We saw a whole new side of Titus and Ainsley today. This morning several of Ashley's friends threw her a shower. The women donated money to one of our favorite charities "147 million orphans." Ashley felt so loved. It was good for her to have a break from the kids for 3 hours and to spend time with friends.
I managed to keep all six kids breathing so I'd say it was a success. I'm amazed that Ashley does this every day. We had so much fun. I've taken on the role of physical therapist in our house to rehab Ainsley - I was encourage by recent medical prowess in Ethiopia. She enjoys our sessions... sometimes. This morning she was a fan. I was able to coax her into holding my hands and walk - she probably took 20 steps and at the end she let go of my hands and stood for 2 seconds. Her tiny legs shake like a person lifting a very heavy weight. It is hard to watch. I'm so encouraged by her trying and the way her body is starting to recover. God was so gracious to her. I feel like I continue to have a front row seat to watch how His work to expedite their arrival is restoring her. This little girl 21 days ago couldn't hold her head up and now she is walking with my help.
Tonight, some friends invited us over to swim and eat burgers. Honestly, we were nervous about accepting. Titus and Ainsley had never seen a swimming pool much less been in one. We thought we might end up leaving in less than 30 minutes after creating a scene. Turns out, Titus was fearless. I taught him to put his face in the water in about 2 minutes. Then, he just wanted to go under again and again especially after he discovered the joys of jumping in the pool. I've never seen a kid love the water that much the first time. It may be the happiest I've seen him since we met him.
Following swimming, we sat down to eat. The menu was burgers, hot dogs and watermelon. Ainsley decided that she loves burgers and watermelon. She ate and ate after we convinced her she should eat the red side and not the green side of the watermelon. I can't believe this is the same girl who had a feeding tube 3 weeks ago. She is rarely without food in each hand - she is comforted by it. It is funny though to see watermelon in one hand and a burger in the other.
We are all adjusting well. It is hard to have six kids - sometimes really hard. We end most days exhausted. We are loving it though. When I glance around our table at meals, I keep rejoicing that two orphans have been rescued. I can't help but remember the smells and sights of their orphanage. There was no table, little food and so little affection. Now, we don't go through a meal without hugs and plates usually go to the sink with some leftover food. Their world has changed, our world has changed. We're more tired but we'll have all of eternity to rest and recover. I am so proud of how Ethan, Kennedy, Braden and Jude have loved on Titus and Ainsley. They have done so well and have made the transition so much easier. I'm praying that all our kids grow up with a love for the poor and orphans. Jude keeps telling me he wants to be a daddy when he grows up and he wants to adopt. It makes me smile to see him plan to love.
Thank you for your continued prayers.