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a little closer…

Each day brings sweet connections…more than the day before.

But the night.

Oh the night. Four times so.

Exhausted after a day of chasing littles. After dinner, I spend an hour playing a Hasbro Guess Who game with Frank…then Isaac…then Laney–then Isaac again. Frank jumps in and out of my lap—a fair weather teammate. When things are going good–he jumps in my lap and starts guessing for me. And takes me down and runs away again. Richard is in the room with Zeke putting him down…and then we trade.

My heart is pulled. I hear him crying…knowing he wants his momma. A connection we already have. But I have to let Richard help…and the others need their momma too. Parker stands back and laughs at us all.

Does your guy have nail polish?” Frank asks. Parker laughs harder. Only faces are shown. You can’t see hands any way. And I doubt any of the guys would be wearing nail polish if they were. Playing this game with Frank asking the questions keeps us all laughing. But I can hardly breath hearing one cry–so I hope Frank’s questions will quickly get us out–and sure enough…they do. No, their guy doesn’t have a mohawk. In fact–NONE of the guys in Guess Who have a mohawk. Thank you very much for wasting another turn…and helping us lose quickly…so mommy can relieve daddy and relieve my heart from the agony of wanting to calm him.

I pick him up. His body touches mine. And the cries stop. Truly a sweet miracle. I lay down with this 23 pound sweet one snuggled on my chest. It takes him a bit to catch his breath from the crying–but in just a few minutes his quick breathing has calmed and he has his little finger in his mouth.

He looks up at me. I wipe away his tear.

Wo shi ni de mama. Ni shi wo da wawa. Wo ai ni.”

Simple words.

I am your momma. You are my baby. I love you.

In his language.

He understands.

He reaches one hand for my chin. And puckers his tiny lips—and I give him a kiss.

He smiles–and reaches again. For another. And another.

Staring in his big dark eyes…I melt. He smiles. And he reaches for another kiss again and then rolls over beside me–curled up close under my arm.

In his sweet raspy night time whisper, “Mama.”

“Wo ai ni wawa.”

“Ai ni.

This is truly a miracle to an adoptive momma’s heart. To any momma’s heart–this is…but especially to one who must go in not expecting this. It might take weeks, months or years for this to come. But this—so soon…a sweet gift.

Every night I treasure this time.

It seems to take longer and longer and longer each night. But this…we are making up for many lost nights. Not that they can be made up for–but having this extended time to connect…to talk to one another in the quiet…without the commotion of many littles…it is sweet. What a momma’s heart dreams for.

I know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Not volunteering at a million things or traveling here or there. These five precious ones need me–and although they would be just fine without me–because the Lord would care for them and provide–but right now…I know this is exactly day in and day out where I am supposed to be. The laundry is piled sky high. There are dirty dishes in the sink. And I’m 2 days past due a grocery store trip. But my heart is full. Knowing I am right where I am called to be for this season. And if there’s no coffee beans or diapers for the morning…a drive thru will do the trick and a field trip to the store I’m sure can fit in some where.

I’m carefully watching each of my children’s hearts…and some are transitioning to growth more easily than the others. Tending to this is much more necessary than tending to any to-do list. I think with 5–I may have just thrown that list away and I’m just going to watch them for the rest of the summer and simply be with them.

Dear Lord–will you help us all as mommies to step back–and see what you have for us right where we are? How can we love the children you have given us in deep, real ways? Help us to speak each of their heart languages–and to be sensitive to who they are. Help Lord to not speak quickly–or to be frustrated when they don’t listen–because they are made differently than us. Help us to be patient and guide them and love them big. Help us to listen–to really listen. Teach us to have fun with them–and how to tune the world out when necessary. Walk with us. Speak to us. Guide us. Love through us. Love us big Lord–because boy do we need it! Thank you for being enough. In Your Jesus’s name…Amen.

Blessings to you as you follow…right where you are.


april - July 9, 2013 - 2:53 am

I love that you learned Manadarin before and during bringing home. You are a wonderful momma. Your kids understand, in their own way that Zeke needs their momma right now. Thank you for sharing.

Natalie - July 11, 2013 - 11:26 pm

I’m really enjoying your blog. We are eagerly waiting to be matched to our daughter in China. I would love any recommendations you might offer on resources to learn some basic mandarin. I’d love for our family (including girls 6&8) to learn t little, especially some songs.

Thank you & God bless your sweet family,

Faiza - July 14, 2013 - 9:31 pm

I just wanted to share with you that this post spoke right to my heart. Being a mommy of 2 little ones and a third on the way, I tend to get stuck in the details of our daily routines and comparing myself to what other mommies I know do with their children. Thanks, because I needed to hear this.