Yesterday, I left the girls and Jason for an hour and a half to make a mad dash to the grocery store; our cupboards were looking pretty bare.
While standing in line to check out, this picture pops up on my phone with this caption underneath:
“Elvis’ daughter…Mia Graceland.”
I’m not sure what I laughed harder over – the ridiculous looking wig or the serious look on Mia Grace’s face.
That poor girl – I am sure half the time she looks at us and thinks, “Who are these ridiculous people, and why did I have to come home with them?!?”
In all seriousness, though, it has been a long few days for Mia Grace. The past two nights she has woken up with hard, panicked cries, either like she had a bad dream or is completely disoriented and cannot figure out where she is, or perhaps even as if she is grieving.
Thankfully, she is willing to be soothed and patted and rocked, but the cries continue off and on throughout the night, and she was awake a solid two hours from 1-3am last night.
During the day she has been teary and particularly clingy to me, behavior we never really saw while in China.
It is strange in many ways, watching my daughter grieve and mourn all that she knew as life up to this point and knowing how exactly to comfort her. I was expecting grief – the classes we took and books we read did a good job prepping us for that – but what I wasn’t expecting as how it would tug at my heart. So much of me wants to tell her, “Forget the orphanage. It wasn’t a great place anyway. You have a family now. Friends. A cat named Hot Dog (who totally freaks her out, by the way. She is not sure what to do about cats, hair dryers, or the sound of blenders). Why cry about a place where you slept behind bars in a room with ten other kids and ate rice congee every day?”
But she cries because it was all she knew. It was her familiar.
On one hand, my heart aches that the orphanage was her familiar and that she misses it. On the other hand, I long to communicate to her all that her adoption means and the benefits of “family, sisters, mom, dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.” But I cannot communicate logic to an 18 month old’s cries, so the only option I have is to wait, and watch, and love, and hold, and pat, and kiss, and pray. Grief is a thing that cannot be rushed. And neither can the new becoming the familiar. We will have to wait to become her new familiar, her new place of trust, comfort, and love.
And while I wait, I am reminded of the One who waits for me. Of the One who patiently waits for His heart, His family, His ways, to become my new familiar. I have always thought of Him with a disapproving glance in His eyes as He waits for me to adjust my lenses to His holiness, but now I know differently. He waits with tears in His own eyes as He watches us grieve, struggle, and suffer over things that usually weren’t that great to begin with. He is so patient with us and “waits from on high to show us compassion” (Isaiah 30) again…and again…and again.
I need that same patience and grace (there’s that word again) as I wait for Mia Grace. Please pray that for me and for her. And please pray for sleep! We all feel about the equivalent of a slug trekking through jello as we slowly adjust to a 13 hour time difference, and I am sure Mia Grace feels it most of all.
On a happy note, we were able to celebrate my sister-in-law, Haley’s, birthday tonight over dinner and cake.
Mia Grace thoroughly entertained us eating by eating french fries and having her first taste of…CAKE. And not just any cake, but Teresa Medeiros’ homemade butternut cake.
I started feeding MG tiny bites with a fork:
About four bites in, she pushed the fork away and started pushing pieces of cake with both hands into her mouth as fast as she possibly could…smart girl!
Anyone who likes Teresa’s cake that much is one smart cookie and is going to do just fine with her new familiar.
Off to bed…praying everyone sleeps well in your house tonight and in mine.
The Baker Six