"fine!" she says. yep, that's bella's new word of the week. "fine!" imagine all 22 pounds of her emphatically declaring this four letter word. imagine the foot stomp. imagine the tilt of her head and the challenge in her eyes. "fine!" little miss sassy pants has caught me off guard just a bit. i mean it's not as if i haven't heard this word from my teenage or tween-age daughters. i've heard it. i've addressed it. i've even been quite masterful in saying it myself. but to hear it from my itty bitty girl who is only just starting to really speak english...it took me by surprise. i suppose it shouldn't. bella is repeating absolutely everything we say. the good and, unfortunately, the bad. i am amazed how quickly she is picking up on the nuances of our speech...our words...our tone. but even back in july, we knew immediately we had a clever girl on our hands. the very day we met her we had evidence. after leaving the civil affairs office in china and boarding our bus she insisted on sitting next to me. not on my lap. but next to me. she was very clear on this. while the other children in our group were clinging to their new parents in fear or tears, miss bella was playing her own version of peek-a-boo with me. giggling with me. giggling with a stranger. i am so thankful for that bus ride back to the hotel. i had anticipated such a range of emotion...we prepared for the terror and horror and roller-coaster ride of that day....but what we truly experienced was this magical, little, elf-like girl who immediately showed us her whitty, whimsical side.
just this morning, over a bowl of rice krispies, she cocked her head sideways and looked at me out of the corner of her eyes. as if to size me up. as if she had a clever retort balanced on the tip of her tongue. and i could just about see the wheels inside turning. turning. turning. even six months later i am still amazed at how perfectly bella fits into our family. we are a family who loves a healthy dose of laughter...teasing...tricking. even this little bit of sass works. i mean i know i have to nip that right in the bud...and i will. but i can't help but be a little bit tickled by it (for now). i have to remind myself what is cute on a 3 year old can be plain dreadful on a 13 year old. and so i will have put a stop to The Attitude. but i have to tell you, i like her spunk. i like her feisty little self. i like how she holds her own. she survived in an orphange of 3000 and she is thriving in a home of seven. don't get me wrong, she is as sweet as they come. absoluteley delicious! but she has within her a fighter spirit. maybe it was her fight to survive in the first couple of years with a failing heart. maybe it was her fight to survive in an orphanage for two years. maybe it is just how God created her. i'll never know for certain. but for me it is fine. it is just fine. it is very fine.