I have a post written in my drafts folder describing some of the realities of how hard these last three weeks have been.
I don't want to forget how hard it has been. I don't think I will, simply because I haven't been glossing it over to other people either. Many people have asked me how it is going and I have been truthful in responses.
It is like nothing else I have experienced.
It is harder than having a newborn, for sure.
The days are pretty good, but we covet sleep.
It is just hard, but I'm looking forward to finding a new normal in my life, free of the newness, free of visitors (doesn't mean I don't love them), and in a solid routine.
I have tried to take the time to explain to several people WHY it is so hard, but the words just don't do it justice. Part of the reason is that it is a uniquely lonely time. There is no one that can come in and fix what is wrong, we just have to trudge on through.
I have been clinging to the knowledge that God works through the tough stuff in life. I know He does, but I just felt like a constant failure. We love this girl so much and there is so much hurt for her to overcome. We can't do it for her. We can only be here to help her through it.
At one particularly teary moment for me, I sobbed to a friend, "I know that God is here, but I don't feel Him. I don't see His power in all of this and I want to so badly!!!"
Three things happened over the last 24 hours that gave me some peace and hope.
1. At our couples' Bible study last night, while hashing through the topic of prayer, my eyes came across a note I wrote in my Bible long ago in 1 John regarding verse 5:4 ("for everyone born of God overcomes the world.") At some point in time I wrote down a quote by author Max Lucado - "In your frustration you wonder where the power of God is. Be patient. God is using today's difficulties to strengthen you for tomorrow. He is equipping you. The God who makes things grow will help you bear fruit. Dwell on the fact that God lives within you. Think about the power that gives you life."
I'm being equipped. He's with me. And I'm grateful.
2. We had a great day today! Particularly, nap time (which has been a time of panic, grief, and lots of screaming) went more smoothly than ever and it gave me hope that we WILL get there. We played outside, read stories, laughed, and snuggled. She jibber-jabbered more than ever to us (mandarin maybe? two year old talk, for sure). Tonight, she saw that my phone was sitting on Kenyon's lap and she leaned over and picked it up and said, "Mama, (then some jibberish equal to "here's your phone")!" We all laughed at what a smarty pants she is.
3. I read THIS by my sister in-law and felt comforted by the fact that she has been to a place much darker than I am right now and now she is on the other side with hind sight perspective and COMFORT.
She gave me the gift of comfort in darkness as well.
So, to sum it up - it has been hard, but it is getting better. Small victories keep me pressing on with hope.
Easter was fun - but our family photo was pathetic. Rufus was actually in a good mood but wanted to spoil the picture on purpose. Sweet, huh?
She was sure cute though.
We rock rock rock to sleep each afternoon and night.
Our friends that we met in China sent us this. We want this for her room: