That's how long we have been home with Jenna since landing in Atlanta one month ago on November 22nd, a moment I will never forget. And it's definitely been a month that I have truly cherished!
As I reflect back on these thirty days, my heart swells with thanksgiving and joy. Jenna has transitioned so well that I honestly feel like I've witnessed a miracle. She makes us all laugh with her silly faces and Tai Chi moves (at least that's what we think they are!?) She wants to be involved in whatever is going on and gets mad when she can't do something that her older siblings can do (like not walking down the steep back porch steps by herself...she's little Miss Independent!) She is very perceptive, taking in all that is happening around her. And her level of trust is growing leaps and bounds. Although she prefers being in my arms and in my presence, Jenna loves playing with her daddy and brothers and sister. She often cries when I leave but welcomes me with a big hug and kiss when I return...and I want her to know in the depth of her heart that mommy always returns!
Speaking of growing in trust and mommy always returning, two days ago was a HUGE milestone. I wanted to see how Jenna would do in the childcare at the gym since her big brothers and sister were home from school and could go with her...and they were super excited to have Jenna go with them. So we went to Atlanta Fitness at 4:00 PM when childcare re-opened and there were no other children there yet, which was good for Jenna. She absolutely SHOCKED me and ran right in with her siblings! I was literally shaking as I walked away...shaking with worry, wondering how she would do once she realized I wasn't in there with her, and shaking with thanksgiving that my precious girl is growing in her level of trust, knowing she is safe and that I will return. And sure enough, after a nice run on the treadmill (I listened very carefully for my childcare badge number to be called but they never had to call me), I returned to the nursery and Jenna was ALL SMILES! I was so thankful and proud and relieved! I know it'll take a lot more time until she's confident enough to go there without her siblings, but this was a big step of trust for my sweet little girl!
And she continues to take these steps of trust every day...
One area of concern that has started to burden my heart is how Andrew is handling not being the "baby" anymore. He's always been strong willed, but over the past couple of weeks, this personality trait has been turned on high gear! He gets very upset when told that he can't do something...he's not wanting to sleep alone in his room...and many mornings he didn't want to go to preschool. I'm trying to balance my response, knowing some of this is just being a strong willed 5-year-old boy and yet also realizing that it's hard for him to voice his feelings about being "dethroned" as the youngest Preston child. I am trying to be very intentional with him, spending one-on-one time with my little guy as much as I can. And I'm especially praying that Andrew's tender heart will swell with joy and trust, knowing that he is loved so much deeper than he could ever imagine.
There's that word again...TRUST. What does it mean to trust?
Two definitions include:
1) confident expectation of something; hope
2) a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.
Jenna has shown amazing trust. She placed her trust in us when we "got" her on November 11th in China. She placed her trust in us when we put her on a plane bound for her new home on November 22nd, one month ago today. And she's continued to place her trust in us over the past 30 days, knowing that we will meet her needs and love her...and always return when we go away.
As I've watching Jenna's level of trust grow, I've questioned my own level of trust. Do I trust other people? Do I trust myself? Do I trust God?
For most people, including myself, trust is earned. I feel that I can trust someone after getting to know that person and spending time with that person. And unfortunately, trust can be broken and is very hard to earn again.
Jenna's growing level of trust has been so inspirational, so encouraging to me. She may be little but her trust is BIG! And that is what God wants for each of us. He calls us to childlike faith, childlike trust. Trust in the One who created us and knows our needs, knows our hearts, and wants our lives to overflow with His gifts of hope, joy and peace.
And with Christmas just around the corner, those are gifts I hope everyone receives!
Thank you, Lord, for showing me once again what it really means to trust through the life of my precious little girl. I am thankful to be her mommy and I am so thankful You are my Father! AMEN.