There sat my little African Princess on the yellow chair in the Wal-mart vision center, peeling stickers out of the coloring book and scribbling with the broken crayon. When Mrs. Lab Coat asked her what her name was, it was me who responded because she just nods at everything.
Just this time last week she was walking the red Ugandan roads with her new daddy. He said while they waited for her passport, she entertained herself for hours with an empty water bottle and rocks.
These drab Michigan skies seem light years away from the hot Ugandan sunshine.
Eva is sitting on my kitchen floor in an Old Navy sweater that I bought for Mia a few years ago. There is something about seeing her in her sisters' hand-me-downs that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. It's like a statement: Yes, you belong. What's ours is yours. You are another one of my little girls who will get birthday crowns, take turns riding in Daddy's truck and posting your stick figure drawings on the fridge.
From far away...completely unknown to us...
...to here in my kitchen, with me telling her not to eat her boogers.
It's so crazy and strange and wonderful.
It is so God.
That probably sounds all mushy and perfect.
It might be a little mushy but it isn't perfect.
Eva is doing remarkably well. Sure there are a some tears. Those are usually when she doesn't want to take a nap. And there are some grumpies. Those are usually when she is getting too much affectionate attention. But I see a more settled little girl every day.
She is using a spoon for more than 2 bites at a meal now.
She has tried at least 3 new veggies and actually likes green beans. Score!
She is smiling a lot and we hear more and more giggles.
There are times when Eva finds something super interesting and goes on and on about it. Whatever it is and whatever she means, I'm usually clueless. I thought that would bother her but it doesn't seem to. I pretty much nod at everything too.
As for the older 5, they are doing great! It was a little weird trying to prepare them for what may or may not happen. They seemed really surprised at the notion that their beloved and long-awaited sister might not be quite as enthused with them as they were with her.
And yes, that totally happened.
Our oldest is 11 and she sort of glommed to him. It could be because he fed her chicken nuggets on the way home from the airport. It could be because his name is really easy for her to say. Or it could be the idea that he carries her everywhere and gives her whatever she wants! The most overused phrase in our house right now is "She has legs. Let her walk."
The rest of the kids love her to pieces too. The twins were unsure how to treat this "baby sister" who weighs a good percentage of their own weight. But Mia took her potty one night and that broke the ice for her. Max is still trying to find a way into her heart. Eva seems to be the most resistant to his friendship, probably because he is the littlest and maybe she sees him as a threat.
At any rate, the relationships are developing, all 6 kids seem happy and Mom and Dad are feeling at peace.
I am sort of bracing myself for the horrible. Just being honest. They all say it happens when you bring home a new kid.
(They meaning the experts and the novice adoptive parents. I think they are one and the same.)
But whatever happens, I'm ready. I think.
I have some raspberry creme chocolates in my refrigerator (you don't like your chocolate cold?), I can cancel any plans on my calendar in a heartbeat, and most importantly:
I have big faith in the God
who called us to walk this road.
Just pardon any and all pajama pictures you may see during spring break.