Last night I watched some video of Paisley just a few days after getting her in China. I cried while smiling thinking back to those first days with her. We were excited, happy, terrified, unsure of ourselves, anxious, exhausted, and blessed all wrapped up in one. Let me try to convey the 57 different emotions that I felt while watching these priceless times.
As we were living in the early days in China, I knew that Paisley was more advanced than we thought she would be. I remember thinking just how smart and curious she was with her surroundings always wanting to know how things worked. She even took an pen completely apart and put it back together while we were in Hong Kong. Yes! I sat and watched her do it. Amazing what her little brain can do!
|Paisley in our hotel room in Tianjin|
March 11, 2015
As much as I hoped it wouldn't be, the language barrier was a huge obstacle! Most of the time she would be unresponsive to what we were saying due to the fact that she couldn't understand us. And she would meltdown because we couldn't understand her. However, her little voice was precious. It reminded me of a baby talking for the first time. You thought her voice is precious now. You should hear it during our time in China.
Even though she was 2.5 years old at that time, she was super tiny. I remember just how small she was...and still is for that matter. She barely fit into size 12 month clothing. She looked malnourished in a way with her super thin limbs and her huge belly. It's evident by the way she would eat that she was stuffing her face, because she was scared that she might not eat for a while. She was very "in tune" to her food while she ate. She would quickly chew her food and begin stuffing her face soon after swallowing the previous bite.
Now as I watch I can't believe the progress! Today she is more like a 2 year old in the way she communicates. Scratch that. The way she is putting together complexed sentences is like she is older than 2 years old. We are still working on answering questions when others ask. Simple "yes/no" questions along with questions like "how was your day" or "what did you do today" still get a blank stare or a simple repeat, but that will come in time.
She obviously is able to interact with us more than she did while in China. Instead of walking around like she is in her own little world, she is able to carry a conversation as we stroll through the house or swim in the pool. The relief in knowing that she understands me and I can understand her is huge!
It's the smallest of things that parents with bio kids take for granted. Having your child know 100% that you are their parent and you will do anything to keep them safe is a HUGE relief for a child. However when a child is unsure about who their new parents are and exactly what is the circumstance for this new relationship, it makes life for all parties EXTREMELY difficult and stressful. To some extent, I know that Paisley knows today that she is loved, cared for, and kept safe by us, but there are those moments when her insecurities show. In those moments, it takes everything Daniel and I have to show and tell her we are here to stay, she is here to stay....forever.
As we reflect back on Paisley being home 4 months today, I am so humbled to say that Daniel and I are the ones who are blessed by Paisley. She is a living testament that God is real and alive. He continues to perform miracles, because I experience these miracles on a daily basis. I still can't believe that He chose me to be her momma. It's an honor I am undeserving of.