I spent two hours yesterday and two hours today with our boys. It was amazing. I brought my guitar and Irish low whistle with me (for those of you who don’t know what that is think the “Titanic” soundtrack). All the boys responded dramatically to live music. Sasha acted scared of the guitar when I strummed loud or played it rhythmically but he also was smiling big with wide eyes and started clapping his hands and squealing. He warmed up to it quickly and began strumming the guitar with me changing the chords and singing to him. I started playing the Beatles “Blackbird” for him and started writing new lyrics for him ... “Hello Sasha, you’re my special boy, I’m so proud of you and you bring me so much joy” When I would come back around to the “Hello Sasha” part he began singing along with me. I’m not sure he’s ever sung before. We had such a precious time together. Today when I pulled out the Irish whistle he lit up like a firework. We took turns playing it and the guitar. He was blowing the whistle and I taught him how to finger a few notes. He did great! I broke out into a fast Celtic “diddy” and he started laughing and clapping his hands.
The changes I’ve seen in Ethan are nothing short of miraculous. Yesterday when I brought him into the room I sat him on the bed to see what he would do. I grabbed the guitar right away and he was so mesmerized that he sat up on the bed by himself the entire time! And that without any “Mogli” grunting! He also strummed the guitar and started playing a game where he put the pick into the sound hole and laughed when I pretended to be upset by this. Today, when I went into the orphanage to get him, he saw me, smiled really big and stretched his arms out to me. Even the orphanage workers were surprised by this and began commenting to each other. There’s so much more going on in that little mind than anyone knows .... We’re gonna mine this little guys potential and bring it all out! I gave him a tiny piece of chocolate (dark of course, milk chocolate is part of the fall). I found out later he and Silas have never eaten solid food. Their meals are all blended into a mush. Ethan’s little tongue began discovering that chocolate and his eyes got brighter and brighter. When I pulled it away he gave his famous grunt and leaned forward to try to get it. After a while, I showed him another little piece and hid it in the wrapper. He picked up that wrapper and started trying to pull it apart to find the chocolate! Then he crumpled up the wrapper and started throwing it from one side to the other. Every time he threw it I pretended to be “upset” that he threw the wrapper down. He thought this was very funny and he burst out laughing every time. He was doing it on purpose to get my reaction. Oh yeah, he was sitting up on his own this entire time (30 minutes).
Silas loved the instruments and is destined to be a drummer. I turned the guitar over and taught him how to hit the back like a drum. I broke out an energetic Irish jig on the whistle and Silas began beating the guitar in time, smiling wider than the English channel, and yelling out with excitement. I thought to myself, “Man, I’m gonna love our OJC prayer room!!!” The neatest part of my visits with Silas was when I was lying on my back doing pushups with him. He loves this and laughs so much. At one point I just let him lie facedown on my chest with his face cheek to cheek with mine. He just laid there the longest time and then switched sides and pressed his little face against mine. We just laid there and I talked to him and prayed over him. It was pretty awesome. Silas evidently wasn’t ready for the tiny piece of chocolate because he spit up all over me. Now my very necessary fleece smells like puke. Oh the joys of fatherhood!