One week later, all I can say is...WOW! Jenna has blown me away with her transition into our home, our family, our hearts! This week has truly made Ephesian 3:20 come to life for me, " Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..."
A few "milestones" that have happened at the one week mark include:
- Jenna running into her daddy's arms and letting him hold her
- Jenna petting our sweet yellow lab, Sipsey, instead of running away in fear
- Jenna knowing where things are in our house, such as forks/spoons (she likes to eat!) and paper to color on (she loves to color!)
- Jenna riding in the car seat smiling, not crying, for first trip to Kroger
- Jenna making us laugh at her silly faces, dance or "Tai Chi" moves, and Chinese baby babble
- Jenna waving "good-bye" and saying "Mama" and "Dada"
- Jenna playing with her older brothers and sister like she's always been here and them embracing her and loving her with such sweetness
- Jenna experiencing her first Thanksgiving...she loved her Paw Paw's green beans
- Jenna going to her first downtown Newnan Christmas tree lighting and arrival of Santa Claus
- Jenna looking at a family photo album and pointing to each of us, recognizing our faces
Tears came to my eyes as I watched my sweet little girl look at pictures of her new family and then point to each of us sitting around her made my heart swell with joy and sadness. Like I've said before, there is so much joy with adoption but there is also so much heartache. It pains me to think about her still being in the orphanage. As nice as the nannies were and as much as I think they really cared about her, it makes me so sad thinking about her lying in that hard, metal bed all by herself. It makes me so sad thinking about her little friends that are still there, waiting for a family to love them. And it makes me so sad to think about her birthmother, somewhere in China, wondering what happened to her baby girl.
Another emotional moment happened at our one week mark home. While I was doing breakfast dishes, Jenna was at the dining room table coloring and before I knew it, she was beside me holding her arms up, signifying for me to pick her up. Every time she does this, I really try to stop whatever I am doing and scoop her little body into my arms. Well this time was different. It's as if she really just needed her mommy to HOLD her. I mean truly HOLD her. She clung to me like a little koala bear and I cried tears of joy and thankfulness. Joy that she was here in my arms and thankfulness that she knows she can come to me to be held and loved. I don't know what was going through her little mind, but it was a special "mother/daughter" moment that I cherished.
On a different note, adding a fourth child takes time away from the other three. I want to give each of my children all the love, nurturing, and quality time they need and deserve, but there have been a few times already this week where I've been torn how to find this balance. For example, little Andrew was out back playing all by himself while Jenna was coloring with Shelby, so I chose to go spend some precious one-on-one time with my little buddy as he climbed the tree in the back field.
I hope that I will continue to grow in this "balancing act," for there is so much life yet to be lived as a mother of FOUR. I know there will be many ups-and-downs, but for today, I am so thankful for this first week that we have all been HOME!