I honestly can't believe how much they have changed or how much we have changed!
Someone who reads our blog asked me to do an update because they are getting ready to walk in our shoes. They are about to adopt two sweet children from China, and one of their kids is 13 just like our sweet Sara.
I have honestly struggled with what to right on our blog. I don't want to give too much personal information, but I also want to be real.
I'll begin with Hannah.
We met our "Hannah Monkey" on October 17, 2011. Who knew that our Monkey nickname that we had already begun to call her would fit her to a T? She is active, full of life and energy. Our first few days/weeks were trying. She was grieving/scared/confused/angry/excited all rolled up into one little girl who simply just wanted to be loved. We had to dig past that anger/hurt/grief to get to see the real little girl underneath.
Over the months, she has slowly begun to trust us, and learn that we love her. She has not yet been healed of all of her hurt/anger/grief, but we are beginning to see moments of true bonding taking place.
Just this last week, she and I were talking, and she asked me, "You're my real mama right? I don't have to have any more right? You will always be my mama?" I told her it was forever. That there would not be any more foster moms.
It was like she is just now beginning to believe it just might be real.
Can you even imagine what her brain must have been thinking all these months? --- When will I go to my next family? Are they going to let me stay? Do they really want to keep me?
She has been thinking that we weren't going to really keep her.
When I think about all of the months we have been living life--going to school, church, playtime, vacations, birthdays, etc. and all of this time--she has still been thinking that someday, we will break the news that another mom and dad are coming to get her and take her to her new home.
This new revelation has me struggling to make sure I am sending the right message--you are loved, you are treasured, you are ours-FOREVER! While at the same time still having to set boundaries, correct misbehaviors, and teach new skills.
This whole journey has been so trying. Daily, I honestly struggle with all of the emotions that we face. (Some of those emotions are mine--I get tired, I sometimes still grieve our old life, I want to be selfish with my time, etc.) BUT--I have to always go back to the calling to adopt. I KNOW without a shadow of doubt that this is meant to be. I LOVE our family, and I honestly wouldn't change it because I know I am learning to become the person I am supposed to be. The process is just not always a birthday cake and an ice cream cone.
I knew this would be a hard post to write--my emotions are all over the place.
Ok--back to Hannah.
She is going to be in the second grade again next year. She is just not ready for 3rd grade. We have continued to work on school over the summer. (NOT ALL DAY or everday for those who were getting ready to pounce :) But enough to not lose ground and to teach new skills. Her English is fantastic, she is expressing her emotions in English now--and does it quite well I might add.
She loves the pool, beach, zoo, library, and going to church. She doesn't like to play games that take too long, but she loves to draw and paint.
She is truly a blessing--I can't imagine her NOT in our family.
When I think about all of the changes that are taking place--in our girls, in us, in our home, I am thankful that God chose to take us on this journey of adoption. It is not always pretty, but it is so Worth it!