One year ago, we chose a file of a little girl half way around the world we didn’t know. We knew her diagnosis, her given name, her age, and a little about her personality.
What can you really know from a file, truly?
With the months passing and preparing paperwork, my mind was racing.
What would she be like?
Who can I ask about their process and their experience?
I was grasping and asking as many people as I could. I checked out books from the library, watched videos, read blogs. All in an effort to find out what my daughter could be like. That was the key word, could. Every child is different, regardless of a special need or not.
But there was something in me that wanted all the answers right away. A way to prepare my heart, my life, and my mind.
There is no way to prepare yourself fully for an adoption, and especially an adoption with a child with “special needs”. As we prepared for our trip, my anxiety and nerves were getting the best of me. I was preparing for the worst case scenario of what this transition could be like for all of us.
I’m thankful I had prepared my mind a little bit, because the first few days were tough. My heart broke for our sweet girl as there was so much change. She wasn’t the girl we had seen in pictures and videos, but we knew that would take some time.
Then, it finally happened. She began to trust us more and more. We started seeing the smile we had seen so many times in pictures – her personality was coming alive. As we started experiencing new firsts with her, our hearts began to burst at the seams with love for this little girl we had only known for a week.
Fast forward to now. There are days I can’t believe she has only been home for a few months, and there are days it seems like she has always been a part of our family. All the worry and concern seems silly to me now. I understand why, but to see this little girl as part of our everyday and watching her flourish, that’s what counts.
Watching her light up when she sees her sister after school, or her dad come home from work, or learn something new and clap for herself out of pride. That’s what counts.
Sure, there are days I wonder what will it be like when she’s older. But if I let those concerns and worries take over I won’t enjoy the moments when she’s little, right now.
She is a joy and one of our biggest blessings.
We are so thankful we said yes to her, yes to this community of Down syndrome, and yes to adoption.