We are Christian, and to all the other Christians reading, we say, He is risen! In our religion, it is a day of new beginnings, of a new, and different life, and a day of eternal hope. For everyone of other faiths, or no particular faith, we celebrate the new beginning that a new week brings for you. We hope it’s a good one.
In our home, there is a little girl who is experiencing a different kind of new beginning. I remember this point with every adoption, and I’ve been waiting for it to come this time too. It’s the point where it all starts to feel comfortable, where we start to all mesh. The new child no longer feels like the new child, and we become a family who is committed to the same core values, but who does things slightly different to help our newest member.
As always, those slight changes teach us all so much. For example, we sign most everything we’re saying now. I can’t imagine not knowing ASL now. It is becoming second nature in our home, and, I love that. We’re aware of having a family member who can’t hear at all and can’t see as well as the rest of us, but we’re aware in a way that doesn’t require a whole lot of thought now. This morning, as we began the search for Easter baskets, without much thought, the older kids bent down to Gigi and showed her an empty basket that I had set to the side just for modeling purposes, and then explained to her that we were going to search for her basket. She laughed maniacally and took off running, because finding hidden things is the best, and because she totally understood what we were asking of her. How amazing is that?!?
When she found her basket, pure joy. Toys and candy, these are special moments for sure, but what’s even more special is seeing her beginning to understand that she is one of us now, loved so much, and that she’ll always get to participate in these kinds of special family days. I have said one thousand times how I look back at the moments we were so afraid to say yes to the idea of bringing her home and I wonder why we ever worried about anything, and I think of all that we would have missed if we hadn’t said ‘let’s go!’
This past week, a little girl in China who I have come to adore, has had her second family say no to bringing her home. She has been overlooked so many times now, had people turn their back on her, and I’ve got to think it has effected her in ways most of us can’t fathom. She’s too scary. Life at home is too hard. I understand all the reasons why the families have said no. We felt that way too. Today, I can’t help but think of her and wonder when her new beginning will come? Will it ever? She’s 5 years old now. With each passing year, her chances become less and less.
What if we had said ‘not now’ to him? Or to her? I can’t even post Tess’s picture here. The thought of not experiencing the love and light she brings to us every day is enough to double me over. Tess, oh my gosh, you wouldn’t be on earth anymore, I’m sure of it, and the world would have lost so much. We didn’t save you, but when you came to us, you saved us, and brought with you an amazing gift of education about what love REALLY looks like, and how it knows no fear.
How different would my life be if I hadn’t had all these new beginnings? How different would theirs be?
Just as faith is hard for people to understand, because it defies words, so is all of this. One the surface, we look like this gigantic, insane family, and some days, we are. I take on too much. We live too close to the edge. We’re always one step away from total chaos. We don’t often, and sometimes can’t, plan for the future because I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. We’ve given up everything that most people cling to because we’re committed to these new beginnings.
In the Easter aftermath, as they all gather together, in one of the smallest rooms of the house, to trade candy, share with each other, and laugh together, I’m reminded of why we’re so committed to this. Because in this house, we find our strength in faith, and we believe He was committed to a new beginning too, even when it cost Him everything.
–FullPlateMom, who will be over here, vacuuming up Easter grass until eternity if you need her.