We have been home with our precious Benjamin for one month and ten days. Forty-one days of being a family of six. Countless hours of falling in love and pouring all our affections on him.
The last few weeks have been everything we've been dreaming about for the last 3+ years. It's been hard, but so very worth it. For every tantrum, there are hundreds more hugs. For every punch thrown, there are hundreds more smiles. For every cross grunt, there are hundreds more kisses. Coming to a completely new world with complete strangers hasn't been the easiest thing for our newest little family member. And it's hard for him to process all these big changes when he can't really speak the new language, or articulate his feelings that well. What two year old really can? But he's learning that he is safe, that he is loved, and the meaning of family. And we are having the best time working for all his love and affection.
We've also spent a good little chunk of our time running from this Dr appointment to that. When Benjamin's file arrived in our inbox, we did all the appropriate "homework." We spoke with this Dr and that. We prayed. We sought wise council. And we knew, no matter what.. this precious boy, who had such a rough first couple of years of life, was OUR boy. After settling in at home for a little bit, it was time to make sure our precious one received the medical attention he needed. My mind, my heart and even my body were prepared for All. The. Appointments. Or, so I thought.
A few days shy of being home a month, Benjamin caught a little cold. Over the course of the next few days, his cold proceeded to get worse little by little. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I awoke to Benjamin "twitching" next to me in bed. My brain was a muddled mess of sleepy haze. But somehow, I recalled that babies "twitch" when they are seizing. In the next few minutes, I had sense enough to roll Benjamin onto his side and wake Matt up. We called 911 when his seizure became more violent, and waited in agony for the paramedics to arrive. I cried a lot.. and prayed even more. I was prepared for Dr. appointments, regularly scheduled occurrences. Maybe even a minor surgery or two. But waking up in the middle of the night and having to call the paramedics? Could I handle this?
The EMT's finally arrived, and ruled Benjamin's seizure as febrile. Febrile seizures are pretty common, and not deemed as something too serious. As long as Benjamin was acting normal the rest of the day, there wasn't much to worry about. And thankfully, he played, ate and slept just like normal.
Because his fever didn't go away the next day, we took him in to the Urgent Care Clinic just to get things checked out. Benjamin had bronchitis. Just to make sure no secondary issues popped up, the Dr prescribed some meds for him to take. And he took those meds for a week like a little champ!
After a week, his cough wasn't really improving though. We had a few sleepless nights where the cough was just incessant and unrelenting. A few nights went by with him coughing to the point of gagging. So, to our (NEW) Primary Care Physician we went.
And do you know what they ask you when your child is sick? They ask you for history. They ask you for his history and any family medical history. Going into an international adoption, you KNOW you're not getting history on your precious new one, much less their biological family.
"Ma'am, has your son had a history of febrile seizures?"
"Yes, he's had one that we know of. He was hospitalized for pneumonia last year and had one in the hospital.".... But is that all he's had? Did our beloved son have any in the orphanage? Who would know if a little boy twitched and seized away in the middle of a crowded room with 17 other little boys? Do I really know how many he's had? I don't know....
A common phrase in our house lately is "I wish Benjamin could have come home sooner." And while we have all felt that way for the last 3 years, we are especially reminded of it these past two weeks.
I wish Benjamin could have come home sooner to get all the snuggles he deserved through every runny nose.
I wish Benjamin could have come home sooner so he wouldn't have to learn to seek affection after he's been hurt.
I wish Benjamin could have come home sooner... so we could have been there through every hurt, through every illness, through every "everything".
But. We do have our Benjamin now. He is ours. He is a Brantner for as long as the Lord allows. And we are so grateful. We are grateful to wipe his tears away. We are grateful to be the ones to drive him to All. The. Appointments. We are grateful to be the ones to cut his food up into bite-size pieces. We are grateful to be his.. to pour ourselves out for him, over and over again.