Tonight, Rob and I sat at the dinner table and watched a video of Lucy taken in the play room on the top floor of her orphanage. Lucy is on one of those Fisher Price ride on toys for toddlers. It is pink and reminds me of the Barbie ride on that Julia had when she was about two years old. From the side of the video, you can see an adult arm and hand motioning for Lucy to come over, and you can hear a woman’s voice speaking to her in Albanian. However, the woman is out of the video camera’s range. Lucy cautiously pushes over to the woman but stops several feet short of going to her. Lucy’s face is serious as if she is thinking about what she wants to do next or possibly not do. After a few seconds, Lucy begins to back her Fisher Price ride on toy up and makes her decision. She continues backing up slowly, keeping her eyes on the woman, and then ultimately she turns the toy around and pushes clear to the other side of the play room before looking back.
After Rob and I finished watching the video, Rob began to chuckle and looked over at me and said, “Boy, are we in trouble.” He was referring to the serious face Lucy had been giving the woman and then Lucy’s apparent defiance by pushing away when the woman was obviously motioning for her to come. We definitely saw a little stubbornness in Lucy’s eyes, but it made us both happy. Lucy felt comfortable enough to not do what she was being asked to do. I liked seeing that in my daughter. Some people call it having a strong will. My grandmother called it having gumption. One of the missionaries who works with children at the orphanage said to me that Lucy when she became comfortable with a person was very adamant about what she did and did not want. Whatever you call it, it has probably served its purpose for Lucy as she has lived in the orphanage.
What else did I notice in the video that we ended up watching at least three times in a row? I noticed how small her hands were. I noticed how big her brown eyes were and that yes, she did have some of the longest eyelashes I had ever seen on a child as another adoptive mom had told me who met Lucy last year. I noticed how curly her dark brown hair was and wondered what it would look like if I let it grow long instead of the short cropped cut that she has now. I noticed how fast and capable she was on the Fisher Price ride on, which was completely opposite of her brother at that age. I noticed her tiny little mouth and remembered that several people told me that she loved to sing. I wondered if I would get the chance to hear her soon.
And, then it happened. I noticed how my heart began to ache at the very sight of her. This incredible longing to hold my daughter for the first time, and all of the emotions that moment brings began to quell up inside of me. It was a feeling that was bittersweet and familiar. I remembered having those feelings before our first trip to meet Yuli and living with them every day of the six months between our first trip and our final pick up trip for our son. It seemed as if every day was an emotional roller coaster as we waited for those final travel dates to be with our little boy forever.
With Lucy’s adoption, I have tried to keep myself busy with the tasks of first completing our home study and now finishing our dossier. Of course, I am also working full-time and raising two other children while we wait. But, there are moments when I let my heart and my mind go to that place where I am enveloped with thoughts of my daughter. I let myself dream about our first meeting, touching her face for the first time, holding her tiny hand in mine, and carrying her on my back down the streets of Albania in the Ergo. I want to know what look she will give me the first time she sees me. I want to tell her “Te dua” (I love you). These are times when I let myself feel the longing of making our family whole, and I let myself feel the emotion that brings at full strength. These are the times when the waiting is hard…so very hard.
In those moments, all I can do is remember that our trip to meet Lucy will be in God’s timing, and I must accept that and trust in His timing. It does not mean that I cannot long to be with my daughter. It means that I can take solace in knowing that today we are one day closer to making that happen.