My Reflection

January 15, 2014 by nohandsbutours cognitive disability, Jean, older child adoption 2 Comments

God works in mysterious ways… Sometimes I don’t always understand why HE does the things HE does BUT I do know how much HE loves me and just knowing that makes me want to trust HIM even more.

In the summer of 2010 God gave us a gift. It was an unexpected gift but nevertheless it was a gift. That is when we adopted Emma. A frightened, confused and cognitively disabled 10 yr old girl.

This was a new experience for Hubby and I. Emma came to us completely out of control. Her life was turned upside down and she could not process all the changes that were happening to her. She had no idea how to behave during this time of upheaval. After all, who were these people that claimed to want to be her parents? During our time in China Emma was mean, as mean as I have ever seen a child. She hit us, scratched us, grabbed our privates, shoved young children, laughed at inappropriate times and ran away from us. She broke the toys we brought her, yelled in our faces, cried, moaned and ranted on and on in Chinese.

It was only due to the grace of God that Emma came home with us.

The months went by and Emma adjusted to her new surroundings, to her new family, to the new language and to her new home.

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As time went by I began to notice something special about Emma. She was somehow connected to me. Whenever we were in the same room she would stare at me. No matter who else was in the room and no matter what I was doing. Sometimes it was tolerable and other times I had to ask her to stop staring. She studied my face and often took on my emotions. If I was happy she was happy, if I was not so happy she was not so happy. At first I couldn’t tell if she was mocking me or not? And it irritated me. As time went on and I got to know Emma better I could see that Emma is kind to the core. If she has an unkind moment it is because she thinks she is protecting herself or because she has been mistreated in some way. She not capable of and would not try to mock or make fun of anyone. Even when she laughs at inappropriate times- it is just a rudimentary response.

Sometimes it was hard for me to deal with especially when I was trying to adjust to something new and just needed to work though a situation or feelings I was having. I would pray and say “really God why is she doing this now? Why can’t she be just fine and let me deal with what I am dealing with… “ It felt like she was adding on more stress, just when I didn’t need it…

And the truth is… she was… because Emma mirrors me. Remember awhile back how I said she stares at me when I don’t want her to stare at me. She looks confused, sad and blank at times (maybe even a little angry). Emma can’t read words BUT Emma can read her mother. She knows when I am stressed, confused, bewildered, sad, scared and the list goes on. She may not be able to describe what is going on in words but she knows exactly how I am feeling. AND THEN she takes that feeling on and it becomes hers…

When I look at her face I see myself. I see how I am acting and what mood I am portraying. It is sometimes enlightening and it is sometimes a bit eerie .

But most importantly it is a huge responsibility.

We all have our emotions and sometimes I want to keep them private. But I can’t because she reads me and she exposes them whether I want them exposed or not. It is a gift and sometimes a curse. There are times I want to hide, feel what I need to feel and move on. But I am reminded that whatever I am feeling is affecting her and others.

I think of Emma as my barometer. She lets me know when I am off and she lets me know when I am on. The look on her face, the smile or the stress says it all.

I have noticed this about Emma for a very long time. I have wanted to post about it but in order to want to post about it I want to like what I am seeing because I am in essence seeing me.

It also feels like such a huge responsibility. It makes me aware of how I am affecting others around me, my children (big and little), my blessed treasures. It makes me realize how much I need GOD and how I am completely dependent on HIM. I am a servant and in my own right I am useless but if HE works through me, together we can love and care for the children. It truly puts me on my knees.

Emma is a gift. And even though it took me awhile to understand the gift that was given to me it is my responsibility to embrace it. To be thankful for the insight that she provides.

Emma asks very little of me. She asks that I unconditionally love her, care for her and she sure would like it if my only emotion was constant happiness- because if I am constantly happy than she is too! I guess that is not realistic but at least now I know when I am going astray… because my dear daughter lets me know.

I can see it in her face… as she can see it in my face.

I didn’t ask God for this “gift” but God gives us what we need not what we want.





2 Responses to “My Reflection”

  1. Erika says:

    Thanks for this post. You have such a beautiful family. I really enjoy reading your blog.

    God bless you and your family

  2. Geri athenas says:

    We also adopted a special needs older child. She is now 29 and has beeny gift from God for the past 20 years. People always say to me that I should write the book. Our life together has been an adventure!!

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