Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
– Mother Teresa
In this season of welcoming our youngest daughter into our family, we are keeping our life small, our days simpler, our obligations minimal. With five children our days are still full, still chaotic to most outsiders. Yet we are intentionally leaving space for our sweet Hope to grow, to feel safe and to learn what the love of a family looks like. Broadening her experiences slowly and gently, we are hoping to teach her that she can fully rely on us to meet her needs and wholeheartedly trust that we are here to stay.
Hope is growing in every way. Physically and developmentally, she is doing so much more than when we first met her in May. She is beginning to take her first wobbly steps. Bravely trying new foods, like bites of whole strawberries, avocados and banana. She is starting to form sounds that are resembling words. We believe her first word is “Cat”, as she repeats with great excitement the same babble word every time she sees our cat, Cinnamon.
A good friend of mine who is an adoptive mother of four, recently described attachment as a delicate dance. Both child and parent finding their steps and stumbling at times. In the day to day, attachment seems slow and hard. Yet when I am paying attention, I can see small glimmers of progress as deeper bonds are forming with each interaction. She now looks for me, coming to me for reassurance all throughout her day. She is beginning to respond to me when I call her name and when she is upset I am able to comfort and reassure her more easily. I relish in the moments when she looks me in the eyes and gives a smile, meant only for me.
Slowly, Hope is warming up to her siblings, learning her place in our family. Beginning to embrace the rhythms and routines of our home. Our four older children are learning greater compassion for their little sister, who has had a harder start in this world and needs extra patience and consideration. All in all, I am blown away by their deepening love and the sacrifices they have been willing to make. I have no doubt that they will be her biggest fans and fiercest protectors throughout her life.
We are living in a sort of bubble but our calendar is still filling up and I am literally feeling the weight of it on my shoulders. Our homeschool day looks anything but typical. Our calendar no longer filled with as many social engagements or afternoon park dates but with doctors appointments and in-home therapies. Hope has weekly in-home visits with speech, physical and occupational therapy as well as a Vision Specialist and Infant Developmental Specialist. We have these services through the Regional Center of the East Bay until Hope turns 3 years old. We are so grateful to have these services available to us in her first year home. We know that with love and care, Hope will make leaps and bounds in her development.
In the next couple of months, we will have appointments with a variety of specialist and we are hopeful this will help us gain information on how to best care for Hope. Encouraging and supporting her to learn and grow to her fullest potential.
Not long ago, I was listening to a podcast and I remember one of the woman speaking said something that really resonated with me. In brief, she said something along the lines of: When life feels too big that is when we need to live small. Allowing God to take His rightful place in our lives, surrendering control. Letting Him bear the burden that we were never meant to carry.
I feel the weight of it all and I am tired and weary yet I am learning to take each day as it comes, one small step at a time. In our time of waiting for Hope, I found that I can rely on and trust in God at an even deeper level. Resting in His good and perfect plan even when life feels uncertain. Witnessing in tangible ways that He is so much bigger than any circumstance, any burden, any trouble we may face.
Just as we are caring for Hope, our sweet small one, God is doing this for me. When I feel small and weak, He is strong, more than able. He tucks me safe into the palm of His hand, exactly where I belong. It is here that I find the rest that my soul yearns for and my burdens again feel light. Small in comparison to His great love and tender care for me.
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
Isaiah 40:11 NIV
““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””
John 16:33 NIV