As I thumbed through the pictures of the past week’s birthday festivities, my eyes just filled with tears as I thought back on the time when she was not here. It seems so far away now, but it’s not. It was just 2 1/2 months ago, and years before that, that I would daydream of a child in my backseat playing and singing. One that I could look back on and smile. One that would sing with me and not mind how terrible my voice is because I was her momma. One that I could gently correct as she did something she was not supposed to do. I would look in the rear view and just long for that child. Twice God answered my prayers… the first time He answered, “Not right now,” and the desire for motherhood continued to burn. After much anticipation, on July 17th, 2011, He answered me again, with a “Here is your baby girl!”. I love looking at her in the rear view. It always makes me smile.
When we first made the decision to adopt from Africa, it was a time of uncertainty in a lot of areas. Of how our families would react to adoption and even more, to having a child of a different ethnicity in the family. But also, the uncertaintly of adoption in general. Would it be like our other experiences with trying to conceive? Would this long and painful process ever produce a Baby Taylor? Ok, I am totally getting choked up writing this. God always had a plan for Miss Mila’s little life, and for our family, and at just the perfect time, He gave us more than we ever dreamed He would. Not that we didn’t know that God was good, or that He does not know how to give good gifts to His children, but I just don’t think our minds could hold what this would actually be like. Parenthood.
It is good. It is worth it all. Don’t get me wrong, it is no walk in the park, or tiptoe in the tulips, there is much sacrifice, and so much responsibility. LONG days, interrupted sleep, playing in poop (for anyone who has adopted internationally, you know what I’m talking about), barely getting the bills paid, a totally messy house, and many other things that just weren’t issues prior to Squealy Bird. And then there’s the difficult decisions of parenting, like taking stands on things because you know it’s what is best for your child. And last, but certainly not least the sacrifice of time, effort, stress and all the tears that went into getting said child here in the first place. But it is worth it, it is worth it all.
I do not know how it feels to give birth, or to have a baby kickin’ around in my belly, but I can’t imagine that it is any better than how God chose to bring this one into our world. Different, yes, but not better. He closed, and then opened door after door along the way. Many of these closings were painful, but they all led to parenthood just the same, and I think, I KNOW, we are better off for it. I am so thankful for the wait, so in awe of God’s goodness. I am thankful for family that loves us and our daughter so dearly. So thankful for everyone: family, friends and even some strangers who gave so sacrificially to help bring Mila home. God provided for this adoption every step of the way.
God used this verse many times during the last 3 years to get me through some rough patches, even through some serious black holes, and a speaker at my first “mom conference” last weekend brought it back to mind. I have heard it many times, and it just soothes my soul. What is so good is, that like the rest of His Word, this will always be true… “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!”. If and when God is going to choose to bring us out of our trials is usually the place our mind goes when the hard times hit. But where it should be, is what in the world is God showing me and the world about Himself in this deep valley. It seems ironic that it’s in our darkest places that we see the face of Christ the most clearly. He is there with us through it all and He brings us the joy that we can never find on our own. I am so thankful for His ways, even when they are just the opposite of my ways. I am so thankful for His love, for His gifts, His strength when I am weak, and most of all for His Son, whom He gave freely so that I may live. And so thankful for my daughter who never ceases to amaze me.
Here is a little family birthday fun from this past week. She had a blast, but that is pretty much her M.O.
First my dad and LeeAnn came by for birthday celebration #1. She loved the presents and always loves giving “Pounds” (or a fist pump–whatever you wanna call it).
Then it was on to Dylan’s Uncle David’s pizza joint, Fox’s Pizza in Springville, to celebrate with his side of the family. She played “Whac A Mole” (classic) and drove the racecar game. Skeeball, my personal favorite, did not turn out to be one she, or her cousin Brooksy Brooks, really understood the concept of. Oh, and I took a picture of her cake to prove we got her more than corndog nuggets :O).
Even though Skeeball kinda stumped her, she did figure out how to imitate the late MJ in his prime. I totally just caught this pose by accident, but what a priceless shot (LOL). Being a paparazzi mom does have it’s advantages.
Then we wrapped up the weekend at my uncle David’s for a “pool party”, that was not. It was waaaaaay too cold for swimming, so we just looked at their beautiful frigid pool from the balcony and stayed inside most of the time. But, we had a lot of fun. Squeals got many new things to keep her busy and fashionable, and we had some more good family time.
And this, was about 2 minutes into the ride home (and this child does not sleep in the car). Pretty much how we all felt after days of “partying”.
And it’s about how I feel right now. It’s late. I’m going to bed.
Good 1st (2nd) Birthday with our “Lil’ Squirrel“.