Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Faith dance

The Faith dance is easy, its one step forward, two steps back... and just repeat, over and over for days on end !!  We had been so blessed with easy days , feeling like we'd made headway in our bonding process, and we REALLY have.  Today, however, was a exceptionally challenging day.  This is the day, typically adoptive families are on the plane home, and Kevin and I can see why, because by now, you are DONE, stick a fork in ya type of done!!

But alas we are not done, so here goes the account of today ...
Breakfast as usual - ok there has been some really positives of a trip like this no dishes, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, no LAUNDRY.. it comes FOLDED and everything from the adorable Chinese laundry around the corner!  Breakfast prepared every morning, with LOTS of choices, albeit Chinese style breakfast - dumplings, congee, salad lol ... with french toast and bacon thrown in for good measure. REALLY amazing fruit too, which with the toast and bacon have been my staples.  Its super crowded, and I miss my decaf coffee, but all and all I can't complain.  Faith did allow Daddy to go get his own breakfast again, but was a little more mischievious while we were eating, which should have been our tip off of the day to come!! 

We were off early this morning for a much needed sight-seeing trip - I couldnt walk around the same shops, or the hotel one more day.  We went to a local temple for a traditional baby blessing, I couldn't bring myself to kneel before another god, even for a cultural experience, so I was the designated picture taker.  Kevin felt a big sacreligious, but out of respect for where Faith is coming from, he was a good sport and went in with her for the blessing.   I got video of it, something to see that's for sure.  She was a stinker though the entire visit there -  she is getting so much more comfy with us, and is starting to test limits and boundaries.   Here again , the good news is its not JUST with me, Kevin has started to be tested too.  Today we wanted to explore her new found freedom in life, and was a crazy girl climbing and running away from us.  LUCKILY the locals in Guangzhou let you borrow strollers for your visit, so we had something to corral her in.  We have both experienced an increase in physical outbursts, which both infuriate and break your heart all in one.  You know its frustrating at not being able to communicate, but its also how they seem to have socialized her to play.  We have witnessed similiar behavior in the other older children around us.   We are just perplexed at teaching our children hitting, kicking, spitting, and biting as ways to play!

After the temple we visited a beautiful garden, we have often felt like we were in Disney during this vacation, this was another one of those moments!!  Kevin purchased her a little pinwheel is keep her busy, which I tried giving to her (as we still have me doing the majority of caretaking, and giving things to her).   See, here's the fine line we must walk in order to create an atmosphere of being safe and loved, and learning right and wrong.  I have struggled with this a lot in the last week, and am so grateful that I am relying on the Holy Spirit, and not my own human emotions to guide my own behavior.   This beautiful little girl, is so filled with confusion - new sights, smells, people , I can not even imagine!!  but in the same sense, anything we allow now for the sake of her adjusting, will only further confuse her when we suddenly say NO in  a month or so, when she is more settled, and its no longer novel and 'cute'.  So this need to be firm and loving, instead of indulgent and loving, is definitely adding to our challenges.

We had many a power struggle today, each filled with lots of prayer!!  She may not like me very much right now, but I know she is feeling secure and taken care of.  I see my role for now is not the one I pictured myself in, but God has so well equipped me for it with my preschool background, and all the lessons learned parenting Ian and Adam.  He reminds me over and over, gently and lovingly, that this journey is NOT about me, its about Faith.  About her having opportunities for a life undreamt of here.  She will have language, and the ability to really express herself - not needing to hit someone to get them to pay attention to them, or being able to tell a joke or express a funny story instead of reverting to rough play and slapstick to get a laugh.   She is so bright, has the most amazing memory , God called us to , in  a way, civilize her.  I am reminded so very often of the Helen Keller story, and how Annie Sullivan first found her student when she arrived at the Keller home.   Underneath that wild child, was a brilliant young woman -- just waiting for someone to be patient enough to let it emerge.

So, today we shed some tears.  I found that my window has a 'kneeler' that on the 15th floor, brings me closer to Heaven, and provides a wonderful place to seek His divine counsel and strength.  Once again, I think Kevin and I were reminded to not stop praying , to turn constantly to Him for help.  Tonight we made time to do the rosary together with Faith between us in the bed, she was a wiggly girl, and suddenly I was inspired to get the lotion and give her a massage (she loves these), it was an amazing transformation and she soothed down, and even massaged her daddy's hand while we prayed.  One of the fruit's for today's mysteries was "Trust in Mary's intercession"!!

 It is quite frankly the only way we are finding the courage to continue in a journey that is so arduous at times, it is hard to express.  The fruit of the labor of love, is always more love!!  Today's therapy was singing  -- in the shower, kneeling at my window -- just praising God in song.  One that was particularly helpful today was, Rescue  this version was sung by the Women of Faith singers.. and the words I will leave you with tonight...

You are the source of life, I can't be left behind
No one else will do, I will take hold of You
I need You Jesus to come to my rescue. Where else can I go?
There's no other Name by which I am saved
Capture me with grace, I will follow You


  1. We all need to remember to Go to HIM and He will never leave us!

  2. HEY! We patented the Megan Mamba ... it has the same steps as the Faith Dance! We remember well those trying days (still have some from time to time! :-) People told us beware of the terrible twos. I think two year olds got a bum rap. Terrible threes is way more accurate! At two Megan was learning the rules and at three was testing the limits and boundaries of every rule. There is a silver lining to Faith's testing behaviors ... she's behaving like every other three year old who is deaf or who suffers from selective deafism! I'm convinced that Megan dreamed up ways during the night to make activities more dangerous the next day or tried to break her time-out record from the day before. She wasn't known as "The Queen of Time-Out" for nothing. Patience, consistency, baby steps, boat loads of love ... Faith will get there. God brought you altogether for a reason. He doesn't give you more than you can handle; He helps you handle what you've been given. It's important even after the most beastly, hideous day that you find one grace filled moment that makes you smile and warms your heart to give you the patience and the strength to get up and face another day of the truly terrible threes! I'll miss these blogs when you guys get back! Safe travels!
    Joanne, Dave and Megan