Friday, July 8, 2011

Preparation for The Next Chapter

When friends and acquaintances learn that we will soon be bringing home our newest daughter, the conversation usually includes a question,

So, what are you doing to prepare for Maylin's arrival?

Huh, What am I doing? 

I've been too busy to be Doing.

Well, she'll be sharing a room with Beth, and the second twin bed has been there for years.
We don't know her clothing size, so the hand-me-downs that wait...may or may not fit.
I can't master Mandarin this week.
We've discussed which drawers we'll clean out for Maylin.
 I don't see the value in labeling anything. I know where the spoons go, and she doesn't know that 
means much of anything.

We don't really have much we can DO to prepare.

Mostly, I think I ponder. 
I consider how I'll handle a situation at the supper table, if she throws a tantrum about mashed potatoes.
I consider how I'll teach her when we (literally) don't even speak the same language!
I think about what we might do together that will help us bond, without threatening her personal space.
I read. and read. and read.
I read about bonding in an older adoption.
I read about parenting children from the difficult place.
I read about integrating an older child into an established family.
I think about all the things she may miss, and how I can fill those emotional holes when I can't duplicate the things she'll miss.


How will we understand her emotions?
Who will stand in the gaps when we hit a new snag?
Should I have her seen by the pediatrician immediately or let her acclimate?
What about vaccinations?
Should we shut down our lives and go into quarantine?
Is it better to simply live our normal lives since that is what she's in for?
Will she like me?

So, today, I did what every anxious mother turns to for comfort and a feeling of control:
(It wasn't cleaning, this time.)

I went shopping.

Now, I only purchased a few things for us to get through the first few days together.
(two dresses, undies, a TinkerBell Pajama and a swim suit)

Provided she comes in one change of  clothes and a pair of shoes, that should hold us.

Oh, and we've also been praying. Yeah, that's the big one.


Having conversations with God about my kids comes pretty naturally to me now, and having one more to talk about hasn't seemed to slow anything down, or clog anything up.

We've specifically asked Him to give her a desire in her heart to come to America.
We've specifically asked that the timing of the travel and adoption coincide with our already planned trip to the cultural exchange/English language program. (check! thank you, Lord!)
We've asked that her transition be exactly what it should be to make us all who we should be.
We've asked that we be who she needs us to be as a family and as parents.
We've asked that we all have teachable hearts.
(I've secretly prayed that she likes her new English name.)
I love it...Maylin Li Dersch

So, I guess, tomorrow I'll try DOING something to prepare.
Maybe, I'll help Beth "tidy" her room and decide which drawers will belong to her little sister.
(This will strike fear into my Dear One's heart. She is well aware that
"tidy" is a mom code word for "throw it away.")

And I'm sure I'll pray.

God seems to already know all the answers to the questions of my heart.
It seems to be the place I go when I recognize my one weakness.


  1. And tidy we did. Tears flowed. The usual.

  2. Of course tears flowed. ;)

    Loved reading this and knowing the thoughts you've pondered.

    Loved seeing your sweet girl's first new clothes.

    Can't wait to see her wearing them.