Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pressing On

Life with an adopted 3 year old is the same as life with a bio 3 year old most days. We have our good days, bad days, joyous days, and difficult days. The kisses and hugs are sweet, and discipline is still given even though it looks different from the way Daniel and I received it as kids. The thing one might not expect from watching our family is the intensity of our life.

We don't broadcast the hard times as often anymore, because we are entering into the phase of discovering aspects of Paisley's history. No, we don't have many facts or details about Paisley's early life in China. However, her actions and moods are giving us clues to what her life could have been like and the different experiences she lived through. Though we may never know for sure what her life was like before becoming a Todd, we will always lean towards being overly cautious, loving, and compassionate towards her even during her misbehaviors. We are working closely with doctors and professionals who have experience in evaluating and helping adopted kids and their families overcome hard times and learning to heal from prior events. Their expertise is helping us interpret Paisley's behaviors compared to other kids who have gone through certain situations and shown signs of similar behaviors. As her parents, we will always protect "her story" and will support her as she grows in making sure she feels comfortable in sharing with us first and then, if she chooses, with others.

In light of this new information, I must admit some days I have no idea why God chose me to be Paisley's mom. I feel unworthy of the task and incapable of being the parent she deserves. I grow impatient easily, frustrated quickly, and force myself to show her love and compassion when times get hard. Frankly, my heart breaks for her early years, and sometimes I can't control my tears. It's all I can do to not build a fortress around her to shield her from any more hurt or pain. For me the hardest part is feeling helpless during the hard times. That's when my doubts scream the loudest, and I feel like I am not helping her but opening her wounds even more. It's a constant struggle within myself and a lie from the pit of hell itself, but it's a lie that I hear often.

Nevertheless I must press on just as Paul writes in Philippians 3 towards a goal for which God has called me.

Do I stop loving her? Not at all. Is my bond to her strong enough to fight through my doubts? Yes, but it's still hard. We are still building that connection and bond with her as our daughter. Even though part of our bond has come naturally, there is still a side that struggles. Paisley is still learning to trust us.

From what I can see, Paisley knows who we are and what it means to have us as her parents. She feels safe with us and does trust us to a certain extent. Where her trust with us is lacking is when she experiences things for the first time. In fact, it might not even be us at all. New experiences might be a trigger for her and since her trust with us is still new (having only been with us for 7 months instead of her whole life of 3 years), it might seem like she doesn't trust us. It's still a lot for her to process, but she is getting settled as a daughter quite beautifully. It's like she was destined to be a daughter, our daughter.

If we may still ask for your prayers, we covet them. As we have mentioned throughout our entire adoption, the hard part is now. As hard as the waiting part was, now is the time where we are faced with questions and unknowns. As time goes by, these questions and unknowns will be answered and revealed; however, new questions and unknowns will appear. It can be a vicious cycle, but we trust God to already be present in those times waiting for us to get there. He has already world out the hard times in order to reveal His glory. He has redeemed an orphan and transformed her into a daughter, His daughter.

Thank you to each of you for the continued support and prayers over the past 2 years. Prayer works, because we are a living testimony!

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