I'm feeling a bit sad and sentimental today. Granted, this dreary rainy day could be a contributing factor. Mostly though, I feel sad because I'm missing what was and what will be.
I miss China.
Today in the restroom at Barnes & Noble, an Asian mother came in with two small boys. They were speaking in Chinese and my ears perked up. As she was trying to get them situated in the stall with the changing table, the toddler boy escaped. Mom swiftly caught up to him and led him back to the stall. Her motherly scolding yet loving voice brought me instantly back to our two weeks in China when we adopted Noelle JiaZhen. Images and sounds from our trip swirled in my head, and I instantly wished we were back there again, reliving that experience of almost 3 years ago...
From the nannies in the orphanage, to our wonderful guides, to the people on the street, hearing words spoken in Chinese has become very special to me. No, sadly I don't speak Chinese. Eric and I learned just a few words to assist us with the whole adoption travel experience. We have the high goal of enrolling in a Mandarin class here in town. We'd also like Noelle to take lessons if she shows interest. Now with Taiwan travel in our future, these wishes are again coming to the fore. Selah is an infant and won't be speaking anything but baby-babble (well unless of course she turns out to be a baby genius, which all of the Johnson children are bound to be! lol :-)), but we would love some independence to be able to interact with the Taiwanese people and Selah's family.
I think someday we will go back to China (and let's add Taiwan to the itinerary). Noelle occasionally asks about her previous life in the orphanage and especially her "grandmother" nanny. We'd like to take her back when she is old enough to have a sense of understanding and appreciation. It will also be another opportunity for Eric and me to express our deep gratitude to those who loved Noelle the first 18 months of her life. Yes, someday we will go back.
I miss Selah.
25% of our family is half a world away from me. Someone else is feeding her, bathing her, changing her, tucking her in at night. Someone else is on the receiving end of her smiles (this is a very recent skill, we are told), her yawns, her sneezes, even her cries. We are missing lots of the little "firsts" that so many mamas take for granted. Someone else gets to tickle, sing and play with her. Just not us. Not me.
When I feel this way, I hug my Noelle even tighter, squeeze her just a bit longer, and thank God for the gift we have already received. My arms just really want to hug 2 girls, in a big gooffy sloppy huggy kissy giggly mess!
I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining. I'm not. The volunteers at His Hands love the babies and take such wonderful care of all the little ones in their charge. Eric and I are constantly thankful that Selah is in the House of Hope receiving cuddles and personal attention, instead of possibly forgotten in a crib somewhere, just one of many babies and not enough caregivers. I appreciate HH... I - just - want - her - home.
It feels good to be able to write these thoughts here on the blog. Since many you reading are fellow adoptive parents, you know first hand what it feels like to miss someone you've never met. I take comfort in the thought that we are in this together. Pray for me. I'll pray for you. And we'll all pray for the babies and children who are waiting.