Wednesday, July 3, 2013

diagnosis: daughter {summer is for reruns}

Have you read about Teresa's beautiful life?  If not, please take a moment to go & read about this sweet angel here. Every child, regardless of what their needs might be or how many more days they may have on this earth, deserves to be loved by a family & given the opportunity to let their light shine.  It's easy to get caught up in "how will this affect ME", but Teresa's life & family are a beautiful reminder that there are no guarantees, but if we live in fear of the hurt, we will miss out on love.  The following post was written shortly after Kemeri came home addressing some of my own fears along the way...

I remember the day that we had our "match" meeting for Kaya. Even though she had been in our family since she was 2 days old, we still had to go through the process to adopt her. As we sat there, we were presented with a stack of papers no less than a foot tall stating this child's possible "issues" down the road as well as current needs. I'm not kidding, the stack of papers was HUGE. Not to sound snarky, but I remember sitting there thinking, "Whatever. You can tell me all kinds of scary stuff, but it doesn't matter. She's our daughter. Period." The bottom line was, we already knew her. We would do anything for her.

I wish I could say that I had the same fierce resolve as we reviewed Kemeri's referral paperwork. But I didn't. I was gripped by fear of the unknowns, so much so that at one point we even thought it best to walk away.

As I have slowly come out of my jetlag fog, I have been thinking a lot about those days of uncertainty & fear. I've also thought about what it might look like if all of my potential special needs or "issues" made their way to paper. Ha, I'm pretty sure I'd have my own fairly tall stack of papers. Lucky for me, there is no such special needs inventory on me to be found on this earth. But my Father in heaven knows Seriously, He looked at my rap sheet of imperfections (that's what I feel like these sweet children get stuck with), but He didn't walk away. He saw promise. He saw worth. He saw hope. He said that I'm chosen, & loved me so much that He laid down His life for me.

It humbles me to say that I had to wrestle with God a lot about what He kept speaking to our heart about this little girl we only knew from the papers in front of us. But He knew her & wanted us to trust Him in that. That one day we would know her, too, beyond the scary words on that paper. And love her fiercely. Do not get me wrong. It is important to know & understand a child's special needs, but knowledge & fear are 2 very different things, & I was allowing fear to rule me. Adoption is a leap of faith, & God was asking us to jump, even though all we knew was what was on paper.

We have now been home for almost 2 weeks, & this is what I know about Kemeri:

  • She has a twinkle in her eye & a laugh that sounds like "Boo" on Monsters, Inc., & it is contagious!

  • She loves eggs, fruit, pizza, goldfish crackers, lollipops, & jellybeans, not necessarily in that order.

  • She likes to go outside, but thinks grass is scary.

  • She likes to play with lots of different toys, including baby dolls.

  • She likes to snuggle with Mommy when it's time to go to sleep, & goes running with excitement when Daddy gets home.

  • She adores her brothers & sisters, & it's so sweet the way she puts her arms up to get a squeezer from them. She does share the occasional push with Kendi.

  • She has zero tolerance for messy hands.

  • She loves to play in the bath, & now that she has a sister to share a bath with, it's even more fun.

  • She thinks our dance parties are silly & fun!

  • She was terribly afraid of the dog, but after 9 days, she lifted the restraining order against Ella & they are now great friends.

  • She is one of the bravest little girls I know.

There's so much more, & each day brings new discoveries about this little girl of ours. We have already had a couple of medical appointments & are scheduled for a sedated MRI on Friday, but when I look out in the other room to watch her play, the thoughts in my mind are not related to the medical diagnosis we were faced with in that initial paperwork. My heart knows that her diagnosis is that she is our daughter that we love, & even more wonderful...She is a daughter of the King.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-15

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