Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bonding over Broken Roads

Every once in awhile lately, I want to stop and pinch myself, as I realize I am walking amidst a miracle.

From the depths of despair the first week in Kazakhstan to where we are today...well, there couldn't be a greater distance traveled either literally or figuratively.

The girls who wouldn't speak to us or look at us, and were terrified to go with us have certainly become very, very different children. Angela, whom we were warned by many would never be a warm or affectionate child now shows her love freely and eagerly, and I am sure the staff at the orphanage would be stunned to see her today.

You know, you don't go into older child adoption looking for gratitude...or at least you sure shouldn't. It is an arduous road leading to becoming truly heart connected, a much harder road than the one walked to even get to the point of traveling to complete an adoption. There are old, painful experiences working against you, images of mothers and fathers who were perhaps less than ideal or were, at their worst, frighteningly abusive and neglectful. There is a loss of human connection...the years and years of being loved by no one take their toll. Often children struggle mightily to move past this. Some make it, others sadly do not.

While we never went into it looking for it, this week we received our "reward". The years of anguish and waiting were, for me, rewarded in the best way possible...seeing the girls simply feel safe, loved and part of a family. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It's not, and we all know that.

Working on hand drawn cards for a friend, the girls disappeared into their bedroom, giggling together. I was busy as we gathered everything together to go celebrate, but when we arrived home, the above "Valentine" was propped up on my pillow, waiting to tuck me in. "We love you" with my picture smack dab in the heart, and pictures of every other family member surrounding the heart. Not only are they loved, but that love is reciprocated and daily is growing to enormous proportions. It is the most amazing thing to be witness to, and enveloped in.

But the one that really got me, the sucker punch of them all happened on our way home from the dentist. We had a very long ride, and Angela was sitting next to me in the front passenger seat with Olesya behind me and the boys laughing, cutting up and all watching a movie together in the back seat. I had a Rascal Flatts CD playing quietly as we were talking, and the next track begins to play..."The Broken Road"...which was the song I used for the slide show I put together of them for our Family Celebration but performed by the Christian group Selah. Olesya stopped talking and got excited saying "Mama...mama...musica...our musica!" and I turned it up a bit as suddenly everyone in the car started singing it, or at least attempting to sing it:

"Bless The Broken Road"

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true


Now I'm just rolling home
Into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

A minute or so into it Angela shushed everyone, saying "Tee Ha...Tee Ha...Mama sing"...and so there we were, driving down the road as I sang my song to them, trying so hard not to cry as the words took on even greater meaning than they did during the hours I sat in front of a computer screen filled with anticipation and excitement prior to traveling.

The song ended on a quiet note, and everyone was silent. Olesya said enthusiastically "Me love this song!" Then Angela softly spoke "Thank you Mama...thank you so so much.", and she looked away, and I know she was trying not to cry herself. I reached out for her hand, and as the miles passed by we held on tightly.

I know what her thank you was for. She didn't have the words to express it all, but I knew anyway. Of course I know, for I am her mom, and mothers know these things. It was thank you for the years of waiting and not giving up, thank you for forgiveness and second chances, thank you for God's love coming to her through all of us, thank you for new beginnings...for bed time stories and brownies baked together, for batting practice and simply believing in her and Olesya.

You don't ever do this for "thanks" or accolades. But how incredibly touching it is to get it so unexpectedly.

Day by day, week by week, we all draw closer as a family. It has happened so fast, relatively speaking, and it floors me at moments to even recall how close we all came to not being the family we are today.

And much of it we owe to all of you who supported us and lifted us up through a terrible time. Your encouragement kept us going, kept us steady. Your prayers...well...without them we simply wouldn't be here today to share our story with you, for my own heart would have hardened, I am sure, as that is truly more my nature.. And at that moment I was beyond any prayer more detailed than "This hurts so bad, God!". So our success is your success as well, our joy and love is shared with all of you. I have taped my huge Valentine on our closet door in our bedroom, a daily reminder of how love wins.

And I gotta tell you...realization was far, far better than anticipation. And very often Broken Roads lead us where we need to be, even if at first we don't understand it. God sure blessed the Broken Road we were on, and healed broken hearts. No one else could have done that.

And the love story continues :-)


Anonymous said...

That is awesome. I wish I lived closer to you guys. I would love to meet your girls. You are truly blessed.

Tammy said...

This song makes me cry every time I hear it and I have often sang it to my son. For both of us, the road was bumpy and difficult, with so many seemingly failures and disappointments. And yet God knew exactly where he was leading the both of us. Everyday I am amazed that our reality together is better than any dream or fantasy I could have made up!

Anonymous said...

Amazing, Cindy. God knew the plans He had for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) So He gave you the all the courage it took to give second chances (all of you). And He brought His plans about. And there you are, prospering with such hope and headed toward your beuatiful future as a family.

What a testimony to His Word being true, to His faithfulness.

Again, I am constantly amazed at the "fast track" you are on in your bonding process. I know all the questions haven't yet been answered, all the issues resolved in the girls' hearts. But that they are so open, so soon, to working to heal is fantastic.

Thanks again for sharing your journey, as it's truly something to witness. We have and are still traveling our own version, but our kids didn't have the difficult background as your girls. No one who hasn't adopted an older child can quite understand from the outside looking in. I made a few comments the other day about some of the issues I'm still facing some days with our newest daughter, and my sister-in-law (nicest gal in the world) got a distant look on her face. She was basically ending the conversation. I realized she knew nothing of what I was talking about, so I changed the subject. It can get lonely sometimes, but I realize no one else was called to be my daughter's mom, so they're only my issues to deal with.

She turned a huge corner the past few weeks. But today...slipped back into trying to distance herself and alienate me. Praying she was reminded how uncomfortable that feels and longs for the good feelings back. A glitch on the radar. Hope and pray tomorrow she'll be back to and rounding that corner again.

Nancy in the Midwest

Anonymous said...

Some miracles take more work to accomplish than others, so we don't call them miracles. This is a miracle of love in which seven people intimately, countless people supportingly, and God have worked together. Love wins.

You wrote, "Your encouragement kept us going, kept us steady. Your prayers...well...without them we simply wouldn't be here today to share our story with you, for my own heart would have hardened, I am sure, as that is truly more my nature..." There are times when we struggle with protective feelings that come in times of pain. It is in all of our nature to try for safety emotionally and spiritually as well as physically, but this is not your true nature. Yours is an expansive, giving, open, loving nature. I think in the beginning we all are given this nature.

I have seen crack babies that have had all spark of life stripped from them prenatal, so I believe there are some born with that loving, giving nature already torn away. I know there are children who are amoral and asocial. What I don't know is if this is biological, chemical, societal, etc. Maybe the original RNA which passes down through the ages got damaged or perhaps it was subtle changes in the womb or in the home, but still God's gift to each of us is that we also are capable of love, compassion, and open hearts.

If I forget that, I have only to look at Team LaJoy or read your blog.

May each of us find our way back to what we were given at creation.


Yannik Au Kazakhstan said...

Hi, Cindy.

Ironic..I watched the View today and heard this song... Had never heard before and just began crying like a little baby....This morning, Anna in her now broken French, said "je t'aime", je t'aime.." (in her limited 50 word vocabulary... those are def. at the top of the list!) and now to hear this song a few hours just struck me at how awesome this journey has been, on countless levels... Then, while Anna sleeps, I decide to check in and saw your post!!! We have been so blessed. You remain in our thoughts and prayers. Hope that Kenny's surgery will go well...write when you have the chance.. I know that you have your hands full. Hugs to everyone... Jocelyne