Monday, October 27, 2008

I Just Love Baby Steps!!

One of the concerns that I often hear parents express, who are considering an older child adoption, is how many firsts they will miss...and will they really have the opportunity to shape their adoptive children?

I know science and psychology tend to argue that personalities and many behaviors are shaped at a very young age, but I'm convinced that with love, consistency and perseverance, anything is possible...

Today was a bit of a stressful day...honestly, I was looking forward to Zack getting home from school and being able to head to Walmart for grocery shopping...by myself (you know you're desperate when you're wanting alone time at Walmart!)... Anyway, I figured Abby would want to stay with her siblings, but I invited her to go, just in case...

And she shocked me! She wanted to go with me! At first, I hate to admit, I was a little disappointed, I really needed that away time...but I'm not so dense that I couldn't see that this was a wonderful opportunity to have some time with just her!

So, she and I took off...I think I barely had the car cranked and she was sound asleep... On the way there, I was talking to a friend on the phone and we got word that another of our friend's husband had fallen and was in ICU... This is the sweetest man, he reminds me so much of my Pop... (turns out, he's going to be fine!)...but it made a stressful day, even harder...my heart was just heavy!

As I pulled into the parking lot, I looked back at that sweet, sleeping face and my arms just ached to scoop her up and hug her close, I even whispered a quiet, "please" to my heavenly Father, but tradition has it, that that just wasn't going to happen.

But just in case, I opened her door and offered my arms to her...she smiled and crawled right up into them! Yep, if you've been following this blog long, you read that right...she snuggled into my arms and wrapped her little legs around me and let me pull her close...ahhh...heaven on earth!

We had the most fun at Walmart...she chattered to me the ENTIRE time...we even found silver sparkly...oops, I mean princess shoes...to go with her 3 (as she always reminds me) princess dresses...she's so proud that she has 3!

And when she would see something that she knew we were out of, she would point it out and say, "Abby help mommy!" "Abby, you're a Big help to mommy!" OOOOO, the look that got! "Abby not Big mommy...Abby little!"

We giggled, we laughed, we danced a little to a singing card and splurged on some more popcorn balls and lip smackers lip gloss...fanta orange and grape flavored!

So, if you're considering adopting an older child...go for it! Yes, you miss the first step, first tooth, first hair cut...but the firsts you get to experience are simply magical...and they're experienced by both of you...a baby doesn't remember...but a 6 year old will!

Yes, there are unique challenges to adopting older, but they are so worth it. And just like I learn every day what it means to be an adopted daughter of my Heavenly Father...Abby learns what it means to be an adopted daughter with a forever family...science and psychology don't have all of the answers...God is far more powerful! Thank you Father for baby steps!

5 comments:

Leslie said...

Well said my friend. If we ever get to do this again, (PLEASE LORD! :), I would put no younger than three on the application! There are many pluses as you know, but so many firsts too! We cannot imagine Susannah not being three. She just fits perfectly and is always ready to go anywhere, although not often in Mommy's arms. ;) I take it when I can as well! Love, love your triumphant trip to Wally World! Thanks for your comment and friendship!

I was thinking we should start a blog for advocating for older child adoption. Whatdoyouthink?

Leslie said...

One more thing Sharla, I forgot. Please check out my friend Jennifer's blog, Immensely Blessed on my sidebar. She is in the process of adopting her six-year-old foster daughter and just adopted her 16-year-old foster daughter!!! She could contribute to our blog too! :) Leslie

Patientlywaiting said...

It is interesting what we have been going through with Claire. At times, she wants me to rock her and hold her juice cup for her. She sucks on it like it is a bottle. It is like she is reliving her infanthood. She also wants me to cuddle her and carry her around. I usually allow it because I know it will pass with time but she has a need right now to be babied by us. Sometimes it is over after a few minutes and she is right back to being her independent little self. These kids continue to amaze me with how well they adjust and how quickly they become a part of our family. Just can't remember life without her; nor do I want too.

Hugs,
Robin

trina said...

What a sweet visual picture of Abby smiling at you and allowing you to hold her!! I'm so happy for you...and her. :)

Jen said...

I'm so glad you and Abby had some special time together. Sounds like you both needed that! I agree, I can't imagine Chloe Grace being any younger. She's just been perfect for our family. Wonder Who worked that out???? As for the pumpkins....we taped patterns on the pumpkins and used a thumbtack to poke the pattern through. Then just traced the pattern to cut. This is the 3rd or 4th year we've carved with patterns like that, so the older kids are getting pretty good at it. I always dread the mess, but we have so much fun I'm always glad we did it.
Have a great day!
Jen