We returned home from Hungary with Lizzie on March 1, 2012. It is still unbelievable that we have been home a year. In some ways it seems like yesterday, and in some ways it seems like Lizzie has always been with us.
We are forever changed by this process. I love looking back and seeing how God worked through so many things.
John Reese and Ellie couldn't be better with her. Of course, I feared how their relationship would be affected and if they would really feel like true siblings for a while, and it is really amazing how God just makes that happen. They love her fiercely as she does them!
I am thankful:
Lizzie is growing and maturing
She is progressing in her school work
She loves to learn new things
She trusts us
She makes friends
She constantly communicates her emotions
She has a heart that wants to please
She is a beautiful, precious child and I cannot wait to see how God works in and through her life and her story
We are still struggling though...
Discipline is hard - I am constantly struggling with how firm to be with her, and I daily fail
We want her to obey and we want to have the same expectations of her behavior as we have for John Reese and Ellie - but she is different
She is so active... she has sooo many words
It is very difficult as a mother to determine if her actions are just plain sin or if there are insecurities because of adoption
I fear hurting our bond by being too harsh - but it takes a pretty intense change in my voice to get her attention
Some days are easier than others
We have started a sticker chart to reward immediate obedience - and she loves that - mostly!
Some days she says "I don't want a sticker!"
She daily makes us laugh!
Some new words/sayings:
"I am serious!"
"Mom, are you serious?"
"Mom, do you know who loves you?" "Me"
"That is so gross!"
And her favorite to everybody and anybody in the family who will listen and play this game... "Hey, let's talk animals." Then we have to name our favorite big or small animals or ocean animals or African animals - talk about if they are nice or mean - what they eat, etc... And she NEVER gets tired of this game.
I am honored to be her mother. I am thankful for how far we have come in one year. I pray I will look at the positives and be encouraged and not get overwhelmed with how far we still have to go...
I am thankful that this is how God looks at me - that Jesus saves, but that He knows I am still being molded to be more like Him. Thankful that He doesn't give up on me or focus on the negative when I stomp my feet and want my own way! He keeps on loving, full of grace and mercy and compassion - please Lord help me do the same with my sweet children.