That old adage about not judging a book by its cover? I've been walking in that lesson for several months. Learning and changing, growing and stretching myself.
My first impressions of Keira were, as you know, a bit rough. And I use the word "rough" in a liberal sense, because "rough" kind of only brushes the edges of our first meeting and subsequent days together. It only demonstrates a small portion of what we were feeling in those hotels around China. Only scratching the surface of how hard it was for all three of us.
And I thought I might have made a mistake. I've told you that before.
Thought I might have screwed up our happy little home.
Wasn't sure I could fall in love with her. If I would ever feel that oozy warmth when I held her or that deep sensation of the world stopping while I breathed her in. Wasn't sure I could love her like she deserved to be loved.
But that was just the cover of her book. The fear and the unknown, and the initial terror. If you had read the cover of her book, you might have been prone to put it back on the shelf as well - just like we wanted to.
But of course, instead we dove in. Headfirst, mind you. Trying over and over to lose ourselves in the pages of her little story - but finding ourselves rebuffed again and again.
Something changed then. When we came back home and started over. Something clicked. Whether it was safety or love or regular sleep - all putting her in a gentler frame of mind. Putting us in a better place to read her. And there it was.
Love. Slow, at first. Steady. Careful. Gentle. One day at a time...
And then. Whoosh. Suddenly it seemed, (though it wasn't sudden at all) - running over us like warm lava...love, love, love for her. Sinking and swimming in her pages, getting lost in her big eyes, and melting into her while she nestled her head on our shoulders or touched our faces with her chubby fingers.
Suddenly in love. With her.
She's smart - already talking in bits and pieces - already signing her needs to us. She's working hard to crawl and makes her way around by an adorable rolling maneuver.
She stands up whenever she can, with our help of course. She loves to laugh, and play, and giggle. Oh the giggle - that would melt you. It's infectious. We all can't help but laugh with her.
She's tender and loves to snuggle and cuddle, and be loved. She loves to pat, pat, pat your back while you hold her. She loves to kick, kick, kick her little feet - always in motion. Those four front teeth, now always on display.
And she's doing so well. She really is. So resilient and so charming.
Each day a new page. Each new page propelling us toward a new chapter of who she is and who she will be. Each new day bringing us to a new depth of love for her. Each moment, better and better.
She is sunshine - pure sunshine. When we hold her, we look at each other and gasp (literally)...Keira Joy...home to stay...home at last...here in our arms - not just in body, but in spirit, in heart.
Our little princess has finally come home to us and we to her. We are in love...how could we not be?
Some days, I recall the wait for her to be with us. Those four long years of waiting and wondering about her. Most days I'm too busy - but when I do think of it, I'm humbled. It was a long wait. A very long, difficult journey to her. And I have not forgotten the toll it took on us. Not even close.
But my friends, she is beauty inside and out, and she was worth every single moment of pain, frustration, and heartache. And yes, even the rejection and emotional trials we experienced in China - I would do it again and again for her. Over and over - for her.
She's the one. She's my Keira Joy.
Her story is just beginning...and we'll be reading every single page.