Thursday, March 18, 2010

Even 18 Months Later, We're Still Experiencing Firsts!!

So on July 21, Abby will have been with us for 2 years. If you've been following long, you might remember that for the entire first year, she didn't want much to do with me. Oh, she let me meet her basic needs, but she just couldn't seem to let herself really receive my love. It was hard, but trying to follow the example of my Heavenly Father, I didn't force things and let her work it out in her own time.

I tried to let her know that I was always there, I would offer her hugs and affection, but if she pushed me away, I let her be.

But when I went to Africa last August, something changed... It's like she finally started to get that even though I go away, I'm always coming back. From that point on, she begin to let me in more and more.

One of the hardest things for me, that first year, was that she didn't like me hugging her... A kiss on the head was absolutely forbidden... Rubbing her back was met with squirming and pushing me away. For a time, I honestly wondered if anything would ever change.

But it did... After Africa, she began to invite me to sit with her, more and more. She started to hug back, instead of feeling like she was doing her duty. And more and more, I could sneak a kiss on the top of her head and she wouldn't fuss at me.

A couple of weeks ago, Scott and I went away for our 20th anniversary and when we returned, she ran out to the garage and threw her arms around me, even trying to push Mackenzie out of the way. I realize I can't let that always happen, but that one time, that first time, I just ended up making a game out of a group hug.

But Saturday night was the moment I had been waiting for... We were staying in a hotel for a soccer tournament. Scott and I were with the girls in one room and the boys were next door. We all got snuggled into our beds and read for a while. But then the girls were ready to go to sleep... And Abby started to ask for something, but I couldn't understand what she was saying... On the third try, she opened her arms and said, "What about a hug?"!! Talk about making a heart overflow...

And then last night, she said, "I love you" first! WOW!! She has grown into the happiest, most loving child. It's amazing what love, patience, grace and security can do for a child (for an adult too!)...

What an amazing journey!

9 comments:

Lori said...

WOW, what amazing progress! And so very encouraging to me!!

Thanks so much for sharing about those special moments.

Cammie Howard said...

Sharla- That is so great!!! I just smiled as I read this! You are a great mom too-thanks for sharing !

Cammie Howard said...

Sharla- That is so great!!! I just smiled as I read this! You are a great mom too-thanks for sharing !

trina said...

And we would love to see that huggy girl!! Missing you all.

sierrasmom said...

You are the pefect Mom for Abby,by letting her take her oen speed. It is not easy but oh so worth it at momnets like this!!!! This made me cry!!!
Hugs
Kathie

Wife to the Rockstar said...

that is great!!!!!!!!!

kitzkazventure said...

So Amazing and wonderful! I am continually amazed at how adoption and its ups and downs especially in how are children learn to love us is SO MUCH like our relationship to God. If I am ever having a conflict that I cannot understand with Nick, God always shows me how it is exactly how I deal with an issue with HIM....and then I get it....oh, the Grace He shows me, can't say I always have done the same for our boy but I love how God gives me the insight so I can do better next time! So happy for you and your family!!

Chris said...

Glad to see progress. Even 18 months into it. How long it takes for them to un learn old habits.

Mike and Barb said...

I'm sure that first year was hard, but it's so wonderful how she is changing and opening up to you!
Thanks for sharing
Barb