Wednesday, July 22, 2009

one year ago

This is the beginning of my attempt to be back in the blogging community. No promises, just a real desire to come here and vent and visit, to check in on friends made here. And to give those of you who still pop in here every day (you know who you are) a reason to come. You deserve to be given a glimse.
(why are those words 'scrunched up'??)

Give me a few days (or weeks?) as I pull it back together, get the blog on a make-over waiting list, and get my ducks in a (crooked) row. I'm looking forward to spending time with you.
I may write mostly about the little one, about our experiences during the process of her adoption. I just don't know yet. I do know that I have concerns about posting much about my older children, because I value their privacy and I know they do, too. So we'll see.
The only thing I do know is that I'll be ME. When I start writing, a part of me that stays mostly hidden slips onto the page. I just can't help it.

Today I wrote on the back porch, while the rain pounced and splashed and the wind whipped. It was an unseasonably cool day as I sat there while Ahna napped. And I loved every minute that I "gave myself."

***(oh, boy - Blogger has changed in the last few months. Even after enlisting a little help from my techie-but-too-busy husband, we are unable to figure out how to post photos the way I need to. I am so blogger-challenged. So for this post, mostly just 'words' will have to do.)

One year ago yesterday.
It was a day like no other. A day that was full of trepidation and anxiety and astonishing peace all wrapped up together. The day that 13-month old Ahna physically joined our family. Her birth and her presence into our lives. Oh, she was already part of us. We had waited and prayed and hoped and waited some more. And she finally came, just as we knew she would.

She SO didn't like us at first. Her tiny face was writhed in an emotional pain she didn't even understand. Her tears flowed freely, her nose ran constantly, her cries came softly but steadily. 3 days of this. When we first took her from the orphanage worker's arms, she pulled away, back toward the only life that she knew. For a time her head rested on my shoulder as she sobbed. Soon, though, we realized that she she wasn't ready to see us, to look us in the face. We were strangers, the 5 of us, and she wanted nothing to do with any of us.

My husband and I were thankful for her strong emotional reaction to us, for we knew it meant that she FELT emotion, that she had likely been attached to someone else. And so hopefully, she would also attach to us, given a little time. But that day, the day we met her, it was not to happen. Hours later, my husband finally got her to stop crying by holding her away from him (so that she didn't have to look at him), and moving her around in a bouncy fashion. She caught sight of herself in the mirrored closet door of the hotel room, and she was mesmerized. And she stopped crying. He even 'snuck' the bottle into her mouth for the 20th time, and she began to suck. He laid her in my arms - I was recovering from a passing-out episode - and she drank her bottle dry and fell asleep.

So for the next several days when the uncontrollable crying would begin, we would pick her up, face her outward, bounce, and go to the mirror. Seeing herself there would stop her crying in its tracks, and she would look and look. And finally she began to glance up to the person holding her. And soon, she liked what she saw, thought she might be safe, and decided she'd try and give this family a chance.

It is a year later, and her reflection has incredibly changed. Not just on the outside, but on the inside, as well. The toddler who still loves to stare at herself in that mirror, now has a brand new reason to do so. She knows exactly how special, how loved, how safe she is. She trusts us completely and pours hugs and kisses over us at a whim. She goes to the mirror now, to see how pretty she looks in a new dress, or to attempt to brush her hair or mock me in some way, or to just study her face. She is all silliness and giggles and joy. And sometimes a little stubborness, too. Just a little.

We can't get over how much we love her, how natural and effortless and beautiful it has been to have her in our family. That a whole year has passed is craziness to me. So much life has happened; so much is yet to be lived. We look back to that day a year ago, and we could not be more thankful that Ahna was meant for us, that we were meant for Ahna. She is ours and we are hers. God smiled on us and put us together. We know that He did. It sounds trite, but it is true.

Happy Ahna Forever Day, sweet girl.

(small photo, but since I don't know what I'm doing.....)