Thursday, November 10, 2011
Our first month with Millie Mei
I truly can't believe we have had Millie for a month. In many ways, it really just seems like we met her. I guess in other ways we are still "meeting" her. Since about 3/4 of the time we have been together has not been our true "new normal," we are really only about one week into trying to get settled into our new routine. I've contemplated and struggled about what to write for this post. I will write the truth. The first month has been one of emotional highs and joyful, happy moments but it has also been one of sobering, exhausting lows. Isn't that really parenthood in a nutshell, though?
Millie is a very sweet and sensitive child. She is well-behaved and extremely loving and affectionate. Her kisses are big, long, and sloppy and her hugs are so tight and she never wants to let go. She is quick to say, "I love you" and I know she knows what it means and means it. Having all that by now from a child her age is such a blessing! Millie has shown she can be very happy like all the handful of pictures we'd seen of her before we met her. She is a teaser and a ham with a multitude of crazy facial expressions.
She is also smart as a whip. That's a weird expression. Who deemed whips smart, or tacks for that matter? Weird expressions aside, she is smart. She is soaking up English like crazy and I know it won't be long until she is getting in her 10,000 words by noon in English.
She is also 32 months old and she lives up to every bit of her age at times. Thankfully, tantrums are few and far between and her stubborn side is usually short-lived with a bit of redirection or correction. She is also, at times, very emotional or on the opposite end she goes into these moments of what I would call despondency. Either the crying or vacant, faraway look can come on without warning and I don't think I've ever felt more helpless. I believe it is grief on some level and it is heart wrenching to watch as I just.don't.know.what.to.do! I pray these moments will go away in time.
I thought I had done a lot of thinking, praying, and preparation before Millie came home but I will admit the area that has been the biggest struggle for me is that I don't know Millie and she really seems foreign to me. (I'm not at all talking about the Chinese part; although, there are times I wish I knew what she was saying because I think it'd be funny or I'd find out she has a mouth like a sailor.) Somehow, whether it was ignorance or arrogance, I skipped over this part the process. I am embarrassed that I missed the fact that it would take time for ME to get to know her and subsequently learn to parent her accordingly. I always thought of things from HER perspective of her having the challenge of getting to know us, her new surroundings, her new language, her new life, etc. However, I guess I hadn't really thought of all the time and challenges I would have in getting to know her intimately and understand her quirks, likes, and dislikes. We are in a discovery phase which is a humbling place to be. Daily, I cry out for wisdom and guidance as I try to learn to be the Mommy Millie needs, which is proving to be much different than the one Lindy needed/needs.
We are so thrilled that God has blessed us with Millie. We are also thankful for all the happy moments of love and joy we've already had with her and we look forward to so many more in the future. I am also trying to be thankful for these moments of learning and difficulty because I know this is a time of refinement and period of growth. Please pray for us to learn what God is trying to teach us.