I encourage you to go read her blog and learn about her organization.I want her to be a baby so I can strap her on me and hold her there and she will feel secure and safe and protected. I want to be the person who taught her to write her name and how much fun it is to make mud pies, and I want to be the person who laughed with her when she lost her first tooth. I want to know where the scars came from that she can’t remember the stories about, and I want to be the person who wiped her tears when she fell.But I know that is not how God intended it.He did not choose me for those moments, He chose me for these. I entered motherhood through a different door, and I get a different kind of stretch marks.
How can I process the emotions that go along with adopting a child who is almost 5? There is just SO much that happens in the first 5 years of life. I'm entering this adoption at peace knowing that I do not get to experience any of those things, but can I tell you, it breaks my heart that my sweet Seung Joo didn't get to experience a mom and a dad and a home and a constant?
When she was born premature and had a very, very hard start at life, I wonder, did she have good nurses who showed her love? Kindness? When she was getting stronger, off the vents, did someone cheer her on? When she had surgeries, there was no one who carried her to her room praying to God that he would watch her and keep her safe? Pray for the surgeons hands? When she visited the hospitals countless times in her first year, one for a multiple month trip, did anyone visit her? Bring her a stuffed animal? Or did she lie in a crib, alone?
When did she crawl? When did she walk? What was the first word she spoke? When did she have her first bite of real food? How did she get the scar on her foot that the social worker noted, but had no explanation for?
Seung Joo had no 1st birthday celebration. Did anyone cry after her school bus drove away on her first day of pre-school? Did she cry? How did she like her first bath? Her first swimming pool? When she falls and gets hurt, who kisses her ouchie?
Seung Joo has wonderful caretakers watching over her, giving her honest-to-goodness love, and for that, I am thankful. But she didn't get to experience what most Korean children up for adoption get to experience: a home setting. No foster care for SJ. She's been in the hospital or orphanage her entire life.
And, as Katie put it, God didn't choose me for those moments, He chose me for the moments ahead. I will never, ever be able to fill out a baby book for SJ that spells out when she crawled, walked, talked, slept through the night, ate cereal...etc...like my boys. I'll never be able to tell her how the scar was formed, how they surgery's were preformed and how she was after. I wish I knew when her first tooth came in, how tall she was at 1 year old, when she first smiled or laughed, but I don't. In fact, I have all of maybe 5-7 pictures of her in her first 3 years and they were taken in 2 or 3 days. (And I thank God for them!!)
And unlike the maps full of stretch marks I have on my belly for my boys, my stretch marks with SJ are of my patience and hope. And I am getting s.t.r.e.t.c.h.e.d. and God is saying, "Stretch more." And sometimes, like recently, I'm not very good at the stretching part. I feel stretched out. And then, God says, "I'm here."
There will always be unknowns, and as a person who really likes detail and looooooves to brag on her children, it's hard to not know! I DO want to know. I so badly want a step-by-step on SJ's life so I can share with her. But I have hope of things to look forward to
I'm looking forward to her first Christmas home, her 5th birthday celebration, the first time she holds my hand, the words, "I love you", the first real, genuine hug, the first time she calls me Omma or Mommy, watching her learn what it means to have a Omma or Mommy (and Appa or Daddy), giggles with her brothers, painting fingernails.
There is so much to look forward to and so much to thank God for. I thank Him for taking such great care of SJ in her first 4 1/2 years and of the miracle of placing us in the right hands to find her. I praise Him for his faithfulness to us and to her. And I thank him for the years ahead where we are able to witness every single thing worth witnessing. I WILL cry when the bus goes away, I will pray for her doctors knowledge and I will hold her hand all the way along.
And I'm amazed that Christ would give me such a blessing as three wonderful, beautiful children. We have a little more than a whole quarter of her life before adulthood that is fuzzy, but with God's help, we'll figure out what needs to be figured out and stretch to live life to the fullest.
We can't wait.