After a whirlwind of a weekend, we are finally starting to adjust to being at home. I must confess that it was fun to "show off" Anah to our family and friends and to see her bless others just simply by being herself. We have felt a little like celebrities, especially as we walked up the ramp into the airport to a crowd of our faithful family and friends.
But in ordinary life, we usually don't hear all the accolades. This week, we have all been getting used to the time change and being home as a family of six. Little by little, we are slowly working our way back to our normal routine. There will need to be adjustments and changes we'll have to make to accomodate where Anah is at. On top of that, I have been working hard making sure that each of the other kids and my husband has some of my attention. My goal is to try to work out a new routine for us so that each of us can work together to keep our household running smoothly. Very ordinary life with very ordinary people.
We are slowly getting used to her ways, though the language barrier is still sometimes an issue. We have decided to speak to her in English to get her used to living in our home (besides I don't think we can learn that much Chinese!). However, we are realizing that we need to have a working vocabulary of basic directions and questions. We will need to employ a good friend to help us to translate those and put them into our app so we can communicate with her. That way we can ask if she needs to go to use the bathroom instead of just taking her at scheduled times.
We have also learned that she has quite a repertoire of Chinese worship songs (with hand motions) memorized and loves to dance, but isn't really keen on American food. Night times have been a challenge for us. She is fine throughout the day and is ready for bed at bedtime. She has no problem getting into bed and falling asleep, but usually wakes up 30 minutes to an hour into her sleep crying. Sometimes singing to her helps calm her down, but sometimes we just need to be there to hold her.
All in all though, Anah is a very happy little girl. She enjoys playing with her brothers and sister. We have slowly been adding new activities like blowing bubbles, riding a tricycle, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and building with blocks. We've taken her to Target and Costco, and she is getting used to sitting in a car seat and wearing a seatbelt (which was not always required in China!).
There are times though when life is not very fun or glamorous. Like cleaning up poopy pull-ups because we didn't remember to take her to the bathroom. Cleaning up the dropped food all over the floor. Wiping the drool and tears when she's sobbing in the night.
Sometimes there are moments when I wonder what other humbling things I will have to do before this journey is over, things that no one else will see. There are times when I feel like grumbling because I have been given another toddler instead of an older child. Sometimes I feel helpless because she is obviously trying to tell us something but I have no idea how to help her.
In those times, I have to remind myself to think of Jesus, who came on earth in the form of a human, even though he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He humbled himself to the point of a criminal's death on a cross. I wonder if He has felt helpless at times when we stubbornly refuse what He knows we need. What I do is small beans compared to what He has done for me. He had to give up way more than I ever will.
[box] "Let each one of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by being obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."--Philippians 2:4-8[/box]
This past week has helped me to appreciate the great lengths He has gone to redeem us so we can be adopted into His Kingdom. As we continue to move forward in this new life, I am beginning to understand in a much deeper way the love of God for us. Just as He kept his eyes on the prize at the end of his suffering, so must I. If what we do glorifies Him and helps others come to know Him better, it will all be worth it.
Better get back to work.