This is my beauty. Not only is she a beauty, but she is also incredibly bright and talented. Yes, I am her mom, but it is all true. Getting to know her over the last three and a half years has been a sublime adventure.
Bonding with an adopted child can be an adventure all unto itself. Without going into detail about her story I will just say that when she came to us she had experienced many partings in her short life. She wasn't really all too sure she was going to get to keep us. We read about attachment and bonding and did everything as suggested and over time we could see that she was not searching any longer that she knew she was home. Still, there was a distance. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but there was a gap to be bridged and I was not quite sure how.
Prayer and loving and loving and prayer.
This past year I have seen a shift. How do I describe it? She is beginning to know me. She trusts me to be her soft place. She confides in me. She melts into me. She is being grafted into me and me into her. She fights me tooth and nail at times. I am grateful that she feels safe enough to do that.
Two weeks ago it blew wide open. Again, I won't share the details, but I will tell you that I have never seen such a tiny thing so fierce and angry. The issue was minor really, but I think that she had been holding on so long and finally let 'er rip. We dealt with it. We brought it to a conclusion. Lessons were learned on both sides.
When all had blown over we cuddled up in the bed together, and I began to tell her the story, her story. I told her how much we wanted a second child, a little girl to share our love with, and how we prayed and God told us where to find her. I told her how far we traveled just for her. I told her how sweet the moment was when she was first lifted into my arms. She asked to see all her Ethiopia treasures, so I brought them down and showed her the photo album and pink blanket we sent to her before we were able to travel to meet her. I showed her all the papers from her preschool in Ethiopia, the letter from her teachers, and the fingerprints and names from all her classmates. For the first time she began asking questions about her first family. I talked with her about how they loved her. I told her how special she was to have known the love of two mommies and two daddies. Then she asked about what life was like for her there, and how it is for children there now. This was the first time that she had shown any interest in or connection with her birth country. With sweet compassion she said to me, "I want to bring home all those kids because they don't have anything and I want them to be happy." Her heart and my heart were singing the same melody.
So, Ethiopia it is. Now we roll up our sleeves and begin.