Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sometimes Love IS Enough

 Recently I have been looking back over our journey with Mavery and went back to some of my blog posts I shared about how difficult life was.  If you want to see my heart and where I was, take a peek at this post by clicking here. 

 I think it was the first post where I admitted the stress we were living in.  Not just a we have alot of kids and homeschool and now have added a new child with heart issues  and an insane life stress, but a deep. we are in the pit stress.  That look we saw in her referral picture of sadness?

 And the screaming you might almost be able to imagine in this picture?  Think loud, piercing..
 It lasted a really REALLY long time. 

 And while some might be able to handle screaming for hours on end by a large 3 year old (because coming from a newborn is not quite the same!) I.COULD.NOT.HANDLE.IT.

 I was driving in the car the other day, and was thinking about how in those first few months of being home, I would drive my kids to school. (we ended up putting Malaine back into christian school that year soon after getting home) It was almost an hour round trip for me.  Mavery screamed the entire drive every. single. day.  By the time we would return home, I would be shaking and crying myself most days.  Then I would come in to attempt and homeschool the older 2 children, while Mavery was mostly hanging on my leg. Screaming. Not to mention Spicy girl running around.
All that said, it was just rough.  On top of the emotional issues of dealing with some pretty severe medical things.  You know, the child who we thought was "fixed" who needed open heart surgery pretty quickly. 

On top of heart caths and hospital stays and well, you get the picture. 

As I took Mavery in last week for her heart check up, God really spoke to me in that visit.  I sat and I watched her, and I was full of tears. He reminded me of those first 10 visits where it took 2 of us to hold her down.  The visits where I left the office crying from 1. the shock of news. 2. The stress of a screaming, kicking, thrashing toddler I had just held down for 3 hours.  He allowed me to look at Mavery with His eyes and the Big Picture He had been able to see over the last few years.
Isn't it funny sometimes the moments when the Lord chooses to really speak to us?  Not in the quietness of home, alone.  But maybe sitting in a doctors office, watching my daughter hop up on a table ON HER OWN and lay there still watching a tv show while they scan her heart.

As I watched her lay there, I realized that alot of what it is, she simply trusts us now.  She knows this routine.  She knows that when we say they are not going to give her a shot, we mean it.  She knows that if I promise her candy to lay there, she will get it.  She knows that I am her mommy and I am going to keep her safe.  From the doctor, or from whatever I need to keep her safe from.

I watched her on the table and I thought back to not only the screaming, but also the times when we saw breakthroughs. God whispered those times when we started getting a glimpse of who she really was.  When the sadness started to leave her eyes.  And when it started to leave mine.

And as He whispered these reminders to me, I started to feel the guilt seep in.  Feelings of failure as a mother, that I was that upset, that frustrated,  that impatient with her so many times.   Knowing all she had been through, I should have handled it all better.  That mommy guilt, it can eat you alive.

I love my Father and how sweet He is though in my moments of guilt to grab hold and let His promises of good rest on my heart.  It WAS hard, and I am pretty certain that ANYONE would have struggled in the same situation.  And you know what? We did what we could do.  We did not always handle it perfectly.  But through it all we loved. We hugged.  We found help in ways we could.

And so regardless of those days when I feel I failed, I look at Mavery now.  I see her climb up on a doctors table and lay there with out me holding her down.

I see her smile and laugh. Our girl has a sense of humor that has just blossomed. She LOVES to trick and make jokes.  And we have found that laughter really IS the best medicine.  Sometimes, when the fits threaten to creep in, on both our parts!, we make a joke and we are all laughing!  Her smile, that we rarely saw at first, never leaves her now. You can see the difference.  She now smiles with her eyes, not just her mouth.  And it comes from deep in her heart.

And you know what else?  I see her love.  Mavery loves with a passion.  My favorite to hear is "I LUB you mommy, and I really like you too".   If you have not had a Mavery hug, you are missing out!  She is the friendliest most loving child. She does not meet a stranger and just loves hugging everyone!

 At the writing of the post, back almost 2 years ago, I said maybe love is not enough.  But now I know.  It is, it really is!  Because LOVE is what brought Mavery home.  It is what carried us through.  It is what holds our family together.  No, it was not enough to heal her as quickly as we wanted.  But it DID heal her, in Gods timing.   He allowed us to love a child before we knew her.  He allowed us to love her, when we were struggling.  He breathed love into her heart which led to trusting us, believing us, attaching to us.    She is love.

 We love because He first Loved us. 
1 John 4:19


Jodi said...

Thank you for sharing your heart Shannon!! And thank God for growing all of us! And that we can trust Him through the hard times!!

I have had some of these same feelings this past weekend - really examining how far Jorja has come in 2 short years!! And what a beautiful little girl she has blossomed into!

Love your heart!!

Gwen said...

Hi! I need to introduce myself. I've followed your blog for awhile thru a friend's link.
We adopted our little Sarah Mei from China a little over two years ago.
I just love this post. It is so true, sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees, and then something will happen that makes us realize just how far we've come. What a blessing!
I'm glad you shared this-- I can sooo relate to your feelings.
Beautiful. Thanks!

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing your heart...I always enjoy reading your posts...God has really used adoption to grow your heart Shannon, that is so evident!

Chisum Family said...

Beautiful, Shannon. Who but God could show us the miracle of His love in the hearts of our China babies. What a priceless treasure! Thanks for sharing and reminding us that joy seeing our kids trust is worth all the weeping and struggle. We are truly blessed!

Amy said...

We love Mavery! Always great to see what God has done! I think Amber or someone like that (that doesn't see her all the time) was just telling me how they could tell she was better.

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite post, so raw, so sweet, so honest. I am so happy to see that things are working out. Miss you