Last night as I looked at a few pictures of the first couple of days we met Lindiwe, I felt completely overwhelmed. My eyes fill with tears as I gaze at the uncertain look in her eyes and I wish with all my heart that she could have been ours sooner.
Sweet Lindi, I would have hopped on a plane Aug 31, 2012, the day we heard about you.
She’s been in our arms for about 4 and a half months. Here are a few things I’m learning…
My love for her is fierce.
As a mom, we’d do anything for our child. We long to protect our children from all that is wrong with this world. We quickly change the channel as the news flashes across the TV. We hope to protect their little hearts…to preserve their innocence as long as we’re able. Yet sometimes, a child finds herself in our arms because of the brokenness of the world. And we need to win her trust and show her what love looks like.
Somedays we pull out our hair trying to figure out the best way to love her. We analyze and we try to understand. And there are days when it’s really hard. The trust is growing…our love for each other is growing.
The beauty that rises out of her past and our struggle is the depth of our love for her. It’s fierce…mama-bear-kinda-fierce. Look out world!
Adoption is never plan A. It’s a contingency plan.
“She’s so lucky!” You may have said it. I may have said it. It’s just not true. It isn’t.
First off I’m not a saint. Just be a bug on the wall when I’m trying to get the kids out the door to school in the morning. Or when it’s 5:30 pm, I have no dinner plan and the kids’ attitudes (and mine) have gone down the drain hours ago.
It’s not to say that God doesn’t bring beauty and redemption and grace out of ashes, but it’s so important that we don’t glamorize it. We need to hold space for these children’s stories…the sadness it brings, the questions, the pain and uncertainty.
On several occasions during conversations with others, people have mentioned how lucky Lindiwe is that she was adopted so young (it’s an assumption that I made). We assume that the younger the child is when they are adopted, the fewer the wounds that they will carry.
I’m sure this is sometimes the case. What I’ve learned is you can’t measure a child’s woundedness by the number of days they’ve been on this earth. It’s complex when you throw circumstances, illness, personality and temperament into the mix. It’s loving that we don’t assume.
Often we choose as adoptive parents to keep the details of our child’s past to ourselves. It’s not that we don’t trust you and not that it’s shameful, but it’s her past not ours. We want to honor her and give her the choice to share or not share.
She Inspires Me
Lindiwe is learning to walk and what a delight it is. We stand there and cheer for her. And she gazes up at us with a heart-winning smile. It brings such joy!
And it inspires me! I’m not sure that I’ve ever used the word inspire to describe my boys, but Lindiwe inspires me.
She is determined.
She is an overcomer.
I look at her toddling across the room and think, “Isn’t she amazing! What a gift!”