Monday, February 14, 2011

O the Deep, Deep Love

The questions I get asked over and over are, "So how is Jada doing? AND Are you seeing progress?" And, as tough as it is to put down on paper (or a computer screen!!), I am going to try! On a good day I will respond, "She is doing great!!" But what I really mean is - she is BY FAR, not the same sullen little girl we brought home a year and a half ago. This little gal has a will - oh man, there are some days we wish she was still sullen - oh, just kidding - although she does want to be boss and that creates a bit of friction for Dad and Mom to deal with - we love to see that there is a little spirit in there that cares. That is not what we saw at first at all - you could do almost anything to her and she had absolutely no spirit to fight. She is also not quiet anymore - and yes, maybe even on some days I realize I didn't enjoy those quiet days enough!!! This little one has LOTS to say and even though you may not understand it all - there are no more quiet car rides and no more playing silently with toys. If she is not talking to Chloe or the boys, she is sitting beside me (wherever I happen to be) and talking my ear off - in her own Jada-way! She has come SO far.

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......


Kim K. said...

What a beautiful heart-felt post. Thinking of you and ALL your special sweethearts. Happy Valentine's!

Lori Lynn said...

Thanks for the cold raw honesty. It reinforces in my mind that she found the right family. More than any other child, she NEEDED you. If she were perfect, that wouldn't be the case.

I look forward to seeing the improvement year after year. The good news is that she is still very young and there is a lot of time that you will have to mold her into a happy and independent person.

spmarcuson said...

What a beautiful valentines letter to Jada and to God! Becky, I have learned so much from you. Thank you for this blog and for your honesty. I admire how you see God work in your life and I also admire how you hold onto your faith when you can't see It working. And I've always admired how you'll reach out and ask for help.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your lovely family. I hope this year brings more wonderful gifts.

Gma of 7 said...

And -- I might add -- she also needed a Grandpa and Grandma!!

Gma of 7

Beckyb said...

AND Dad and Mom - how grateful we are for that!!! Love you both for lovin' on our kids!!!

hollym. said...

Beautiful love letter to your daughter, Becky. And when we all get to heaven and all our imperfect bodies are perfected,I believe that God will smile upon your family and say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servants." And this is what it's all about.:)
Happy Valentine's Day to your precious,hollym.:)

Carey said...

Beautiful heartfelt post, Becky!

Nikolyn said...

this is so beautiful, Becky, I am weeping. I want to copy it and print it and show everyone I know. When I figure out how to do that I plan to. Thank you so much for being so raw and honest. God is smiling on you for sure. Thank you again.

roomforatleastonemore said...

OK, I was holding it together until I saw Grandma's comment above. *tears* YES SHE DID!

I love this honesty. I COMPLETELY understand. When we met our precious youngest son, 5, in China this summer I felt the same way you described here. I was so ashamed of myself. You see, we had FOUGHT hard with China to bring him home. We were already adopting our older son and found him and felt called to him too.

Anyway, I think God knew I needed that fight in our journey to our Li'l Dude to just KNOW God had sent us for him.

And our little guy is in all sorts of therapies too. Just tonight, I was watching him in the kitchen just being his smiley, happy self and thinking to myself, "He will be 6 years old this summer, and he seems like a baby to me." But you know, he tells me now "I Mommy's baby."

These children do need a Mommy and Daddy but I like you am learning more every day that I am the one with more to learn than they and that I need them as much as they need me. And your husband's tears and heartfelt thought: absolutely beautiful and so touching.

Thank you for sharing.

When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don't go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.
~Deuteronomy 24:19

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