Saturday, February 7, 2009

Storing Up the Good Memories for a Rainy Day!

Being a mom is the most amazing experience that I have yet to find the words to fully express. But as every mom encounters rough patches with their youngsters, I have experienced such with Libby this week. Yesterday was the climax of her disobedience, terrible attitude, swatting, talking back, and her flat-out ignoring me and even talking over me to act like she doesn't hear. Most days there are just a few instances of these things. This week and especially yesterday I was completely spent and clueless as to what to do with her. I went to bed last night begging God for a break through because I was at my end with her. 

Today was glorious. She obeyed all day. She gave me little kisses on my arm throughout the day on her own initiative. She helped me around the house and sang songs all day. She smiled and glowed and I couldn't get enough of her.

Maybe the previous days can be blamed on the fact that at least one of us has been sick for the last 14 days and we have traveled out of town to 3 different events in the last month - 2 of those events during all the sickness. Maybe we have just been crammed together as a family in either our house, a plane or a hotel room for too long! But when a mom has a day like I had yesterday I really don't know how she keeps going without faith in Jesus and the hopes He gives when He says "peace I give to you" or "my mercies are new every morning". 

One thing I need to do a better job of (and there are many more things, believe me!) is writing down the sweet moments so I don't forget that God is doing an amazing work in my daughter as He shapes her heart and mind. So, this post is for that - to dwell for just a moment on how Libby's heart and mind are processing life through her own words.

1. A few nights ago we were driving home and Libby asked, "Mommy, where is the sun?" I replied, "It is night time and right now the moon is out." She said, "Mommy, in the morning do you think Mr. Moon will go behind the clouds to get the sun?"   

2. A while back we were at the home of a family who has very little. The youngest girl ran out to our car before we left her house to give Libby her only little teddy bear. On the way home we explained to Libby how precious that was and asked her if she wanted to give this girl something the next time we saw her. When we got home Libby went straight into her room and picked out one of her nicest and biggest bears and told me she wanted to give it to the little girl. A few weeks later this family was in our home. Libby was so excited to give her this bear. The little girl must have been in a picky mood (normally she is not this way, but we all have our days, right?) and she told us that she didn't want that bear. She wanted a different bear and she pointed to one of Libby's favorites. As I sat and watched I started to interrupt and make a different suggestion so Libby wouldn't be upset or something, but before I could say much Libby gave her the bear and started suggesting all the others she could have. She was willing to give almost every bear away.

3. For the last several nights Libby has been sleeping with 2 small little bears. They have been her favorite all week. This morning she said she wanted to give them to Taylor and Camryn (her cousins) but I know that Becky (their mom) is not wanting them to have any more stuffed animals so I said to Libby, "Taylor and Camryn already have teddy bears. We should give them to someone who doesn't have any, like the Somali kids." She picked up her bears and set them on the kitchen counter and said, "these are for the 'mollies' when we see them tomorrow." And there they sit until tomorrow.

4. Every morning Libby and I pull out our "Operation World" book that features a different country almost every day along with the unreached peoples in those countries and we pray for those nations and people before breakfast. Today Afghanistan was featured. I said to Libby, "today we are praying for Afghanistan". She said, "who's Afghanistan" so I started to tell her about the country and I said, "many of the people are very poor because of all the war." And she said, "the people have no food to eat?" and I said, " that's right. Many of them don't." Libby proceeded to get out of her chair and go to the pantry. She brought a box of wheat thin crackers and said, "this is for the poor people in 'Afghnstong'. We can give them our crackers and cheese nips." How do you explain to your three year old that its a little more difficult than that and then put the box back in your cabinet? 

5. Libby has talked about Lulu A LOT lately. When she eats her Spaghettios she says she wants to save some for when Lulu comes. When we get into the grocery cart at the new HEB she says Lulu can sit in the cart-seat next to her. Today, Libby was asking questions like, "why did you marry daddy?" So I answered her question and then she would say, "You marry daddy and then you get me and then you'll get Lulu." She's getting the order correct! As she asked and talked about this order she went on and said, "Where is Lulu?". I explained that she is in Africa if she is born already. She asked, "when are we going to get her?" I said, "we are waiting for some people to say we can go to Ethiopia to get her." "Who are the peoples mommy? she asked." "Well," I said, "there are 2 groups of people. One group is our adoption agency and they are helping us find Lulu. The other are Lulu's nannies in Africa who are taking care of her until we can get there." "huh," she said as she contemplated what I was saying.  I went on to say, "you know, you had nannies in China who took care of you until we could get to you and that is exactly what is going on with Lulu right now." She just mulled over that the rest of the day.

