Friday, December 14, 2012

Humble Beginnings

The day that Ellie was placed in my arms there was something unexplainable that happened to my heart.  This little girl found her way into the depths of it.  As I felt her tiny frail body and her heart beating against mine she instantly became my little girl.  The love I felt for her was instant and deep.  I know this isn't always the case in adoption.  I have read enough blogs and heard enough testimonies that I know there are times that this love isn't instant.  There are people that step out in faith and choose to love a child and that bond and deep loves comes in time because of a choice, a choice to love.  I know people who have adopted multiple times and have experienced both sides of this journey of love. I love how God can bridge that gap, how he gives us the ability to love his children so deeply and completely.  He is the greatest example of that love as he adopts us into his family and loves us just like his one and only son.  He loves us so completely that he sent his precious son to die for us. This journey of adoption makes that love so much more tangible to me. 

Ellie has been home for almost 30 days.  The love I have for her is so deep that there is a part of me that feels like she has been with us forever.  I know there will be times that I will be shaken and will walk back in time to the reality of Ellie's humble beginnings.  Last week was the first time since we have been home that the reality of her first 12 months truly surfaced again with deep and hard emotions.  My mind, heart and soul went back to the day that we walked into the orphanage. I shared with another adoptive mom some of the hard pieces of our journey.  The following day I met with the feeding team. The speech therapist and occupational therapists asked questions about Ellie's first 13 months and so emotionally I walked right back there.  We all sat around the table with tears as they observed Ellie.  The reality of how sensory deprived she has been, the reality of some of her behaviors and ways she holds herself or things she does with her hands and mouth because of her lack of sensory stimulation became obvious.  The things she does to self soothe or ways she found comfort came to light.  These two ladies were so encouraging and cheered Ellie on when she attempted to try new things.  There was a huge applause as she picked up a little yellow duck after trying time after time. They encouraged me and gave me things I can do with her at home.  They were quick to point out the things they were seeing through our session that were steps in the right direction. They confirmed my gut feeling that she wasn't ready emotionally to have therapists working with her right now.  As my heart and mind were taken back to Ellie's humble beginnings over the last week my heart also began to ache for Mary, Jesus' mother. 

I think this year is the first time I truly have put myself in the shoes of Mary.  Oh my goodness, her son, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords couldn't have had a more humble beginning. The Savior of the world was born in a stable.  It looks peaceful in all the pictures yet can you imagine how loud it was, the smell, how cold it was .... I am not sure it can get much more humble than that.  Yet those beginnings didn't define him, he was born with a purpose.  A purpose that his mother knew about, a purpose that would be heart wrenching to watch as a mother.  I can't imagine the emotions that Mary had that night as she held per precious son knowing what was to come. 

A story I have heard over and over again and yet this year it feels as though God has taken hold of my heart in a new way and given me a new appreciation for the magnitude of the birth of his Son.  

What a precious gift it is to have Ellie in our arms this year as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  What a precious gift it is to have a new awe this season for the birth of a baby boy, a baby that was born for you and me.  


Paige said...

So very beautiful!!!

Anonymous said...

She is so beautiful. Her eyes just melt me! You are a gifted writer, as well. Thank you for sharing so openly. I love your journey and the faith that you so openly share! What a blessing you are to me, your kids, your husband and many others. I am so glad that God brought you into my life and hope that some day I can see your beautiful face, and family, in person!

Teri said...

Beautiful:) Always praying for you and sweet Ellie. She makes me smile each time I see her photo! Have a great weekend! Teri

Anonymous said...

You can say things so beautifully !! thank you Cathy in Illinois!!

Kristi said...

She may not be ready for therapy just yet, but look at those smiles!! It is clear that she is beginning to trust and is feeling and soaking up your love... her smiles are different than before in China; they seem more radiant. So happy this precious little girl is a part of your family! Looking forward to every update!!

Susan said...

She is so beautiful!!!! Every day her love grows more & more for you as her mommy! Love reading your blog! You are such a gifted writer! Merry Christmas and I pray He continues to richly bless your sweet family!

DiJo said...

Hi Julie!
I love this post.. I love how God has touched you so deeply through this gift of Ellie... I love how He knew that you would use her story and encourage others.. That you would teach that love has no boundaries! I can't wait to meet your tiny miracle one day! What a special Christmas this is for you. So thankful she is home and in your loving arms!

Fannie said...

What a great post! I look forward to seeing what great things God has in store for this little girl. He has clearly demonstrated his love for her by placing your family in her path to be her parents. We're praying for her.

Keep the pictures coming! I love to see all those cute kids trying to win that new little sister over. Your children are beautiful!

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