Thursday, September 3, 2009

Three Years Ago

On Sept 3, 2006 we attended a moving service at an international church in China and then climbed the Great Wall. But nothing could prepare us for what the dawn would bring. When the sun set, Billy and I finally shared our deepest fears about becoming parents and we wept together, held one another for hours and then prayed. We were so exhausted from jet lag, fears, crying and tourism that we fell into deep sleep with ease - though, very late. Then the sun came up... full of hope and promise and....NERVES!

We flew to the Gaungdong province of China that morning knowing that in a few short hours we would meet our first baby girl for whom we had chosen the name Liberty Song Foote ("Libby"). A name for "freedom" - both physically and spiritually. Little did I know that God had chosen this child of joy to set ME free from the fear of being a mother.
I will never forget all the heightened emotions of seeing Libby face to face for the first time. She was screaming and crying wildly within seconds of our embrace. But I was prepared for that and immediately went into mommy mode - holding her, kissing her, bouncing her as we walked up and down the hallway with one other mommy (Cristie) and her screaming baby girl (Maliah) who would travel more than a hallway's length several days later back to San Antonio with us - living just 10 minutes apart. Was God's hand in that or what! Two Chinese babies from the same orphanage ended up in families that were friends and lived only a few miles apart. From one side of the world to the other we would fly home and maintain Libby's and Maliah's "sisterhood". God is good!

We arrived back at the hotel and Libby continued to cry. Knowing her much better now that she has been with us for 3 years, I can say that her cry that day was one of great fear and grief. Libby has always (even before we met her (according to her nannies)) been afraid of meeting new people. In her paperwork it said that anytime a new face entered the room she would cry. That is a stronghold we have prayed over, had grace with and been tender towards ever since.
That night I had to escape the hotel room for the mountain of paperwork that had to be finished. Billy had a calming effect on Libby and she took her first bottle from him and then fell asleep on his belly. He waltzed into daddy-hood and sweet contentment took over his countenance.

We listened to the sound of Libby licking the silky edge of her new blanket for quite some time. It was so sweet. We wondered what our first night would be like for us. We barely slept, but not because she was crying or needing a bottle. She slept ALL NIGHT! But we were nervous, first time parents and were alert for every little sound in the dark.

When the next morning came we were looking over the crib at her angelic, still-sleeping face and wondered how much longer before we should wake her. We opened the curtain to let in the sun. We simply couldn't bare the wait any longer to see if she would be happy or sad at the sight of our faces on this first full new day of her life. To our delight she was happy... and the rest of our three years with Libby so far is just as much a beautiful story.

Today, Libby is a thriving 3 year old beauty who has blossomed especially in the last two months as she has learned much in becoming a big sister to Gracie. She is even doing much better at welcoming new faces and sharing her affections with friends and family. She is an ever active, extremely bright, constantly inquisitive, positively athletic, gorgeous girl who happens to like super heroes, match box cars and soccer balls much more than dolls, dresses and bows. She tells me she love me a hundred times a day and throws a fit or cries a little less often than that - LOL! She loves to talk about Jesus, Adam and Eve, Jacob and Esau and...Maliah and Lily! She asks numerous times a day why God made flowers, trees, rocks, people. And she will often ask me to tell her the whole story from Genesis through the life of Jesus. She LOVES drums, dancing and telling stories and her imagination is off the charts! And every day... EVERY DAY.... I want to hug and squeeze and nurture Libby Song with everything I've got. She inspires me. Her joy is so contagious and her smile is piercing. She radiates in my eyes.... this must be how Jesus sees his own... this must be what he means when he says that he delights in us. Oh, how I delight in Libby. Thank you Jesus for bringing her into our lives. Thank you for the 3 years I have had with her so far! What a deep, profound, life-altering blessing!

You can read my words from that Sept 4, 2006 Gotcha Day at:

Here are the pictures on that same journal page:


Kathryn said...

That is such an awesome story...and I love the sweet pictures! Even though you don't know me, I enjoy reading your blog and keeping up with the journey God has brought you on with your 2 girls!

Katie said...

3 years!!! This post is so incredibly sweet, and it brought tears to my eyes. I'm so thankful for Libby and how the Lord has used her to show me "freedom" as well. She truly lives up to her name. I love her so so much! Love you too, Cindy!

Lisa said...

We serve such an amazing God! Thanks for sharing your sweet story!

DougLane said...

This story melted me. The pictures finished me off, transforming me into teary-eyed mush. Thank you for sharing your story.

britney said...

i loved reading this.
i can only wonder what i'll be saying about annika a couple years from now... what she'll love, what she'll do, and what she'll teach me. wow- what a journey motherhood is!!! and you are such an incredible mommy.