Thankful Thursday: Baby Steps

I finally had them all occupied. With my kids and the two other MKs staying with me splashing happily in the basin of water around back and soaking each other to the core, I quietly slipped into my bedroom for some “me” time.
About the time I unplugged the computer from the charger, my oldest walked in and in her newfound English speaking confidence asked, “Mommy, will you play game with me?”
No. I wanted to say it. No, I don’t want to play a game with you. I want to sit, alone, uninterrupted and try to get some things accomplished that have been calling out to me for days. That e-mail to the Consulate about the visa. Those e-mails to supporters. Those pictures uploaded.
These things were not going to accomplish themselves and as far as I could see it, now was my only time.
“Yes. What game would you like to play?” I felt the words squeeze from my lips. I regretted them as soon as they came out. But alas, it was done and I was walking back to the kitchen table to play a game.
She picked the matching rhyme game… the English matching rhyme game that I knew she didn’t know how to play. I held back my sigh. I didn’t want to play a game to begin with, but I CERTAINLY didn’t want to play a game I was going to have to teach.
And then it happened. She surprised me.
During rest time, she had worked with Jesse, another missionary kid who is staying with us for a few days while Richard is out of town, and had learned not only several new English words but also what they rhymed with.
To say I was shocked would be an understatement. She had taken the initiative and she had done something that she could be proud of. And I was proud, too.
And thankful. Thankful that I had taken the time out of my “busy” life to sit with her and be in that moment.
My mind went back to the little almost-savage girl that had sat in my living room floor just over a year ago, angry to the point of screaming because she couldn’t put together a simple puzzle made for a three year old. She was six and a half.
Thankful.
Some days—many days—are still filled with us struggling against that street girl who is still protecting herself from the cold world in which she survived her first six years. A world full of hate and abuse and neglect and hunger and abandonment. She does not yet fully grasp what it is to be adopted, rescued, chosen. She lies compulsively to protect herself because she doesn’t know what it means to be a daughter in a family that loves and speaks truth.
So I sat there and high-fived my brown-eyed big girl, amazed at how far she has come, though so keenly aware of how far she has yet to go.

Thankful for baby steps.

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