Wednesday, August 24, 2011

China Reflection: Gracie Faye

What a whirlwind 3+ weeks it has been. After receiving TA Friday, July 29th, while celebrating Gracie's successful reading at Sunnyside Elementary, our lives switched into hyperdrive. The next week, Gracie had all day camp at Aowakiya for a week, while we frantically prepared for our journey across the world to get Gemma. This included a wonderful visit from Grandma and Grandpa Peterson from Tacoma. Nonetheless, it was a very busy, hectic, intense time for everyone, especially for a 7 year old girl!

As Amy and I excitedly packed and prepared for the trip, we both commented on how we knew Gracie was going to be great on the trip. It just so turns out that we underestimated our precious Gracie as she has been nothing short of fantastic the entire trip. I can't express how proud and blessed I have been this entire trip by this little girl, who has made sacrifices and adjustments beyond her years, with little-to-no complaining along the way. This trip has been a wonderfully fun and memorable experience, but also overwhelming, tiring, scary, and stressful. Add to all of this the fact of getting another family member, one that will need lots and lots of extra attention, love, and care, and you have quite a big adjustment for ANY person. That makes little Miss Gracie's behavior all the more impressive to us.

Last night, while on our boat cruise Gracie said  to Amy, "mommy, I miss the 3 of us." Yep, all the fuss of Gemma's LOA and TA, prayer, travel, packing, flying across the world to the place G was born and united with us, witnessing an absolutely heart wrenching "Gotcha Day," then making big adjustments and concessions all without a fuss, and yet she still says what is in her heart in the most gentle, loving way. Since Amy shared that with me, I've once again been overwhelmed with a grateful heart.

More importantly, it has impacted me as a parent, husband, and person. I'm going to be transparent and tell you that I've had moments of failure and selfishness on our trip. I've been stressed and impatient with Gracie and reacted in ways I'm not particularly proud of... ways I don't want Gracie to remember me by. Even further, due to the challenges of adapting and caring for Gemma, and all her special issues and needs, in a foreign place, I've at times found myself inadvertently neglecting Gracie emotionally when she needs me most. By God's grace, I've been convicted and caught myself, but still, Gracie has been an anchor despite all the challenges.
None of this has been easy on my "Little G," but she has been nothing but a wonderful, loving big sister, and daughter and I'm so thankful for that. She doesn't know it now, but this little girl has been used by God to change me in many ways, too many to illustrate in a blog post. But I'll make it a point to show her how she has changed me by how I act and live as her father and as her mom's husband.


As we wind down our time here in China, the birthplace of my two daughters, I'll always remember how a beyond-her-years courageous little 7 year old girl traveled across the world and  braved so much to welcome a new sister with love, patience, and understanding. Because of her , I know that I am a better person because of it and I know those who know her will be too.


I love you Gracie Faye Aijin Miller. And I'm very blessed and proud to be your daddy.

Dad




4 comments:

Amy said...

:*)

Vicky said...

Sweetest post! Gracie will treasure this in years to come.

Anonymous said...

Another adoptive parent here waiting on the paperwork so we can go to get our little girl in China. Have been so blessed to follow along on your journey!
When I read this one I just had tears streaming down. Incredibly beautiful! Yes, your precious girl will be blessed by this post forever. She really sounds like a godly young lady, so we know that you have also done a great job training her in the ways of God. :)
When we travel to China our 10 year old son will be with us. I pray that we will also be able to write such a post on him.
God bless your beautiful family!
The Lord knew what He was doing when He divinely placed these girls with you both!

Roseann D said...

Yeah! Gracie !!! WhooHoo!