We are just three short days away from our one year anniversary with Grace. Three short days away from celebrating her Gotcha Day. A lot can happen in just one year.
I remember being so immensely grateful that when Grace was placed in my arms one year ago, she willingly came to me and laid her little head on my shoulder. We chose her but she chose us right back. And if there were a theme for this year, I think that would be it. We chose her but she chose us right back.
About a week ago, Grace had an epic sort of tantrum that was reminiscent of those first weeks home. We work through those every now and then, and this one was some combination of two year old will mixed with the anger and rage that I remind myself on occasion is not my fault. Every now and then we see where the wiring was severed in that year and a half in an orphanage and it puts us in a place and posture of going to the One who can restore wiring. Who can repair better than it was to begin with. Jesus has high and holy authority when it comes to wiring and He can see it much better than I can. So, I have to trust Him with her because He is better at the repair. He can fill holes and deficits and make all things new. Where abandonment cut through the wiring He is piecing it back together with belonging and being known.
This particular tantrum was surrounding Grace’s severed wiring that requires her to completely do it herself, even if it causes her harm. Otherwise known as sprinting into a busy parking lot. She was angry that she was scooped up, angry that she was buckled into her car seat and angry that her fashionable shoes were confiscated so that they did not hit anyone in the vehicle. She remained angry when we returned home and angry as I started dinner. BUT, she chose us right back. She finally settled and wrapped her herself around my lap and I stroked her tear stained face and hair and reminded her that she did not have to do that anymore. A constant reminder that I love her and will not leave her. She sighed that older than she is sigh and said “OK mommy,” all the while resting in my arms. In the midst of the “stuff” that she can’t explain and can’t understand but that is real and painful, she chose us right back.
And I would choose her again and again. It is just one year and we can barely remember what it was like before her. She seems to have been here all along. I remember the urgency we felt to move like a speeding train into adoption because we knew SHE was there and waiting. We knew she was there long before we ever knew who SHE was. We knew then that it had to be NOW.
And here is the part where I write in fear and trembling. Not the bad kind, but the really great kind that stops the world spinning for a moment and you feel the need to remove shoes because the ground is no longer cracked but indeed holy. A couple of weeks ago, I was driving down the interstate early one morning after dropping three children off at school. Grace and I were the only ones left in the van, heading to errands and I was in that early morning mom fog, contemplating a second cup of coffee. I was silent and enjoying the quiet with the hum of the radio that I wasn’t actively listening to as I drove. I glanced in the rear view mirror and that’s when it happened. I will never forget that moment. Grace had both hands raised high, swaying gently back and forth, eyes closed and was intently worshipping. No doubt about what she was doing. I wasn’t doing it and she wasn’t mimicking me but she was immersed in worship, completely on her own. Time stopped for a moment and as I focused in on the song on the radio that was just background noise moments prior, I realized that the words were simply Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
That was an answered prayer on display in my van. Evidence of wiring restored. Evidence of a spirit alive and kicking and healthy and well and overflowing despite working through unimaginable and unexplainable grief. Worship from a little child. A little child who is my daughter. I chose her. A little child who belongs to her Heavenly Father and who knows that His name is holy. He chose her too.
And she chose Him right back.