Thursday, April 12, 2012

We're building (P.S. I'm back)

Here's where we've been.  And where we still are.

It ain't pretty, folks.  You probably do not want to sit around taking photos of us right now.  It's crazy hard work.  We've messed up a lot.  And it feels like the slowest process imaginable.

This past weekend I was tempted to throw myself a small but well-appointed pity party because I can't get my kid to smile for a single Easter photo--you know, the kid who's been home ten months, was safe and secure in mama's arms, surrounded by familiar people in a familiar location.  Nope.  No dice.

This was the face in every photo.  Could be worse, certainly.  (Speaking of...who are these children doling out engaging, genuine smiles to their new parents mere minutes after being adopted?  Is there a box on some form I forgot to check?  I jest...I jest.  Kind of.) 

The past three weeks (up until about three days ago) have been Rough with a capital R and six exclamation points.  Somewhere smack dab in the middle of the Recent Roughness, I heard this:


Every bit of eye contact.
Every kiss.
Every laugh I coax out of my son, hopefully flooding his little body with all those feel-good endorphins which remind him Mama makes me happy; family feels good!
Every correction, redirection, or "no" that results in compliance instead of an emotional outburst.
Every time he pushes past fear and lets us help him climb the stairs...attempt to say a new word...touch a pineapple.

Even if tomorrow takes a brief detour to Stinkville, what we poured in today still matters.  It is not wasted or illegitimate.  The loving, tender moments are real.  We are painstakingly building a foundation that will last.
After that, the Word of God came to me: "Zerubbabel started rebuilding this Temple and he will complete it. That will be your confirmation that God-of-the-Angel-Armies sent me to you. Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They'll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!"       Zechariah 4:8-10 MSG
I remembered the small beginnings part, but not that these verses are about building.  How cool!  And a few verses earlier, an angel brings the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:  "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit."  Does He mean that word for me too, right now, in my family?  Absolutely, yes.

What we have so far is not complete or terribly attractive.  It's not this.

But we're working toward something secure and unshakable.  One day it will even be beautiful.  It's going to take a while.  I'm learning to be OK with that. 


Rita and John said...

It's so good to have you back! I'm sorry you couldn't have a photo of Shu smiling at Easter. I love what you said about how every good contact or moment makes a difference.

Stephanie said...

Stinkville is no fun. Hopefully the love and prayers of a few good bloggy friends will help you bear the stinkiness.
Welcome back!!

themorellis said...

Been thinking about you so much. . so good to get an update. Had brunch with Rachel last week, was so great to reconnect. I felt like the Lord gave me a word for you yesterday, I just need to get it down in an email for you soon. .will do that before the weekend is over! I love you friend! Are you guys adding a room?

Kim said...

Hi Jerusha! Glad you're back!! I've been thinking about you and your little guy and how we connected a year ago.

Praying for you all. Adoption is not easy, as you know! There is so much about our little guy's background and history that we don't know - and make him who he is. Prayers and hugs!!!


thewonderfulhappens said...

I'm glad to see you back! I feel like your journey is very much like the one I've been on, but I'm almost 2 years ahead of you. And it does all matter and count. All of the hard work you are doing. It is having a lasting impact on him....somewhere. You will see it one day. I promise!

Lindsay said...

And another beautiful post, like you didn't miss a beat. Between all the sweet moments of progress and happiness are lots of mistakes and missteps. Such is adoption and parenthood and LIFE. Glad you can recognize and appreciate them. Thinking of you and sending you strength in the hard times (which we ALL have, by the way. Even the ones whose children smiled the first day).

Sara said...

So glad you're back! I hope Shu has found some healing in the interim.

And yeah, I think I missed that box that gives you the smiling happy child right away too. ;)

Beth Templeton said...

Jerusha, I am so glad to read your blog for the first time. What a wonderful post! I love it that the scripture you quote says that he started rebuilding "and he WILL COMPLETE IT." I think we should take that as a promise, don't you? Bless you and your whole family. And may there be joy as you live in these days of the small beginnings.

anything but LoKEY said...

Gurl, my little one made slow progress in the SAME areas. I am actually working on a post about it now. We still have a hard time getting her to smile and she is still so very fearful at times. And laughs, they ain't cheap and they don't come easy. But I will say this, a little while after our year mark with her something began to bloom. And since then, if I am being real honest, it has been SO much easier for me to be able to bond with her. We feel so much more connected now than we did before. Relieving. Hang in there mamma. :)

Christina said...

You look SMASHING!!!! Some kids just don't smile for photos. It's o.k. Some adults DON'T either, they just run from the camera.

I 100% agree with Lindsey.

I've been thinking about you, too.
I also agree with your EVERYTHING COUNTS!