|Micaelyn gets some final loving from her beloved foster dad. The bond between them was obvious. His love and adoration for her was clear. It was heartbreaking to think about the separation that was to come all too soon.|
|The foster granddad (foster dad's dad) looks on. Clearly he had also been very close and loving towards Micaelyn.|
It's often said there is a special bond between dads and daughters (and likewise between moms and sons). Micaelyn was truly blessed to have been so greatly loved by both a foster dad and granddad during the first 3 1/2 years of her life before she came to us. We know all too well how a child can be affected when they live without this love, and thus we are so grateful to God for the people in Micaelyn's province that stepped out to make a difference in the lives of the precious children who were suffering in the orphanages. We have heard from many sources the foster care program there was started by a group of Christians who wanted to help these children. Because they answered the call to care for the orphans hundreds of children like Micaelyn have received love and care so vital to their healthy development. The difference that love makes it unmistakable... and amazing.
|Caleb tries to get her to play some more.|
The family photo, necessary for the adoption paperwork, was taken before the foster family left. Otherwise it would have been impossible to take it, because once they were gone my poor little girl was overcome with trauma and grief. The moment she realized they were gone she began screaming and fighting. We were one of those families you sometimes read about, the one where the child is so traumatized they scream and fight for dear life and literally have to be held in restraint due to their kicking, flailing, and trying to escape. There was no calming her down, and I didn't feel it even made sense to. I knew the best thing was to just get back to the peace of the hotel room. It was a long ride back, and while I was ever so happy to finally have my precious daughter in my arms it was heartbreaking to know how much she was hurting inside.
Back at the hotel I got Micaelyn cleaned up and changed. It felt so wonderful to finally be able to dress her after looking at clothes and dreaming of her wearing them for over a year. I gave her a photo of her foster dad holding her at her birthday. She clung to it for dear life. She would stay by the window where she would look down to the street and scream "BABA!!!!!!!!!" at the top of her lungs. She would hold the photo right up to her face and scream "Baba!" as if touching the photo might somehow bring him back. This was so very hard for me, because I remembered doing nearly the same thing when my dad had died a few years ago - I would look at his picture and desperately wish it could really be him instead of just a picture. It was so hard to grasp the concept of him being forever gone, to never again be able to hear his voice, to hug him, to talk to him. I understood how Micaelyn felt over the loss of someone so special, her "baba." It was heartbreaking to see her pain, and at the same time it was heartbreaking to remember my own pain both at the loss of my father more recently and also the loss of my first stepdad as a child, both of whom she is named after. Thus it was so natural for me to hold her and comfort her, and thankfully she wanted me to do so.
Later in the evening we walked to WalMart as a diversion. I knew she would probably stop crying in hopes she was going back to the foster family, and though I knew she would be disappointed when we came back to the hotel I also felt she needed to get outside and take a break. I carried her in my arms the ENTIRE time (all 38 pounds of her!) because I felt it better for her to stay close and feel my touch on her. She obviously enjoyed picking out some new toys, a new shirt, and some snacks. She loved to look at all her things we had brought from the US, the things left with her by the foster family, and the new things we had just gotten. It was fun to watch her look at everything. She was obviously very pleased with all the new clothes. She also was very happy to have new necklaces and bracelets and she loved having me paint her fingernails and toenails.
I knew nighttime would be very hard for her. However, she was so exhausted she didn't fight going to bed (though she did wake up crying through the night). Caleb was so sweet to her, and I think she was really comforted by his gentleness towards her.
There aren't words to describe the love I felt right from the beginning for this precious little girl. We had started this adoption thinking we would adopt a baby girl from China, not a 3 1/2 year old. However, as soon as I held her I knew she was mine, I knew she was the child I had been waiting for, the one I had loved in my heart for years before she was even born. It was truly as if she were a part of me that had been missing and finally found. From the moment I first held her I knew I was 100% completely head over hills in love with her. She is a true blessing from God.