Monday, March 18, 2013

and wrapped with a pretty bow

Some friends of ours had their first baby a couple of weeks ago.  I had the pleasure if dropping off a meal for them tonight, and of course accepted the invitation to scoop up and snuggle the little bambino for a few minutes.

After talking about the unbearable pain of childbirth that you can only understand once you've been through it, our conversation turned to how the baby was doing in the areas of eating, sleeping, and being cute.  He sure has the third one down, so there was no need to expand on it.

I listened to the innocent uncertainties of a new mother and responded to direct questions with some experienced answers.  Most of all, it gave me time to revisit the newness of parenting and the guessing game that kids throw us into.

I ended the visit with the encouragement to cherish these days.  I told her that as much as we want our children to fit into a neat little box, they just don't.  We have to mix and match parenting techniques, play guessing games, and definitely learn on the job with each individual child.

Today is Joya's Gotcha Day.  One year ago we met her in a conference room in a hotel in China.  We anticipated the day for a year prior, but to her, it felt like we swooped in and kidnapped her from everything that was secure and familiar to her.

We have spent a year in the messy world of grief and the hard truth of unfamiliarity.  Every day has been a guessing game.  Every day has had highs and lows.  Many days had tears.  Every day had smiles.  I would even say every day had laughter.

A year later, we see a girl who trusts, who laughs, who loves and knows she is loved.

In hindsight, I see some things I should have done differently and better.  But isn't that the case for every child - home grown or adopted?

Knowing the growth and healing she has experienced despite imperfect parenting motivates me to do it better as we awake to each new day.  She inspires me to be a better mom.

Enjoy the video I have created to try to capture how far she has come in her first year at home.

Happy Gotcha Day Joya.  Our family is richer with you in it!!


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Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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