It was lots of newness and craziness and a few tears, but overwhelmingly, it was the sort of perfect day that makes you want to hang onto each moment forever.
Niko and the big girls had a grand time tucking into all his toys from my boy shower and other gifts people had given us for him. They are already very good friends from their week in Bulgaria, and this was old news to Trevor, but each time I heard him call, “Pippa, tuka (here)! Ro-ro tuka!” my heart just swelled with joy.
He absolutely adores the baby. He greeted her excitedly each time she woke up from a nap and over the course of the day brought her just about every toy in the house to try to engage her and make her smile.
The little girls came home from my mom’s house at lunchtime, and were absolutely delighted to finally meet their brother. June got up very close to him and said, “Niko! Niko! Niko!… Can I pet him?”
Speaking of pets, the one part of the day that did not go quite as well as we had hoped was Niko’s first introduction to our dog Gulliver. My sister brought him over (he had spent the night at grandmom’s house too), and Niko was terrified. Unfortunately this colored his first meeting with Aunt Paige as well, but we are very certain now that it was only the dog he was reacting to, and not the people. There are many stray dogs in Bulgaria I’m guessing children are taught to fear them as potentially dangerous in that context. Thankfully, Gulliver is more or less a harmless ball of fluff and an old man at that, so as long as he stayed out of sight, Niko was okay. We will gradually work on encouraging their friendship, but even by the end of the day, Niko was much less freaked out than he was initially.
The kids all played with their toys together and enjoyed each other’s company all day with very little drama. Though Niko was clearly pretty tuckered out by bedtime, his smile hardly left his face all day.
We have prayed throughout this process for God to prepare Niko’s heart to join our family and ours for him, and we have seen this prayer answered mightily. Our God indeed does all things well.