This time last year we thought for sure we would have 2 more feet join us in our yearly cutting of the Christmas tree "stump" photo.
One more filled stocking.
One more starry eyed child to wake up on Christmas morning.
But that was not God's plan.
His plan is much bigger and greater than ours.
This Christmas we are rejoicing in the fact that he has called a woman,specifically a speech therapist, to Burkina Faso. A woman who is being the hands and feet of Jesus with a servant's heart.
Our conversations regarding Wendinda began a couple months before she was set to travel to Yako. She was eager to travel and start her work with the children at the orphanage. We discussed all the tools that we anticipated would help Winny thrive. We purchased a mini-ipad and protective case for Wendinda. She loaded the apps on it that she felt would help Winny and not overwhelm her. She called me before she left to discuss the details and pray.
You can read about her journey here: Noble acts of Love.
I'm so happy to say that Wendinda is making progress with her therapy. She is making new sounds, using body language, learning how to focus, learning interactive play, core strength and she has said "mmmmm" a few times. We are told that Winny loves food, so this first vocalization made us smile.
Here is a photo we received just yesterday. It was Winny's task to push the foam letters down in place once the letter was positioned. We are rejoicing in her focused attention to her task.
I'm so happy with the progress she is making and that she is getting the intervention she needs, while we wait.
I'm telling you that this waiting is hard.
It's like you're caught between two worlds and you can't seem to find where you belong. It has made me feel confused, pre-occupied, and unable to be mentally focused and be present in things outside of my family. I spend days where I am obsessed with checking my email and Facebook, just to catch a glimpse of her, hear anything about her or something about our process.
There are some days where I am really jealous of women who are pregnant or new moms with their infants...that they only have to wait 9 months to hold their precious child. Jealous that their other children only had a short time to worry about what a new child would mean to their family. Abbey, Grant and Danil have been waiting 17 months now. There are days where I'm angry because "It's just not fair." But yet I know that there are families out there who have waited even longer than we have.
As anticipated, bringing a new sibling into our house has created a lot of feelings. I anticipated that those feelings would happen when Wendinda came home. I was wrong. A couple weeks ago, I was convinced that Aliens had abducted our children and the children in our home where not ours. They were all on edge, all doing things they normally wouldn't do and I was at my witts end trying to figure out what had happened. I tried everything to figure out what was going on with Danil. We tried to put words to his feelings and fears.
One day I was lead to sit on his bed and ask, "Danil, how do you feel about Winny coming to live with us?"
With his eyes peeping over his blanket he said "Can I tell you the truth?"
"Mom, I'm kind of scared and nervous. What if she doesn't like me? Abbey and Grant know what it's like, but I don't."
So to help them, we sat down and made a chart of all the emotions we will feel before, during and after we bring Winny home and all the emotions Winny may feel as well. We will continue to work through their feelings bit by bit so that our transition can be as smooth as possible.
So as we continue to wait for our court date, we continue to grow and stretch the boundaries of our comfort zones. We wait in anticipation of what God has in store for us as a family. We rejoice in the fact that Winny is safe, loved, cherished and soaking in all that she is being taught.