Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another Special Anniversary

I'm sitting here in my cozy home, listening to the sounds of my Gang cheering on the Eagles. Li'l Empress is soundly tucked in her crib sleeping off the emotions of another hard morning transitioning into her 2 year old class. There were a lot of tears and a near-meltdown. It was a hard morning for us both.

Poor kid, change like this is never easy for any two year old. But we complicated it by being absent from church for much of August and now she's starting from scratch in a new class to boot. I'm trying hard to be patient, knowing in my head that she needs the comfort of Mommy near by to ease the tension and confusion she feels. Knowing that she can handle the new noises and new faces better if she can look up and see my face or hold my hand while she listens to the story. But it is very emotional for her and therefore for me.

Our last night in China

I'm full of thoughts and feelings today as I remember all the changes that this little girl has been through in just this past year. Yes, today is the anniversary of the day we brought Li'l Empress home. One year ago today, we landed (just about now to the hour!) on US soil. One year ago today, our precious girl added to her identity the tag of "American citizen." One year ago today, this little dumpling met her big brothers and sister. One year ago today, she came HOME.

The new citizen. A real American beauty.

It's a lot to take in. In her little life of just two years, this child has had many caregivers. She's had a birth mother, a foster mother, and now me. She's been in an orphanage, a group home, a foster home, a series of hotels, and now her forever home. She's had so many changes. It almost embarrasses me that I got so frustrated this morning in her class, with her clingy demand that I stay nearby.

And then. Then, she went to the next level with her crying and into a near melt-down. I swept her up and held her tight, singing and whispering in her ear. Reminding her that Momma is here. Momma isn't going anywhere for now. Momma is with her. Momma loves her. And the frustration melted away. The reality of all that has changed in her little life sank in. None of these changes have been of her choosing. None of these changes have been happy or pleasant at the start. None of them were comfortable for her. And certainly, none of them were easy for her to understand.

Every day, at nap and bed time we pray and thank Jesus for our family. For our HOME. Every nap and bed time, she looks up at me and says "Momma" to which I always reply, "Yes, I am your momma. I love being your momma." Every time.

And in my heart and my mind, every time, I thank the Lord for the privilege that being MOMMA is. I get to teach her that these new changes aren't so bad. That change doesn't always mean loss. That while at times it might be painful, change can also be good. Change can mean greater growth. And that she'll never have to experience such hard changes alone, ever again. She has a family now. She has a family that will point her to Jesus. And I get to be her Momma for all of it.

Happy Home Day, Li'l Empress. Your presence has changed us all for the better, with the joy and laughter that you carry with you. We love you.


a Tonggu Momma said...

Congrats on one year home together, all sleeping under one roof! I remember how hard those first two years were for us - but yes, not ALL change is bad. It's difficult for me sometimes to read adoptee sites because - truly - the reality is that the separation from her first family ALREADY occurred. At that point, the choice was NOT first family or adoptive family. At that point it was orphanage versus a family at all. I read to try to expand my views, but it's always good to have the reminder that not all change is bad. Not all change is steeped in loss, but in gain.

Stefanie said...

Happy one year together!!
Adoption comes with joys and sorrows, inherently, sounds like you're doing a great job handling them both, Mama ;)

TCKK said...

Congrats on 1 year together! So awesome!

Aus said...

On a very light and unrelated note (and since you are a football fan) - while I really belive that the Bengals still suck (and have for nearly 20 years) - I have to say that today I was proud of 'our boys' - they actually showed up to play football and it shows! They earned this one - every stinkin point of it!

More seriously and directly to your post - and at the risk of being bold and perhaps 'overly personal' - Happy Home Day Sweetheart, you have brightened the lives of us all! And yeah - GM you are both Blessed - but a Blessing too!

Welcome home - and enjoy your forever family -

"Uncle" Aus and co.

Kevin, Jake and Violet said...

We remember following your journey. Congratulations on being home a year Li'l Empress. May your family be blessed!
Kevin, Violet and Jake

Stephanie said...

Hooray for one year home! Your daughter has grown and changed so much. I can't wait to see what the next year brings.

heidi @ ggip said...

Congratulations on one year at home. She really has changed a lot in one year!

Kateri said...

Gosh it's hard to believe that it's been a year! Happy Homecoming, sweet girl! We love you!!!

Anonymous said...

Yay Aidan! i <3 u SOOO much!

your FAVORITE cousin,

Sarah :)