However, on one of my down days, I would answer your original question with tears in my eyes because I want so much more for my little one. She will be 5 this May and really, often, we see more like a 2 or 3 year old in age. She is SO behind - both developmentally and academically - we have been asked to think of having her repeat Preschool, she is still seeing sometimes 5-6 therapists a week, others outside of our family would be hard pressed to understand her speech, she still has muscles that are not able to function like they should - it all breaks a mamma's heart. But I think what really matters here is not where Jada is but where I am.
I hate to admit it - but I am going to - I pride myself on being honest and transparent - so here goes. I was not ok with this whole thing a year ago. I felt like this was really a raw deal. I mean, really, we went out on a HUGE limb - both financially and in faith - to bring Jada home. She was #5 for us - we were plenty busy juggling homeschooling, church, jobs, LIFE, and we really did not need another child. But we truly felt God's call to bring another one home and so we stepped out. We feared from the beginning with her eye condition, but when we got to China, I was even more scared at what I saw and yes, angry. There were things I saw in Jada that honestly frightened me. She seemed almost mute and she could hardly walk without falling down - she was so unsteady and had no muscle tone. She looked like a little girl with a body - but no soul - she seemed so empty it was eerie. But I kept going back to the reason we were there -we were called - there was no doubt in my mind. However, was I bucking the whole way?? Yep, I begged God to change His mind, to remove that call - that this was TOO much for me. But He did not. I remember the morning we had to take all of our money - and give it to the orphanage as a "donation" for this little girl that I was sure God had somehow mistakenly closed His eyes for a few minutes and we had somehow been given the wrong one. I just could not see a big plan and all I could humanly see was how much work this was going to be and how unfair it all seemed. WOW - I look back and read those words
and what really strikes me is how much work God had to do to in me. Those days in China were a whirlwind in my mind. Joe and I didn't talk much. I was battling that dumb blood clot
that kept me from going anywhere without hobbling and in much pain, and we were both scared to death. This little girl - with all of her problems - seemed overwhelming to both of us. I remember coming out of the bathroom the morning we had to take all of that money and give it away in order to keep this dear little one. Joe was sitting on the floor crying and I came upon him and started crying myself. It was SO much money for this precious little soul - this imperfect little soul (in my eyes) and I was sad because it all seemed so unfair - the whole situation seemed unfair - but my wise husband looked up at me, tears running down his cheeks, and said, "He paid SO much more for us - and we aren't perfect either." Yep - that about summed it up. We would give away thousands of dollars for one that didn't "measure up" in the eyes of the government but who was I to judge - I am FAR from perfect myself - I am sure God just shakes His head at me sometimes and thinks "we have so far to go" - and we do.
But a year and a half later - I STILL have SO far to go - I really do. But I have also learned SO much. And I am going to say this out loud now - I would do it again tomorrow. I truly would. The WHOLE thing - I would go out a limb, I would take a child that had unique needs, and I would go and bring them home. I would do all of it knowing that when we got home we would
have to see doctor after doctor, therapist after therapist, and worry and wonder and not know what our future held for this dear little one. And I would do it even if God never asked me to - because I have learned so much and my heart is truly being changed. I LOVE this little Jada. I see a totally different little girl when I look at her now and I believe it is all because someone dared to love her. We may not know what is wrong with her mentally or developmentally - and we may never know. But what I do know is that I can pour love into her little life and give her something she never had before. I can be her MOM.
I say all of this today because, it being Valentine's Day, I was thinking of love. It is easy to love - really, we can all do it. But sometimes we get tested a bit. Just a little bit of "how easy is it to love if things aren't A-Ok?" testing - you know what I mean?? A year and a half ago, I sat and wondered how I could love - I remember thinking it - I still hang my head in shame. And now I don't doubt it for a minute - I love every quirky thing about this dear little one. I have been shown over and over how there was no "mistake" - she is exactly HOW God wanted her to be and she is exactly WHERE He wanted her to be. And I wouldn't have her any other place......