It's been 49 days since we met Gia for the very first time. 49 days. Much has happened in those 49 days. Things are going quite well, as far as international adoptions go.
The "good" days far outweigh the "bad" days.
But there are bad days.
I've shared about them on this blog. On Facebook. With family and friends.
We have an amazing support group of family, friends, and adoption communities. AMAZING.
But sometimes, when I share about the hard parts of adoption--Gia's adoption--I can hear the unspoken "but...."
"But, didn't you kind of sign up for this when you chose to adopt?"
Yes. And no.
YES, we signed up for this.
This finding our new normal.
This learning how to parent 3 girls instead of 2.
This sibling "jockeying" for position and learning their new roles in our family.
This figuring out how to buckle 3 car seats into the middle row.
This having to use a car roof rack, even on short trips.
This 1 lb. of hamburger just isn't enough to feed our family any more, especially if we want any leftovers.
And yes, even this CT scans and specialist referrals.
NO, we didn't sign up for this.
This trying to glue the million pieces of my daughter's broken heart back together.
This listening to my daughter cry inconsolable sobs of grief for all she left behind.
This feeling utterly helpless because I and she lack a common language to offer explanation and comfort.
This trying to gain the trust of my daughter after whisking her away from the only life--world--she knew.
We didn't sign up for that.
"But still," you might think. "Didn't you know that all this could be a possibility?"
Well, sure. But we still didn't "sign up for it." Every family, child, adoption is different. There's no way to prepare for EVERYTHING.
It's like saying to the grieving widow, "Well, you knew when you got married that your husband might be the first to die. You signed up for it."
Or to the parents in the hospital, praying for healing for their sick child, "Well, you knew going into pregnancy that kids can get sick. You signed up for it."
At some level, we did sign up for it. ALL of it.
But, at another level, we didn't. This is a broken world. We did not sign up for the brokenness. We cannot control how that brokenness manifests itself day in and day out.
(Here's the wonderful, shout-it-from-the-rooftops BUT...)
But we do know the One who holds us in the palm of his hand. We DID sign up for His guidance. His healing. His comfort and encouragement.
And so, we soldier on. Our brave little Gia and our family of 5. We will do the best we can to comfort, protect, and support her as she first flounders, then walks, and finally runs her way through this new life of hers.
We trust the One who called us on this Journey to Gia in the first place.
And yes, after all, we DID sign up for this when we gave our hearts to Him.
A dear friend gave me this scripture to pray for and over Gia when she experiences grief:
"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture." Malachi 4:2
I LONG for the day when I see Gia leap for joy. She will get there. This I know.