What a year! Or as I think back over the last year with Justus, I can’t help but back up to all that was going on during my pregnancy with Justus. So many emotions, so much that was unpacked, so much that was going on in my own life before this little one entered our world.
We had no idea what to expect with our second child. Our second son. We had no idea that we were truly just missing this little life. No idea what a joy Justus would be to us.
He was a snuggler from the beginning. And a breath-holder. He still holds his breath when he cries. Almost 10 seconds at times! He also still loves to snuggle his head onto our shoulders at random times. My mom jokes that I didn’t let anyone else hold him for months. And I might not have. Somehow, as God was preparing us to adopt, I knew that this was the last infant we would probably have in our home. Something slowed down and by God’s amazing grace, I truly enjoyed every day even during the sleeplessness. God seemed to slow time, as I look over pictures from the last year, the first few months, the first few days that are usually such a blur, I can remember almost all of it. I can remember how the house felt, the weather, the warm October days and even the daily jaundice checks for his sweet little life. I can remember how tiny he was and how still. I remember how timid Austin was to hold him and that after about a week, he finally came down before his bedtime and asked me to help him hold Justus. I remember how much easier it was to help him sleep through the night, but also how hard it was to put him in his own room this time around.
As he has grown, we realized he has a precious joyful personality. He greats us almost every morning and nap with a huge smile and a giggle. He adores his brother Austin and twists and stretches his neck to see into Austin’s room as soon as he is awake and within site of his brother’s room. He loves to crawl and climb and apparently isn’t too afraid of heights, as I recently found that he had slid out of his highchair and was about to stand on top of the attached tray on his own. But, truly, he seems to enjoy time when all of us are together. He is continually evoking and initiating a smile followed by laughter. I’m embarrassed to say that the skin on his knees is rubbed rough because he crawls so hard and so fast on the floor. He loves organic frozen peas warmed and processed and will not eat them from a can. He loves the ocean and the water. Surprisingly, he has crawled forward into the tide pools with great determination and excitement. Always eager for bath time, as he has recently started to try to climb in the tub as soon as we start to take his clothes off. He still isn’t fond of diaper changes and we spent a few months in twisting physical contortions with him trying to get his diaper changed.
I can not imagine our family without him. We pray everyday, Justus, for God’s work and call on you life. That you will know Jesus at an early age and learn of your Abba Father who loves you more than we ever will. We are so grateful that God put you in our family. We love you, Baby J, Jay-bird, Just-Just, JJ …..Justus Reed Carpenter. And don’t expect your Mom to stop calling you Baby J anytime soon.