I posted this picture on Instagram last week:
Just a girl. Sitting in a chair. Chillin’. No big deal. But it is a big deal. Ten months ago I would have never dreamed she would be able to sit in a chair by herself. In fact, I remember sitting her down in this exact same chair a few weeks after being home. She was completely unsteady. Wobbly and tipping over. She cried out in fear.
Today, she pulls up and climbs into the chair herself. That’s right. She did it herself. She used the couch to pull up and positioned herself to be able to swing her leg up and over the chair and sit down. It doesn’t seem like much, but we all know what a struggle her physical movements can be. We knew how weak her body was just ten months ago. So this seemingly insignificant act is huge. Incredible. Extraordinary. No longer are things like this ordinary in our home. We celebrate the simple in a way that makes them profound.
Any parent of a special need’s child knows the joy and thrill of ordinary milestones. Its just one thing our China-girl has taught us these past ten months.
Ten months ago we flew from Hong Kong to Chicago to Charleston. We can track her physical progress on a chart. Seeing her growth. Her weight gain. The tests confirm our hope for the future. What we cannot chart is the spiritual growth. The emotional bonds and love.
There have been (and will probably continue to be) hard days. With lots of crying. Tears from everyone. Yet, the tears have watered the soil. And underneath the dirt is growing the blossoms of love. It is shooting up from the ground. It is a tiny green plant right now. Not much. But it is so beautiful. She just seems happy now. So many people have commented on how content she is. So much more….alive.
In ten months we’ve seen her blossom. Her love and acceptance of us (especially me) has been slow coming. Her heart has just been closed off. It isn’t something people can see. Its not something we even talk about with everyone. But we feel it. I feel it. It has been hard. It is not easy on a momma’s heart to have your daughter push you away. Cry when she sees you. Rejection. Hardness. Distrust. The walls are not all down. But that’s ok. We keep up the work. We love without fear. We choose to love.
The walls are coming down. And that’s what is important. We see glimpses of her smile. Her giggle is so contagious! Her eyes are brighter and expressive. We brought home a flat little girl in March 2015. A little girl who had been lost and lonely. A girl who was just surviving. Today, we have a girl who lights up with smiles and squeals in delight. A girl who gives and receives affection freely. A girl who is wanted. Beloved. Accepted. Cherished. A girl who…..belongs.
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