14 April 2008
Joshua: one year later
The first picture shows pretty well how incredibly skinny Joshua was when we met him a year ago. However, nothing accurately depicts how skinny his arms and legs felt the first time I greased his little body. It actually felt gross to touch him because I could feel every bone. A year later, he's put on over 20 pounds, has nice strong muscles, and has gained several inches. We're still working on shrinking his enormous belly.
Looking beyond the physical, Joshua has blossomed this year in unbelievable ways. He was so incredibly fearful (and understandably so) when we first met him. He would fight us at bedtime and couldn't go to sleep unless he could see us. Now we turn off everything but a nightlight and leave with no questions asked. He even gets up by himself when his alarm goes off at 11:30pm to go to the bathroom. He gladly goes outside to play without us by his side. He now tries new activities hesitantly but without terror. He runs up the stairs to children's church on Sundays. He doesn't freak out when we leave him with grandparents or a babysitter. In fact, we often have to beg him for a goodbye hug and kiss.
We knew from day 1 that Joshua was very bright, but we never imagined that he would learn to read his first year home. After all, he had to learn to speak American English before he could possibly learn to read it. Last night he read more than 50% of Go, Dog, Go without help. He loves school. (Remember the first week of school?) He has become quite the little socialite and is very popular with students and teachers alike. He has even found himself a little girlfriend.
Joshua's horrific tantrums and unbelievable anger still surface on a rare occasion, but the miserable days of hour long wailing, kicking, and venom are gone. He's generally well behaved and functions well when he knows his perameters.
We're so blessed by our little boy. We were so nervous about adopting a 5-year-old, but now we can't imagine life any other way.