Well, this Chinese girl in our family is taking one tiny step after the next. There might be a time gap of many months or even years before we see another step, but when we do, wow, it does something inside of us.
When we first received Haven from her orphanage in China and her caretaker left her with us, she screamed for an hour straight. She was absolutely terrified being left with some strange white people who didn’t speak Chinese.
|Cade, four at the time, comforts his new, anxious sister.|
We noticed right away that she often soiled herself (she was eight when we got her), not having a clue how to deal with the urge to go to the bathroom. We highly suspect she was left in a “toilet” chair all day, strapped to a wooden chair with a hole in its seat and a bucket underneath so the caretakers wouldn’t be bothered.
Haven had scars on her ankles and hips, showing where the ropes most likely made contact with her little body. She also freaked out on the airplane when it came time to put her seatbelt on.
Then when we arrived home and she saw our two dogs, she scaled my body as fast as a cat in a dog pound, screaming with terror. She probably had never seen an animal before.
Another things we noticed is that she didn’t have a mind to wipe her mouth or face if food or whatever got on it. She never licked her lips, often leaving them very chapped and cracked.
God is SOOO good.
Haven has taken tiny steps of progress, BUT…progress nevertheless.
|Haven, right, finds comfort in China with her new sister who looks like her.|
Now Cody, our lap dog that once sent her spiraling out of control at the sight of him, is now her best buddy. The two are inseparable. When I or my other kids couldn’t be bothered with him, Cody snuggles up to Haven, where he receives ample cuddles and strokes on his ears.
|"That's my buddy!"|
She still doesn’t speak, but she smiles a lot, and is so content doing whatever we do as a family and going wherever we go. My wife says she’s the perfect travel companion. When the noise level reaches a high in the car, we know at least that Haven’s not responsible!
|Catching the sunset at the beautiful Eastern Shores of Virginia.|
She goes potty by herself when she needs to. She dresses herself even, and can now brush her own teeth (maybe with a little help).
But what stirred me to write about her today is that just last night during dinner, I noticed something that most other people wouldn’t notice. While eating a rice dish on a flat plate, I saw that her scooping action pushed some rice to the edge of the plate, on the verge of falling off. Before, Haven’t would’ve happily let it go off. Or unhappily. She probably would’ve looked at me with furrowed brows as if to say, “Do something about this. I can’t get to it if it falls off.”
But just as easily as she shoved the rice to the edge, she used her fork to shove it back toward the center. That may seem like gaining one yard in football, but to me, that was a touchdown!
Our little Haven is aware and she learns. Join our prayers as we ask the Lord give us more steps. Even if those steps remain baby steps.
Haven, sweetheart, we love you and believe in the God who embraces your little heart. You are and always will be our little flower!