he past six months have been a bit of a blur. i know i have recorded all kinds of specific stories and detailed anecdotes in this blog. i realize there have been great moments of clarity and intense times of gratitude. but tonight feels different. there was something about today. perhaps it has been the past couple of weeks...but it finally just caught up with me. bella is here.
she was funny today. chattering away in the backseat of my SUV. some of it distinguishable language and some of it not. this afternoon she sat on the steps of the front staircase cutting pink paper with safety scissors. she made a mess. a huge mess. she grabbed my hand earlier this morning and said, "mommy, come on..." she wanted to show me her water cup was on the counter and too high to reach. she needed me and she knew where to find me. today she chased her 13 year old brother around the kitchen table screaming like a banshee and laughing like a little clown. she pulled her sister's hair and stuck her fingers in my coffee mug. she whined for a snack before dinner and pouted when told no. she laid on the floor and colored almost an entire page purple. she held my hand tightly on the way into the gym. she blew kisses to a lady at carpool. today i found her in her room rocking a baby doll and singing softly. as i was changing her tonight she took hold of my hair and wrapped it around her fist, repeating, "mommy. mommy. mommy." this evening she climbed up on her stool and brushed her teeth while wearing pink footie pjs with monkeys. at bedtime she blessed everyone in our family and when she was done she added, all on her own, "fuffy" to the list. fuffy is a favorite stuffed dog, new to her collection, but apparently important. tonight i walked back into her room when she was soundly sleeping. tonight i tucked around her the blanket she had kicked off. tonight i stood at the foot of her bed and felt warm tears roll down my cheeks. tonight i just wanted to lay down on the floor next to her bed and weep with the beautiful normalcy of this remarkable gift. mind you, i don't often lay on the floor near the beds of my children. it would completely disturb some of them if they caught me. but it was just that kind of moment. it was that kind of overwhelming.
i suppose i was a little raw walking back into her room tonight. earlier i had been sitting in the middle of a pile of her adoption paperwork. we are starting the process to have her adoption finalized in a US court. not entirely necessary, but a good idea just the same. we haven't felt any urgency to do so...but i know it is time to take care of this housekeeping detail. so tonight i pulled out all of those heavy folders full of paper. papers which i've had absolutely no desire to revisit since our trip to china last july. nonetheless, there i was wading through a pool of both english and chinese documents. i couldn't believe all these papers added up to our bella. i couldn't make sense of how this enormous stack of words was the trail leading to the little girl asleep in a pink and brown room upstairs. i remember a year ago feeling like this very paperwork might bury me. i remember my complete frustration with the repetition of details and senseless minutia. had i only known... had i only known what was waiting for us. had i only known the beauty of this child we now tuck into bed each night. had i only known the joy of her sleepy head on my shoulder. had i only known the sideways look she gives me when she's being funny. had i only known the indescribable blessing for our entire family. had i known a year ago i would have completed this paperwork and ten million more documents eagerly. willingly. happily. joyfully. how thankful i am that God lead us through...pulled us through...and sometimes even pushed us through it all. when we were tired or discouraged or flat out fed up....He kept us moving forward.
the blurriness of these past six months does feel crazy though. one moment it seems like she's been with us forever. a moment later i am astounded and can't believe she's really here. it's like i can't make up my mind. i suppose, for that matter, no one is really asking me to. it is both. it is unreal and it is so very real. it is utterly amazing and it is believably normal. it is extraordinary and it is ordinary. it is both. it just is. somethings in life are like that. bella is one of them.
and so tonight i only wanted to write and record a moment. a moment too full really to explain well. a moment too private probably to share. a moment to which i must add words knowing otherwise this fragile and tired mind of mine would soon forget. a moment which i pray i will remember years from now when she sasses me or disobeys or offends. a moment which God wrapped up for me on this unassuming january night. a gift which He encouraged me to open and peer inside...to see a glimpse of His immeasurable love and His astounding grace. and whether blurry or clear...i couldn't help but see it.