I laughed out loud recently when one of my favorite people on the planet commented that someone she met who had been to my blog thought my life looked perfect!!! Trust me when I say this did not offend me. I was too busy wondering if my girlfriend got hurt when she fell off her chair laughing at this statement!!
This comment did cause me to pause though… There was a time not too long ago that I struggled daily parenting my three girls…. Our third addition rocked my world. She was (and is) spicy, tough, and broken.
She lived (and slept) for four years with the only mother she ever knew. She had more layers than the red onion I just used to make a salad. Honestly, I was in over my head. You see, patience was not one of my spiritual gifts. And, I lost my mind trying to love this child, comfort her little sister who had just been scratched, squeezed, or yelled at, and loving my big girl who needed my time too.
I can reflect back now and tell you it was almost 18 months of HARD!
I can honestly say God chose me to parent this little girl to refine me.
Clearly He knew I would survive, even when I was not so sure!
My stories are many of tough bedtimes, little sister abuse, temper tantrums, and this Mom in tears. But, somehow we got through each day. Slowly remorse and sweet apologies became the norm. And slowly, very slowly, girly giggles kind words and gentle play filled their space. In our case I think this is when she really began to trust us. To know that no matter what we were not going to leave her. That when we said we would love her forever, we meant it.
The picture here is of two little girls that were forced to be sisters… But, what came from that were two little girls that have, on their terms, become best friends. It’s a beautiful reminder relationships take time. Sometimes they evolve slowly. And, when they do, it is so beautiful!!
What’s amazing to me is that during this time in my life, God called us back to China one more time… And, that based on what I was living I said “YES!” It is clear now that God chose #4 to complete us. And, wow has our baby girl done that!!! You will often here me say four is so much easier than three in my world!
So what is the lesson in this post? I guess it is to remember there are blessings in our trials. That life is not perfect, even when it appears to be. And, lastly and most importantly that eventually consistent love and boundaries will trump hard in your world! One day you will hear the words, “Thank you Mama for adopting me!” And, with tears in your eyes you will quietly thank God for every moment that you doubted your ability to gracefully survive!
For those of you struggling as your family finds their way, please accept this cyber hug from this very “imperfect” Mom!