This is what I saw the other day
when the living room got mysteriously quiet.
I'm SO glad I tip-toed in
and peeked around the corner to investigate!
And yesterday, in the car on the way to another round
of testing and studies for Mei Mei,
I had heard her fussing and then quiet reigned.
When I turned around, this is what I saw.
It's taken a bit of time, but I love that we've reached the point where there are more pleasant and loving interactions between these two than there are jealous or unhappy moments. Li'l Empress has had some bouts of insecurity and emotional overload in the process but I think she's settling back in. As expected, the struggles have been mainly on Li'l Empress' side of things, as she's worked through the adjustment of becoming a Big Sister after years of being the baby of the family. The bigger gang members have been awesome at making sure that Li'l Empress knows she is just as loved and cherished as ever. It's been really sweet to see them all working through the adjustment together. And the evidence that Li'l Empress and Mei Mei are falling in love with each other is there for all to see.
Now, when Mei Mei stumbles and falls on the toys in the family room, Li'l Empress is the first to rush and get the boo-boo bear for her baby sister. And when Li'l Empress came in from the yard this week, crying over a perceived offense, Mei Mei would not leave her side and watched the proceedings with great concern. She even tried to hug her and kept patting her arm while Li'l Empress calmed down.
Early on in the "re-entry" process, Li'l Empress came to me in tears and through her hiccuping and sobbing, informed me that she thought we probably brought home "the wrong Mei Mei." Because this one was mean and not sharing her toys at all. And "she hit me with the dolly!" I tried very hard to take her seriously at that moment, and address her concerns and validate her feelings. I helped her understand that baby behavior wasn't the same as "the wrong Mei Mei" coming home, but was something we'd all have to model and work through with Mei Mei. I reminded Li'l Empress that when she first came home, she hit the kids, too. And she was even known to bite them once in a while. That it was all normal "baby" behavior and her job was to teach Mei Mei how to be part of our family by showing a good and loving example. I got her calmed down and able to pray with me. But man, oh, day, I was cracking up inside. I couldn't believe that she was calling up prayers from LAST YEAR at this time, when we were still asking as a family for the Lord to give us clear leading and direction to the "right Mei Mei;" the one that He had chosen for our family. OMIGOSH - this kid has a memory like NOBODY'S business!
I know there will be seasons, ebbs & flows if you will, of this relationship as it grows and builds, but this week's little vignettes brought such joy to my heart and I've so enjoyed the peace and promise captured in each little picture. I am so confident that the moving forward will continue to be productive and full of sweetness even in the hard moments. I count it an immeasurable gift, that God would grant the blessing of sisterhood to my girls. No matter the age span between them, they have friends for life in each other!
Here's one from last weekend,
in which all three girls were
hamming it up with Daddy's iPhone.
I love this. And can't wait to see
differing versions of it as the years fly by.
(Oh, God. Please don't let the years fly by. Pretty please?!)