This week marks the 3 month mark that Abeba has been home. I just can't believe that time has flown by this quickly. When we were in the waiting phase of this adoption, time seemed to inch by; we wondered if we would ever get to this point. Looking back on it, it really wasn't that long of a wait, was it?
I have been reflecting on the many changes that we have seen over the past 3 months in Abeba's life. When we were in Ethiopia she was very scared and very upset. I just can't imagine just what was going through her mind. She had been torn away from everything familiar: people, home, food, etc. Raising three other children we knew that toddlers need routine and need things familar; it is their security. This poor girl had all that removed. We saw daily changes though and she began to cling to us but in a very reserved way. By the time we had come home, she seemed to recongnize that we might be "okay" people :) The first month we saw her open up to us and her siblings daily. She loved to play with her brothers and sister, and had figured out pretty quickly that they were really fun people to be with! Abeba began to say, "Mommy" that first month, which was something to cherish. By the second month, Daddy was a pretty cool guy. She began to go to him willingly and loved to crawl up on his lap. She recognized him coming home from work and would come to the door to meet him, very precious! Abeba's vocabulary really began to expand by the middle of the second month and hugs and kisses began to appear. Wow, was that first hug a blessing! Justin and I really saw walls beginning to come down and shattered completely. We saw that sparkle that we had seen in those referral pictures. We even began to hear giggles and hysterical laughing coming from Abeba. Her smiles and laughs are certainly contagious! Now at the 3 month period, we get nightly hugs and kisses at Night-Night time and we hear her call all of us by name on a regular basis and even calling for Mamaws and Papaws. It is a neat and wonderful thing to experience.
There have been some rough times, I cannot lie. We have really been struggling with discipline with her. She likes to hold her own and will do whatever it takes to accomplish her way. Anger is an issue that we are dealing with. She bites, hits and can "talk" back to me when I tell her "No". This has been tough and there are days that I feel I do nothing but correct her, but we must persevere through these. I believe that God puts each child into the perfect family, adoption is no exception. God knows the needs of each family and each child and He knew that Abeba needed us and we needed her, for this I am thankful.
We have enjoyed these 3 months and God has used this time to grow and mold us more to be like Christ. God has used this adoption to change some of our family, friends and even strangers. We have had some great opportunities to tell of our story of adoption and how God worked it all out. It has been really neat to see how God has used this for his glory. God is amazing at what he does and accomplishes!