We had the party tonight. The party she has wanted and I have secretly dreaded for a very long time. I had pizzas ordered, cakes, chips, and candy. We had gifts for kids and teachers. I even bought balloons, which were confiscated after one popped and the rest were close to knocking things off of shelves. I'm notnreallynsure why I dreaded it, other than I knew it would be an emotional roller coaster..... And I hate to show emotions too often.:)
I walked with her to the store before hand and knew that I had a happy girl.
Tonight was about her.
The kids played games, ate the food, and generally had a good time. Caretakers took turns telling her how wonderful she is, how they love her and how they will continue to pray for her. They told me what a blessing I am to this girl. I truly have never felt more undeserving than those moments.
The founder of her orphanage sent a gift because he wasn't feeling well tonight. A Russian bible, a music cd, and something else that I currently have forgotten. He also sent a message to me. The lady brought the message that when Elianna first arrived back in Ukraine from the US, she told him all about this one family with two small children. She told him how she felt at home with this family and how she hoped to see us again someday. He said he began that day praying for us, that we would know if this was what God has for us...... And if so, that we would have the strength to act on what God was saying. He was overjoyed when he heard we were coming. He said he was happy that he could meet us and help us. He said, that he was so glad to have met Josiah and Lydia. What a blessing.
She was bouncing off the walls. She made the boys do things to get their gifts... One had to do push-ups, another had to do squats. It was hilarious. There was dancing and someone found a photo of her class in about 3-4th grade. Currently the youngest photo I have seen to date.
Then the time came that I had to tell her to start gathering her things. She had already packed her suitcase and loaded it into the missionary's car earlier.... All that was left was her backpack, a couple of stuffed animals, and the gifts from the night.
She asked me to let her sit alone in her room for a few minutes. Of course, I did.
She then started the goodbyes. Wow. These kids are so tough, you could see the emotion exploding behind their eyes. They are so happy for her.... But this is family for them.
She held it together until we got to the bus stop. She and I both lost it at that point for a few minutes.
We got off the bus a little earlier than our normal stop and took some extra time walking home, she took off her headphones and held my hand. We walked silently for a while and then we talked. A little. A few private conversations. Nothing major. Yet I will always treasure that walk. We got ice cream and headed home.
What an amazing new daughter I have! I am so proud of her and the way she handles herself. I know that the "real work" is beginning, and that it was never meant to be simple.... But I go back to thoughts I had months ago. Is life really supposed to be simple? Are any relationships where there is love ever going to be simple? I believe there is a reason that Corinthians has to tell us that love bears all things, hopes all things and endures all things...... It is because love will not always be easy. It will have to be in situations where endurance is tested. Love will have to hope, more than makes sense.... Etc.
I know that there are plans of good and not of evil. I know that there are people that she will impact because of her life and her life story. I know that there are wounds that will need to heal and that there are hopes and dreams that will be realized. I know that the precious girl, with braided hair and all of her belongings in that blue suitcase will grow up to be a strong leader... Not in spite of her past and also not only because of her past, but because Jesus gives us a hope and a future. And Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and set captives free. He gives life abundant and joy unspeakable. He gives peace when peace passes understanding.
As I stood and watched the ones who have cared for her, give such an awesome testament to her life I was humbled to be given the chance to be called "mom" by this precious girl.
There is an honor that has now been given to me five times..... The honor to be "mom."
Two of those babies will never know me as mom on earth, those pregnancies didn't make it full term. two of them will always only know me as mom. This most recent addition has called someone else mom. I am not her first mom. But I will be her last mom. What an honor.
I hope this hasn't just been a rambling.... But allows you to see what's in my heart. Not blind abandon and rose colored glasses.... But love. I guess that's how adoption starts... Love.