"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Monday, December 3, 2007

You've come a long way, baby!

I have so much to catch up on, including Thanksgiving pictures, our visit to Santa and the kids' reactions to the avalanche of Christmas decorations that just wouldn't stop coming out of the attic.

But, today, I am dedicating this post to our beautiful, baby girl. In a couple of weeks it will be 6 months that we first held Anna Grace Fengqin. I spent some time the other night going back to the those first days and weeks and reading my journal entries. It's hard to remember those days that were so dark at times, for both of us. These days, especially in the past month, have been filled with laughter and joy, so much so that at times I am overwhelmed with love for this little one.

The little girl I had envisioned and dreamed about who only used to allow me to take peeks of her, is now out in full view. In the mornings she is the first to run to me for hugs and kisses. She sometimes waits, almost to see if it's ok. I still wish I knew what she was thinking and I do know there are moments of insecurity and her trust is not 100% there. She hesitates during those unsure moments. Yet, with a little nugding, she allows herself to follow through, then thoroughly revels in the love that we share, as do I.

A lot of this may sound like rambling because I'm trying to gather thoughts of special moments as we type, and there have been so many. I will start off with her real personality.

She is definitely a little drama queen who is daring and spirited. She loves being praised and is so very proud of herself when she accomplishes a task that is noticed and rewarded. We try to do this often. She loves her siblings and they love her. She has a special relationship with each one of them. but she still remains closest to Kai. She can be an instigator and she is sometimes the victim when it comes to trouble. She definitely knows what doesn't make Mama happy and usually bolts from the scene of the crime if she was involved. She does this with such slyness that it sometimes makes me laugh.

Anna Grace also has a very sweet side. She loves being hugged and kissed and although her attachment issues still rears its ugly head on ocassion, it has gotten so much better. She has improved so much, especially when she's with me, about kissing and asking strangers to pick her up. She now waits to see if they are a "stranger" or if Mama gives her the "it's ok" look. She's very much a girly-girl and loves big, ruffly dresses, bows, ribbons and pretty dress shoes. She is fortunate that her beloved Po-Po is an amazing seamstress and has showered her with gorgeous dresses. She relishes in being told how beautiful she is and how much we love her.

She is funny and repeats EVERYTHING we say. Sometimes while I am scolding one of the other little ones she is right behind me echoing every word. AJ is the town terror lately and the other day I caught him turning the TV set on and off, on and off, repeatedly. So, I pick him up, plop him on the couch and start with the ritualistic, "You do not touch the TV. That is not yours. That is Mama's." I hear muttering going on behind me so I quickly turn around and there is Anna Grace, hands on hips, leaning forward saying, "You do not touch the TV. That is not yours. That is Mama's." Just too funny.

Holding time is something I haven't had to do in a few weeks. There have been moments when I put her to bed that I hold off on tucking her in so that I could spend a few extra minutes with her, after the boys are down. It's still a little tough during those moments because I could sense her little body tightening as I pull her close and we have long periods of eye-to-eye contact, but she cooperates and at the end, we end up with fits of giggles and kisses. I then ask her to relax, close her eyes and I will sing her a song while rocking her. While I am singing, I hold her close to my chest and lightly stroke her cheek.

Well, a couple of nights ago, with eyes closed and listening to me singing, she raised her little hand and started stroking my cheek and hair. Neither one of us said a word, but the love being felt by both of us was a striking power that moved me to tears.

As I read the journal entries, I relived the days where I thought, when she was so blantantly mean trying to protect her little heart from being hurt by me, would never end. I had resigned myself to the fact that this was the card that I was dealt and whether she loved me or not, she was my daughter and I had to love her unconditionally although it was hard at times, very hard. I was assured during those periods, by many, that her love would eventually surface and it would be sweeter than ever because we had worked so hard to get there. Thank you all for the encouragement. Every tear, every moment of holding time where I was kicked, spit on, and slapped was so very worth it.

I am so very thankful that God gave me the wisdom and guidance to continue with the attachment therapy and the holding time, especially during moments when I wanted to give up and just accept the fact that she hated me. She didn't. She never hated me. She was scared, and at times, still is, but it's ok. We're working through it. I love her so very much that sometimes it makes my chest hurt.

Anna Grace,

You've made me a better person. You've reminded me consistently to love unconditionally, as our Father loves us. You've taught me that patience and hard work reaps priceless rewards. You've again reminded me that I did not have to give birth to my child to love them as if it were my blood running through their veins.

We've had 6 months of the scariest, most-thrilling, roller coaster ride I have ever been on. There were moments that I yelled "Stop! I want to get off! And other times when the glee of time blowing by gave me that "tickle" that you feel in your belly, but love, as the roller coaster is zooming so fast that you can hardly catch your breath. In the end, I am elated to say, it's been the type of ride that when you get off you breathe deep and say, "Wow! That was awesome!"

You are absolutely stunning on the outside, as I am told repeatedly by many when we go out, but I wish that everyone that meets you could see how even more beautiful you are on the inside. God has blessed you with so very much, but he has blessed us with even more by allowing you to be our daughter.

I am so proud of your brave and courageous little heart. The wall that you built when we first met you is slowly, brick by brick, falling apart. Now, I don't even have to stand on my tippy-toes to look over the other side. I am so thankful that you allowed yourself the opportunity to love and to allow that love that I so desperately wanted you to feel, to penetrate your heart. You are my ray of sunshine and now, I cannot imagine my life without my little girl in it.

I will always be here for you. I will always love you unconditionally with every fiber of my being. You are my daughter, my gift from God and you complete me. Baby girl, you've come a long way. We still have much more to travel on this path, but I now know that we are doing it together and nothing is sweeter. Adoption is truly a miracle and you, my loving baby girl, are nothing less than that.....a miracle!

I love you as much as the whole wide world.....
and back again.



Sophie's Mom said...

What a beautiful post, it gave me goosebumps! Anna Grace is so blessed to have a Mommy like you, that will do all she needs to do to help her be well! What wonderful progress she has made in her attachment.

Becky said...

I love that love!

geminirn said...

What an awesome post it was a truly beautiful read.You both have had your share of hurdles to over come and have over come them just beautifully.Thank you so much for sharing with the rest of us.

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