You may remember that we shared a picture of Nolan’s lion in an earlier post before we traveled for him. We thought you might like to see the lion clutched in the arms of his new owner. Nolan has never been able to have stuffed animals because he destroys them with his full-of-anxiety fingers that never stay still. He was thrilled to meet his new lion, but admitted very sadly to me that he does tear up stuffed animals. Then he, Scott, and I came up with a plan to help him learn to overcome this. He is able to sit snuggled close to us several times a day with his weighted blanket (a critical item for him) and his lion while we read to him or watch short videos of his new family (which he loves). During this time, he practices loving his lion with calm hands. He knows that someday, he will learn this well enough to be able to sleep with his lion, but sweetly kisses him good-bye for now after each snuggle time is over. If you are looking for specific ways to pray for him, this is a big one. He wants to succeed at this, and he wants to be able to keep his lion with him at all times.
Nolan also loves “reading” to his lion.
Nolan did fall asleep soon after we sent our last update and slept through his first night, barely even moving until the next morning. Yesterday, although still very hard and still requiring constant vigilance on our part, went much better than our first day together. One thing I want to say here is that essential oils rock! We had just begun to investigate these not long before we started Nolan’s adoption and had seen some pretty significant results from them in one of our granddaughters. So we ordered a supply for him and brought them with us, along with a diffuser. We truly have seen quite a noticeable difference in the intensity of his movements and voice level, and his ability to focus when we use the oils as compared to when we forget to use them. Where have these things been all my life?
We are settling into something of a routine here in our tiny apartment, and he has improved so much that we are now able to give each other breaks while just one of us stays with Nolan for short periods. And twice now, he has even watched a couple of short Curious George episodes quietly, giving us the chance to sit close by and answer some critical emails or keep these updates coming. Every single prayer is cherished, and we want to keep you updated on how best to pray for us. We feel like we are seeing amazing progress, and have no doubt that your prayers are responsible for this.
Short outings work best, and we usually need to run to the local Super Target once a day for something anyway. The heat index here has been staying around 110º, so indoor activities have been critical. We’ve managed to find some good options for staying cool while burning off energy without too much stimulation. We found a couple of indoor playgrounds. He even made a new little friend yesterday afternoon and initiated a rousing game of tag with him.
Then he got to ride on the carousel.
We did have a couple of challenging moments yesterday when he decided twice to disobey us and then began moving into an angry meltdown. We were so pleased to see him respond positively, both times, to our actions and words. He did a great job of recovering from these episodes and learned one more lesson about trusting us.
In the evening, we fell back on an old favorite, “Hotel Room Bowling.” Whenever we travel for a new child, we always save our water bottles and then buy a ball for bowling in our room. He has loved this.
As I said, it remains hard and exhausting, but we see so many glimmers of hope throughout each day, and we feel like we are seeing steady progress, even though much of it is in baby-sized increments. Please keep those prayers going.
Yesterday was the court hearing to terminate the parental rights of his original adoptive family. ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children), will be filed in OK today. Once that is approved, then it will be filed in Ohio. Once it’s approved there, we can bring him home. We still have no idea how long that will be, but we are thankful to have these days here to slowly begin building a foundation for our relationship with him before we are home where so many others will also need our attention.
Last night, he hugged and kissed us goodnight, telling us first that he really “likes” us and “loves” us. Then he went right to bed and was asleep within twenty minutes. This was huge!
Today we hope to take him to a real bowling alley and burn off a ton of energy. He’s watching Curious George as I write this update and Scott communicates with our book publisher (we had no idea how many pieces were involved in that! As a friend said just last week, “Writing the book is the easy part.) He is rapidly reaching his limit for sitting still, though, so I’ll end this.
Thank you for holding us up and following this little guy’s transition into a new life.