Two years ago when we prepared to meet our 5th child, our 4th daughter in China, I went in so blindly. Sure I had heard a few stories of older child adoptions, but I concentrated on all the positive things, thinking that we were "well seasoned" parents. We had 4 children, we had been to china once already. How hard could it REALLY be?
And then we met Mavery. She took one look at me and began to scream. She wanted nothing to do with me or my stinken candy. ;-) Her life was turned upside down in a matter of minutes. All she had ever known, was ripped out of her hands, forever.
Add to that she lived for 6 weeks of her life with her birthmother before being left on a train. Then was brought to the orphanage for awhile, till she was sent to the hospital for open heart surgery. Back to the orphanage where she finally settles in, and then she is brought to us. People who sound, look, and act different than anything she has ever known.
She then travels a million miles away and meets her new siblings. 3 olders and a sister who is similar to her, but obviously already knows her place. A "twin" who is her age, but can do everything easily, and struggles with nothing. She visits a doctor who finds her heart is not in good shape and is taken into surgery after surgery.
And so the ride begins. Little did we know how big of a coaster we would be getting on when we went to get our Mavery. I thought we were simply getting on, at most, the kiddie coaster where I would barely need a lap bar. Thank goodness the Lord knew we were getting on the coaster of all coasters, and he not only put our lap bars on, but He buckled the belt tight and even pulled the harness down over our shoulders.
We have slowly climbed up the steep hills, where we thought things were getting good at the top, to quickly fly down the other side frustrated. To then be taken around and around and even at times upside down, to start back up that hill all over again. I have held on to that lap bar like my life depended on it at times. My fingernails digging into the skin, sure that I was going to be tossed from the car as we dipped down the hills.
And through the ride, I have started to realize something. I am NOT falling out of the car! As 2 years have gone by, the hills are actually getting smaller. To be truthful, there are days, I can ALMOST throw my hands up in the air and ENJOY the ride. Days such as today when I pick Mavery up from pre-school and I hear this from her teacher. "I can tell Mavery is a mama's girl because she talks about you all the time and all the things you do for her, and how she is so happy you will be picking her up from school" Those are the times I freely raise my hands and ENJOY it, I can't wait for the next turn.
I may have gone in blindly, but the Lord did not. He knew exactly the ride we would be on, and He has held on to me the entire way. He chose this child to be a part of our family, and we are thankful. We know there are still hills to climb up and down. But we also see that the coaster does have an end and it looks much closer than it did 2 years ago. And till we are there, I will try to remember to throw my hands up as much as possible and just enjoy the ride.