Mallie’s Homecoming Day Ramblings

Four years ago today we brought our precious Mallie home from Hong Kong.

In some ways it seems like forever ago and in other ways just yesterday.

Homecoming (or Gotcha Days as some families call them) are such sweet and special days for adoptive families. They mark many things, one of which is the beginning of what, you pray, will be the first day of healing for your precious little one.  Many times the first day is not as romantic as we paint it to be on TV and movies. There are very few children who are thrilled to leave the “familiar and known” (even if it is hard and neglectful) and go into the “new and unknown”.  As adoptive parents it is very important that we know that going in….so that we have reasonable expectations of our kiddos and ourselves.

One of the most important things we can do in the healing process for our kiddos, who have a history before they are in our home, is disarm fear and build trust.  This is a long task that must be done with intentionality, patience, and compassion.

As I celebrate Mallie who came home at 3 yrs old,  I see so much healing in her heart and life, but I am also reminded that this is not a sprint but a marathon.

Tonight she is performing in her first drama/play. She has two speaking lines and one singing part. I had no idea how and if she was going to be able to handle this kind of pressure, but she wanted to try. As the play approached, the last two days she has been very withdrawn and quiet.  I had a few moments at home with her by myself this morning and I felt the Lord prompting me to talk to her about it.  As she and I had breakfast I asked her how she was feeling about the drama.  I could tell she withdrew and got very quiet and introverted. I had to spend some time telling her she was safe and could share any of her feelings with me and it was OK.  All of her feelings were OK….fear, anxiousness, worry, anger, sadness, joy, etc.  Every time we have what I call a “healing talk” I see so much in her little eyes.  She just drinks it in….but I also see reservation and concern.  But today it happened so much faster….she opened up her little sweet heart to me and told me all her fears about tonight.  I know you might be thinking…..well that is no biggy….kids always tell their parents how they are feeling…..well not always the case with kiddos who come from “hard places” (“The Connected Child” by Dr. Karen Purvis).

But today, as we celebrate 4 years of attachment, 4 years of healing, 4 years of disarming fear, 4 years of building trust, 4 years of consistent yummy meals, 4 years of hugs, 4 years of healthy touch…… today I got my daughter’s heart.

Thank you Lord for the healing work you are doing in her heart and life!  She is such a joy to parent and I thank you for allowing us to be mommy and daddy!!! She is such a delight and she is sooooooooo precious!  Thank you for reminding me to trust you in spite of my own fear and reservations.  Thank you for your compassion and grace you lavish on me.

Tona

They will rebuild the ancient ruins. They will restore the places destroyed long ago. They will renew the ruined cities, the places destroyed generations ago. Isaiah 61:4

One thought on “Mallie’s Homecoming Day Ramblings

  1. Thank you, Tona, for sharing this. I wish I could spend time with you and ask you questions about adoption. I’m glad I can find you here, though. 🙂 A couple of questions that I have are:

    How does someone discipline an adopted child? I spank my children for disobedience, but I’ve been the one programming them and so it is effective.

    What are the hurdles that you faced in adopting a child with a physical disability?

    How do you integrate an adopted child into your family without the other children being jealous? I assume that it is different adopting a child vs. a baby. My kids can’t hold a child and bond to them the way they could a baby.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom in this area.

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