M has been home for 8 1/2 weeks now. I feel like I can finally say that I think it took that long plus the time we had with her in Ukraine for me to start to fall in love with her. Yes, you heard me right. I didn't love her right away.
I fully expected to meet a child and instantly feel the way I felt about my boys. Not so. When we met M, she was cute and talked a lot and asked us if we were there to take her home with us. It should have melted my heart, but I was TERRIFIED. She had a long list of medical issues and exhibited some interesting social behaviors and while I had expected all of that, to see it was something else.
Its taken about 8 weeks home for me to finally realize that its about falling in love. Its not about an instant connection. Its about making an effort to love someone that isn't always easily loveable. We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God meant Katya for us. Its been my prayer every day since we met her, "God please help me to love her like you do. Help me to love her like you love me."
Adoption is a beautiful thing because its a symbol of what God did for us. I think of how unloveable I am sometimes, but God still loves me. I didn't do anything to deserve His love and sometimes I do things to not deserve His love, but He still loves me. He knew all about me and everything I would ever do and He STILL loves me.
So I asked God to give me that kind of love.
Adopting M has opened my eyes to what kind of a person I thought I was, and what kind of person I really am. She has opened my eyes to what it REALLY means to love. People tell me that we did such a great thing adopting her and we're such great people. No no no. I am not a great person. I am selfish. I have a temper. I value sleep way too much! God is the one who did a great thing. God saw M and loved her before I did. He valued her life and sent us for her. We didn't do anything but go where God told us to go.
I think that we are truely blessed by God because He sent us to M. She has taught me so much in 8 weeks and has strengthened my faith in ways I didn't even know it needed to be. I can say now that I really LOVE her. It grows every day. She is such a happy child and sometimes I think "How can she be so happy with all she's been through?" but she is just a joyful little person!
I realized last week when I took M to the Dr. that I finally felt like her mommy. I felt like I needed to comfort her and it came naturally. She smiles at me and I smile back. I look for things to make her smile during the day and when I go shopping I'm not just on the lookout for trucks, and trains, but hairbows too :) If I had known 8 weeks ago that we'd be doing this great right now, I would have saved myself a lot of tears! We still have stuff to work on for sure! Don't get me wrong, its not a cakewalk now but I think we've reached the point where we can understand each other and communicate well enough that she understands that I love her and will take care of her and I understand that a lot of what she does that is "bad" is from being afraid or testing me just to see the way things work.
I'm a little uncomfortable even posting this, but I learned so much from other people's blogs who were very open and honest. I like to keep it real here and not just hand out rose colored glasses. Parenting is hard work no matter if your children grew in your belly or in your heart.