Friday, June 14, 2013


For about a week now, Mei Mei has been walking around the house "singing" this repetitive set of sounds that made me sit up and take notice. It really sounded like she was trying to sing SOMETHING, I just didn't know what!

When I took the time to just sit and watch her while she was singing, I was astounded! See, the last several weeks have been full of evaluations, consultations, and doctors' reports that have been hard to wade through. Information has been flowing like a rushing river, about her cognitive abilities, her emotional/social abilities, medical needs, speech and language skills, and more. While not all of it has been difficult to hear and certainly not all of it has been "bad news" it has still been quite overwhelming.
{At this point, I must give huge props to our International Adoption Clinic at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - they did an excellent job of thoroughly preparing us for all the ranges of the needs listed within Mei Mei's file and then some. Nothing we've heard has been a surprise, even if some things have been slightly more complicated or critical in the ranges of needs than we'd hoped. If you are preparing to adopt, please, please, please look into a clinic such as this one - the information and preparation for your heart and mind and your family's plans is invaluable!}
I've watched her for a couple days now and almost every time she's "singing" she's also sitting in her little rocking chair, either holding her baby or raising her arms up in the air with her eyes squinting shut and her head swaying in time to the rhythm in her head. When I figured out what the repetitive sweet sounds likely are and I realized what it is that is washing over her heart and mind, coming out as "yeaaaaa, yeeeee aaaaaa yuuuuuuuu yeeeeee" I was, again, astounded!

She's singing "Jesus Loves Me."

She's not just singing a song. She's re-creating our time together in the rocking chair at each nap time and bed time when I sing this song and a few others to her before settling into her crib for some much needed sleep. That she's making that connection and imitating it, after only 6 weeks home and probably only 4 weeks of such a regulated routine is nothing short of astounding. That she's often taking it one step further and pretending to worship or to rock her baby to sleep like Momma rocks her to sleep just about brings me to my knees.

THIS is the good stuff of adoption, my friends.

There are many, many hard things about parenting a child from traumatic beginnings. And trust me, as we've been fleshing out the (very likely) details that led to Mei Mei coming home to our Gang, we've realized anew that there have likely been some pretty traumatic experiences in our girl's short little life. To have her HOME, HAPPY, (mostly) HEALTHY, and SINGING her little heart out like this is more of a gift than even I imagined when we were waiting to get to her. And that's comin' from a Momma who has "been there done that" once before. I was (mostly) prepared for the difficult surprises that might come our way - these happy ones still take me off guard sometimes!
{Again, big plug for a great international adoption clinic that has a wide base of information and professional experiences with which to help us piece her story together with the "most likely scenarios" to fill in some of the blanks!}
I posted a link to this article earlier today on my F@cebook page. I put off reading it for a couple days after I first found it because I knew it would be a hard read considering all the transition and anchoring we are settling ourselves into these days. I wasn't wrong. It was a hard read. But also a really good read. Some great reminders for me to step it up in a few areas and some encouragement for the road ahead. Not just for Mei Mei but for Li'l Empress too.

Despite the hard stuff that can come with parenting my little treasure from Ch!na, there are moments that I look at her, rocking in that little chair, singing her heart out. And I'm astounded at the gift she is.

"OOOOOPS! You caught me, Mommy!
And yes, I changed all your settings. Have fun fixing them!"

On a side note: 
I've tried and tried to video Mei Mei "singing" 
but as the resident ham of the house,
each time she sees the camera come out,
she changes up what she's doing
and I keep missing the purity of the moment.
Hence, the surprised look on her face
in the picture above: total surprise mixed with
sheepish recognition of a "no no" behavior! :)


Scott and Jane said...

Aww, what a great thing when you hear your child singing Jesus Loves Me. Way to go B!!! Praying that truth resonates deep deep deep into her little heart!!!

Heather H. said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the link to Trauma Momma. I like the way she describes things. And it's good to be able to read something short when we don't have time to "read the book."

So glad to hear how we'll your daughter is doing!

Aus said...

Good morning GM - outstanding stuff here - we too have an International Adoption Clinic at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (and IAC at the CCHMC - love ALL those letters!!) and we can't speak any more highly about them either!! Every potential adoptive family should be so lucky as to have them for pre-adoption "training" as well as post adoption care!

And while many might be surprised at how mei mei is behaving - I'm not...but then again...over the years I've come to know you and the Gang - and if there ever was a family suited to IA and coping with our kid's backgrounds - well - you guys have the chops for it!

hugs - well done - great joy for you here!

aus and co.