Monday, September 29, 2008

Lessons from Emme

     Emme is starting to trust us more.   Until a couple of days ago, she had this instinct that told her, "These people aren't just laying me down.  They are laying me down for TO MAKE ME GO TO SLEEP!  Waaahhhhh!!!!!!"  The wailing would begin.
     She has been with us for 3 weeks today.  The last 2 days we have laid her down for a nap or for the night, she has peacefully laid beside us and drifted off to sleep.  So sweet!  I think she is starting to realize we aren't going anywhere.
    Last night, our faithfulness was called into question.  Paul, his mom, myself,  Emme and Sarah Grace (one of the cousins) went 15 minutes into town to pick some things up at Walmart.  Paul drove and I rode in the passengers seat.  Emme, Sarah Grace and Grandma rode in the back.  Emme was content for about 8 minutes of the trip.  After the 8 minutes of contentment, we had seven minutes of heavy crying.  She was inconsolable.  When Paul or I would try to verbally calm her, it would only lead to louder outbursts OR holding of the breath and then a very loud outburst.
     As soon as we arrived and she was out of the seat, she stopped crying.  However, there were several minutes of sobbing and gasping for breath that followed that intense cry.
     After the sobbing subsided,  I noticed for the next 20 minutes or so, she wouldn't look at either one of us.  None of the usual methods for getting eye contact worked.  We yelled her name.  We barked... yes, I said barked.  She thinks that's funny.  We tickled her, etc...   She refused to look at us.  She was looking all over but she would not look at us.

     I have learned so many lessons about God's love for me through my children.  After trying for so long to get her to look at me,  I thought, "This is how I am with God.  When I can see him and I can see him working and things are moving along smoothly, I am pretty content.  But, when I can't see him or things seem to be spiraling out of  my control, I have a hard time trusting him.

    I really think Emme felt betrayed by us.  We weren't meeting her needs.  She cried and she wanted us to come running.  When she could only hear us, she was hurt.  Now, I don't think we have to run to meet the needs of our children every time they cry.  But, she's different.  She was abandoned, put into an orphanage, then moved from one foster home to another.  I believe that even at such a young age, she knows how to put her guard up.  Right now, she needs to know we are going to meet her needs, immediately.  That's how she will learn to trust us.

     I was thinking about myself and how if God seems absent, sometimes I feel betrayed.  This happened in my adoption and it happened when I was engaged once and I called it off three weeks before it was to take place.  I thought God had left me high and dry.  However, both instances have taught me that God can be trusted.  He didn't feel like he was there.  I wasn't sure he was going to meet my needs.  But, he was actually working ahead of me and causing all things to work for good.  As a matter of fact, the plans he was working, they were better and more perfectly suited than my plans.

     When we lost little Mylei, I remembered thinking, "If  these people love this little girl that much, she must be awfully special and she must be a joy to be around. "  That made me want her all the more.  I wanted to fight for her.  I feel really selfish about that now.
   God  gave me a little gift last week in regards to Mylei.   A lady I met on line awhile back was adopting a child from the same orphanage with the same special need as Mylei.   She was about a week ahead of me in China.  When I returned home, she welcomed me back with an email.  In the email, she also delivered  some news.  She heard Mylei was being adopted by her foster parents!! I was so happy to hear that!  I had prayed that if she couldn't be ours, that those foster parents who loved her dearly would be allowed to adopt her.

     When that adoption was completely disrupted, I was very sad.  But deep down, because of calling off the engagement 14 years earlier, I knew God was working.  As a matter of fact, after we chose Mylei, I was a little sad about 2 things.  1) I was sad that I had chose her.  What I mean by that is... I always imagined receiving my referral and being surprised.  Like child birth, I wouldn't see what she looked like until she given to me.  After picking Mylei off the special needs lists, I always wondered if I had gone ahead of God.  I mean, I had prayed about it and felt peace.  I really did.  But, I still couldn't shake the feeling that I had picked her.  2) I was also sad because I knew we probably would not be able to do this again.  The rules about who can adopt in China had changed and because of some of Paul's health related issue, I knew we would not be allowed.  Because of this, I was sad that we wouldn't be given a baby.  Mylei will be 2 in October.

     Even in my sadness about Mylei, I felt an excitement about what God was going to do.  When I saw little Miss Emme for the first time, I cried.  I knew she was supposed to be mine.  She had on a hat and I ALWAYS put hats on my other 2 girls.  A little detail like that is so God!!

     Emme could not be more perfect for our family.  She's a year old, but she is so teeny and so so far behind, I feel like I got my baby.  She is spunky and funny.  My other 3 are very outgoing and I always worried how this new child would keep up.  I think she will give them a run for their money.  She is also the BEST behaved baby I have ever had.  She is so good and so content.  She is so easy.  She has transitioned into our family so easily it feels as if she's always been with us.

     Emme will learn to trust us.  I wonder though, will I ever learn to really trust God and his goodness??



Sharla said...

I think I'm supposed to pay devotion this morning (written as if God were speaking to me) said, "My child, My child, your prayer is heard. I do not despise you in your need. I know your frame and am acquainted with all your ways."

Like Emme, I struggle with trusting God sometimes when He's not immediately responding to my cries...hmmm...I think I better pay attention, twice in one day!

Thank you for that post friend!

Chubby Baby Designs said...

oh my, I'm behind on your posts and pics...ok...better, I'm all caught up.
So are you glad you went to the beach? It sure does look like the kids are having so much fun. I hope you got some good Beach Girls pics for their room! Other wise there's a decent sand volleyball court at the Kettering Delco Park, you could always *create* some beach pics there!
I'm right there with ya with the camera issues. I forgot my memory card the Sunday morning the girls got baptised at church! Geez, next to their birthdays, this is a HUGE day and oh yeah, no memory card. Thanks to Aunt Kels who saved the day!
I loved seeing the random China pics. I don't think I have ever seen a pic taken from on the Wall, yikes...kinda scary!
And the pic of Emme in the shopping cart...she looks like a little chicken with her legs curled up, too cute!
Been thinkn' about you! Have fun!

Gina said...

3 posts in 3 days!! YIPPIE!!

I love you. You always remind me of things I need to hear. I'm so glad God worked out His plan and you married Paul. Otherwise, how would I know you?? And obviously, so glad that He gave you Emme. Sweet girl.

Oh man, I can't WAIT to see you!

Tony and Rett said...

Your story is one for the true, my friend.

gnangle04 said...

I just now read your last 2 postings.... and while I love your honesty and wisdom, and LOVE the beach pictures..... was the pic of me really necessary??!! I mean really?? :)

Love ya.

darja said...

if i make a funny face, will you put a picture of me in your blog too?

darja said...

p.s. she looks just like jackson in that 2nd picture!!

Judi said...

Ooo. It sounds like E thought she was going to be making another family change. (sigh) She's such a sweet little peanut, it's heartbreaking to hear. LOVE the photos with the kids and at the beach. E looks SO happy. You have a beautiful family, April. :-D
Judi (Skye @ RQ)

Shawnstribe said...

ive followed your journey with prayers, and reading this last post was so beautiful.
Itoo strugle with trusting Him fully,and the lessons that i am learning about myself through X X can be so BIG, but i am so grateful for them.
Thank you for a beautiful post