Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Remembering . . .

Two years ago today, our family changed forever.
Two years ago today, we were given the gift
of another child to nurture and love and parent.
Two years ago today, we met our Li'l Empress...

The highlighted portions are links to the three posts
we wrote from our "Gotcha Day" in China.
So wonderful to look back and read them again.

I've been doing a lot of remembering this week. These walks down memory lane have been sweet to mull over and over. Especially in light of the difficulties of the last few weeks as we work through Li'l E's adjustment to pre-school. The memories of our early days, intentionally building her trust and confidence that we are permanent, have been so encouraging as we ponder what kind of support and reassurances we can give her when she feels anxious about drop-off time.  Thinking about those first days of her silent stares, occasional tears (after the initial first big melt-down!), and tentative attempts to connect with us make me smile fondly now. Back then, they made me quake with the enormous-ness of what we were taking on.

In many ways, we had a wonderful, smooth attachment and transition to "home." In many other ways, ways that I rarely spoke of here in that first year, we had some heart-breaking moments. Moments that I think were tiny windows into the girl that was hiding little bits of herself until she was sure it was safe.  I remember one night in particular, after a mostly-sleepless night of clinging to my neck and whimpering between bouts of what I can only describe as night terrors.  Her determination to NOT be put down and her fortitude to fight the sleep and panic that came with it made me think, "AAAH! This is more of her true self peeking out at me." Let's just say that the quiet, very compliant, docile child that clung to my or Shaggy's shoulders in those early months was only a very TINY part of who our girl really is.

Today, I can contrast that picture in my heart (and by the way, I can still feel the ache of her fear as if it was yesterday when I let myself. Does anyone else do that with their kids? Or am I nuts here?) with the picture of her sitting in the middle of my parents' living room last weekend, singing a little love song to each individual person in the room, happy and content in knowing that she is loved. Nine verses (including herself, of course) of "I Love Mommy," etc. just did not get old for me, as I thought back to that night when she was so afraid of being alone in her bed that she ferociously fought the waves of exhaustion that were crashing over her.

Today, we KNOW what a huge personality she is. We know (and are continuing to learn) what a tenacious, single-minded, determined, joyful, exuberant, strong character she is.  And in many aspects, I'm quaking more now at the task ahead of us in parenting her to hold on to those great qualities but temper them in submission to Christ and in consideration of the others around her. No easy task, by any measure. (To be sure, I quake at this task for all my gang members. It might be the underlying cause of so many of my quirks and tics.... I'm just sayin'!)

But through it all, I still find myself amazed. In awe. So humbled and honored that Our Father would see fit to give us the gift that she is. Out of the most heart-wrenching circumstances of her little life's beginnings, He saw something in us that could be part of a redemptive plan for her life. And certainly for ours. CERTAINLY for ours.

And while I might have started out the week just remembering?  Well, I'm finding myself wrapped up in worshipping The Father who gave us the opportunity to participate in a life that will no doubt be HUGE in His Kingdom. And praying for further equipping to do the task of molding and shaping her to be His vessel. Remembering. Worshipping. And praying. Always praying.


Salzwedel Family said...

Oh my word. Two years already. What a precious gift indeed!

Aus said...

Good morning GM - well wow - I so remember your gotcha day....can't be two years already....

No - you aren't crazy - knowing the depth of our children's fears is supposed to make us feel that way - no - you aren't along (and I'll bet you the boss feels the same way too!)

Yeah - for all the imperfections - adoption gives as much or more to the parents as it does to the kids...and we find the rewards where ever we can!

hugs - great post -

aus and co.

PS - love the WW this week!


Kimberly said...

I can totally relate to the quaking... and the joy. Our spicy grils keep us on our toes! Two years already-- The days are sweet, aren't they? Happy familiversary!!! Hugs to L'il Empress!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Congratulations on two years together as a family! It is such a blessing to see our children blossom and grow, isn't it?