Hi there! Happy May, I hope you are enjoying the warm weather. Today we have an update from ‘Iris’ family since Iris is now out of an orphanage and a valued member and child in a family:
‘When we committed to our daughter we committed with no googly eyes or fairy tales in mind. We committed knowing that she is a treasure and that every single child deserves a family. Every single child deserves love and a family that accepts them just as they are, no strings attached. Because of this we went in expecting nothing other than our commitment to love and foster an environment that would help her to become the best that she could be.
To say that everything has been smooth would be accurate. But to say that everything has been a new normal for both she and our family would be accurate as well. People have asked me a variation of the question, “is it hard?” My response has been and will remain, “no, it isn’t, it’s just a new normal.” New normals come with learning curves. Our new normal has come with lots of appointments, grace, and keeping all things in perspective. I have found myself filled with frustration at a system that even enables children to become as our daughter was instead of empower them to be all that they can be. My new normal has come with eyes wide open. Eyes wide open to emotional advocation instead of factual advocation on behalf of the precious treasures who wait. Emotions see all the things that only a picture can portray. Factual sees the things a picture can portray but doesn’t stop there. It knows that after the picture there is a possibility of very real work to be done and loads and loads of grace that need to be received and given as the new normal becomes every day. All while doing so without bitterness. My eyes have been made wide open to the world of parents who are blessed with children that just happen to be a little extra special and the stares, glares and ridiculous comments that come from people’s ignorance and rudeness. My eyes have been made wide open to the perceptional lie about parents who are blessed with children that are a little different and special. They really are just like all other parents, even if they willingly choose this child to be birthed of their heart and went through all they have to bring that treasure home. They are not saints, hero’s, or Jesus Christ. They simply see the value of all life and are willing to show that value by willingly saying yes.
Our daughter cognitively is extremely, extremely below her actual age. In her physical abilities she is extremely below where a child of her age could be. This comes with lots of plus’s but it also comes with lots of resetting of what is thought to be normal. Our normal isn’t what we would expect from our other children that are her age. Our normal for her is measured in day to day accomplishments. Day to day doctors reports. Day to day doses of love and the reciprocation of these things. Day to day strides in learning to listen to instruction instead of just ignoring the voice of another momma. Day to day purposeful eye contact in place of turning away when being instructed. Our new normal is filled with consistency, yet the lack of pity. Pity will keep her below her potential. Empathy sees her potential and goes into the depths to redeem lost time all while still moving forward. Forward at her pace.
Who is she? She is wonderful day to day. She is lovable day to day. She is teachable day to day. She is happy day to day. She is a daughter day to day. My daughter. She is no longer just another female age X, in a groupa. She is treasured. She is appreciated. She is doted over. She is mine. There are many things that she has learned since coming home just over a month and a half ago. She has learned to finish EVERY sentence that starts with I, with I lub you. She has learned to repeat “I AM TREASURE”. She has learned that she is a princessa.
She no longer is another face in the crowd of those longing for love. She is a princessa who doesn’t have to behave negatively just to get attention. Attention comes now just because she is. She is choosen. She is loved. She is wanted. She is not discarded. She is learning that she no longer has to self-soothe. Self-soothing has been a normal for her for so long that it takes a while for those things to change. We are prepared for a forever of these behaviors but loving and praying for the day that they may not be there. Every day is filled to overflowing with accomplishments on her behalf. From having the confidence to sit atop a tire swing, to jumping on a trampoline with both feet together and without fear. Every day is something new. Something new for her. Something new for us. Something to stop, appreciate and take hold of the moment.
In short, is it hard? Nope, it’s just a new normal.’
What a great update from an amazing family changing the life forever for a little, once forgotten girl. I hope you were encouraged by these words, but more so, encouraged by the fact that so many people could give a little to add up to a lot, most of which none of us missed, and it drastically changed the life of a child. I love the action takers and peace makers, the survivors like Iris and so many more, the healers and the lovers–like her family.
You embody the best of the human spirit.
You are what the world needs.