6. We've been reading Bible stories to Libby at night. We are going chronologically, but Libby often wants to read the same stories over and over again. We've read about Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Esau quite a bit. The other morning Libby was sitting on the couch with her daddy and she said to him, "Daddy, you have very hairy arms like Esau in the Bible."

7.  Several weeks after pulling Libby out of moms-day-out (only because I wanted more time with my baby girl before Lulu comes), we were driving to the gym when out of the blue (we really had not talked about school since before the Christmas break) she said to me matter-of-factly, "Mom? I think my teachers at school are wondering where I am."  

8. Libby makes up words and nicknames for friends all the time. I'll never know why, but when she's being really sweet she calls me Mimi. She calls our friend, Terry, "Pumanina". Sometimes she makes up words and uses them regularly but we still can't figure out what they mean. The most recent one is "cantaboo".  I have no idea....

9. At one of our recent events I was leaving Libby with a friend so I could go sing. Libby was off schedule and did not want me to leave her. In the lobby of the hotel she was screaming and crying "I don't want you to go. I don't want you to go." Finally I started to make my final move out of the hotel when she screamed very loudly and dramatically, "MOMMY! I HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING." I fell for her desperate attempt and came close to her and said, "what is it, baby." And she cried loudly, "I DON'T WANT YOU TO GO!"  Surprise, surprise!

10. I often lay down with Libby for her naps. One afternoon she would not be still and go to sleep. Out of aggravation I said, "For the love of St. Pete, please go to sleep!" She started laughing uncontrollably saying, "sweet pete" over and over again. So now, when we want her to laugh we say "st. pete" or "sweet pete" or "sweet pea" and she is happy in an instant. I have no idea how long that will last so I'm using it for all its worth!

Happy memories,
Cindy

6 comments:

Juliet Lee said...

Re: #8 (Making up names for things). Our son, Alex (now 7), always called the t-shaped valves in sippy cups "S-key-no airplanes." I understand where the airplane part comes from, but the rest? We've even asked him fairly recently what they're called and why he called them that and he said "Because that's what they are!" I guess that's as good of an explanation as any...

Alli said...

How precious! Libby reminds me so much of Ava Love at that age...reading the same bible stories over and over...making up words like "cuppawee" and all the dramatics you mentioned in the first paragraph! Three years old was a challenge like I've never experienced in my life, but you're right..."His mercies are new every morning". One book that has helped me with Lovey is called, "Don't Make Me Count To Three" by Ginger Plowman. It gives one scripture to use to discipline and train our children's hearts toward righteousness. As I practice this, I see how it can become like breathing. All scripture is useful for correction, so this perspective has been wonderfully helpful! Love you girl! Oh, and I read LuLu's site too. I absolutely cannot wait until you get her pic. Praying for her...and for you guys!

Lisa said...

What sweet memories! Our son is in college and our daughter is eleven...trust me these are the things you will forget if they are not recorded. Thanks for reminding me of how precious the small memories are!!!

Becky said...

Man I love that little girl. There will always be more good times than bad with with your children. They have an amazing way of putting a smile on your face when you least expect it. Wait ago sis, for focusing on the positive!

laranou said...

Cindy,

You don't have to post this comment on your blog, but I wanted to take a minute to let you in on a secret of the internet world.

I have been following your blogs since you adopted Libby and have been waiting with you for your next daughter.

We are another AWAA family and just returned home in Januray with our six year old daughter Keziah.

Everyone's greatest concern for us has been the language barrier. It is there and it is real, but daily life moves on inspite of our different languages. Keziah plays and imagines in Chinese, we've added some Chinglish to our home, and she learns new words everyday.

One key that I discovered is that she loves music as much as the rest of our family. So I loaded up my car with some of my collection of kids' Christian music CDs for all the driving we do as taxi service for her older brothers and sister. She can now sing "The B-I-B-L-E" though she has no idea what the words mean.

I picked up one of the Intergrity Music CDs at a stoplight and was reading through the song list. Weird, I know. Who really reads to see who wrote each song? I think my jaw dropped when I looked and saw Billy Foote's name listed! Inside I think I was scream, "I know him! I know his family! They adopted Libby! Oh my!"

So maybe I don't really know you. I've never met you face to face. But your family's story has impacted our life and now Billy's music is reaching our little girl from China with the message of the love of Christ who longs to be her Savior and King.

Thank you for your music and your ministry,
Lara Wade
(our website - www.onemorewade.com)

Angela Harris said...

Hello! I found your blog because Blogspot showed me your profile- I had put mom and worship leader under my occupation. I immediately recognized your name having sung You Are My King many, many times, including yesterday at our church. I enjoyed your posts. In Christ, Angela