Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Gotcha Day, Kiefer

Cowboy Kiefer

Kiefer Thomas Patterson, you are such a fun son, a gift from God, a blessing we never expected in the timing that God chose to bring you to our family.  On April 3, 2010, just 2.5 months after the horrendous earthquake in Haiti, God delivered you to our family.  You are a survivor of the quake!  God chose to bring you home just 2 weeks before your big sister, Chrissie, had open-heart surgery.  Unfortunately, you only got to know Chrissie for two short weeks, but we're so grateful for the two weeks that y'all were able to be brother and sister on this earth.

I remember Chrissie being jealous of you, Kiefer.  The rest of your siblings were super excited that you were home, but Chrissie wasn't so sure about sharing her parents and siblings with another kid.  She was so protective of her family, she just wasn't sure about you. 

But God was sure about you.  He knew everything about you, the number of hairs on your head, the DNA within your perfect body, what things you would like, what you would loathe, and how you would LOVE being a cowboy!  And He knew your family would be greatly blessed by your presence in their family, even though the timing seemed less than perfect.

Your God-chosen mom and dad didn't get to spend a lot of time with you during your first month and a half as you transitioned into our family because we spent those 31 days at the hospital since your big sissie had so many complications with her open-heart surgery.  We're sorry that we weren't here for you as you left the only world you'd ever known to come live with strangers in America where no one spoke your language.  You were (are!) a brave young man, Kiefer, and we're so proud of you for hanging in there when life wasn't easy for you.

After Chrissie went to live with Jesus, your mommy and daddy came home from the hospital, where we would become physically available to you, but we were not emotionally available.  You were so gracious as you had lived a month in our home without us, then things turned into a new chaos as your family figured out how to live without your big sissie.  I can only imagine how crazy this new life was for you, Kiefer, but you hung in there and gave your family a reason to get out of bed each morning.  We were so very grateful for God's timing in bringing you to our family before Chrissie left us.  So very grateful.  Not only are you a survivor of the Haitian earthquake, but you are a survivor of one of the most challenging transition situations ever!

Kiefer, you have come so far in the last year.  Thank you for not giving up on us.  You have brought us so many fun times, and we feel so unworthy that God chose to place you in our family.  In Haiti, you were known as the Cookie Monster, and we quickly learned why.  You LOVE food.  All food.  I'll never forget the first time I gave you a banana, in the airport on April 3, 2010.  You grabbed that banana and shoved THE ENTIRE thing down your throat, without chewing it!!!  You didn't even choke on it.  We were shocked!  You did the same thing with the first peanut butter sandwich we ever gave you.  I've never seen a whole PB sandwich go into one's mouth, but you showed us how to devour food so that no one else steals it.  Over the course of a year, you have learned that your food supply will never run out, so you've stopped shoving food down your throat, but you still have the appetite of a teenage boy!  Eat all you want, little man, cuz we're delighted to provide you with all of the foods you love. :-)

I think the thing that has surprised me the most about you, Kiefer Thomas Patterson, is how much of a cowboy you are at heart.  I'll never forget the morning we were walking in to church when I asked you what you rope, expecting you to say, "A cow", but you answered, "I rope TWO FEET!"  Only a true team roper (heeler) would answer like that!  In everything you do, from playing to eating to bathing to napping, your mind is focused on everything cowboy.  You rope anything and everything (and you're good at it, too!), and you ride anything and everything (and you're good at that as well!).  You know how to make a lasso, coil your rope, swing your rope, and rope TWO FEET!!!  God knew to place you in a "cowboy" family on a ranch with horses and cows and team roping!!!  We're so blessed to call you our son, Cowboy Kiefer!!!
I know this picture is hard to see, but Kiefer is driving the toy Gator.  He hitched up a red wagon (as his horse trailer), and then he hauled a wooden rocking horse outside and tossed it into the wagon!  Kiefer is constantly doing something that's all cowboy!

Happy Gotcha Day, Kiefer!!!

We love you!

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