I was at the park today and felt like Mei's mom. We've been together almost three months. The first few days in China I felt this overwhelming sense of love for her. I just clung to her and she clung to me in her sadness. I clearly wasn't who she wanted, but she surrendered to the idea of someone was probably better than no one. It was hard to see her in so much pain.
After a bit, she started letting us in more. And after a bit, I started feeling like I was baby-sitting her. It was a bizarre, new feeling for me as a mother. I confidently knew that feeling would fade over time, I was just surprised at how long it would linger. So today at the park, I didn't see her as an adopted daughter, I didn't see her as a child someone was late picking up after work, and I didn't see her as the orphan she once was. I saw her as my own. I have more and more moments like this and I LOVE them. I normally don't recognize the moments till after the fact, which is even more encouraging, because it's just so genuine and intimate to me.
Clay and I are crazy, ridiculously proud of our family. We love that we decided to really take a leap out of our own comfort zones and say yes to adoption. If you want to talk adoption, you'll clearly see the excitement in my voice. As hard as the last three months have been, and they've been hard for me, for her, for us- it's the most confident I have been in my marriage, my family, and the direction our lives are heading.
My social worker has been the sweetest and she recently reminded me that I am filling up her bucket and one day I will look back and it will be full. The visual of her bucket and my love, patience, and commitment filling it up was something I needed to hear this week. I repeat this often to myself. Where the hard part is, with all kids, especially traumatized kids, they have different size holes in their buckets that may cause their water to leak a little or a lot. You have to determine where the holes are and how best to repair them while still pouring water into the bucket. It's the best analogy to help me get it, others get it, and to visualize as an encouragement to myself to keep pouring. My son, who was recently diagnosed with SPD along with anxiety and speech delays, has holes in his bucket too. And Lola, my go-with-the-flow child, doesn't really have any holes in her bucket right now, unfortunately meaning she isn't getting a lot of extra water added right now by me. Luckily, all my kids and myself have super awesome people adding love to all of our buckets. Praise Jesus for bucket fillers and the village it takes to do life!
The other day, I admit, I just had a melt down. The kind you'd rather your hubby not see, because ugly cry is an understatement. I needed it and it was all good, but Mei witnessed it all. She ran to me and sat in my lap then quickly got down and ran off. I felt a little defeated until I heard those sweet, sweet little footsteps pitter patter back towards me and my baby girl had toilet paper wadded up her in itty bitty hands to wipe my eyes. I couldn't have needed her and God's love and grace more in that moment. Mei, I love wiping your eyes and seeing your tears turn to smiles and I am so glad you are here to wipe my eyes too and give us all so many reasons to smile. I love being your mama. And we all love being your family.