"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

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

you've come a long way, baby!

I've been pondering what to blog about tonight and went back and forth on a few topics right before going to check in on the little ones for the last time this evening.

I went to each one of my sleeping angels and as customary, pulled their covers up around them, tucked their sleeping buddy (i.e. baby pillow, plushed animal,etc.) into their limp little arms, and gave them one last kiss goodnight.

My little miracles. Words cannot ever describe how madly in love I am with these babies.

Every single one of them hold such a huge piece of my heart.

But tonight, it was my beautiful Chinese princess that stole my heart.


As I tucked her in, she quickly reached out and in her sleep, held my hand, opened her eyes and smiled when she saw it was me. Then, just as quickly, she immediately closed them again and fell back to sleep.

My heart swelled.

As every orphan, her little life before coming into our family was very difficult. Then, probably around the time she was just getting accustomed to that life, strangers appeared and whisked her away into a world where everything that she had ever known was now gone. People. Language. Smells. Food. Everything imaginable in her life changed, in a heartbeat.

As I sat on the edge of her bed, listening to her rhythmic breathing and as always, in awe of her beauty, I thought back on the last 30 months of our lives with her.

I thought about how the miracle of adoption, which started with us wanting to give to an orphan a life they wouldn't othewise have, resulted in us being the recipients of the most amazing gift we could have ever imagined.

I thought about how my precious girl has come such a long, long way.

I thought about how normal our lives are becoming.

She no longer is the little girl that used to stand in the corner of the room waiting to see if she would get invited to join in on the pillow fight or the tickle fest or the stories being read. No, now she's usually the one that initiates the fun or is the one to come running with a story book and ask for me to read it.

She is no longer the little girl that would smell cookies coming out of the oven but refuse to ask for one or accept one because of the fear that an act of kindness may tear down the wall she worked so hard to build around her. No, now she's the one that not only asks for that cookie, but asks for seconds or thirds and walks away pouting (something she'd never do because that would show her feelings) when she's told, "Two cookies are enough."

She no longer is the little girl that would look at me with piercing eyes that reflected a combination of fear of abandonment and a desire to love and be loved. No, now she's the little girl that loudly proclaims, "You the bess Mama in the hold wirl." or "We a family fohevah!"

She's a happy, confident, thriving and loving little girl.

As I sat there, for a split second, I wanted to wake her. I wanted to look into her eyes and tell her how very blessed I am to be her Mama. I wanted to cradle her in my arms and rock her to sleep again. I wanted to make up for the first 26 months of her life that she didn't have a Mama's arms to hold her when she was tired, or scared or just needed cuddling.

But I didn't. Instead, I let her continue to sleep and whispered to her how much I loved her. I softly told her I was the luckiest Mama in the whole world. Then I pulled her covers up to her neck, gently kissed her soft cheek and walked out of the room thanking God over and over for having chosen ME!

Yes indeed, I am the luckiest Mama in the whole world....six times over!

Monday, December 7, 2009

my letter to Santa

Dear Santa.

I've been a real good Mama all year.

I've fed, cleaned, and cuddled my four children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, dispersed more antibiotics than our local pharmacy, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to provide uniforms for the Amanda's softball team, and figured out how to outwit three preschoolers all at once.

I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmas', since I had to write this one with AJ's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next fifteen years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache after a day of chasing kids (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to carry a screaming toddler out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere during the last of our three adoptions.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year, I'd like a new mini-van with fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone, and a bathroom with an invisible door where I can go potty without someone knocking and saying, "But, Mama! It's important", only to find out that the emergency was that Amanda couldn't find her brush, that the Dora show ended, that Anna Grace was not AJ's best friend that day, or that Kai wanted a snack.

On the practical side, I could use a talking Kai doll that says, "Yes, Mama" to boost my parental confidence instead of thinking I have a five-year old lawyer at home, along with a teenager that can do the dishes without having to be asked five times, three kids who don't fight, two pairs of jeans that zip all the way up without the use of power tools, a button I can push at the dinner table that says, "Anna Grace please swallow your food" so that I don't have to repeat myself incessantly, and lastly, a secret hiding place where I can put things that AJ will never find, since he seems to have a radar for finding and breaking playing with all of my things.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting, "Don't touch Mama's things", "Clean up this room" and "Take your hands off your brother", because my voice seems to be out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

And please, don't forget the Play-Doh Travel Pack, the hottest stocking stuffer this year for mothers of preschoolers. It comes in three fluorescent colors guaranteed to crumble on any carpet and make our van look like it just came out of a 60's flower power party.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family; or if Kai didn't look so cute sneaking behind the couch to eat contraband cookies in his pajamas at midnight that he snuck from the pantry.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and AJ saw my feet under the laundry room door and wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch a cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table, but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet. If you do, you can always call our puppy, Fred, over to you and he'll clean up the mess right away. I do ask a favor though. Will you kindly clean up the throw-up afterwards? His tummy is quite sensitive due to all the snacks the kids sneak him that for some reason seem to cause that effect. I'm not sure why, but Captain Crunch and Oreos don't sit well with him.

Oh, and one more thing Santa; you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in you.



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