Thursday, February 4, 2010

Preparing for Madelyn

Now that the nightmare is over, I am now starting to think about the major life change coming Madelyn's way AND the change in our family dynamic. It's comical to think back when we adopted Linzhi and were asked by many "How is it adopting an older child?" At three years old I never considered Linzhi an "older child" but adopting a preschooler had it's challenges don't get me wrong but Linzhi being so little (to me) had a pretty easy transition once her grief subsided a bit and I am confident to say it took her a good 6 months for her to feel apart of her new family. I remember we took her to a family Christmas party about 3 weeks after we returned from China, there were a lot of people wanting to meet her, hold her, talk with her...Well, my poor little girl didn't know what to think, she had a look of complete confusion. I know she was so overwhelmed and looking back, I think we probably should have sat that one out. So when I think of Madelyn and all the major changes she's going to be facing like, language, food, environment, having an instant family, dogs, new school, etc... I'm beginning to get overwhelmed for her! Yes, I'm reading up on adopting older children, I've reached out to some moms in blog world that have walked this path before me(so grateful for all the help) but what I have learned from Linzhi and all the heavy education I did before we brought her home is this, we will not be 100% prepared ,there is no way to determine before hand how Madelyn is going to respond to her instant parents and siblings...Whew...When I think about it I get full of nervous butterflies.

Last night, CJ and I were talking about her name. I love the name we chose for her and it will be her legal name but what about the name she's been called for the last 8 years???? We don't want her to feel as though all her comforts/identity are taken from her so we're going to use her Chinese name until she has the desire to be called Madelyn and if she never wants to be called Madelyn, so be it. Any suggestions, thoughts or advice for name changes with older kids?

I've started to think about her new room. Our latest update we found out she likes yellow and red so that helps with color choices. I almost want to wait a bit and bring her with me to pick decorative girly things for her walls and bedside table. I'm still pondering that at the moment.

There are so many thoughts going through my head...Yes, I'm nervous but oh my goodness are we excited too!!!!! God is so gracious and kind. I know He has prepared the way for Madelyn. Look at some preparations God has done so far...

In August will arrive 8-10 Mandarin speaking Chinese exchange students (Madelyn speaks Mandarin). Not only will they attend her school but the principal/Pastor assured me if she needs any help we can call on them to assist her with language. PLUS, we will have in our own home an exchange student speaking her own language as well. OH HOW GREAT IS HE????? We really want her to retain her Mandarin so this is huge!

Next, our primary care physician is Chinese and has taken a huge interest in our adoptions and has offered whatever we need to make her medical transiting easy. PRAISE JESUS!

Shriners Hospital is where Linzhi gets treatment for Arthrogryposis. Well, her doctor encouraged us to bring Madelyn to see him as well. THANK YOU LORD, we will most certainly do that!

And this last one is the most precious to me. Not only are we getting a sweet little girl to join our family but Madelyn and Linzhi share more than just being Chinese and adopted. They share Arthrogryposis. This condition is very unique, it affects any joint but my girls are both challenged with it in their elbows, wrists, fingers and hands (Madelyn has had surgery on her left leg as well). I know God picked those two girls to be sisters for many reasons but to have someone that you can relate to and share the good and bad of it , is completely priceless to this mother and father and nothing short of a miracle in our eyes.

So as nervous/anxious/excited/prepared/unprepared as we feel, we are all so thankful our Abba Father that goes before us. What s comfort to know He's got all of our backs.

Oh yeah, today is Thursday so this is my THANKFUL THURSDAY entry. Haven't done that in a while.

More to come...DTC soon!!!


Chelley said...

I am so very sure you will do everything that is needed to be done to make sure that Madelyn will have the best that life has to offer!

the most important thing you have to give her is LOVE of a forever family!


Football & Fried Rice said...


I read your last post on my blackberry & wasn't able to comment - but I was SO amazed & SO thrilled & literally had tears of joy for you, for Madelyn!

I imagine that your mind is going 200 miles a minute - and right now so is mine - I have NOTHING for you ;) BUT, I will be thinking!! promise! I think the exchange student thing is AMAZING!!!!! And the doctors.

And everything else.

Wow. Did God ever show up in a big way.

Praising Him today & rejoicing with you!


Lisa H. said...

The joy and gratitude just burst out of this post...I love it!

I'm so excited with/for you at God's gracious answer to your heart's desire and that your sweet girl will have a family....!