"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." -----Martin Luther King, Jr.
"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,regardless of time, place, or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle,but it will never break."
- ancient Chinese belief

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ice cream for breakfast

As promised. If Junie could be perfectly still for the entire minute of the CT scan, she would not have to be sedated. Of course, we wanted to avoid this if at all possible!

So, last night we set the timer and practiced being still. Like I said, being still does not come easy for Junie! I told her if she could do it, she could pick out a treat. Her choice - extreme moose tracks ice cream (smart girl!).

She did move around last night and I thought when we were actually in the CT room, with the tech and all the intimidating equipment, there was not such a good chance of her sitting still without the sedation. But she was super brave and they got a perfect scan. She did have a deep indentation from where my thumb was holding her chin, but a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do!

Love this girl so much and with all she's been through in her short little life, am always amazed at her ability to trust!

Once again, so proud of my girl!


And prayers answered! So, the girl that does not stop talking or moving EVER during the course of a day actually CAN be still for a full minute!

Maybe I should bribe her with Extreme Moose Tracks for breakfast more often! 😉

When it was done, our super sweet tech gave her a purple Gatorade, a pink balloon, and a Cinderella doll! Wow, totally worth getting up at 5:15!


On CT scan. Praying, too. Junie and I prayed in the car- for the drs to be kind, for her to be brave and still, for mommy to be brave (😳) and for a good scan. And then when I said "let's go in", Junie asked, "is God in there?". Of course he's there for you, Junie! :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

What If?

Being a worrier by nature, the question “what if” is one that can get the better of me - never more so than during our adoption.

While paper chasing, it was “what if I’m not doing this right?”, “what if this document doesn’t get to the correct person?”, “what if our wait time is longer than 18 months?” (ha ha!), “what if I don’t fall in love with our baby the moment I see her?”, “what if I don’t have enough time?”, “what if we don’t have enough money?”,  etc, etc.

After receiving our referral, my worries multiplied.  “What if she has attachment disorders?”, “what if I don’t love her like I’m supposed to?”, “what if she doesn’t love me/us?”, “what if it totally screws up our family dynamics?”, “what if there’s something wrong with her?”.

OK, so I may sound a tad neurotic, but when you are about to travel across the world to adopt a child, you must be extremely faithful or a tad naïve to not question at least some of these things.  Adoption is not for the faint of heart.

But now, after having Junie home for 2 and ½ years, my “what ifs” still plague me.  They have just changed in nature.


What if she didn’t have a mommy, a daddy and 3 brothers that loved her fiercely?

What if she was still sleeping on plywood?

What if, instead of that spark in her eyes, there was still the sadness, the emptiness?

What if she didn’t know what it felt like to be read to and rocked to sleep?

What if she didn’t have a full belly?

What if she was cold?

What if she wasn’t in a preschool with teachers who adored her teaching her about God, Music, Science, Spanish, Art, and PLAY?

What if that funny sense of humor was not appreciated?

What if she never got to be silly?  Or rough with brothers?

What if she never got to be a princess and have a royal birthday party?

What if she never got to go to:

        The beach

        A museum

        The pool

        A family vacation

        The puppet theatre



        A friend’s house for a playdate

        A park to swing

What if she wasn’t told every single day that she was loved?  That she was special?

What if she didn’t get to snuggle?

What if nobody knew how very smart she is?

What if nobody kissed her boo-boos?

Or held her when she was scared?

What if she hadn’t gotten her palate repaired?

What if she wasn’t in speech every week?

(Seriously… what if?  What would her speech have been like on China’s timeline for repairing  her palate and improving her speech?)

And then, I can barely ask myself:

What would her future have held?

Every time I haul Junie to a doctor appointment I have a number of other things I would prefer to be doing at the time.  A two hour ENT appointment (the doctor only sees her at our location on one of her two school days) is not what I want to do after her Thursday AM speech appointment.  But it is what I do.  Because I am her mommy.  And I would do anything for her.

Every time they check her hearing in the little soundproof box, I ask myself, “what if?”.  What if she didn’t have a family making sure she was hearing like she should be? 

When we hauled down to CHOA for a swallow study on my kids’ day off of school:  What if she were in China still?  Would she have food trickle out of her nose forever?  Would anything ever be done about that?

And yesterday after her ENT appointment, with a big pit in my stomach, because I actually got to see the yucky tumor growing on her ear under the microscope (“which can cause permanent nerve damage and hearing loss if left untreated”), the first question is not how much is this going to cost or how many more appointments or surgeries are we talking (those come later, of course I do ask those, too! J).  The first thing that pops into my mind is “what if”.   What if she didn’t have this great team of doctors keeping such a close eye on her?  What if this tumor was just growing and growing while she grew and grew in an orphanage?  What if she ended up with permanent hearing loss?

Adoption can be scary.  The “what ifs” can feel overwhelming.  Now, they overwhelm my heart.
What if we had listened to the doubts in our heads?
Or the questions of others?

What if we had not taken the leap?


What if we had not said “Yes. She is our daughter.”


What if?