One year ago James Ivan stepped outside the orphanage gates...
and joined our family forever!
One of the happiest moments of our lives: arriving at the airport with James in our arms!
Look what a difference one year makes!
James continues to amaze us with his spunk and determination. God gifted this boy with tons of energy, and a will to match! James is here to light up the world...like a bottle rocket!
James loves life. He really does! He embraces new things and seldom shows any fear. We love that about him. We are still careful not to overstimulate him, but he is embracing his new world like a champion!
After we adopted James, we found new meaning in this promise found in the book of Joel:
"I will restore to you the years that the storming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter..."
Sadly, the first four years of James Ivan's life were eaten up with abandonment and neglect. But we serve a merciful God (James' given name Ivan means "God is merciful") and now God is using our family to restore those years to this precious boy.
I love adoption. It is one of our favorite topics to discuss as a family. We love adoption stories and there are a few very close to our hearts.
Masha and James...cousins. Both adopted from Russia in 2011. So greatly loved and wanted (and adorable together)!
And here is James Ivan's "newest" Russian cousin Lera (my sister Katie and her family just adopted her a couple months ago)!
(Very poor picture quality...but most of my pictures with James in them are blurry. The little guy doesn't stay still very long!)
Look at this little beauty! This is Elisha...recently adopted by the White family from the same region in Russia where James was located. She fits into her family so perfectly!
James and Elisha meet for the first time! She tried to steal a kiss!
Fun facts about our little guy:
James now says about a dozen words, he gives lots of kisses and hugs to our family, he is in therapy five days a week, he loves to eat, he loves to harrass our family dog, he wants to do everything his big sister and brother can do, he squeals with joy when he sees me get his swimsuit out of the dresser, he pitches a royal fit when he doesn't want to do something, he can throw and kick and dribble a ball better than most kids his age, and he never, ever stops moving except to sleep.
He continues to have a few health struggles (mostly respiratory and tummy troubles), but we are working hard to resolve those issues. Overall, he is doing so well.
He just radiates joy.
Thank you Lord, for the wonderful year we've had with James Ivan, and for restoring the years that were taken.