Axel has been home almost two weeks now. Can you believe that? What a blessing God has given us in our new son. Not only get the gift of Axel, but we were fortunate enough to have him here for Christmas. God is so good!
Do you know how Axel met his Grandma Lundgren (my mom) for the first time? In front of the entire congregation at the small church she pastors up in Northern Minnesota. My sister thought up the great idea to surprise Mom and all of us go up north, (four hour drive from my house) and show up for Mom's Christmas Eve service. Axel was a little worried when I started packing a bag, and Dean and Tyler started loading up the car. Do you suppose he was praying we weren't going on one of those airplane things again? LOL
She was SO surprised (and had to preach after several minutes of tears. :-) She stepped before the church to introduce us to the family most of them have never seen before, and certainly not all at one time! Then she asked me to bring Axel up, since her church had prayed for him and for me while I was in Serbia.
Axel walked to the pulpit, turned and gave a big, "HI!" to the congregation. Then he jabbered to Grandma for a minute, in the sweetest voice that could be heard through the mic my mom was wearing.
After church we went back to my parent's home for dinner that my sister had brought up with her. In the morning Dean and I made breakfast for everyone, then it was time for sliding! My brother has been just dying to take Axel sliding down what is possibly the best run in all of Minnesota, which, by the way, just happens to be my parent's driveway! Axel LOVED sliding!!! Angela loves it too, and went down by herself twice, both times crashing face first into a snowbank. LOL Axel even went down alone once, and didn't even cry when he, too, went face first into the snow!
It was decided this was the new Lundgren Christmas tradition!
When everyone was sufficiently exhausted from trudging back up the hill, it was time to load up the car and head back home to spend time with Dean's family. Can you imagine what was going through Axel's mind when we started loading up the car AGAIN? Not only did we have to drive the 4 hour drive home, but we were only home for about 45 minutes before getting in the car again. POOR KID!
Ah, but we went somewhere Axel has been dying to go back to. THE BOWLING ALLEY!
Oh, he was SO EXCITED that he was going to get to bowl! He was NOT a happy camper when I told him "wait" instead of just letting him get up there and do what he wanted. (when Axel is not happy with me, he gives me a look that says I am clearly the most evil person in all the world.) Finally it was his turn. We let him try with Angela's very light (5 lb) ball, but that was really too much for him. Dean's brother had arranged stuff before we got there and made sure there was a ramp available. I would walk Axel up to the ramp and set the ball on. Together we'd count to three, then he'd give it a shove. Oh he was SO THRILLED to watch those pins fall. I can't wait until he gets a little bigger and can hold the ball himself.
Bowling done, it was time for dinner and Wii at Dean's sisters. Axel is going to be a video game junkie. I'll have pictures and videos to post soon. To say he had fun is an understatement.
Finally it was time to end the day. It was Christmas night, and Santa still needed to visit OUR house! LOL This morning it took him a bit to understand the whole gift opening thing. Clearly they have saved wrapping paper at his foster home because he did NOT want to rip that stuff today! Still, he was very happy with the kids' camera he received, along with duplos and some animals figurines, and a toy guitar. He is one happy boy!
We cannot get over how quickly Axel is integrating into our family. Clearly his foster parents did some great things with him and for him. But Serbia is still a different world, one that does not hold the same opportunities for a child with Down syndrome. I think Axel has experienced more FUN in his last 10 days that he did in his previous 10 1/2 years.