Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

Less than a week until our cleft lip/ palate surgery.  I am going to miss the Panda's little wings, and since he LOVES to look at himself in the mirror, I'm interested to see what he thinks about what he'll look like.  The Panda still is averse to solid food and having his mouth touched in general.  He is now bearing some weight on his legs and is 28 lbs.  He's been with us 9.5 weeks.  He still likes to do things with his feet.  He LOVES hats, and almost always has one on.  He is so much stronger now, and he can get up on his knees and reach up, and he can crawl faster.  He has a killer aim with a ball.  He's still pretty unhappy about baths, but getting better.  The Panda's newest love is the flashlight.  He could shine it around and laugh all day long.

He is always happy except when he isn't.  Unhappiness is rare, but when it happens it is an epic scream-fest.  I'm sorta keeping track of these "events"- almost always on Sunday after nap (after church), Tuesday after the sitter, often after going to stores.  Maybe overstimulation, or maybe just insecurity?

We rang in the New Year with another adoptive family in our neighborhood.  I'm so glad that the Panda has some extra jie-jie's around, and having a friend who's been there is truly a gift.  Matt left for Guam the next day.  Ugh.  Due to the big snowstorm in WV, my dad has come for a visit, which is very very very nice.

I really think we've had a super easy adoption experience.  That being said, it is so hard.  My teen years were pretty hormonal and emotional, and I think I might have designed my adult life to avoid drama and extreme emotion.  This is all over.  Waiting for the Panda was so painful- not knowing if my baby was ok/ cared for/ cold/ hungry was overwhelming.  Having him home is such a relief.  I don't even think I knew that relief was an emotion until I had him home.  Now I look at him, and go through a wide range of emotion every day (hour. minute).

Thankfulness- God is so merciful.  The Panda is basically a happy person who is sweet and gentle.

Joy- Baby laughter produces joy.

Anger- My 2.5 year old is a baby still.  He was ignored too much and not stimulated enough, and his caretakers were the good ones.  There are millions of babies in this world with even less.

Pain- Can we give him enough love and safety to fill up the holes that are left?

Sadness- For his other mother.  How I wish I could show her that her baby is safe and that he is a wonderful person.  She will have to live her whole life not knowing where he is.  This breaks my heart.

Love- I'll admit that my adjustment to motherhood with the Bunny was rocky and rough.  I didn't love her right away- I had that fierce, maternal, protective kind of love, but I spent months in pain after her birth, and got no sleep, so there was none of the peaceful, sweet love.  The peaceful, sweet love is easy with the Panda.  He's blessed that the Bunny has forged the road.  The Panda still gets his little arm between us, but he's kinda snuggly, and I can just eat him up.  Gazing into his eyes is a real treat.  Our guide said they are "phoenix eyes", and they really are deep and dark and fabulous.

Sorry for a long one, but here's what I'm thinking about.  I know that even if we work really hard to be perfect parents, we are still going to fall way short.  We can't fill up all the love and security that the Panda has missed.  God can.  The Panda isn't the only one of us who needs to be filled up by the Lord....

These verses are from Joel 2:

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
   the great locust and the young locust,
   the other locusts and the locust swarm
my great army that I sent among you.... 
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
   and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
   who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
   that I am the LORD your God,
   and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.
 28 “And afterward, 
   I will pour out my Spirit on all people. 
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, 
   your old men will dream dreams, 
   your young men will see visions. 
29 Even on my servants, both men and women, 
   I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 

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