We visited my family for the first time in forever this past weekend. It was Colin’s first time to see his Uncle Clint and Aunt Cali, his Granny and Granddaddy, Mamaw, and his Great-Aunt Myrtle and Great-Uncle Robert and cousin, Becky. He also saw a slew of folks who have been praying for him at Mount Hermon, the church where my parents attend and where I grew up.
Colin really did well during the long car rides to Tennessee and back home. He slept 1-2 hours on each trip. He looked at books, playing with stuffed animals, played coo-coo (Russian term for peek-a-boo), etc. We had to stop more times than usual due to now traveling with a diaper-wearing kiddo.
Once in Tennessee, he was a trooper. He was patient with his adoring family members and he ate and slept well. He apparently is cutting some horrendous tooth right now so he was experiencing a lot of mouth pain. By the way, he has been teething non-stop since December.
He enjoyed throwing a toy for Jake, Clint and Cali’s huge labrador retriever. He also enjoyed chasing Megan, my parents’ wire-hair fox terrier. She also chased him some and got overly excited because she hasn’t been around a toddler before. Colin and Megan bonded when Colin walked her around the house on a leash.
Colin brought such joy to my family! We haven’t had a little one in my family since my brother (who is almost 30!). Even my 100 year old grandmother seemed happy to see the “cute little boy” who kept playing with her phone in her apartment. Uncle Clint gave Colin some Liberty overalls which he is sporting in these photos just like his Uncle Robert and Granddaddy:
For his visit to church, we decided it was best for me to wear him since he might be overwhelmed by all the people who would want to meet him. They really did help to pray him home (Mount Hermon actively prayed that Colin would be home by Christmas and we made it home Christmas Eve). He enjoyed the music at church. Once the prayer time/offering time started, his attention span was at 0. Alan and I walked with him some in the educational wing of the church. We met a church member and her grandson who is several months younger than Colin but is much larger than Colin…Typically, children who’ve lived in orphanages overseas are not physically as big as kids of their equivalent age in the U.S. This is not because they are necessarily going to be of smaller stature when they grow up. It has to do with many factors–such as their diets, health problems (like giardia), and the lack of loving parents in their lives. Colin and I went back with Pam and her grandson to the nursery for a little while. Then, Colin and I ventured on to the rooms for the older preschoolers/toddlers. Once he saw these rooms had toys, I couldn’t interest him in returning to big church.
After church, we were able to meet and greet many of our Mount Hermon family. We were sad that we weren’t able to introduce Colin to a woman in the congregation who helped us a lot with our Russian. We hope he will be able to meet her when we visit again. I keep thinking it would be wonderful to videotape her praying for him in Russian…
Colin got to see a live horse and some cows on Sunday. Besides dogs, cats, and birds, he hasn’t really been that close to animals so this was a super fun event for us. Colin was thrilled to see the animals! We can’t wait to introduce him to more animals at a zoo or aquarium this spring.