• It’s amazing what a few days will do….

    Date: 2013.05.20 | Category: China 2013, Elijah, Evangeline Faith, Jasmine (Shuang Shuang), Lainey Rae | Tags:

    Now that I am past the shock of things I wasn’t prepared for and have gotten more than two hours of sleep in a row, things are looking much better.   When you adopt, you know you are not getting the most up-to-date reports and you always take the chance at unforeseen circumstances and diagnoses.  We went into this with our eyes wide open about that and I thought I was prepared for anything that came up, but I obviously wasn’t as prepared as I thought  I was.

    Now that I’ve gotten a week under my belt, I will say right up front that God knows  better than me.  What a statement.  I feel like I should put a “duh” in the middle of that. Obviously God knows better. I have always known this but it still blows my mind everytime I see Him work in my life.  He knows what I can handle.  He knows how to stretch me and challenge me and make my faith grow.  All along,  I have said “I’m too old for an infant.  I couldn’t possibly adopt an older child.  Autism is something I just couldn’t deal with.”  I can’t decide if He is just trying to prove me wrong or not so I have decided to change my new “I couldn’t possibly….” to “I couldn’t possibly handle winning the powerball.”  🙂

    I said, “I couldn’t handle an infant.”  Evie is like a newborn.  She eats every two-three hours.  She isn’t able to sit alone.  She is pretty malnourished and delayed.  We took her in for her medical evaluation yesterday and her oxygen saturations read 53%.  She is very blue and very sick.  Because we have dealt with Ben, it hasn’t been nearly as frightening this time around.  I did say I couldn’t deal with a newborn and guess what?  I can.  Had I avoided this adoption, then I would have missed out on the cutest little girl you have ever seen with the biggest personality.  The first few days she was just so hungry all the time so she cried a lot.  Now that she has been fed continuously for a week, she is already doing so much more.  She is trying to pull herself up to a sitting position.  She can grab on and pull herself up to her knees. She smiles all the time.  It’s funny because people expect her to be an infant and then she smiles at them with all those teeth.  It’s  funny watching their reactions. What a sweet little soul she has.  She charms the socks off of everyone she meets.  I’m glad God knows better because I would have missed out on loving this sweet, little girl.

    I said, “I couldn’t handle an older child.  I said it wouldn’t be a good fit for our family.”  Wow!  Was I wrong.  I wish you could see just how brave Shuang has been.  She has taken this all in stride.  She is all smiles and sweetness.  She had to get her immunizations yesterday and she said it was fine.  She would be brave.  She just wants to get to America and be with her family.  She is so good with the little ones.  She encourages them and shares with them.  She helps them in any way that she can.  She offers you her food.  She tries so hard to be helpful.  When we took her into for her medical appointment yesterday, the doctor started off being so gruff.  Then the doctor’s attitude changed, she talked about how sweet Shuang is.  She talked about how her medical records don’t match with what she has.  We told her we were aware of that.  It’s kind of hard to miss.  By the end of the appointment, the doctor was very kind to Shuang and even walked Dan and Shuang to the elevator and pushed the buttons for them.  Shuang is another sweet soul just looking to be loved.  Everyone has been so moved by her and her story.  No one leaves her presence without being moved.  It is hard for us, in America, to understand what it takes to be disabled in China.  We have had people just stop and glare at her for over 20 minutes.  They yell things at her.  She just smiles and tries so hard to be brave.  I can’t wait to get to America and show her how many people care about her.  To show her that her disability does not make her less than.  She is truly an amazing little girl with the best laugh.  I am so proud to be her mama and it has only been two weeks.  Oh what I would have missed.

    I said, “I couldn’t handle parenting an autistic child.”  The reason for this statement is because I am a very silly, huggy person.  As a matter of fact, the first sentence Shuang learned from us was “mama’s silly”.  It’s a good thing Shuang likes silly.  But the truth is, I was afraid of how I would react to a child that couldn’t show affection back.  That’s not a pretty statement but it’s the truth.  I was afraid of how I would respond as a mother.  I love my biological children and my adopted children the same.  Now we all love our children differently because they are different people.  Nothing in life is even and fair.  I love my children for different reasons because they are different people.  I don’t have favorites though.  That is a totally different thing.  What I was afraid of was the not feeling connected part.  I love spending time with my children.  How would I react to a child that couldn’t show love back.  What I’ve learned is it doesn’t change how you feel as a mother.  It’s unconditional love for a reason.  It’s not based on how they love you back.  It’s based on how much you love them.   Lainey is severely delayed.  Lainey is in her own little world most of the time.  Lainey has triggers that take her into a full blown tantrum very quickly.   We are learning those triggers and have already seen progress in helping her calm quicker and stopping the tantrums before they get full blown.  But Lainey also has a cuddly side.  She doesn’t hug, but she likes to lay her head on your shoulder and just snuggle in.  She laughs and runs and dances and spins.  Lainey has worth and Lainey deserves a family.  I’m glad I get to be her mama.  I know it won’t be easy.  I know we are going to have to make a lot of changes, but I can already see how much she is going to change me as a person.

    God does know better.  God knows what we need to grow as a person and what we can handle.  I will say that without Him I couldn’t handle any of this.  Without His promises to go to time and time again, I would be lost.  I have and will spend many days crying out to Him for strength to get through, but I know His love is constant and His grace is sufficient.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Dan brought me those words to put on the wall in the kid’s room.  It’s a constant reminder of where my eyes should be.

    I would be remiss to not mention little Mr. Eli.  What a charming, handsome boy this boy is.  He is so sweet and soft spoken.  He really does remind me of Zachary when he was little.  God is amazing with how He works.  I am amazed at how He  makes families.  If you know my Zachary, you know what a special boy he has always been.  He has always had a faith that was unbelievable from the time he was little.  He is gentle, smart, observant and the most special kind of boy.  Ben is like that and so is Eli.  It just blows my mind that they are all so alike.  I love that Eli and Ben are going to be such good friends.  I can already see them building things together.  God is so good.

    God has His hands in the smallest of details.  When I stand back and look at how blessed I am to get to be a part of these things, well…..it is just mind boggling.  I humbly stand in awe of a God that would allow me to get to do these things.  Truly, I am amazed.  When I think of all the things that had to come together for this past year to work, it is just mind blowing.  We started out with these words at Codey’s bedside “Faith makes things possible, not easy!”  Faith in God’s plan.  Faith in God’s promises.  Faith that all things work together for good.  Faith in something that is so much bigger than me.  And to think , had I chosen, I would have missed it.