At this very moment

I have not yet blogged the last few days, and I still will but right now I am sharing this moment, 10:30 on Tuesday evening.


For the last six hours I have felt that at any moment I could completely fall apart, and that if I start crying I will not be able to stop.


I think it’s  a pretty normal reaction to the last few weeks.  Tomorrow, David and Quinn leave for a few days at a long-ago-planned camp, and though rationally it’s no big deal, something in me feels like the mother of a newborn about to endure 24 hour feedings by myself.  I feel a little scared and a whole lot overwhelmed.


But I think it’s actually just reality catching up to me.  So much my heart is ready to process that i haven’t had time to – I’ll i’ve done in the last two weeks is parent and sleep and write this blog. 🙂 I’m glad, but it may be time to somehow fit in some heart work.


You see, I can’t possibly tell you all that has happened here.  I cannot tell you all we experience with this sweet new child of ours.  I cannot share all the fears, the losses, or the new adjustments.


Right now, on our desk in the bedroom, folded neatly, lies the clothing Ava came to us in, still smelling like she did as an orphan.  I do not know how to say this differently though it feels so wrong to say it that way.  But that is the truth as best as I know it.  Her clothing is stained and ragged and not at all beautiful except for the top layer bought for her to meet us in.  But it’s hers.  It’s one precious link with her previous life.  And because of that is a treasure to me.  And I know it will be to her to. But I haven’t been able to really touch it yet.  Just enough to pack it in our carry on’s to make sure it would not be lost if baggage was.


Right now, on our side table, lies Ava’s “Red Book” the book we got in China a few days before she came home . . . . the one that told us her nickname was Qiao Qiao and she loved to rollerskate. The sight of that book makes my heart contract; in happy ways and sad ways.  It hurts me in deep places and it also makes me whole.  Again, I am not ready to touch it, but each day I see it there. And I remember.


Right now, inside our computer, lies a file of incredible photos of Qiao Qiao’s earlier life in her foster center.  Photos her foster director kept sorted by name and gave to me on a memory disc as we left.  A gift too precious to imagine.  I simply could not believe we were going to have a photo history of our little one – not all the years, but many of them.   But the other day, david popped the file open for the first time and a chubby cheeked Jing Qiao came on the screen, only about three years old.  And I completely lost it.  I am not ready to see those pictures.  Not ready to see all the years I missed.  Not ready to grieve the child I never knew who lived without parents for so long.


I see Qiao Qiao, so beautiful, so strong, so daring, so smart, so capable – and sometimes I think of her birth mother.  I think of how proud she would be.  Of how Qiao Qiao is all anyone could want in a daughter.  Of how she could do the labor of two boys and be smart enough to run a family business.  And my heart leaps with joy that she is here with me and is crushed with sadness at the loss of both she and her mother.  It is sometimes hard to bear.


So that is me, right now.   Feeling very tired.  And very emotional.  And sometimes being weary with the constant “mama, mama” and wishing that she had been mine forever and in love with the relationship we are building. I am all mixed up inside.  And that’s okay.  “Zokai!!!!” as she says.


Yes, zokaii. . . . .

8 thoughts on “At this very moment

  1. So well written, Annelise. You are in our prayers. This will take some time, but the end (the goal & the outcome, both) is good. A child has been brought out of darkness into a kingdom of light in so many ways. Amazing, isn’t it, how much more love “hurts” more than any other emotion. I think it’s because love is so open to the beloved’s experience of life. Love seems to take on the life of the other. You do this especially. It is an amazing gift you have. It’s a way that you both imitate Jesus’ own love and are a powerful instance of that love. You inspire us. You and your whole family. Amazing.

  2. All morning you have been on my heart. Yes, you. The individual one. Just you. Henri Neowin (not quite right on the spelling, you have undoubtedly read his stuff..) talked about traveling with a circus observing them for a couple weeks. He said he learned from the trapeze artists that the flyer once he lets go, has to relax, completely with outstretched arms for the catcher to be totally in charge of the catch. Any effort on the part of the flyer will most likely result in a disaster as all responsibility for the catch, lies with the catcher. Your training has been arduous, your skills are amazing. You have worked hard in every way. The chasm is great, but the catcher is able. xoxoxo

  3. So beautiful is your heart in the processing. Prayers being released. Prayers of that quiet comfort to envelope you in the bittersweet moments. That His tangible love will touch your loving and nurturing Mama’s heart. You love deeply, you love well.

  4. Praying for you now and dwelling on thoughts about the incredible big plans that God puts into action through our small human bodies, brains, hearts, etc and somehow we manage through faith, courage, patience, tears, love and sadness to implement His will because…we can, through Him all things are possible.

  5. I remember taking your wedding bouquet after you and david left for Canada on your honeymoon and carrying it around from room to room wherever I was as it was my “last touch” of you, the first one in our family to marry. Finally I had to discard it when it was completely wilted. Motherhood does funny things, doesn’t it?

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