We got home from China one month ago today. It has been a really great month. In so many ways things have gone better than I could have hoped for. Emery is a gem. She is sweet and smart and her English is improving by leaps and bounds every day at this point. She is learning to read in English, can write her name and has learned that not everyone is a girl:) She is learning that she doesn't have to shut down if she gets told no or something is taken away from her and that she doesn't have to cry in her bed at night. She is learning how to ask if she is hungry instead of either eating snacks from her bag or waiting for a meal. She has learned that the dog is not a monster and very firmly tells our dog to 'Sit down. Sit down. Good girl.' Our lab weighs probably three times as much as Emery and will, in fact, sit down at Emery's feet. She has also learned not to hit the dog or poke her but to be nice to the only animal she has ever been in close contact with.
Emery has learned that she doesn't have to be on her best behavior to get us to like her, nor does she has to be in competition with anyone else because baba and mama spend time with all of their kids and don't favor one above the other.
She has learned that when her clothes are dirty, and it is ok if that happens, we will wash them(not by hand) but in the machine and she can wear different ones. She has learned that it is ok to have her own toys and some she does not have to share and there are some toys that her brothers don't have to share with her.
I have learned that there is much more courage in facing a new life when you don't have a choice than in bringing an unknown child into a very happy life. I have learned that God doesn't only answer the prayers that are spoken but also the prayers in your heart that you didn't even realize were prayers until they were answered. I have learned that it is a blessing to be able to cry and grieve and feel and be able to identify and articulate your emotions. I have learned that when God blesses you with peace you can rest on that peace. I have learned( or relearned) that being home with my family is one of the best gifts ever and that time together doing nothing special is just as important as the time spent on special planned things. I have learned that the time I have spent with my sons has given us great relationships and allowed me to know them in so many ways and I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to spend my time with them.
It has been a great month, in some ways it seems like we just got home and in others it seems like Emery has been with us forever. She is such a part of our family and fits in so easily.
We are going to be keeping her home for the next month and then reevaluate where we are attachment wise. She has been exposed to a lot of female caregivers in her lifetime and while she wants and thinks she knows what a mama is I don't know that you can really understand family by a worded expression or a dream of a different life especially at barely 5 years old so since she is so very willing to go to any of my friends or other women for food, love, to sit on their laps, hold their hands, blow kisses, say I love you, etc. and not necessarily to me( though at home is great with all of those things) we are going to keep her home, plus keep her out of germ's way as well. I am hoping that will help to give us a better attachment foundation and know we have only been together for a small percentage of her life and that attachment is a process not necessarily a destination.
I am grateful for the blessing of my life. I have had a good life so far. It hasn't been perfect, it hasn't all been happy or pain free. But it has all made me who I am and I have enjoyed the journey and am happy to still be on the path. What a great joy life is and what a blessing to go through it with people that you love and to know that I am never alone.
Today at church my eldest son got up and spoke briefly and as he ended he said "I hope that any of you who are adopting will be able to have your adoptions be as successful as mine." I guess that sums it up as well as I could. It has turned out remarkable well and I really feel that God has put our family together. We have felt strongly about each of our children before they were even born. And it is the same with Emery. We felt so strongly about her and I too hope that anyone adopting can have as much success as us.