A year ago today, on the 24th of January 2015, this little fellow joined our family.
And what a year it has been since Yohan entered fully into our lives.
We look back on the 365 days he has completed with us with much gratitude.
Here is a picture of Sheba and Yohan on the first day that he came into our home.
Who would have thought that we would be with three teenagers in 2016?
Who would have expected that I would be writing this from Lalitpur, while Yohan’s first anniversary of his joining our family was with Sheba and Asha and Enoch in Thane.
Yohan has grown taller and put on more weight – though he is still on the thin side of the spectrum.
But his appetite is a wonderful thing to see. Where all that rice disappears to is a happy mystery for us.
Each day over this year he has taken his medicines very faithfully. With a big smile. And a prayer. His immunity has improved dramatically. We do not see the runny eyes that he had when we first came to our home. His skin sores have cleared – though some of the scars remain.
Here in Lalitpur, my mobile alarm goes off every evening at 9 PM and I remember that it is medicine time for Yohan – and offer a small prayer on his behalf.
There are still lots of things to pray for. We have extended our foster care and are now in our second 6 month period of caring for Yohan - but the adoption formalities are caught in an on-going swirl of papers and steps yet to be taken. We have worked hard to do what we are told, but there seems no clear end in sight. Miracle needed right now!
And then there is the whole life-long project of filling the 11 years of Yohan's life that the locusts have eaten. How to build up what has been lost to horrible experiences. How to guide and structure Yohan's personality into one that allows him to blossom into the person he was created to be.
We as a family are also still growing and adjusting to being 5 instead of 4. All things considered, Asha and Enoch have done very well - though this year has had its hard spots too. We are proud of Asha's maturity and deep love for Yohan, and her patience with him as she helps with his learning at different time. We are thankful for Enoch's friendliness and willingness to include Yohan into games and the good brother he is to his new younger bro.
Looking back on the year, it has been Sheba who has been the prime instrument of blessing to Yohan. Her love and prayers and care and teaching and multiple constant and continuing inputs into our son has brought him to be the person that he is today. I am so amazed and thankful for all the ways that she has expressed our love to Yohan and know that every loving word and act is shaping and forming Yohan in many foundational ways. Who can measure a mother's love?
Looking back to a year ago, we are just so grateful that Yohan is alive, and with us. The biggest challenge medically has been his seizure disorder. We have had an episode about every 2 months or so. The fits were generally fairly mild and lasting not longer than 3-5 minutes.
Last month, however, we understood just how bad his seizures used to be. We paid a visit with Yohan to the family who had rescued him from the streets, and Sheba went and saw the places where he had grown up. The neighbouring lady told us that Yohan used to have multiple fits - almost daily.
According to this lady, during one of the epileptic episodes Yohan actually fell into this open gutter:
So we come to our first anniversary of Yohan joining our family with so much gratitude. What a miracle he is with us. What a blessing to have so many praying for us in this journey. What challenges are there to help him grow in his basic literacy skills and develop into the person that our good Lord wants him to be. What a privilege to walk together as a family.