Gladdie Mae went 27 days in a row wearing her Gotcha outfit. We started kidding with each other...making bets for how long she’d hold out.
Then came Sunday. She didn’t change out of her pjs all day. Then Monday, the same. Then Tuesday, the same.
We Thought, HOPed, PRAYED that she was turning a corner in her trust and acceptance of us.
Could it finally be?
Then, that tiny sliver of sunlight was shut out when the window slammed down this morning.
She got dressed in her Gotcha outfit. Once again.
I’m not going to lie. I was upset. I melted down.
Partly from pride/jealousy. (Am I not enough for her? Why can’t she love me like she loves her foster mama?)
Partly from inconvenience. (Geez, now I’m going to have to wash this outfit every night again!)
But mostly from a broken heart...for my daughter.
Here she is, having just had the rug pulled out from under her. Her entire world topsy-turvy.
She’s trying to make sense of it all by clinging for dear life to the only tangible thing she has from her old life. Probably hoping with every fiber of her being that she’ll get to go back to that old life.
So I wept. And I let her see me weeping. I want her to know that she is not alone in this topsy-turvy mess. I weep for and with her.
I think she partly understood, because at one point, she handed me a tissue.
I'm grateful to a gracious God who forgives me my meltdowns. And a little girl, who does too.
So, what to do when your hope for your child has just been shattered into a million pieces?
You pick up your frustrated, weepy self by the scruff of the neck, and...you walk.
We live in a beautiful gulch that goes for a few miles up into the surrounding hills. I started walking up and down it a few months ago during some particularly stressful times in our adoption process. I found great comfort walking to a steady beat, listening to worship music, and praying as I walked.
So, I put the wee one in the stroller, in all her Gotcha-outfit-glory, and I pushed her for a couple miles.
I pushed until my legs burned and my heart was thumping out of my chest.
And I prayed the entire time. Sometimes my prayer was just “Jesus….”
Often, I can’t find the words to describe the pain...He knows. So I just say His name.
Walking is great therapy. It's good to get out in nature, to work your muscles, to be reminded of God's beauty and glory. To know that in this huge, vast universe, God cares for little Gladdie and her broken heart. God cares for us as we care for and love her. God knows.
I long for the day when she is at peace...with us.
But until then...we will walk.