Wednesday, January 5, 2011

No Holding Her Back!

(Adopting two at the same time)

13 months and 28 days…but who’s counting? That’s how long our two newest Treasures have been home. It’s a journey that has seemed like a lifetime, and will last another lifetime.

When we met our son Kooper, almost 14 at the time; and our daughter Kinley Grace, 2, we had no idea what the following year would hold. All we knew was that God had clearly invited us to join Him on an adventure that would be impossible on our own.

My writings over the past year have mostly focused on the joys and struggles of Kooper’s transition, in hopes of encouraging families that teen adoption is doable. Not necessarily easy, but doable nonetheless.

But what about Kinley Grace? Sometimes I wonder if she’s gotten the short straw in facilitating her transition into our supersize family.

On October 26, 2009 we first held our screaming beautiful daughter. She was the 5th Treasure God had placed in our arms, and never had we experienced a reaction this negative.

In a span of 30 minutes she went from a kicking, screaming frenzy to complete shut-down. She would not utter a word or leave my hip for five l.o.n.g. days. She literally ate, slept and poohed – all preferably as my appendage. And she would have nothing to do with her daddy.

I remember vividly a day in China that I was so exhausted and discouraged I thought maybe these two Treasures really would be better left in their birth country. I began to reflect on all the photos we had of Kinley, realizing she was never smiling. And then I remembered the comments of a family who had met her, observing that she was very introverted and wouldn’t smile. I began to wonder if she’d ever come out of her shell.

Fortunately, it was only a matter of hours till I realized that I was buying into a lie straight from the enemy! The battle was on, but we would emerge victorious!

Six days after Gotcha while Kinley was cautiously standing beside my chair, she ‘accidentally’ started talking. She immediately looked at me, as if to say, “Did you hear that? I didn’t mean to say that out loud.”

At last, hope! After that breakthrough she began to smile, then giggle and eventually chatter in two-year-old gibberish. She would venture away from her lifeline (Mama!) and play with toys. By the time we flew home she actually occupied her own seat.

Once home, she had no problem interacting with her older siblings, but she still wanted nothing to do with Daddy…until two weeks home. For the first time, she saw Daddy and ran to him. Really ran to him!

Kinley Grace’s medical need was listed as post-operative left cleft lip. Her lip was repaired in China under the Tomorrow Plan. However, her gum line is also cleft, which was a bit of a surprise to us – but we wouldn’t change a thing! We have scheduled a revision to straighten her nose and reduce her scar this spring. At the same time, she will undergo testing for the muscle development and tone in her mouth, and her gum line will be repaired once her permanent teeth start coming in.

Now that we’ve begun the adoption process again, as I reflect on the past year I realize I’ve sometimes worried that Kinley would get left in the shadows and not receive al l the attention she deserved, but God, in His sovereignty, has protected her and preserved our family.

He has grown her into a beautiful, outgoing, spunky little firecracker who will talk your leg off! There is nothing in this world that can hold her back - not my parenting fears and failures or the ginormous needs of her siblings! Because no matter what chaos our life brings, there is One always in control … and there is nothing beyond His redemption!


Cari said...

isn't she just the sweetest thing?! that last picture of her show her peace & trust that was lacking in the beginning photos. :)

Suzette said...

She is such a precious darling and sounds so much like our little girl. We thought the language barrier would be the most difficult, but she went through the silent phase and now she talks non-stop! I'm so thankful God is holding them through the difficulties.

Where you in Zhejiang for her adoption?

groovy mama said...

Thanks for sharing that....i often wonder 'how' it is for others in true form as far as the bonding and attachment....

she sure is precious.

Treasures Evermore said...

What a beautiful post. She is beautiful. We are adopting older children, and while there are many challenges....God is always there meetings us exactly where we are.

Thank you for posting this.


Adeye said...

Oh my word, friend, she is just so absolutely adorable. It almost feels like you were in China just last month. How she has blossomed since she has been home. So amazing.

Carrie said...

Oh my did you adopt her in Hangzhou? Looks like the same room the same seat and the same offical when we went to get anna-grace also with Cl/cp in the gum line as well!

Debbie Sauer said...

She is so precious. I am so glad that she has you to love. Blessings

Jean said...

Love your post- what a precious little girl you have! A little flower that has blossomed!

I had those feelings in China too but thankfully the Lord gave me clear direction. I think it was something like- JUST GET HOME ASAP and you/they will be fine!

I love it when God makes things clear!
I love seeing and experiencing the miracles!

Erica said...

She is a firecracker who loves to chat!! I love her so much and she is so full of life...I know the process has been hard! Hang in there for Joy will be home soon!!! Miss you all:)

Cindy said...

She's precious! I can't wait to see her loving on her new baby sister soon. Every journey to our children is JOYous in it's own way!

Anita said...

We are so very blessed to actually meet this little firecracker sweetheart!! LOVE that last pic of her too, Connie!! What a joy...true joy she is!

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