Sunday, March 27, 2011

too much not to post



This post has been evolving for a long time.

I've mentioned more than once, here on the blog, how hard our adoption and subsequent transition has been since arriving home. Not to mention the whole long story that brought us to this place.

And I know, that hard is a relative term.

a (1) : difficult to bear or endure <hard luck> <hard times>

c (1) : harsh, severe, or offensive in tendency or effect

e (1) : intense in force, manner, or degree <hard blows>(2) : demanding the exertion of energy : calling for stamina and endurance <hard work> (3) : performing or carrying on with great energy, intensity, or persistence hardworker>

There has been plenty of self-pity on my part since we came home. At times certain that I've ruined our family, because you see, adoption was on my heart first. It took Jason awhile to come around. Hence the whole freakout because life is dramatically different and I don't know when it's ever gonna get better. It's happened every time we've added a biological baby to our family too. The difference was that I was madly in love with biological new child from the first second. It's been much slower with Jenna for me. I'm still waiting to be completely succumbed by love for her. I am meeting needs and providing stability like she's never had before. And some days that's all I'm capable of.

I haven't wanted to mention some of this. Because I had guilt. And I don't want to be a complainer. You all know the old golden rule "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." So I haven't. On the blog.

I have been praying since before I met Jenna in person that the transition would be seamless and smooth; that she would accept love from me; I prayed for her birthparents; that she would be loved while she waited for us; that her heart would recover from the grief of her short years; and then since I met her, my biggest prayer has been for me to love her. She is not an easy child to parent. She doesn't have the most endearing qualities just yet. And so I've asked, like I did for all the other things, for me to be able to love my daughter. It sounds horrible, but it's true. It's been so, so hard.

It's also been hard to see other peoples' similar prayers be answered and ours go a different way. But I've chosen to trust and believe and have faith in God's promises. Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

It didn't always feel like He was with me though. Sure, it did while I was in China. But then we got home and so it went for the next 8 months. The hardest 8 months of my life. But I wasn't looking either. I wasn't open to Him for several months. I got bitter and angry that this is what we'd been dealt.

I wasn't ready. I wasn't prepared for all of the struggles we've had. Not sure I could have been.

Yes, we asked for medical special needs. But there were a lot of unchecked boxes of issues that I think we are now dealing with.

Mental stuff. Physical stuff - more than we knew. Delays more severe than I could have imagined. In almost every area.

But then I started reading this book. The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions. I knew as early as the prologue that this was placed in my hands divinely. It's opened my eyes to the truths that I had been shutting out. I had been choosing bitterness. Over self-transformation through Christ, my only hope in any of this difficulty. He never turned his back on me or didn't hear any one of those prayers. He just wanted me to come to Him with it all, which I had stopped doing in my bitterness. Praise God that through this book I have felt hope again. Not that it's easy, but I know that He is with me in it, even if I don't understand why I'm here at all.

Some of the promises that I'm claiming:

Galatians 6:9 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Hebrews 12 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Isaiah 41:10 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

So, I decided to come clean with all of this and ask for prayer warriors across the blogworld to unite on our behalf. In the next couple weeks, Jenna will be evaluated on a more extensive level with a developmental pediatrician, speech therapist, audiologist, and PT. Eventually a cognitive eval will also be done.

And then, 3 weeks from now, Jenna will be having surgery. And with the surgery, alot is on the table. They are removing one of her kidneys, and hopeful that as a result, her body will be relieved of ALOT of stress... Opening the door to many other improvements: growth, weight gain (she hasn't grown at all or gained any weight since we brought her home, even though she eats alot), and relief of discomfort that she's been 'used to' forever.

Please join me in praying that the surgery will do all of those things and that maybe she will truly feel good for the first time and that she will start thriving physically...leading to thriving in other areas.

I am believing God for a miracle and hoping that this will be the turning of a corner for us.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

another, baby step

It seems that every time I go to write a post about how things are going with Jenna, I want to title it "baby steps". We've been home with her 8 months now, and one of the hardest things I've done to myself is having had expectations that having been met, and that's hard.

The progress that we've made certainly has been only by inching forward up to this point. I remain hopeful for a giant leap one of these days. But I'll take anything, because forward progress is indeed, forward progress.

Two things happened in the last few days that are standout-ish...and actually as I look back on them, pretty giant steps compared to what we've seen up until now...

1) We were eating dinner at some dear friends to celebrate their son's birthday and as the table was being prepared, Jason put Jenna in a seat to wait for the rest of us as we were still bringing in things from the kitchen. One of the hosts asked Jenna if they could sit "here," pointing to the chair next to her, and she replied with a head-shake "no" and pointed to that same chair and said "mama"!!!!!

I didn't even believe it when they came in the kitchen and told me, but this is really a huge step for us!! And when I told our therapist about it a couple days later she confirmed that yes, while Jenna doesn't seem to "like" me most of the time, she at least does know that I'm safe!! WOOT!
For her to show a preference for me over anyone else is awesome and new, and a really big step for her and I! Praise God!

2) Just this morning, I went in to get Jenna up for the morning and grabbed her out of the crib and hugged her a little as I said "Good morning!"
She said "hi" back, and after our hug, gave me a kiss on my cheek! Again, first time she's ever initiated affection on her own. And at first, I didn't think much of it, because I did initiate the hug, but kisses until now have only come when we've asked for it really is huge!!

Hoping that the giant steps continue, and if I could be so bold to pray specifically, giant steps in the communication area would be most desirable! But hey, I'll happily take what we can get!