We have so many dear friends in our Village that have surrounded us throughout this whole adoption and are now asking us, ” So how are you guys now that you’ve been home a couple of weeks?” and it’s always kind of a loaded question that deserves a various assortment of answers depending on what moment the question is asked to me.
As of this writing we have known Quinna for exactly one month (!) and we have been home 19 days, and if I’m being honest it’s been a complete blur. We haven’t had much on our calendar – on purpose, we wanted our first several weeks home to be at home – so one day just melts right into another and I can’t tell if it feels like we’ve been home for three hours or three years. Kind of a little bit of both, really.
The first few days were great but intense. Rob had to hit the ground running as soon as the wheels touched down in the U.S.A. because we had only five days to wrap up our current client’s house build before they moved in. This meant that on the first day we all woke up as a family of 6, Rob was out the door by 8am to work and I was left home with all the kiddos.
This felt ENTIRELY like the first day home alone with any of my newborn babies. It was overwhelming and scary, and I drank entirely too many cups of coffee, but I desperately wanted to prove to myself (and…Rob? God? everyone?) that I could handle it. I felt, yet again, like a shaky-legged baby deer trying to get my bearings on this new life that was before me. There was no turning back. I HAD to figure it out, like, immediately because this wasn’t a dress rehearsal, there were actually four entire children in my house that needed parented right at this very moment all at the very exact same time.
So I trepidatiously acted very Mother Theresa-like for the first (little) while, with a very mellow sing-songy voice and a smile plastered on my face. We are fine! Guys, look! We’re tooootallllly fine!
We played outside, played inside, ate lunch, took naps. And through it all, I was so tense and scared, yet completely mystified and amazed at the beauty of what was actually going down.
We were giving little Quinna a whole new life. New experiences, new love, new opportunities. And she is adjusting to it all so well that it’s easy to see that she was absolutely meant to be ours. Avalon, Harper, and Tatum have been amazing since the very first moment we got home and were exactly what Quinna needed to adjust to this life of hers. They are the glue that has pulled her right in to becoming a part of this family. Those girls will never really know the immense value they have had on this part of the adoption, but I will do my best to continually reiterate how special it was that they could be used by God in this way.
Now the nitty gritty of our days: I don’t know what else to say, other than it’s just plain bananas bringing a foreign child into your home as a part of your family. There were so many things I had to deal with that never occurred to me before. Things like Quinna not knowing the boundaries of our yard; we have a street out front (duh) and a lake in the back. She’s had to learn that it’s not ok to just run freely into either of them. There’s also meal courtesy, and her learning the basic manners of waiting to eat until we’re all seated and have prayed. Sharing has been hard between Tatum and Quinna (naturally, I would say, for two toddlers). I should really just throw on a black and white striped shirt and whistle around my neck every morning to make clear exactly what my position has become.
Then there’s the language barrier! She understands us a lot better than we understand her, and when she communicates here is what she mostly says: MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! To be accurate, she says this 99% of the time she speaks, and also 99% of all the minutes of the day. While insanely incessant, it is still so adorable, because she just wants to be acknowledged and loved and to share every moment with me. She wants to show me every single thing because she wants to connect with me – a sticker on her hand, shoes on the wrong feet, a completed puzzle, rocking her baby – and if I just remember THAT, it helps me not lose what’s left of my mind.
Attachment-wise, Quinna is still warming up to Rob, and while it can be frustrating for both of us that she’s still uneasy around him, we are remaining patient and understanding, knowing that all we can do is continue to give her time to build trust in him. We’ll never know exactly why we’ve had this struggle with her, but that’s not what matters; she just needs to know that she’s safe and loved. Thankfully every day she opens up to him a little bit more. She’s evolved from not wanting anything to do with him and only scowling at him, to smiling at him, to holding his hand, to giving him hugs, and it gets better every day.
While having four kids is a whole new ballgame for us and slows me down to a point where it feels like I’m herding turtles at times, it is SUCH an absolutely joy and Quinna is doing fantastic in her new life. All of this to say….we’re doing well. We absolutely cannot complain. Life is good and crazy and loud but we are good! It boggles my mind to think about not having even met her just one month ago and I can barely remember what our life was like without her. She is such a gift to our family. Adoption is amazing!