Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day... One Month Home

Today is Mother's Day.

Joy rises to the brim of my heart. Sadness shares this same space.

One year ago, I was mom to three precious children and daughter to a gracious and loving lady, giving thanks to God for my many blessings.  This year, this day, I give thanks for these same blessings and one extra special miracle in my life. Last year we were busy pursuing Emily Hope. This year, she is in my arms. I am her mother. She is my daughter. Forever.

Today is Mother's Day. It's also our one-month-home day. These past couple months have flown by and the whirlwind of recovery and adjustment sometimes throws my memory in to a tail spin. Thankfully, I am able to recall some special moments and major milestones when I finally sit to write.

Her laugh. Y'all. Her laugh. And oh my, her temper. The girl has a fabulous set of lungs. She has definitely learned to fight when she wants something. We never saw this personality when we Skyped with her. We just kept hearing how sweet and quiet she was. She must have been saving it all for us. We call our children "leaders". She fits right in with this motley crew. Mercy! I'm chalking her loud and opinionated voice up to brilliance. ;) A girl's gotta survive, right? She is such a sweet little soul at the same time. She gives hugs and kisses constantly to all 5 of us and regularly pats our backs when we hold her. She brings an immense amount of joy to our home.

She is making great strides. She has formed a relationship with all 5 of us. Thank you precious friends who have come to visit and been so understanding about the attachment process. Although she is making progress, and we welcome friends in her life, we do want to stay close to home as much as possible for a few more months. You are welcome to interact with her at this point but we do ask that you continue to not hold her or give her anything directly (you can give food or a toy to us and we will hand it to her). I know many of you who visit like to know where we are on her progress so I wanted to make that clear. We love that she's getting to know some new friends and are hopeful we can continue to do that while deepening her trust with Seamus and me at the same time.

I find myself staring at her, especially when she is quietly taking a bottle or rocking with me. She's so beautiful. She is "fearfully and wonderfully made". I am amazed that God so perfectly placed her with us. She is as much our child as our biological children are. I mean no difference. Seriously. I never believed that could happen. And I was okay with that. I was going to choose to love her, just like I explained HERE one year ago. We love her. The end. Except...

Except that while I'm staring at that precious little face made in the image of God, something is terribly unsettling and brings me to tears. Especially today. I expect her birthday will bring these same tears that flow so easily. So many tears of joy. So many tears of sadness. I can't help but ponder the idea that although I am 100%, God-ordained, mother to this child, she does have a birth mother who she'll never know.

Adoption is beautiful. But it comes out of something so wrong. So broken. Naturally, we grieve because abandonment is a reality. But we rejoice that Christ has offered redemption. That's where I land today. On joy. We will push through the grief that sin causes and we will praise our Lord who offers a solution to this sin. Let Emily Hope be an example of God's grace, God's goodness, His redemptive and perfect love. We will rest in that, despite the sadness that a day like today can bring. 

So today, I choose grace for Emily's birth mother. In a country where abortion is rampant, encouraged, funded, I consider it a miracle that Emily is alive. We choose to believe that this mother loved her baby girl. Emily was born premature, with a congenital heart defect and appeared to have something similar to cerebral palsy. Between the limited medical resources and the millions of people who can never afford this government run "healthcare", I can only imagine the fear that this woman faced. Emily was left at the gate of an orphanage. Perhaps she was given the best chance her mother was able to offer her.

Today, on Mother's Day, I honor Emily's birth mother. I thank her for choosing life. I offer prayers for the grief she must feel. I wish I could share the good news with her... the good news that Emily is with us but more importantly the good news that Christ offers forgiveness and redemption for her too! I will never again assume that Emily was considered a "throw-away". Although this reality exists for so many babies in China, it's not fair to assume this was the case with Emily, especially with all the circumstances surrounding her abandonment.

Happy Mother's Day. One month home with our sweet angel. Oh happy day. Gratitude. Indescribable joy.

Happy Mother's Day to Emily's birth mother. Oh how I pray she will come to know Christ so I can one day embrace her in heaven with tears only of joy.

One Month Home... Rainbow

Asleep in Momma's Arms

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