Beneath the tough exterior

March 3, 2010 Andrea 2 Comments

This post was written yesterday by my friend Kristi of Fireworks and Fireflies. After reading it, I asked her to please let me share it with all of you. Kristi is currently in China with her family finishing up the adoption of this little beauty, now forever known as Darcy.

She’s stunning, isn’t she?

Ian and I continue to be blown away by this pint sized addition to our family. She appears so “tough” and confident at first glance.

I keep having to remind myself that she is not yet three. In fact, one of the other moms thought she was almost five. It’s because of how tall she is and how much she can do on her own.

There have been times as I’ve watched her as she brushes her teeth, washes her hair, or try to put on her own clothes and wondered what was going on in that little mind. Is it all to impress us? Does she feel like her “big girl” abilities are necessary for us to accept her?

It would be so easy to just back off and let her do it all by herself. But every now and then the tough exterior weakens a bit. She’ll stop fighting me as I step in to help her turn her shirt the right way or lift her up to the sink instead of letting her drag the stool over so that she can reach the faucet.

And then there are the moments that she’s tired when she’ll start rubbing the back of her left arm over her eyes and whimpering ever so slightly. So I’ve been scooping her into my arms and soothing her in my little bits of Mandarin. And each time she lets me cradle her for just a couple of minutes and then the smile returns and “brave girl” Darcy comes back.

Until last night. She and Caleb got into a disagreement over whose Kung Fu Panda techo music spinning top was whose (never mind that the second and third ones were laying right beside them) and Darcy slammed the pocket door separating the bedroom and living room. I gently told her no and opened the door, and then she slammed it again. So the no was a little firmer the second time. And then the wall came down.

I held my baby girl for some 30 minutes as she sobbed. While it may have started because of the scolding, the spell had nothing to do with being told no. It was more about getting used to her new life. It was heartbreaking, but it was time. And while I hate being part of the cause, I’m so relieved that she’s starting to trust me enough to let down her guard. I also have no doubt that there will be more grieving to come. Who wouldn’t be sad, angry, confused, and scared if their world suddenly drastically changed. I don’t know if I could be as brave as she is.

But one of my favorite songs by Third Day keeps running through my mind. It says, “I can’t stop the rain, but I can hold you ’til it goes away.” (It’s a beautiful song, check it out!) So I will be there from now until the rest of my life to ride out the storms with my sweet little one. Because we’re family now. And that is the miracle of this journey…

2 responses to “Beneath the tough exterior”

  1. The Gang's Momma! says:

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it. I love hearing others' stories about the work and the thought and the intention behind creating those safe places for our little ones. This was beautiful.

  2. Stefanie says:

    Wow, beautiful indeed.
    Our Sophie was very much like Darcy at adoption, wanted to button her clothes, feed herself without help, act like a 'big girl' all the time. Sounds like her mama is doing a wonderful job to remind her it's not quite time for her to be grown up 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this post, Andrea! I loved it!
    P.S. LOVE that Third Day song, too 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2020 No Hands But Ours

The content found on the No Hands But Ours website is not approved, endorsed, curated or edited by medical professionals. Consult a doctor with expertise in the special needs of interest to you.