It's always raining on this day.
The day we remember when Alethia got to come HOME!
The question I get most often now about our adoption is, "How has the transition gone?"
We are two years in and I am still not quite sure how to answer that question.
Alethia transitioned into this family with ease.
At least with as much ease as a child can have after being abandoned as an infant, then being placed with a family and told to trust them, then being left behind, not knowing if this "family" would ever come back for her, to being flown across the ocean to an unfamiliar country to start a new life.
Our family transitioned into her addition with ease.
At least with as much ease as a family can have after being told that there would all of a sudden be another little 3-year-old in the family that would share life (and mommy and daddy) with them, to live in an unfamiliar country for 3 months only to have to leave, without their new sister and then be reunited again, and then less than 4 weeks later adding another itty bitty life to the chaos.
If I am honest, though, I'd have to say it's been quite a journey on my own heart.
I mean, how does a mama love differently, yet love the same.
Discipline differently, yet discipline in fairness.
Treat the adopted child with sensitivity because of her background, yet try to make them feel like they are no different, in order to feel part of the family unit.
I remember talking with Josh one night, confessing just how hard it had been. We both agreed that it would just take time.
Two years in and I can truly say that it is more normal than not now.
I don't pour cups of juice in the morning, making sure I'm not shafting Alethia causing her to feel singled out for accidentally having less in her cup. (I'm sure you are probably wondering what in the world I am talking about, but I'm telling you EVERY morning, I used to stress over portion sizes...)
I don't get any more frustrated at her outbursts of disobedience than I do with the rest of the Colony.
I don't see her hoarding all her things, refusing to share with everyone saying "but it's MIIIIIIIINEEE". She is learning to hold onto her things much more loosely.
I can honestly say that on a day-to-day basis, I actually forget that I have this beautiful African princess as my own, and just see her AS MY OWN. Then I go out in public and I am made VERY aware of just how unique our family makeup really is:-)
Time is what has grown our love and our trust.
Prayer has given me a heart to love her like the other kids I fought to bring into this world.
There is one thing, though.
One question she always asks...
"Is __________ coming back?"
In fact, just today Rainy left with a friend to go to a gymnastics meet and Alethia quietly held onto my leg as Rainy drove away. Later I overheard her asking her daddy, "Is Rainy coming back, though?". I really don't think she believes Areyna has left her, but more like her needing reassurance that we are in this for good with her.
It breaks my heart every time she asks it.
She asks the same about Josh when he goes to work, and when I go to the store, or a sibling has a special event. She needs that verbal cue that everything is going to be okay.
Goodbye's are terribly hard on her, especially when leaving grandparents.
But maybe time will cure this fear as well.
Maybe we just have to prove over and over to her that she is part of us now.
Now and always.
I know your are fearful of goodbyes. I pray that God will eventually give you a peace and perspective of these "see you laters" and have confidence in this family God has placed you in.
We're not going ANYWHERE, and neither are you!
Happy 2 years in forever, baby girl!
All my heart,