Thursday, August 22, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

A friend asked me to post on a difficult time in our family's life.  I had written on this subject before, but am choosing to create it again, at this stage of my life, having walked that much further with my Heavenly Father and that much further with our precious, amazing daughters.  Sometimes, the Lord answers audibly, quickly and with great compassion.  I am so thankful He granted mercy and grace to this disheveled mama who desperately needed His touch.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. " Jeremiah 33:3

Early in Emily's life, she was introduced to the proposal of adoption.  She had no choice in the matter, but just because she didn't get to choose, there was no reason why we couldn't involve her in the process.  She attended meetings, answered questions at our homestudy and even had her little scrawly signature notarized when we visited the prothonotary.  Often, as she bounced around as only four year olds can, she would proclaim, "Our baby is the one in blue."  She said this sentence again and again and again.

So, you can imagine when Rob was united with our sweet bundle of Hannah that first day in the crowded community room in China, I wondered something aloud,
"Is she the one in blue?" 
Dressed in several layers, Hannah wore a darling little coral coat with a teddy bear on it, her open, gaping pants were heavy sweater material and allowed a peek into her chubby little legs, but those pants were also shaded a lovely peach sherbet hue.  Hannah's nanny had tied a gold scarf about her tiny neck and she had the sweetest shoes on her feet.  But, there was not a stitch of blue adorning this precious baby.

I tried not to think about the lack of blue on our sweetheart.  Days would become weeks and time disintegrated as Hannah flew home to be with us forever.  We unpacked her luggage and helped her settle in, but there was no quickly unpacking the trauma that served as a conduit to fear, uncertainty and dislike for me, her mama.  And as much as I desired to SHOW her how deeply I loved her, the fact remained, time and prayer and love would be the only grease to unstick the zipper of Hannah's heart.  She carried her little suitcase everywhere filled with doubt and perhaps a slight bit of hope, even if she didn't know how to show it.

We sought excellent professionals to walk alongside us during those first few months.  Many of them said she didn't need anything and yet, our hearts implored us to continue the attachment exercises and therapy.  All the while, when I sensed her displeasure with me, I sunk further and further into my own form of despair, praying desperately that the fears I had would not become our new normal.  I'd beg the Lord to expedite her responses and fast forward her to full blown love and trust immediately.  And I knew that was a recipe for disaster, so as much as it hurt, I had to allow this beautiful, wide eyed child to reject me over and over.

We did make progress every single day, even when it was intangible and hard to grasp. Shyness and fear slipped into a  tenacious, smiley little person who grew both in stature and in spirit.  But, the changes were slow and I was impatient.  One particular summer day, sun streamed in our kitchen window.  The clean hardwood sparkled in the late afternoon light.  I was busying myself preparing dinner and had Emily playing at the kitchen table and Hannah playing delicately at my feet.  I reached to put a pot pie in the oven, when I lost my grip and the pot pie tumbled to the floor.  Almost simultaneously, Emily wandered over and bent to help Hannah gather up Tupperware she had spread across the kitchen.  Emily's advancement brought about the typical responses we had been seeing in Hannah and she smacked her sister hard, scratching her face and shouted, "NO!"  Emily cried, silent tears and her whole body shook as she retreated back to the table, nursing her wound.  Hannah shrieked in an attempt to get my attention and hopefully warrant a discipline for her elder counterpart, whom Hannah rejoiced in rejecting.  When I did not grant her request, she began to cry, loudly.
 I quietly prayed..."Lord, I simply do not understand.  I am not proud of it, but I doubt what You have done here in our family.  It wasn't supposed to be like this.  This is so HARD!  You need to speak to me so I can hear you.  I need to know that Hannah IS our plan."  My doubt prompted guilt and sadness and on a sunny, summer day, I felt darkness in my heart.

Rob came through the door in the moments that followed to find us all sobbing on the kitchen floor.  While I am certain he wished he could transport back to his truck and back to the job site, he instead  laid down a pile of mail and tried to assess how he could help.  Through the fog of my tears, I noticed a large manila envelope that he had brought in.  As he quietly and lovingly dealt with the children, I cleaned up the mess and then slipped out the front door to find respite on the porch.  My fingers glided quickly under the flap of the envelope, exposing documents from China; documents we had forgotten we were even expecting.  I scanned through the smudgey copies, finding information that I already knew. 





Xiaowei (Hannah) was wearing double layer BLUE clothing upon being discovered.


She was the one in blue. 

As though the Lord reached down and held my very hand, I felt Him whisper, "Can you hear me now?" 

Yes, Lord. 

Loud and clear.