Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Today we met Lily. The day I've been waiting for, the day I've been thinking about for weeks now. I was up at 5:45 this morning, sleepless because of anticipation and nerves. I wasn't sure what to expect and the unknown was a little nerve-wrecking for me.
Jason and I got up, made our eggs and toast that we had bought the night before from the E-Mart. It was a regular ol' american breakfast. Scrambled eggs with toast and oj.
We walked over to the SWS office building just a few doors down and went in to where our social worker is. Shortly after, we loaded in the van and started the 40 minute drive to the fostermother's home. You know that I can't even swing on a swing at the park without getting motion sickness...so being in this van for that long in "Seoul traffic" was a bit too long for me. We arrived at the apartment building and went it. Lily and her fostermother met us at the door. I wasn't prepared for the actual apartment being on the first floor so I was a bit shocked when the door opened and there, in front of me, was my little girl. My eyes immediately filled with tears and I was overcome with emotion.
There are many wonderful things in adoption, no question. But if I have ever led you to believe that it's all a cake walk, let me assure you that it's not. The harsh realities of adoption were ever present today. It's a whole new ballgame adopting a 10 mo. old versus a 4 mo old. I feel like I have been on an emotional rollercoaster. Lots of highs and lots of lows...emotions colliding with each other at every turn. Feeling so overwhelmed with excitement and then overcome with tears. I've wondered how something so wonderful can also be so sad all at the same time.
Jeeah's (Lily's) fostermother is such a wonderful woman. She has done a great job raising her and you can see the strong bond that they have with each other. Jeeah is going through some stranger anxiety right now, and although she was curious of us, she wanted to make sure her f.mom was close by. Jeeah would crawl over to her f.mother, pull herself up to standing, and nuzzle into her. You can see how much safety and security she offers Jeeah and how conforted Jeeah is when she is in her arms. I can never thank this woman enough for investing so much of herself into the care of my baby girl. Jeeah is the baby she is because this woman has given of herself, sacrificed much, and loved her greatly. It really was beautiful to see the relationship these two have together.
We also got to meet Jeeah's fostersister. What a lovely girl! We were immediately aware how much Jeeah loves her and I can only imagine how much these two have bonded as well. I can just picture her sitting on the floor with Jeeah, playing back and forth. Or how she picks Jeeah up and totes her all around the house. I noticed how much Jeeah loves to go to her and would also crawl to her for comfort and safety.
I've been dealing with many personal feelings today. I've gone from being excited to crying. The amount of loss that Jeeah is about to experience is breaking my heart. The sheer weight of it is on the top of my shoulders. It's so different this time, not that Ben didn't have grieving, he did...but Jeeah is so much older that she is aware of so many more things. After seeing the loving bond this family has with her and she with them, I am grieving for all of them today. Adoption is wonderful...but the reality of loss is weighing huge on my heart.
We get to go and pick her up at the agency on Monday at 11:30am...and she will then be forever ours. I'm so nervous, so anxious, so scared. I'm wondering how I will ever comfort her?!? I am the new thing, I am the white thing with red hair, the one who doesn't speak hardly a word she recognizes, the one who smells different, and the one who does everything different than she is used to. I can't hold her and tell her I love her, that everything will be okay...she doesn't understand those words. I asked her f.mom what she does to comfort her...she said that she just picks her up and holds her. I whole-heartedly believe that that brings immense comfort to Jeeah...but I can't give that to her. I'm not the same, I'm not familiar, instead I am the one who is taking her away from everything she knows and everyone she loves.
Oh the up side...she seemed to take to Jason somewhat. She let him hold her and she was even smily with him. HE may just be the one carrying her like crazy in the airport and on the plane. I'm hoping she will warm up to me more as we get to spend more time together. It's the hardest feeling...wanting to be that nurturing mother...and knowing that I'm really not that comforting to her yet. It will come...in time it will come.
It's crazy to look at that little girl, thinking about all the times I have stared at her pictures on my fridge, all the times I have dreamt about her...and here she is. A little one, who in reality, I don't really know...and who really doesn't know me either. It will take time to forge that bond, it will take time to get to know each other, and it will take time to earn her trust. Can it be done? Absolutely. God can work miracles in hearts, can bring families together in a way not humanly possible. God has brought us to this little girl...brought us around to the other side of the globe, and is now in the process of making us a family.
I know that it's impossible for her to like me right away...she just met me. We have only spent 45 minutes together her entire life. I've set my expectations low...set them realistically. But, oh, to have them comfirmed was a hard thing today. She was leary of me and when I tried to hold her, she wanted down. I just have to remind myself that this is actually a sign that her f.mom has done a great job with her...that she knows and understands who she belongs to right now, that she has learned how to love and be loved in return, and that she knows and understands where she is safe.
I'm so nervous for Monday, if you could pray that things will go all right. That Jeeah will be okay, that we will be able to offer her some sort of comfort. We will be getting her less than 24 hours before we have to leave for the airport. That's not a lot of time to get used to each other.
I'm sorry that this email sounds so heavy...it's what's been on my heart today. The realities are setting in...the good with the bad. I have to look at the whole picture, not just the pieces that are happy and easy. It's my job, as her mother, to try and understand what she is going through, help her to get through it, and ultimately give it over to God. Her world is about to be turned upside and down and inside out.
I'll close by saying she is beautiful. I couldn't believe how cute she is. She babbles like crazy and is an inquisitive and curious little girl. I can't wait to get to know her, and for us to introduce Ben and Ella to her. I can't wait to get her home.