Archie's 6 Month Update

This post is so special for me to write. Archie, from whom our name, The Archibald Project came from, was our very first adoption to photograph. Six months ago today, Archie and his father, Joey, landed at Bush Intercontinental Airport. This day forever changed the lives of the Eicher family. They were no longer 3, but 4.I was able to interview Joey and Lisa today and so many smiles were brought to my face, as I’m sure will be to yours. If you have had the privilege of meeting Archie, you know this child is a pocket full of sunshine, always smiling and infecting others with a grin. When I first rounded the corner at Archie’s orphanage I saw him standing there, waiting for his mom and dad. He didn’t run to me thinking I was mommy, nor did he run to my husband. But when he saw Joey, he knew, ‘this is my daddy’, instantly went to him and exclaimed, “papa!”. I laughed and cried as Archie showed the 3 of us around his home, totally in awe of his spunk and excitement. On the 3 hour drive back to Sophia from Kazanlak so many thoughts raced through my head. “How is he going to adapt? What is he thinking right now being in a car with 5 strange adults? Will he do well on the flight? Will he be able to communicate when he gets to Texas? Will his spunk and happiness change once his new life sets in?”, obviously the questions went on and on. Now, 6 months after the easily romanticized adoption trip and airport pictures, I’m so happy to say, and see, that Archie has flourished being at home with Mama and Daddy and sister. His spunk and excitement for life have only intensified! Below are pictures that I took and a short interview for Archie’s 6 month update, we hope to be able to do this with all of our adoptions. Enjoy!What are 3 words that best describe Archie?

Hilarious. Joyful. Sweetheart.

How does Ace describe her big brother?

"Archie is the best brother and the funniest brother. I love to play games with him. I am so happy cause he's in my family."... Ace is over the moon for her big brother. She loves him so much. They get along so incredibly well.

Joey, how would you describe your son?

Well, he is a happy kid ALL the time. Except when daddy (instead of mommy) takes him to the bathroom. His smile is so contagious. He really is the type of kid that teaches you something new about yourself everyday, sometimes more than you want :)      He eats a lot and loves milk and apple juice.     If he ever thinks you're sad, then you'd better forget about whatever it is you're sad about because he loves so much...to the point where he'll worry about you until you are happy again.       He loves his friends and complete strangers.          He prays (and understands it) before every meal and loves it.         He is not shy about being who he is and never worries about what others think of him.       He is the perfect brother and cherishes every second spent with Ace. They are best friends. He loves all three Toy Stories and pretty much every movie. Its funny because when he is watching Monsters Inc., he hides from the "scary" parts until Ace tells him its 'ok'. He trusts Ace with his life and would do anything to protect her and make her happy. ANYTHING!!!

Sometimes I wonder why I have been blessed to have such a perfect child, but God knows exactly what he's doing. :) This boy has taught me patience and more about myself than I could have ever known! If you had to pick one, what would you say is your fondest memory of Archie? Watching Ace and Archie hug and just embrace each other at the airport when Archie arrived home. It solidified everything for me. This was our son. This was her brother. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.

Funniest?

Oh man we have had quite a few funny moments. I have to go back to the airport again. When Archie first stepped through the doors and into the lobby where tons of people were waiting for their loved ones,  Archie was sure they were all there to welcome him. He waved to the crowd and even took a bow. It was like he was a little celebrity. The crowd cheered and he had the biggest grin on his face. It was hysterical.

Most frustrating?

The most frustrating times have been more recently, since Archie started public school. He started acting out at school, clearly trying to tell us that he was not comfortable in his setting. It wasn't so much that we were frustrated with Archie or his behavior, but more so with not being able to create the perfect environment for him. Since then we have come up with a new plan at his school and he is doing great!

What about your biggest praise?

His English and communication. It is absolutely astonishing how quickly he started speaking English. I was so worried about the language barrier when he first came home, but it has really never been an issue. Even if he can't find the words, he figures out a way to communicate his needs very well. He is now speaking full on conversational English. Is it perfect? No. But I understand him.

Has parenting a boy changed or effected your marriage?

I would say we have more patience (most days). We are also often exhausted. We give everything we have to our kids throughout the day, and don't have much left by the end. But we know that this is just a season. While most days we at least try to take a few minutes to connect and talk before we go to sleep, we are also okay and understand if one of us is running on empty and just needs to be still and quiet. How has parenting Archie effected your views of God or God’s love?

God loved and sustained Archie for seven years in an orphanage. There were times during the adoption process when we were very confused about God and why there were so many suffering and dying orphans. His own children-- left to die in cribs. No love, no food, no touch. That was tough to process and still is. As far as parenting Archie, I feel like I have a better understanding of God's infinite and unconditional love. Even during the hard times, I know that God chose this child for me, and I will love him always, no matter what. Every night we say this prayer with the kids, "Dear God, thank you for loving us, all the time, no matter what." It's a simple, yet powerful reminder.

A list of Archie’s favorite things Food: Macaroni and Cheese or as he calls it, “croney cheese” Movie: Toy Story 2 Word: Happy Activity: Taking pictures Outfit: Anything pink, or a football jersey. Quite the opposites!

Jesus, we pray blessings over this family. We ask that You and You alone would sustain them, lead them and guide them. We thank You for Joey and Lisa’s hearts. We thank You for writing Archie’s story and weaving it so perfectly together with his family. God we love you and praise you!