Seven months. It feels like an eternity and a blink of an eye. Some days she’s always been mine. Other days she’s a complete stranger. I would suspect this feeling will carry on for awhile…this merging of hearts and learning more about each other.
When we first inquired about Sunshine, we learned some hard things. She was struggling and that is always difficult to hear. But we still felt the nudge forward…the whisper “This one is yours” and we pushed forward because we were trusting that God would be able to do His Thing and work in her broken heart. While she was still in Ethiopia, we got monthly reports and they were mostly somewhat grim. She was sullen. She wasn’t speaking much. She seemed excessively shy and somewhat withdrawn. I began praying for her heart and that somehow she would KNOW we loved her even though she hadn’t met us yet. I prayed that her heart would begin to heal and feel again.
The early pictures we received were hard. Of course we looked forward to EVERY photo because it was a tiny glimpse into her life there. I remember begging another mother who was visiting to PLEASE try to get her to smile just once. I wasn’t sure she could. In the meantime we nicknamed her “Sunshine” because every photo looked like this. (And because I really do have a somewhat sick sense of humor I guess).
Picture after picture hit our email box and my mama’s heart broke to see her smile. After a few months…the shy smiles started to come. And then as we were getting ready to leave to visit her…we received a glowing photo of her smiling in a pretty pink dress. And I knew the healing had begun.
Since coming home Sunshine has come alive. I’m not talking about a a little bit of personality emerging…or even just a dropping of her guard. I’m talking…this girl is NOTHING like we predicted. She isn’t shy, reserved, socially inept, withdrawn, or sullen. She is ALIVE! She’s the life of the party. Always talking. Always laughing and doing crazy things to get you to laugh alongside. She’s silly and funny and LOUD. She’s poised in social settings…appropriate…kind and polite. She laughs just to hear her own voice. She sings and chants and hums through the day. She tells you when she’s not happy (although…trust me…you would already know). She can turn on the waterworks as quick as a leaky faucet and be laughing again in 60 seconds. She’s determined and stubborn and she loves to be around people. She has friends at school who adore her. When she’s tired she gets crazy loopy and laughs hysterically until the tears roll. She’s full of adventure and is always looking for a good time. This girls can be down right fun.
Some people say all she needed was a family.
I say…all she needed was a GREAT BIG GOD!
Thanks for 7 months of laughs you crazy girl!