Thursday, August 7, 2008

First Day of School

The joy expressed in this little girl's face says it all. I'm not sure if she knows what today and its milestone really means, but it was obvious that she was excited about wearing a new dress, and carrying a pink and yellow backpack, and going off to experience something new. I did O.K. today, but after Tuesday night's orientation, it really hit me of just how much Rebecca has missed out on in her life, and how much I have missed. I wasn't there when she was an infant crying in that crib alone, trying desperately to get everything she could out of a propped bottle. I wasn't there to hold her and cradle her. Nobody talked and cooed to her or sang songs. She spent likely 20+ hours a day in a crib with no mattress or blanket. Nobody cared if she was cold, wet, or hungry. Her cries might as well have fallen on deaf ears. As she grew, there was never anything to look forward to. Every day was probably pretty much the same. I could go on and on, but the reality is I will never REALLY know what it was like for her and all that she has gone though. We had already made the decision not to send her to school for a year after we adopted her. She needed that time to be with us, for bonding and attachment, and to learn what a family is. I guess I thought I would be able to make up what she had lost for the six and a half years she spent in that orphanage in less than a year. I feel I am really mourning for the first time all the lost years...for her especially, but for me too. I also feel like I have let her down in some way...not for the lost years, but maybe over the past year I could have done more to foster her development.
At kindergarten orientation, I gazed around the auditorium at all the parents and their children, and I suddenly felt alone. My expectations of what kindergarten will be for Rebecca are entirely different than likely every single parent that was there. My sadness for Rebecca's life beginnings turn to anger and then back again. While I will never know the whys, I can only rely on the faith that brought us all together. God has a plan for Rebecca, and for some reason, He chose me for her mother with all my shortcomings. I am resolved to lean on Him for whatever comes our way this school year. Rebecca's resilence has always surprised and amazed me, and I am sure she will handle these new challenges with the same spirit.

Enough of my ramblings...Happy first day of kindergarten, Rebecca!


Russ & Lisa W. said...

I am sure with your love and support, she will do Wonderful things in life!

Love Lisa

Green, Party of Five said...

Just look at her sweet smile. She is so happy. You guys are great and the love you have is evident!
God is good!!! Cant wait to hear more about her big day! We love you Rebecca and so proud of you!

Green Party of 5ive

The Princess's Mommy said...

OH that smile just makes my heart sing! She's going to do fine! Look how far she's come and that's all because of you!!


Doug & Melody Kemp said...

You is so pretty! Love that smile.

The dress is adorable.

She is a lucky little girl to have you for a mother!

Love ya!

Becky said...

What a pretty little school girl! I know she's very excited. Hope she had a great first day!!

Rebekah D. said...

I know that this past year has provided greater challenges even than you expected, but you and Billy have risen to the challenge with grace and strength. Even though sometimes you may not feel that your love is enough, it is easy to see that God is working through you to achieve amazing things in the lives of all your wonderful children. You're just barely getting started!
I hope Rebecca had a great first day of school and that she will have a good school year.

Barley Adoption said...

Rebecca is very blessed to have such a loving family. I can tell she was very excited about starting school. You are right, the smile says it all.


The Ferrill's said...

Emily I just love this post. What a sweet school picture of your girl. And you are just the perfect momma for her! Don't you feel like you have learned just as much if not more than Rebekah this past year? That is how I feel about the past year...adoption is a heart changing miracle! Praise God Rebekah is in your family!