Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Learning how to LOVE (and be loved)

It's amazing what love can do.  Lily Grace has been with us for a month and a half, and home with the family for a month and she is truly continuing to blossom in our family.  Matt and I have been talking about how she seems to really be starting to feel comfortable with us and finding her place in our family.  When we first came home, people would ask me how her sisters felt about her and how she felt about her sisters.  I would respond "Her sisters absolutely LOVE her and she seems to like them too."  It was a little overwhelming to her at times for them to be in her face all the time, first thing in the morning and  But now when they run into her room in the morning and flip the light on, you see her face light up with a huge grin!  It makes my heart so happy!  She really does love them and enjoy their company!

It's a crazy thing, this bonding and attachment thing.  You can learn and read about it, but to see it actually happening is truly amazing!  I took for granted simple things with my other girls that I am relishing in with Lily Grace.  When we first came home with her, she wouldn't let us rock her and now she will let me rock her to sleep many nights.  This has been one of my most favorite things to do with all my girls.  The simple act of cradling her in our arms had to be learned for her.  She had to learn to trust us and feel comfortable enough to allow us to lay her back and cradle her.  She has also started to crawl over and sit in my lap on her own when we are on the floor playing.  This is something new in the past week or two.  For her to find comfort in my lap brings me joy in such a simple little act.  And last night for the first time, she laid her sweet little head on my should while I was holding her.  Y'all, I about lost it.  That sweet little head nestled on my shoulder just about did me in.  She is learning to feel safe and comfortable with her momma and daddy.  Our other girls knew this from the beginning.  It was just something they always knew.  They felt safe and secure with us always.  Lily Grace has and will have to continue to learn this.

What an unbelievable privilege to be her parents and teach her what safety and security and love feels like.  Family.  That's what we are.  She didn't have this for the first 14 months of her life.  She did have loving caretakers, don't get me wrong.  I am so very grateful for the care she received.  I don't doubt that the nannies cared for her.  But when you are caring for many many babies you just don't have the time to snuggle and rock and just be.  It was busy and task oriented and yes, they did fun things I'm sure, but it was always on a schedule.  I am so grateful for time to just rock and sit and play and hug and snuggle and tickle and laugh.  I give her so many kisses all day!  I try to make up for the months of kisses she missed.  We love kissing the little flat bridge of her nose.  It's just the sweetest.  And when she leans over to give us those little fishy kisses back. There is just nothing better.  And to see our big girls loving her is just the best.

So we are all learning together.  Learning how to love each other better and journey through this attachment and bonding process.  It isn't always easy or simple.  But it is so worth it.  And I am realizing that I am also having to learn how to be loved by God.  Our love for Lily Grace and Taylor and Madelyn, while it is a great love, pales in comparison to God's love for me and you.  I can't fathom it.  I realize as I'm watching Lily Grace learn how to trust us and let us love and care for her that I am having to learn the same thing.  I need to learn how to trust God's love and perfect plan for my life.  How to learn to lean into Him and feel the security of His love.  The things the Lord continues to teach me through our journey with Lily Grace are amazing.  I am so grateful for His patience and love for each of us.  What a phenomenal journey it has been and I can't wait to see where it continues to go from here.  This little girl has taught me to enjoy the little things in life.  To appreciate every little act of togetherness.  We are learning more and more about this togetherness and family thing day by day and I'm blessed to be along for the ride!

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