How do I explain the swelling in my heart--the utter gratitude I have to our Lord for these precious gifts?
This child, a mere ten months ago, was restricted to the confines of a building. And last night, she ran free on a soccer field--no boundaries; no limitations. It's almost too much to digest sometimes...
At the end of her first official soccer practice, the coach asked the kids to get down on one knee. Lulu lost her balance and toppled over every few seconds, but she wouldn't surrender and maneuvered back into the formation that had been asked of her. Our daughter remained on one knee until every other child--and coach--was back up on two feet.
Before we left, the coach handed out the jerseys for the "Pink Flamingos" team. My heart started to race as I hoped it would all go down in a good way. And then he pulls out jersey number one. If he only knew how this Mama's heart begged for my daughter to have that number. It means the world to her. You see, for five-and-a-half years, she never knew what it was like to be number one. All kids are treated equally in orphanages (for the most part), and it's only now that she's learned what it feels like to receive the honor of being first sometimes. It doesn't always end up "good times" in our home because of this, but on this occasion--on that soccer field--it did.
"Who wants to be number one?" the coach shouted out. In a split nanosecond, Lulu's hand nearly touched the night's sky as she screamed out, "Me! Me!" I nearly melted. There wasn't an ounce of competition, praise the Lord. The other kids, and the coach, chuckled as they handed Lulu the jersey and bestowed upon her the honor of donning number one. It was so much deeper than they even realized.
Parenting Lulu isn't the easiest job we've ever had. But, Lord knows (and our mothers, too) that parenting us wasn't easy either. It's a privilege, and that's not lost on us. Sometimes in these moments, I feel so small and humbled when I sit back and reflect on all she's been through, yet she possesses such determination and might in spite of it. We learn many lessons through these children, and we thank you, Heavenly Father, for calling us to your field of Glory.