I am so tired as I am writing this. Today was a long day. It was just a “straw that broke the camel’s back” kind of stress situation, between work and parenting and general life. A lot of small things adding up.
We’re quite certain that she understands more English than she lets on. She sometimes sits next to me and reads everything I am typing. She often reads words in when we are in stores. Her pronunciation usually decent, too. I’m not sure if it’s fear or a lack of understanding about how to use words conversationally, but she rarely talks in English beyond a few phrases. “WHATA!?”, “I love you”, “Thank you” and “You’re welcome”. It will come.
I remind myself to treat her like she is younger, or at least offer to treat her like I do with my younger kids. I offered to cut her food up one day. It’s a silly little thing, but I want her to know that if she wants to be mothered in that way, it’s okay. Today she asked me to put sunscreen on her face. Even Reed and Lena (mostly) do their own, I did put it on for her. This really isn’t a time for shoving her out of the nest and telling her to grow up. It’s a time for building the nest up around her. To let her know that it’s okay to stay and soak up all that she feels like she might have missed out on.
We continue the tradition of opening a link each night and rubbing her feet with “Peace and Calming”. In fact, each of my kids get some “Peace and Calming” on their feet with a gentle foot rub. It’s become a time for us to connect, no matter how we clashed during the day.
Tonight, she discovered that I had written “I love you” in Ukrainian in the journal I bought for her. She hasn’t been interested in writing, so this is the first time she cracked it open. I think she was surprised and rather pleased that I attempted to write it in Ukrainian.
Tonight’s chain link that she opened was a bible verse, Proverbs 3:24. “If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
For each of the Bible verses, she hands me the English/Russian parallel Bible I bought her, so that I can find the verse. Then, she reads it again and we use the link as a bookmark, to find it again later.
A Bible verse that has been particularly meaningful for me is Matthew 6:34: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (the Message)
There is a natural inclination to worry– preteen orphan, stranger in our home. To know we’re in the honeymoon period and that certainly there will be hard moments in the next 9 weeks. But, all of that worry just gets in the way of loving her. This verse is a reminder to live in the moment and love her without waiting for her behavior to change or wondering how we might impact her life. Love her because she is here, in the present, and eager to be loved.
Have any inspiration you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it.