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'!  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.     


Cooking Up Faith said...

Lisa - I just want to encourage you by letting you know that I have days where I just.don' with my kids!! There are fits, crying, clinging, wanting, demanding and it is pure exhaustion. You are a mother. This is what motherhood feels like. Ups, downs, highs, lows. Thinking we have it all figured out to realizing we have nothing figured out. I am praying for you sweet sister!! :)

Jboo said...

Sounds like she is doing great -- she's a beautiful girl! I feel for you -- it is hard to add a toddler to the family mix, no matter how much you prepare or think you are prepared. Don't be too hard on yourself and just take one day (or one hour) at a time. Hang in there. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.


quilt'n-mama said...

praying for you! we can relate in many ways having only had our sweet girl about 3 months!
Praying for you friend.

The Byrd's Nest said...

I felt the exact way with Emma and she was two years old when she joined our family. It was MUCH different than with Lottie. She grieved so much and knowing her needs was my biggest prayer. We have come so far in the last five years and when I look back the beginning was so hard for all of us and it breaks my heart that she suffered so much but in the end, she learned to trust...once again...and so will Millie. It just takes time and I am here for you anytime you need me sweet friend. Praying!

Elissa said...

I SOOOOOOO get what you are saying. I instantly felt like Lily's mom and not so much the second time. And I was a little embarrassed to admit it. Once I did, I heard "me too's" all over the place, and not always related to older child adoption. Apparently parenthood is different every time!

Love the pic of the outfit we sent! Thanks :) And sorry the leggings were 2 sizes too big :)

Love you and miss you tons!!

Holly said...

I SO understand. I still don't know it all...4 kids later! :) Each one has such different needs and bents!
My youngest child's needs seem to change by the HOUR!
God will give you the tools to parent your children. Just keep crying out to Him! They are such beautiful and precious girls.

Linette said...

Lisa- I can relate exactly to what you are saying! I too felt the same way when Hope came home. And Hope and Hannah are as opposite as they come. Just know I'm praying for you and think you're an awesome Mama!!!
And you didn't mention this but for me..going from one to two kiddos was really difficult. The girls look absolutely adorable. Isn't it so fun to dress up girls! :)

Football and Fried Rice said...

That little hair cut is the cutest thing!!! And I live the girls in the star shirts and their converse!!