Sunday, June 14, 2015

Introducing Simon!

We are overjoyed to announce that we have a son, Simon Nijat O’Rourke! There are details (including pictures) that we aren’t allowed to share until we have him home with us, but we wanted to share as much as we can about him with everyone. We are still processing the change that the last two weeks have brought to our life, but we know one thing: We are so in love with our little boy!
  •  Simon Nijat is 26 months old.
  •  We chose the name Simon for his first name. Simon means He (God) has Answered. Nijat is his birth name and will be his middle name. Nijat means Salvation/He is Saved.
  • He has been with the same foster family since he was 1 month old. His attachment to his foster family means he is able to attach and will transfer this attachment to us as his new parents. Being in a foster family also means that he has been very well cared for and has received individual attention.
  • At 2 years old, Simon Nijat was 33 inches tall (25% for age on growth charts) and 30 pounds (80%). He has the cutest chubby cheeks!
  • Simon is an active little boy and walks independently and talks in simple sentences. He sat, crawled, stood and walked on time developmentally. 
We received three pictures and two short video clips of Simon Nijat. The first things we noticed are that Simon Nijat has a beautiful and joyous smile, long brown hair that flies all over when he is playing, and big beautiful brown eyes with a bit of a mischievous twinkle. In one video he demonstrates that he is independent and determined—he carries a box that is almost as big as him. In the other video, we can hear his sweet little voice say “Humpty Dumpty” as he sits on the flood playing with a remote for a remote control car.

Simon Nijat does have some special needs. It was our intention when we decided to adopt that we provide a family and home for a child with special needs. Simon Nijat was born without a left forearm and hand and with a left clubfoot, but is otherwise healthy and developmentally normal. These limb differences were the reason he was given up at birth for adoption. His limb differences are likely due to positioning in the womb. We will post more on these limb differences as we learn more. Over the last two weeks we have spoken with a doctor in Seattle who specializes in adoption and she had very positive things to say about Simon Nijat including that his clubfoot will require casting to correct and that we will be able to get prosthetics for his arm. But the best news to our ears was her assessment that he “looks fantastic!” And he does—he appears very healthy and well cared for, he is developmentally on target, he demonstrates problem solving, focus and interaction, and he has not let his limb differences slow him down or restrict him. What shines in his videos are his sweet face and his personality!

So what are our next steps? We officially accepted the referral for Simon Nijat on June 3rd and submitted a form to classify him as our immediate relative with the U.S. Government this week. It will take 2-3 weeks for them to process this form and forward it to the immigration/Visa department. In the meantime, our Power of Attorney in Georgia is working on Georgian paperwork to classify us as Simon Nijat’s parents. We received confirmation that this step is moving forward when we received his Georgian birth certificate last week. The step that will take the longest is waiting for Georgia to send us a court date. This can take a couple of months. We will travel to Georgia in order to be there 15 days before the court date. We will spend those 15 days visiting with Simon Nijat. Once the Georgian court has granted us custody, it will take another 10 days to receive Simon Nijat’s passport and Visa so that we can bring him home. We are hoping that the paperwork will go smoothly and that we will be able to travel to bring Simon Nijat home in August or September. In the meantime, we need to toddler proof our house since Simon Nijat looks like a little boy who will love getting into everything!

Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers and support during our adoption journey. We can’t wait to share more about Simon Nijat with you!

P.S. Scout is very excited! I think she's starting to figure out that not everything in the house is for her!