Saturday, January 11, 2014

What a difference three years makes...

It almost makes me gasp to see the difference.

There are days that I can't believe that she hasn't always been as big as she is this day.
They grow so subtly... (except for the pants that just won't cover ankles by the end of a winter). But today I came across this picture of Maylin sitting on our pony and almost fell out of my seat. "She was once this small?" That picture was 6 months after bringing her home.
Now three years later there she sits on grandma's horse looking all grown up looking beautiful.

Maylin is our complex little girl who has had a complex little life. I'd love to say that her gotcha day was the end of that complexity but in reality that is far from the truth. A more realistic take on the situation was that it was a tumultuous day. (Even though we saw no tears or any acting out that day) It was a day she had to let go of her past, good or not, and trust go with two strangers who didn't speak her language, didn't look like her and couldn't even pronounce her name very well.

Trust is a word I wouldn't use for a long time. Sure there began to be a trust that she was going to be be fed, trust that she was going to have a safe place to sleep, but trust deep down in her heart that someone loves her, trust that someone REALLY loves her.. well that is an eternal work in progress.

Because of this lack of trust this precious girl can sometimes be mistaken for being a little "strong willed" just for the sake of being strong willed. Sure sometimes that is the case (what kid doesn't have their moment) but more times than not it's because she feels like she doesn't have control or because she doesn't have a voice, which can then lead to feeling like she "isn't safe" (her own words). And lets face it when I don't feel safe I am often ready to fight!

Most of her early childhood she had no voice. She didn't have a voice when she was abandoned, abused, neglected, she didn't have a voice when we, two foreigners, took her away from her foster family...  with no voice one learns to make a voice... que the strong will, que excitability, que the tears.
I think she and I are learning to understand each other's voices and I honestly do think she feels safe with Adam and I 99% of the time.

For the most part Maylin is a happy-go-lucky, push life to the limits kind of girl. Not many understand the vulnerability deep within which can occasionally cause her to sink her heels in.

I pray each day that she will see her needs met, not just physical needs but deep rooted emotional needs. I pray that those around her are able to see the vulnerable girl behind the strong, confident personality. I pray that she receives love, patience and grace.

For any of you who have, know or want adoptive children (older adoptions, or infant adoptions) click on the link below it is a GREAT video to help you understand the voice of the child. It is about an hour so set some time or watch it in segments but WATCH it. I promise it will shed light into the child and help you understand the voice they have/are creating.
Better Understanding our Children


Grandma Shultz said...

This leaves me almost breathless. My heart breaks and also rejoices that Maylin is with you and Adam and has seen modeled unconditional love and grace. I'm trusting that her heavenly Father will heal her wounds and lead her into trusting.

Cassie said...

What insight! Thank you for sharing your heart so that we can better understand...sometimes we need to understand so there can be compassion, not because we need to make sure compassion is justified but because we didn't know that there was a need for it. I have found this to be true even with Calvary and the world of Autism. I love the love that your sweet family shares...

Kristi said...

I'll never forget the first time she hugged me, I mean really hugged me, and told me with tears in her eyes that she trusted me. Better than any I love you she could have ever said to me...