Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And the Story Continues

I really could go on an on about how well Lottie is doing.  She has attached to Rob and me very well and continues to do so.  She is happy most of the time; she is constantly learning new things.  Last week after observing that she seemed to like taking all of her toys to one location, I decided to see if I could teach her how to clean up.  I started singing the "Clean Up" song, and she very quickly caught on.  Now it's one of her favorite things to do - and if you know me, you know how MUCH this makes me happy :-)

Many times a day, I look at her and have to remind myself that everything in her life is still pretty new.  I have to REMIND myself of that because she has adjusted (and is still adjusting) SO WELL.  Here's just one example:

Books spread out, one shoe on, completely engrossed in "Follow That Bird"

But the difficult side of Lottie adjusting so well is that she feels completely comfortable to start testing the boundaries.  Actually, I think it's so difficult because it caught me completely off guard!  I really was not prepared for her to start pushing boundaries at 14 months old, 2 months home.   And let me tell you:  She can be so sweet, but she is head-strong, stubborn and strong willed.  (What, those are all synonyms?  OK.  She's still all of those things.)  After realizing what was happening, Rob and I decided to set the boundaries and stick to them.  One of these was requiring her to sign "please" when there was something she wanted.  This is completely different from something she needs.  She doesn't have to ask "please" for meals, snuggles, or any other need; she only has to ask "please" for things she wants - like playing with my comb while I'm drying my hair, or a sip of my soda - things she can totally do without.  We started it over the weekend, but yesterday was my first day at home alone with her.  Did I mention how strong willed she is?  She absolutely REFUSED to sign "please" for any of her wants.  This resulted in several tantrums, and although I stuck to my guns, I was completely wiped out by the end of the day - and so incredibly sad and frustrated that she refused to simply sign "please" for the things she wanted. 

I went to my first session of this Bible Study feeling completely defeated.  But, thankfully, the Lord knew what I needed.  The main question from the first session was something like, "Can you describe a time where you shook your fist at God?"  Why yes, yes, I can!  It still brings me pain to think about it.  When Rob and I decided to start our family the conventional way and failed miserably, I got SO MAD at God.  I don't think I literally shook my fist at Him, but I certainly did in my heart.  I was so angry at Him because I felt like since He wasn't giving me what I wanted, it felt as if He didn't love me.  And I struggled with that for months.  I'm so thankful He was patient and loving with me for all of those months as He led me to the end of my plans and showed me His plans for us to adopt.  Through that process, He has blessed me - and continues to bless me - more than I could have ever imagined.  And as I drove home thinking about it, He showed me that Lottie and I are exactly the same - completely stubborn and strong willed.  We think we should get whatever we want the minute we ask for it (or demand it).  And oh the fits we pitch when we don't get what we want right away.  I love that girl more and more each day, bless her little wicked heart. 

And so today, as I continued to enforce the boundaries and required her to sign "please" for the things she wanted, I was able to do it with more love and empathy than I ever thought possible.  And guess what?  She didn't refuse every single time today!  I mean, there were a few times that she did refuse, but there were a few times that she actually signed "please"!  Oh, I'm so thankful that even though she's stubborn, she's so smart and learns quickly.  It breaks my heart to think of the life she might have to live if she insisted on learning every lesson the hard way.  And that, my friends, has begun to fuel a lot of my prayers for her.

This afternoon as I was reflecting on all of this, it hit me that the Lord is STILL using that time of infertility to teach me. I don't often understand WHY the Lord allows things to happen, but I love it when I can look back on a difficult season and see how He used it for good.  And today I can see that had I not gone through that time, I'm not sure I would have been able to empathize with what Lottie is going through now.  So He used my infertility to not only lead us to adoption, but He also used my response to that infertility to allow me to more compassionately parent the child He led us to adopt.  Amazing.  And not at all surprising :-)

I don't often have the chance to get pictures of my strong-willed child in action, but I did find a few.  These make me laugh...

Post-meltdown.  Mad at Dada because he wouldn't let her stuff her mouth full of apple

Notice the tear-stained cheeks?

Once again, trying to stuff the entire apple in her mouth

And this one just made me laugh.  I had gated off the kitchen after I told her 3 times to stop playing in the trash.  A little while later I turned around and saw this had been thrown over the gate:

"Since I can't come in there to play, will you please come out and play with me?"


  1. Great blog post. We're right there with you! Thanks for sharing your heart.

  2. What a wonderful story! Our daughter is super strong willed as well. It is tough to stick to our rules, but imagine how God is going to use our strong girls for his glory!

  3. Thanks for sharing. Love to you all!

  4. Fourteen months is EXACTLY the age at which our two started to push hard at the boundaries. It's so tough!!!

  5. Loved reading this! We are in the same boat...so thankful for a child that feels comfortable enough to test the boundaries, but so exhausted at the end of the day!