love being a family of five. Gavin and Israel will be the best of friends, they just have to wait till heaven. His surname is Hsieh which means thanks. And His Chinese name is Chen-Gwang which means morning light. And Brennan chose the name Israel for the example of Jacob in the Bible becoming Israel. He was one who struggles/wrestles with God. And in the Bible what you see is that through Jacob's struggle with God, he walks away with a limp and a blessing and a new name Israel which means God has striven, and has saved. This weekend we are taking the kids to Disney. Some friends so graciously blessed us with tickets to go. Thank you! And I think back when we first came to Disney was August 2011 after burying Gavin's ashes in Taiwan. We were broken, we were mourning, and we were trying to make happy family memories. But we didn't do such a good job. We did a lot of crying at supposedly the happiest place on earth. This time will be different. We will be celebrating.
Celebrating Lyndlee turning 6.
Celebrating Israel being with us and celebrating Gavin being home with Jesus.
Many things to celebrate indeed but we will miss making these memories with Gavin. But he is making memories of his own and one day soon we will be home. And my mother's heart is aching still this Mother's Day, yet overflowing with love and joy.
My children are who they are today because such loving people cared for and loved them in Taiwan. We are so grateful.
God is indeed a loving and gracious God.