Time to Breathe and Celebrate
The New Year is here both the Chinese New Year and our traditional new year! 2015 promises so much for us. It has been a while since we posted, well since we were in China to be exact. To be honest it took us this long to process and come to a point where we could share with you all again. We were becoming a family, weaving our new little one tightly into our folds forever. It took all of our resources including our energy, our emotions, our finances,… everything to make this happen. Since coming home we experienced the holidays, meeting loved ones for the first time. We spent countless days, hours, and weeks in doctor’s appointments, hospitals, surgery, MRIs, labs, and so much more. We researched her special need more fervently, making sure every decision we made was what was best for her. We limited our interactions as much as possible, guarding our girl’s heart so it would be securely ours. We held her close and wiped her fearful tears through the night. We balanced the need to spend time with our other children who missed us so much while we were away. We were focused, purposeful, guarded, and exhausted! We found it difficult some days to just bring ourselves to make a meal. Our eyes were swelled nearly shut. It took time to be able to sleep but sleep was so desperately needed. There were times when Adam and I both hid and cried in secret from the exhaustion and overwhelming experience. This process was amazing but hard as we have learned adoption often is. To sit here and tell you all the glory without the sacrifices and pain would be misleading. The process is not all rainbows but if you remember true rainbows are most beautiful after a storm.
MeiLin was terrified when we first got her. Her little heart grieved so much. Once again in her life she had lost everything she had ever known. Over this time with us she has opened up her heart and begun to trust. It is a privilege to be her parents and have her love after all she has endured.
This was her gotcha day. It wasn’t a joyous day for her. It was tragic and heart wrenching. This took time to heal from.
As has been so very true in our journey, God carried us. Now that we can breathe and are safely on the other side of the storm we want to share with you how far we have come and let you witness some of our journey.
A New Day
MeiLin is such a strong little girl. We have watched her endure so much more than most people ever should yet she comes out with a smile for us each day. At first she laid hopeless and limp as physicians worked on her.
Now this girl fights! She yells for Momma and Baba, she kicks, and screams. We could not be more thrilled to see fight in her eyes. Now that she has a port placed she does not even feel her routine IVs for transfusions. Her fears are dissipating but she knows she can cry for us and we will be there for her.
At night, she cried for her nannies. She awoke terrified nearly every 20 minutes and screamed for them to come to her shortly after coming home. Now, our baby girl sleeps for at least 4 hours before waking and calling for Momma!
She came to us with wounds and scars both visible and invisible. Her outward scars have healed and we can see her inner scars beginning to mend as well. She adores her siblings, often yelling for them in public places where they are with their friends–haha! She yelled for Isaiah while he sat on the bench during a basketball game. She yells for Lilly when Lilly leaves church to go to children’s church downstairs. She is silly and spunky and fits right in! She loves to snuggle up and read and by far music is her passion. She can sing her Chinese songs and some of our traditional songs as well! She dances and sings the moment a note comes over a speaker. She is known to sneak into her oldest sister’s room because there is music coming from the iPod dock in there most of the day. Amazingly her developmental milestones are all on target! That is so very rare coming from an institutional setting. Her language is brilliant in Mandarin and coming along so much in English. She loves for you to tell her stories and mimics your every word and facial gesture. She is happy. She still has times that remind us where she came from and what she endured. These are less and less though and most of her days are spent playing, learning, and laughing.
Today on the beginning of the Chinese New Year, we received her Certificate of Citizenship! It was issued on February 11th. The number 11 is significant in our family for many many reasons. Adam and I began dating on January 11th so many years ago, it was his number in sports and has been all of the kids’ number as well, his birthday is on the 11th, the adoption was finalized November 11th, and now her citizenship was issued on February 11th. Thank you God. We had fortune cookies after our meal today to celebrate the new year. I found hers to be so perfect:
It really is a new day and transformation for our family and her transformation has been a blessing to witness. We have come out on the other side of the adoption journey forever changed for the better. It took a great endurance of storms but as the skies clear, the rainbow is worth every moment.
While our physical journey to her is over, we know our journey with her is just beginning and we cannot wait to see what all God has in store for us all!