Day 5: The First Smile

The night went pretty well.  Ruth slept straight through the night until around 8:00 in the morning.  Allen and I slept in the other room till around 9:00.  She was pretty content in the morning although still pretty uninteractive.  She always wants to eat.  We were concerned about the amount she was eating but our agent said that she probably didn’t get to eat as much as she wanted to at the orphanage so to give her food and once she realized it wasn’t going anywhere she would eat less.  This proved to be true because by dinner time she was eating much slower.  At one point in the morning Ruth was in the kitchen eating a sliced up apple and Allen came in and said, “I want an apple.” and Ruth handed him one of hers.

Nap time didn’t last very long today.  We put them both in the same room to sleep and Ruth woke up crying which woke Allen up too.  So it will be an early bedtime tonight for both of them.  While they were napping I ventured out to walk to the grocery store that is nearby our compound.  I ended up spending 10,260 Naria ($28.50) and came back with paper towels (which were surprisingly the most expensive thing I bought), french fries, chips, toilet paper, chicken hot dogs, yogurt, and some juice.  When I came out of the store it was overcast and I thought, “It looks like it could rain any moment.”  Well it turns out that any moment was about 5 seconds later and I walked back home in a torrential downpour.  So much for dry season.

We connected with Ruth some through technology today.  She liked to play a game on the iPad that teaches colors and shapes.  She also liked fruit ninja. We saw her smile for the first time and then she laughed at us tickling Allen and then her.  It was a breakthrough moment and hopefully we are turning a corner.  However, a few minutes later she threw a tantrum when it was time to put the technology up.  We are pretty sure it was just a tantrum and nothing us.  She is still mad at us 30 minutes later. So 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

Today has been much better then yesterday.  She had her teary moments but they occurred much less frequently and didn’t last as long.  We gave her a bath (really a shower.  We just have to stand them in there and use the shower wand to spray them down)tonight and were worried that might be a traumatic experience.  It turns out that she actually really liked it and she would laugh when the water hit her tummy.  She let us brush her teeth which is something that they did not do at the orphanage.  But she watched us brush Allen’s teeth and then did what he did.

Allen and Ruth are both in bed now.  We put Allen down like normal but we have to get Ruth to go to sleep (which isn’t hard) and then put her in bed.  She doesn’t like being left alone if she is awake.  So now we are going to settle in for the evening, relax for a little bit, and then get ready for tomorrow.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I’ll be honest, I never understood that verse before this trip.  Sure I’m a pastor and I have taught this passage before.  In fact, I taught it as one of the last messages to my students before I left for Nigeria.  But I realize now that I never fully understood it.  To rejoice when at the orphanage with Ruth who didn’t want anything to do with us at the time, simply because we were seeing her at long last.  To pray without ceasing; that is the story of this trip.  Having a non-stop dialogue going on with God in the background as we travel to see her that she would be comforted by us and not afraid.  To implore him to give us favor with her and help her to transition back to our house.  It truly has been a trip of praying without ceasing.  And not just on my end.  We are so encouraged by all of you and your thoughts, prayers, and and support.  I truly believe that the relative ease of this transition and the openness of Ruth to us so early in this process has nothing to do with us but is rather a blessing that the Father poured out on our family due to your intercession on our behalf.  And because of that I am eternally grateful.

This is a much shorter post then the other ones have been, and the days we remain home will probably stay that way as they are just “normal” life.  But I will try to keep you updated daily no matter how short or long the posts are and continue to put up a few pictures.  Beth is currently trying to upload the video of Ruth smiling/laughing for the first time.  I’m not sure if/when it will successfully upload, but hopefully you will see it soon.

I know many of you probably have questions about life in Nigeria, the adoption process, etc.  If you want to ask those the best way to do it would be if you would facebook message them to me so they don’t get lost in the comments.  And I will do my best to answer any questions at the end of my next post.  Thank you all!

Random Notes and Funny Quotes

  • Allen was going upstairs with me and said, “I’ll be right back sissy, don’t be scared of the air conditioner.”
  • When we were coming back downstairs he looked at me and said, “I like air conditioners.  They keep me safe.”
  • Allen and I went to go get something out of Beth and Ruth’s bathroom for them and after we got it Allen said, “We better hurry and get back before the air condition knows we are gone.”  … I’m not sure what is going on inside his head but I’m pretty sure I could sell the rights to it to a sci-fi movie studio

One thought on “Day 5: The First Smile

  1. I am so happy for you guys… I know you are beyond excited! I am praying for Ruth’s acclamation into your family and I am praying for Allen’s acclamation to having a full time sister. Praying for patience and love to exude from you and on you and Beth through this whole process. I know you both already love this precious girl that God has blessed you with. I have put you all on my prayer list at church! Love your wonderful family…. Please tell Beth I love her wonderful face and I am Praying!

    Liked by 1 person

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