We have been home from India a little over a week now.

Though it’s a slower, more difficult process than our first adoption, Enoch is beginning to adjust to our family. 

As I type this he he’s sitting at the dinner table talking and making happy faces and expressing himself. 

We’ve come a long way from when we first met him.

 

Journey to Enoch

We had been referring to him as Enoch before we even knew of him and throughout the adoption process. About two years ago we were matched with this little boy whom his orphanage had named Arunav, and we knew this was our Enoch.  While we were in the adoption process, our church had a bake sale and we had a T-Shirt sale, both focused on “Bringing Enoch Home”. The child was Arunav when we spoke to our adoption agency, but he was Enoch when we spoke to our family and friends. 

 

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A name is something your parents give you.  As Enoch’s parents we want to honor the first three years of his life by keeping the name the orphanage gave him as part of his name.  His full name is Enoch Shant Arunav Begg

The caretakers loved him and cared for him and did their best to prepare him for a family.  It was a difficult first meeting.  He screamed when he saw us and when we tried to touch him.  He wouldn’t play with us while we were there and he cried himself to sleep while I was holding him. 

Arunav means “a ray of sunlight” in Assamese according to the director of the orphanage. She cried when this little sun-ray left her care, and Arunav screamed until he was distracted by the movement of the car and the scenery.   

He latched on to Candice but wouldn’t have anything to do with me. 

We called him Arunav at first because we didn’t want to confuse him, and after all, that is still part of his name.

He was quiet and subdued with Candice, but he let her hold him and care for him.  He still looked away from me or ran away from me. We tried to take him to the pool or have him sit in a high chair at a restaurant. He would have none of that. Once when he accepted food from me tears filled my eyes.

He slept most of the plane ride home. At one point, he woke up and Candice wasn’t there as she had gotten up to talk to a flight attendant. He screamed as raced to bring him to her. 

 

Now at home we call him Arunav and Enoch, sometimes both. 

We notice that he shuts down emotionally when he meets new people and that helps us understand his behavior when he was just getting used to us in hotels in India. 

 

We tend to put all the happy pictures up on Facebook.  I neglected to grab a camera when I tried to relieve my wife for a few minutes and he screamed and threw things and tried to bite me.  Or when he cried for 30 minutes when I was sitting with him hoping he would fall asleep at naptime.  Even if I filmed him ignoring me when I call his name as he’s tearing up stuff in his room, it probably wouldn’t make for a good video.

 

But as I said, he’s beginning to adjust. Things are getting better, slowly but surely.  We hit a milestone today in that he let me change his diaper.  He only whines a little when I take him out of the car seat and hand him to his Mama. He smiles and plays and talks and is even picking up some English. 

Yesterday he hesitated at the top of the stairs and I offered to carry him down.  He deliberated momentarily, then reached his arms out to me, accepting my offer. 

I smiled as I carried him down the stairs and I thought:

“He’s becoming Enoch.”

 

Becoming

When I say our son is becoming our son, I don’t mean that he’s learning to behave or scream at us less, though I do hope we can teach him that.  What I mean is that he is coming to accept Candice and me as his Mama and Papa.  He might still bite me out of anger, but I look forward to the subtle, but important transition from reacting to me as a scary stranger to reacting to me as his Papa.  I see more and more evidences of that on a daily basis.  In realizing who we are he is realizing who he is.

He is becoming Enoch.

 

We took the name Enoch from Genesis 5:18-24.  The bible lists three important things about a man named Enoch.

  1. He was the son of Jared
  2. He walked with God
  3. God took him.

While it’s clever to dwell on the first one, we are hoping and praying for the second.  Every night I bless both of my sons.  My blessing for Enoch is:

“May you walk with God, and may others walk with you.”

 

I hope that he fully accepts his Mama and Papa soon.  But even more so, I hope that he one day accepts his True and Heavenly Papa.  We want him to walk with God.  We want him to be a ray of sunshine to others.

He is becoming Enoch Shant Arunav Begg

 

Becoming Someone

The bible also tells us about a name that we will get at the end of days, a name that only God knows now.  I don’t know who I am becoming.

I know I am adopted into his family and I know he is my Papa, but I still scream and run away from him more than I’d like to admit.  I treat him like a stranger and ignore him when he calls my name. 

I’m slowly learning to behave and to listen, but it’s harder to relax into the truth of who I am.  It’s hard to accept who my Papa is. 

 

Sometimes I realize I can’t make it on my own.  Sometimes I realize the coping mechanisms I’ve adapted myself to aren’t healthy or good.  Sometimes the way seems to treacherous not to reach out to The Father. It’s not frequent, but I’d like to think it’s less and less rare.  I deliberate momentarily then reach out my arms, accepting his offer to carry me through.

I’d like to think that my True and Heavenly Papa carries me in those times and smiles to himself and thinks,

“He’s becoming …..”

 

 

 

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One Response to Becoming Enoch

  1. Betsy says:

    Powerful glorious words, Jared. Thanks.

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