Sunday, April 14, 2013

One Week

Wow. It's been a full week with our girl today. I can hardly believe it. On the one hand it feels like yesterday that this dream was just that - still a dream. And on the other, it feels like she's been with us forever. She's doing really well in the days since we met. She's very independent and opinionated but I am more so, so I am confident that I can out last that to teach her healthy dependence and loving relationship.

Remind me of that when we've been home awhile
and she's still not "getting" that the tantrums on the floor
don't wash with Momma. Heh.

Yesterday I was talking with Lily about why we were spoon-feeding an almost two year old, explaining that we were trying to "re-wire" her brain and her heart for a new understanding of "family." We want her to eventually grow to be a strong, confident woman who is able to care for herself fully, but we want it to come from the right place. A place of strength and healthy identity. Given the director's descriptions of how the healthy, capable children in the orphanage are encouraged to care for themselves, we want Mei Mei to know that she doesn't HAVE TO care for herself right now. That she has Momma and Baba and a bunch of big siblings who will help her and support her. We want her to be released from self-reliance and survival mode and live in the freedom of healthy dependence, healthy reliance on the people God has given her in this new life. Our intention is that this path will lead her to more fully and more easily trust in the unseen Father to provide all she needs.

Indeed, it is some big aspirations and hopes, but we know that God equips us and sustains us and we look forward to showing her and telling her in the years to come that HE is our source and our strength. I consider it an honor and privilege to be able to parent yet another little gift in the ways my parents taught me. I'm not sure that they ever dreamed that they'd have now 16, soon to be 17 grandbabies learning the lessons that they taught the four of us but isn't that the awesome thing about God's economy? He more than multiplies the blessing when we walk in His favor. I am so grateful that The Boss and I both come from a heritage of faith as the bedrock of our homes.

This adoption trip-hotel home-visit China bubble won't last much longer and I'm trying to enjoy it while I have it. When I think back to how long it took last Sunday for her to trust us enough just to change her diaper, and how sad her face was all that day and the next, I'm really humbled that I get to be part of her healing process, of her blossoming into the little girl God created her to be.

I wasn't laughing at her pain, honest.
I just couldn't get over how much hair she had.

One layer of clothing off, about three more to go.
Poor little thing was just so tense and stressed.
And sweaty. So, so sweaty.

We see her opening up a little more every day and what a privilege it is to be a part of that process. Her eyes are clearer, her smile comes very readily, and she's completely comfortable, even a little naughty (in a completely cute, impish sort of way!), in allowing us to care for her, even in her most vulnerable state. Our learning curve with her medical issues has been a bit steep but we are getting the hang of it and she's so far been very patient with us, now that she's not so wary of what we are doing.

Her health seems to be quite improved from our first day or two together. She is no longer coughing and rattling in her chest when she breathes. Her nose has stopped running and her color is excellent. In fact, we've had quite a few comments about her beautiful skin tone. She's pretty fair-skinned and her hair is very dark brown with only a few shades of jet black. Yesterday in the van, we were commenting that it's actually very similar in shade to Li'l Empress's hair. The texture is NOTHING like her sister's, leaning more toward thick and coarse than Li'l E's hair.

It's amazing to me, even having done this once before and having seen scores of friends experience the same journey, just what an incredible difference LOVE makes. What a treasure it is to be part of that, to have my own heart expanded yet again to take in this love that she is learning to give. Looking over this past week, I am brought low by the gift of being Momma to this gang of mine. All 6 of them.

One week later, Mei Mei was too busy waving to every passer-by
to smile for Baba's camera, as we walked through an ancient
A post on that tour will come later!


Aus said...

Morning GM - OK - like always we're following - but you know how the weekends are for me...

Mei mei looks beautiful - but I would be remiss if I didn't make the comment that the look on your face in every picture is also one that is beyond happy!! I know it's not always "happy happy joy joy" we've been there and know that - but the joy is really a thing to behold!

And in that we see a little touch of our Father's Hand - and that makes us glad!

hugs - and great joy - couldn't be any happier for you and Ba ba too!

aus and co.

jen said...

I love that she is opening up more and more each day! Enjoy the rest of your trip :) see you when you get home!