Friday, May 11, 2012

3 months home and almost 9 month old!!

Amazing....I confess there have been times I was unsure we would make it to 3 months home. Oh, I knew we would, I have probably felt that way about all 3 of my other kids as well - will I ever sleep again, will i ever get to go to the bathroom without hearing my name (still very there), will I ever get to take a shower every day again, will i , will i, will i????? Very "I" centered isn't it :-) (that isn't the point of this post!).

If I had to sum up the past 3 months in 2 words they would be "JOYFULLY PAINFUL".

I can't even tell you the joy I have had in my little flock of 4 with the added addition. The beauty that strikes me so hard as I look into her soulful little brown eyes, the sweet pride I feel as I gaze upon one of my other kiddos running to her rescue when she tips over and the love they have for her, the amazement as I have watched her change, grow, start to catch up developmentally in places that she was a little behind, ATTACH (whew that is a BIG one!), love to look into my eyes as much as I love to look into hers, see her face LIGHT UP when her daddy gets home from work, watch her try out new textures of food (and spit a lot of it out). Most of these are are things I have gone through with my other 3, but for some reason it feels very different, more monumental, somehow. Maybe it is because I fought and waited for her for so long, maybe it is because I missed the first 6 months of her life. I don't know, but it is different. Here are a few recaps of the past couple of months:

She could not sit up - like at all, or put weight on her legs - now all she wants to do is jump on my lap!

To go from not ever really having been on her belly and pretty much unable to raise her head of the ground to this - being on all fours and getting ready to take off!

From being below the 3rd percentile for weight, and length, to now slightly over the 25th percentile - she has gained about 6 pounds and 6 inches in just 3 months!

To get to be there and stand with her as her parents for her baptism was sweet, so very sweet. To think for a second that I would have missed out on that had we not said Yes to God's call for us, is unimaginable. 

 A sweet photo shoot that my friend Tracie did. 

We are learning lots about hair, we are learning lots about each other, and I continue to be AMAZED that we have been blessed with her. So much JOY!

But oh the PAIN! She continues to grieve at times, and I know there are times that I am just not getting it right - that there is something that she needs/wants that is just not me. Those times that she pushes away to avoid contact (though they are rare now). As we venture out of our cocoon a little and I see the way she gets a little freaked out by something totally new, I am reminded of all that has changed in her little life. The times that we encounter a new person that gets a little too close and she leans her little head into me. The times that a good and very familiar friend has held her and Ribka has lost sight of me briefly and I can see the fear of "where is my mommy" and I am reminded of the several times that has been a very real fear that has come true for her. 

The medical part of this journey has been a bit of a nightmare though we are on the other side of that part for now. The exhaustion of ER visits, TOO many trips to multiple doctors, the screaming tears as she is poked over and over to take blood or stool or urine, and tears run down my face as I hurt for her and know that I can't make it stop - only just hold her through it and pray over her. 

The sleepless nights...sigh...

Being in battle - yes battle. I was told by numerous people to get ready. To be prepared for my family to be attacked after we brought her home. I smile and nod my head - I have plenty of battle wounds, surely bringing home this precious child could not be any worse than some of those. But this hasn't been a battle that I have been fighting for myself - but for my family, for my husband, for my other kids, and for my newest daughter. Fighting for those you love the most is much harder that fighting for yourself. The scars of watching them struggle, of one by one some big thing happening in their life - right down to my 3 year old. Pain, tears, fear, exhaustion. I have clung to God in ways I have never experienced as I have cried out for my kids, as I have over and over again laid them each one at Jesus's feet begging for mercy. 

Even such beautiful things like Ribka's baptism. As I sat rocking her to sleep that morning so she could get a brief nap in before we left for church, as I prayed over her on that special day, I was also praying for her birthmother. Sad that she could not be there for that day. Longing to be able to share it with her in some way. 

It has been an amazing 3 months...amazing in every way. From the ecstatic Joy to the cries for Mercy. God has shown up at every place, ready and willing to walk with us, carry us, redeem us, promises to heal the broken places. 

In the last months of the adoption process, and probably daily since coming home, I have listened to and clung to this David Crowder song called "Never Let Go". (it will be on our adoption video if I ever get around to making one!). You won't regret taking a second to listen to it. 

So thankful for the many sweet friends that have walked along side us on both sides of the journey. Friends that have called me, brought us dinner, taken my other 3 kids, cried with me, prayed for us, sent me text to remind me of God's love and care for my family. 

Even though it has been very hard, I would not change any of it really. The pain only makes us cling more, it only makes us see the beauty in the Joy, it only makes us realize how out of control we are, and oh the gratitude - thank you Jesus for a grateful heart. I am so grateful. 

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