In less than a week since being home, I have seen, firsthand, what love, hugs, nurturing and support can do for a child. When I think back to the first week, when they placed our Daughter in our arms, my heart starts to cringe. What a sad, scared little girl she was. Never loved, seldom ever held and unaware of how powerful those things could truly be, if she was ever given the chance to experience them. My heart broke in half for her. I cried, prayed, worried. Would she soften and come to trust us?? I knew the answer to be YES, but my heart was in the moment, and at THAT moment, she was grieving and shutting down on us. If catatonic is a word...that was how she was. Petrified..screaming her head off.....I worried that I just may scare this little being to death!!!
Fast forward to less than one full week HOME....
Then she met us. We wanted to kiss her all over, feed her (ourselves), change her clothes and diapers (regularly) and even stick her in this strange thing called a bathtub..everyday!!! What in the world!!!
We had to take a step back and realize that all of these things combined, may just be too much for her. So, we will just stick to the important stuff...constant hugs, smiles, and getting that severe diaper rash under control (yikes!! I have never seen anything quite like it!!..think burn victim) We are letting her feed herself her bottles , since she is used to that...and we are holding off on the baths (which seem to send her into another stratosphere) and just resorted to warm sponge baths (a little less traumatic). I try not to change her outfits three times a day (like i thought i would want to with a little girl!!). She doesn't like being naked or having her diaper changed..which i totally get.
She has encountered so many firsts, which are truly amazing to watch. She has met family and friends, discovered toys, and began to learn how to explore her new home. It is so heart warming to sit back and watch her take it all in. She seems to like her crib and is sleeping "fairly well". I only feed her one bottle in the middle of the night, and she seems to sleep contently for the "second stretch" of her night.The Boys are simply head over heels in love with her. They are the best big brothers and are so kind and attentive to her needs. She just beams when she sees them.
Someone mentioned to me early on in our adoption process that "they could never raise someone Else's child".....For some reason, I keep coming back to that comment. This little girl is OUR child. God knew her plans..her destiny...HE knew that her Birth parents would be unable to keep her...and at the same time, HE knew how much we longed to love a little girl. I am so eternally grateful for HIS goodness. Adoption can't be described any other way that HIS will. It is truly a blessing.
When I look into her eyes, I am overcome with love. When they handed her to me n that day in the Civil Affairs office in China..I had the very same feeling as when my Doctor placed my two newborn Boys on my body, after delivering them. It was every bit the EXACT same feeling. Here was the little girl I had been dreaming of, praying for and longing to hold..and she was MINE....
We are settling (slowly) into our "routine". I have seemed frazzled, overwhelmed and emotional this week..but I have to keep reminding myself, that it is just like coming home from the hospital after giving birth, a week later. We will find our groove, eventually. But for now, we are enjoying the peace that comes from all being under one roof together. The toys are strewn all over the place, the dishes are piled up, the laundry is overflowing..but we are together and complete.
Here are some shots from our first week home!!