This Girl

This girl has been a part of our family for 5 whole months now.

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We have been so incredibly blessed to watch her blossom through this time. What a joy she is! Just look at that huge smile, that sweet, sweet face, and the pure excitement she’s exuding (over packing material, no less).

She is continuing to attach to us and form relationships beautifully. She loves to be with me and to be held, though she’ll also let me know when she’s ready to jump down and get back to playtime. She and Matt have a fun relationship, and she and Miranda are virtually inseparable – their sister-bond warms my heart. She is absolutely confident in her assessment of who is a trusted member of her family and is a firm enforcer of boundaries – if a friend offers her a helping hand, they will almost certainly receive the determined response, “No, Mama do it.” And yet she also distinguishes between friends and acquaintances and strangers.

Her mastery of the English language, 5 months from her first sustained exposure, is astounding. She regularly speaks in 4-5 word sentences, and her vocabulary numbers hundreds of words (at least).

Her growth and development are also remarkable. She has gained multiple inches and pounds since arriving home. She’s now potty-trained. Her gross motor skills have taken off, as well. She regularly announces happily, “Mama, I jump!” or comes screeching to a halt in front of me to announce, “Mama, I run so fast!” At the same time, she has developed a much greater attention span and has maintained her ability to focus with great intensity.

And as great as those achievements are, they do not compare to this unveiling of her soul that we have been granted the opportunity to see. My girl is quick to forgive. She enjoys time with others and by herself. She reads, she plays, she laughs. She is absolutely full of joy.

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She can fall asleep on her own in her bed, but she also, some days, grants me the privilege of holding her in my arms and singing to her as she nods off to sleep. How sweet those times are.

Madeleine CaiQun, I am so blessed to be your mama.

On nights like tonight, I mourn the fact that we will probably never get to know her birth mother, to tell her about the amazing child her daughter – our daughter – is, to share photos like these, to share our joy in this amazing little girl. I mourn the fact that CaiQun will probably never know the woman who gave her life.

And yet in the midst of the bitter, I rejoice in the sweet. This amazing little girl was given life. She is no longer living out her days within the walls of an orphanage. She is my daughter. She is beautiful, inside and out. I see, in both my daughters, imago Dei, the image of God. What a blessing to have had these past 5 months with our little Madeleine CaiQun, our sweet mei mei. I look forward to so many more.

 

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