Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Tonight after work, Jie Jie and I walked to the bank and local drugstore and as I held her tiny hand in mine and looked down - way down - at her, and she looked back up at me, my heart swelled with love and amazement that this precious little thing is my daughter. I hope I never get over it, that I never take her for granted, or forget the miracle of having her. I marvelled at how much she loves me and the process she went through to get where we are and how our relationship is so strong, yet fragile, too.
It's hard to believe that she's getting closer and closer to eight years old, yet still wears size four. I think it's on my mind a lot because my daycare kids, who are two and three years old, are growing into Jie Jie's size shoes.
Today during our homeschooling time, I took out a math game that we've done before, but not for several weeks, and her face fell a little when she saw it because it was hard before. Today, we could both so easily see her progress because the game was a cinch!
I am learning to be a much better person as I respect my daughter's learning style and her needs. She is learning that I am very open to hearing what she needs and acting positively on it. We recently had a talk about how I am not always right and that she can tell me when she disagrees with me or doesn't like somethings and that we are a team and can change things to make them better, as needed. This was such a novel idea to her that at first she denied it, then warmed up to the concept and how it works. I am learning to listen first, without judgement, which has been hard, but is getting easier and easier, because I come from an extremely judgemental family. I love that I can trust her and not worry that she is being calculating or manipulating because I know she has honest desires in her heart.
I love watching the seed of her faith in Christ has started to grow. I know that she has an innate sense of her Savior, that she's had it all her life. She gets so excited over anything to do with Yesu (as Jesus is called in Mandarin) and truly thirsts for more knowledge about Him. Tonight, on her own, she asked me to help her say grace. Last Sunday, a little girl from her sundayschool class who we had over a couple weeks ago, was excited to recognize Jie Jie at church and grabbed her hand and together they walked to class, Jie Jie's real age class, not the little kid class, and Jie Jie had a GREAT time. Tears came to my eyes as I watched these two precious girls walk down the hall holding hands. The sweetness of Jie Jie's little friend enveloped me and I rushed downstairs to tell the little girl's mom all about it.
For the last two days, at play, Jie Jie is playing "marry." She tried to make her doll blankets into veils and wedding gown trains until I gave her a shear scarf to play with. She is marrying her favorite doll, Bao Bao, which I think is so cute and funny.
Our foster kitten, Speck, will soon be Spot, and will be going to his new home, one block down from us, this weekend. You'll never believe the family he is going to belong to. A couple months ago, I saw a caucasian woman walking down the street, right past my house, with two Asian adolescents. From my car, I rolled down the window the lagging teen and asked, "Is that your mom?" which got the mom's attention right away. Thus began a new friendship. This woman adopted her two daughters, now 18 and 14, as a single mom, and was her agency's first family to adopt from China when single women were first allowed to adopt. When her first daughter was 4 years old, she adopted her second daughter. It will be wonderful for Jie Jie to see "Spot's house" every time we walk that way, which we do, several times a week, and to be able to visit him. She seems fine that he is leaving us, though she's said she'll miss him, and happy he has a new family. We will take him to his new home rather than have him picked up, though we already had a tour when we stopped to trick-o-treat on Halloween. We still have our slightly younger kitten, Ruby, who has been going to the adoption center on Saturdays with the hope that her family will find her soon.
I ache to add a teenage girl to our family along with our mei mie, Apple. I don't know if it will be possible or not, but I will begin praying diligently soon for some ways and means. I have time, Jie Jie needs me exclusively until her surgeries and healing are complete, but the sense of urgency I feel for this teen daughter of mine in China somewhere is sometimes overwhelming, just as it was when I knew that my 7-8 year old daughter was out there. I will even admit that it's stronger right now than the pull of Apple, perhaps because that adoption is already paid for and in process. When I talk to Jie Jie about this, she says that Mie Mie (Apple) will be for her and Jie Jie (teen sister - remember jei jie means big sister) will be for me. Tonight I explained that it doesn't work that way and talked of other details and she asked if she could come shopping with me to buy Jie Jie (teen sister) some toys.
Kiss and hug your children tonight, for they are truly miracles, each and every one, and it's our priviledge, not our right, to be their parents.