Yesterday was beautiful. It was our first Sunday at church as a family of eight! Our church family has been a wonderful encouragement and support to us through the entire adoption process, and it was especially joyous to be able to introduce our sweet Kiffanie. She was great through the service, and afterward enjoyed discovering a new friend near her own age. It was a joy to see her feeling confident to run around a bit with the other children yet coming back to mommy and daddy every few moments.
She enjoyed dressing for church. All week she’s been asking for the frilliest dress in her closet, and wistfully touching the gold, sparkly shoes. Each day I’d say, “Dimanche a église” (Which I hope means, “Sunday for church”–but if you are attempting to learn French Grammar from this blog, you are in the wrong place.) Back to the shoes and dress: each day she’d touch them and ask if it was Sunday yet.
Once Sunday arrived and she was decked out in her coveted poofy-frills, she was rewarded by gasps of awe from two brothers–one of whom said, “Kiffanie looks like a princess!”
And, she is a princess. Just as she is adopted into our family, we are adopted into God’s family as children of the King of Kings-with brothers and sisters to share the journey alongside us. What beauty to worship with church family who has prayed for us through each challenge, cried with us, rejoices with us, and allows us to share their joys and sorrows too.
We are astounded at God’s grace–we are quite sure there are still adjustment issues on the horizon, but so far she’s shown no problems with attachment, grieving, or emotional issues, but merely “learning the ropes.” Her boundary testing hasn’t seemed to have been out of a desire to test our love or commitment to her, (she seems miraculously confident in that) but just a simple adjustment to being under authority when she’s used to calling the shots herself in more areas.
She loves to have books read to her. (I wasn’t sure she’d have the attention span for this, as it’s a new type of activity for her.) She also enjoys pointing at pictures in books and naming things in English. Her interest in books will be a great plus for gentle transition toward academics in coming months (stay tuned for more details).
Someone asked if she’s interested in the variety of music in our home–surprisingly, not really. She will occasionally plunk around on a vacant instrument (especially the hammer dulcimer), but she’s discovered that while the older children practice, they won’t play with her, and therefore she ignores the person at the instrument and finds someone free to play. I think she sorts our activities into “able to play with Kiffanie” and “Boring things that ignore Kiffanie.” Music practice falls into the latter. Sometimes Kendra brings Kiffanie over to the dulcimer to sing children’s songs as she plays in an interactive, Kiffanie-focused–way that brings a smile, but most of the children’s music practice barely hits her radar. I think she’ll be interested in learning music herself in a few months, but she’s a do-er, not a spectator.