The past three weeks have been by far the most challenging weeks of parenting in my life. Now, remember that at one point I had four little girls under the age of four, two with special needs, and my husband was an over-the-road truck driver and not home except for on the weekends and then he needed to catch up from lack of sleep and pre-sleep for the week ahead. :) To give you an idea of what the past few weeks have looked like without giving you the WHOLE story (which I promise I will give you piece by piece or post by post!), here are some pictures.
We had SOME of this:
A LOT of this:
And very LITTLE of that
Was it all worth it? ABSOLUTELY! When we do the Lord's will, it does not always immediately "feel" like it was worth it. I am sure Noah asked many times during the years of building the ark and being ridiculed if it would be worth it. I am sure Moses wondered in the 40 years of wandering through the wilderness if it was worth it. I won't say that there aren't times when I asked the Lord if He didn't make a mistake by making me Eliisa's mama. Every day I go to bed feeling like a failure. I don't know how to help her cope or how to let her know how much we love her and want what's best for her. I am, however, absolutely sure that He gave us Eliisa and that He has a very special plan for her life and ours. Every day, I am learning something knew about her and every day, the Lord is teaching me new lessons about Himself and my adoption in Him.
I know that when Jesus died on the cross for my sins, He never once wavered at His calling to die for my sin. Yes, He asked the Lord to find another way to save all mankind from their sins so He would not have to suffer, but He was ready and willing to pay my price without wavering. God in His infinite wisdom also knew that after our adoption, we would still have a hard time obeying and doing His will and how much more we would hurt Him. Yet, He did it anyway. When I stop and think about how hard it is to teach a five-year-old, who has never been taught how to obey, how to be thankful, how to be kind to others, how to be careful when there is danger, how to accept the word "no," how to share, how to act in any situation, how to make good choices, how to be patient, etc., then I have to think about myself and my life since I have been saved. I have behaved far worse towards my heavenly Father than Eliisa will ever come close to. In the past thirty years, the Lord has been VERY patient with me. He has continued to correct me when I have failed; He has picked me up when I got hurt or fell out of pure stubbornness to do it my own way; He has walked by my side even when I was kicking and screaming because I didn't want to go His way; He was ALWAYS there for me when I was ready to come back to Him; He was ALWAYS ready to forgive me even before I asked Him for forgiveness; and most amazingly of all He has loved me through all of the pain that I have given Him. Best of all, He is NOT finished with me yet. :)
We have had some good times, but we have also had some very rough times. Every day we can discover something new that Eliisa has learned since coming home. Every day, we can catch a glimpse of that beautiful little girl that is hiding underneath all of that anger and crying. Every day, we are thankful that the Lord allowed her to come into our lives. Right now, we are struggling the most with Eliisa still having a VERY hard time going to sleep at night and most days refusing to take a nap, so by the time it is finally quiet in the house, I am emotionally and physically completely spent. Not only does she keep herself awake, she keeps the rest of the house awake as well with all the screaming and crying. I have tried every trick in the book that I know, but without success so far. Unfortunately, because she has hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy, our pediatrician does not recommend Melatonin due to a risk for seizures, so that trick is also a "no go." I'd like to know what they did to put her to sleep every day for naps and night time when she was in the orphanage because I know that they would not tolerate anyone falling out of line there. We would really appreciate your prayers for that. I bought a hammock type chair specifically designed for autistic children that she and I can both sit in and rock. Once I get it hung, I will try that along with a warm cup of milk at nights to help her relax before bed time and to give her some one on one mama time. I will let you know how that goes. :) Over the next few days or weeks, I will fill you in on all of the happenings that Eliisa has experienced so far as well as her doctor's appointments. Thanks for not giving up on this blog and us!!!