Two years ago today, a tiny girl with a large love of shrimp chips was placed in our arms.
Two years in, she has gained 10 pounds and 7.5 inches.
But more importantly, she is a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, and a niece, and she is oh so very loved.
Of course, she lost a lot to get here. She lost her first country, her first language, and the culture into which she was born, and most significant of all, she lost her first family. Those losses are profound, and over these last two years, we’ve begun to have conversations about them. Particularly throughout my pregnancy with Atticus, thoughts and questions about her origins came to the surface. With a heavy heart, I had to respond, “We just don’t know,” to most of them and then give her space to wonder, speculate, and begin to grieve.
There is brokenness in this world, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the harsh realities facing children who find themselves separated from their parents. And yet there are snippets of hope. Children do not belong in orphanages but in families, and we are so blessed that Madeleine CaiQun has become a part of ours.
Over the past two years, we have seen God knit her into our family beautifully. This sister bond is one of the best things that has ever happened to both of our girls.
They are learning friendship, forgiveness, and fun every day that they spend together.
And Matt and I? We could not be more in love with our little girl.
We still work hard at this family thing. The intensity of our focus on cultivating attachment has waned, but we will always be cognizant of our need to be aware, to be intentional, and to lean in toward our children and help them to lean back toward us. We are band-aid parents. We seek out opportunities for hugs and snuggles, and we prioritize eye contact. We know that hunger for food is not always, really, hunger for food. We discipline in ways that are not necessarily typical.
And we celebrate. We celebrate that we are a family. We celebrate that this amazing little girl is an integral part of it.
We are oh so very blessed.