Before we left to pick up the little girl I made a lot of promises.
I promised to email everyone from Haiti.
I promised to lose the pre-adoption weight.
I promised to keep up with this blog.
I'd be laughing at myself if I wasn't so tired, fluffy, and out-of-touch.
No one told me the waiting was the easy part. No one told me the stress, tears, sleepless nights, and worry before she came home was a walk in the park compared to what it would be like when she was finally living under our roof.
The flat little girl - the picture - never had a tantrum. She never talked back. Never hit. Never bit. Never spit out her food. Flat little girl had a sweet smile. She was quiet. She was...perfect.
Orphanages are no place for children. Something happens to these little people when their whole world is disrupted. When they're put in an institutional setting with too many kids. When they lose the only family they have ever known. When they wake up at night and someone isn't there to rock them back to sleep. Or when they just want one toy to call their own but 60+ other kids are fighting over everything.
At 10 months the little girl lost her entire world. She was admitted to this strange place with unfamiliar faces. They did the best they could, but they were an orphanage. A place we're thankful for, but a place no child should ever have to be.
For 2+ years this was her world. And in a moment her life changed again. She lost her entire world once more and flew home to a strange place with unfamiliar faces. She has her own bed and clothes and all the food she needs. She's got undivided attention and toys she gets to keep. She's got a yard to play in, a swing set no one is fighting over, and 3 fuzzy things these people call kitties to keep her lap warm.
But she's a damaged little person. It happens - no matter the care in an orphanage - it happens. The 'fight' instinct is in hyper-mode. The volume is turned up. The reaction to scream or hit or zombie out in a stressful situation is a natural response. Raging tantrums happen. All too often.
This afternoon one of those raging tantrums happened. I'm not sure if she was tired or mad, but she lost her mind and started screaming and throwing herself on the floor. I walked to her room and sat on her bed. She followed me, still screaming. After 10 minutes she edged over to me and touched my leg. She was still so very angry, but she wanted to be on my lap. As I picked her up, she melted into me. Her little arms giving up the fight. Her little head resting on my chest. She gave in to the exhaustion and finally closed her eyes.
I'm tired, I'm stressed out, and I'm eating entirely too much chocolate lately. But as I watch her little chest rise and fall with each breath, her tired little body napping after putting up such a fight, I realize that this life - this here and now - is not at all about me. Right now it's about taking this amazing gift that God has trusted me with, and giving her the best life I possibly can.
|He calls her his 'very best friend'.|