Thursday, March 29, 2012

Becoming a daughter....again

In the past 6 weeks home, a transformation has been taking place. As we build trust, we speak new truths into our children's hearts. This change is evident in both children, but in some ways I see it more in our daughter. At age 3, she has had a childhood full of changes and sad circumstances. She certainly wasn't asked if she wanted an obruni Mommy and if she wanted to fly across the world to live in a strange place. By nature she is shy and reserved (for about 5 minutes) until she is comfortable with her surroundings. In some ways she is a typical toddler with testing boundaries, tantrums and her own preferences. She is a girly girl who loves sunglasses, hair bows, nail polish and Dora the Explorer. In other ways, she carries behaviors and memories from her past that are sad to see. But all in all, in the past month and a half, she has made such great strides to become a daughter again. She is amazing.

The above picture is from the first moment we met our children last May. They were accompanied by a sweet girl on the right. I can just see the sheer confusion and fright in her body language. I wanted to scoop her up and just love on her, but I knew she needed a little time. In my heart, I was her Mommy already, but in her mind I was a stranger.

It didn't take long though and she was playing, tickling us, bossing us around;) and comfortable with us. We had the most amazing week together and our goodbyes were sad.
Although she knew us when she joined our family on Valentine's Day, there were moments that I saw the familiar body language of confusion and being scared reappear. She would climb on my back and that provided the familiarity she craved at the moment.

Now those moment are less frequent. She is a happy girl who is embracing her new world. Physically, she is looking healthier. Emotionally, she is more balanced. The empty look in her eyes is being replaced by life and sparkle. In some aspects we have come so far already. This is not to say that we don't have issues or that I am painting a rosy picture of our life. I just want to celebrate the success that we are experiencing right now.

Sweet Joy Agyeiwaa, I am so proud of you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thoughts after our first month

It's really hard to decide how much I should share publicly. There are parts of our children's story that I want to remain private, as it is not my story to tell "the world". Most of what I know is either second hand information or painful details my son has shared with me. But it is safe to say that children do not end up in an orphanage and adopted internationally out of happy circumstances. There is profound loss, sadness, family crisis and even death that is all weaved into a few short years in a child's life. A childhood that is abruptly interrupted by adult responsibilities of caring for younger siblings, begging and working without access to education or normal child activities. There are also memories of a happier time even though that may have included extreme poverty. It can be such a mixed bag of memories and emotions. Either way, coming to a new family is so unfamiliar and overwhelming.

I thank God that He lead us to adopting siblings and specifically "older children". We are going through such healing together and they are able to verbalized so much of it. There are tough moments of grieving, but there are so many more of pure joy and sharing many "firsts". To see their pure amazement of a drive thru "restaurant" or using an ATM (money comes out of a wall?) or visiting a zoo (even though Kofi wanted to jump in with the lions...) are precious memories that I am able to witness as their Mommy. Kofi and I spent at least 30 minutes discussing how a vacuum cleaner works and he thought it was the most amazing invention. Every time I see them run to me when they are hurt, I am reminded of a time they just whimpered quietly because no one had kissed they boo boos in a long time. This weekend, I worked a 4 hour shift while Eric was with the children. Once I came home and opened the door, Kofi ran to me and hugged me so tightly and said "Mommy is home. I love you Mommy!". God is making us a family and healing hearts.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Say Cheese

Not much time theses days to blog.
But just enough to show their smiling faces.