Well, she's off! A week after taking the harness off, Mei Sims took 5 steps! I was shocked and excited. But then she fell down while trying a few more times and she shied away from trying again. Fast forward another week and today she went 16 steps alone! Words aren't adequate to describe the joy I feel in seeing her walk.... another hard fought battle to get to this point and the reward is so sweet. She's definitely not a true walker yet but she can do and and you can see her confidence growing by the minute. Henry was participating in the moment and wanted to take turns "practicing" walking to me even though he has been walking for a year and a half.... he even did a few fake falls to show her how you can get up and brush it off and keep going.... what a sweetie. He literally did this for about 2 hours today! A little video to capture the moment (disclaimer: ignore my squeals! And the big kids came home in the middle of it so there is a little commotion for a moment. Rollins had gotten a pack of sports cards and was so shocked that there was a card of a girl pro-wrestler in it that he could barely take in what was happening with MS).
In other news..... Mei Sims will be baptized on November the 4th and while it will be a sweet day for our family, it is made even sweeter by the fact that it is orphan sunday across the country. I mention this as another reminder that God is in the details.... He cares about His children.... He beautifully orchestrates our lives.... much better than I could, I might add. My plan would have been to baptize Mei Sims this summer but the body cast ruled that out.... Keep in mind, I'm in the south. I need her in a pretty heirloom dress.... and not in a frog position while wearing it. So, september was my next choice.... thinking she would be out of the cast. Our church has baptisms once a month, so when I called, they only had space at the 8 a.m. service which I knew I couldn't have everyone dressed and on time to that one..... and I ended up being thankful... I called before I knew about the harness so she would have still been a little froggy in an heirloom gown. Next, I asked for october and call derek to confirm the date, only to learn that he would be on a guys' trip to the beach. Scratch that. And then we arrived at November.... they had not yet picked the date, so I told them that I didn't care when it was in november, just sign us up for the 10:45 service. A few weeks later, I heard back that it would be Nov. 4th and a few weeks after that, I saw on facebook that it was orphan sunday.
I give you all that detail lest you think I planned it that way or that is a "neat coincidence".... those were simply too many factors to just fall into line to put us at a date that I didn't even know was significant. Throughout this adoption process we have had so many moments/ situations that could be called "coincidences"and my hope is that as you have journeyed with us, you too would see that there is clear evidence of the hand of a mighty and loving creator at work here. Too much has happened in the past year and half to think otherwise.
When I was in china, I remember mentioning that Mei Sims had a little "birthmark" on her ear identical to Henry & in the exact same location..... It is a little indentation that no one else would notice (I have since found out it is called a "pit") but it was like a wink from God to me when I saw it. I had been telling henry for a while that that was where God made the final stitch when He knit him together (that sounded more fun than telling him he had a pit on his ear) and as I told Henry that story, I had no idea that God would use that detail to reassure me in my moments of freaking out.... reassure me that He knit her together for me as well. Although they are 9 months apart, I have since decided that Henry and Mei Sims truly are little "twins" who were separated in the womb.... they act more and more like twins with each passing day. There is yet another detail that I have failed to mention on here about the "twins". Mei Sims has mongolian marks.... very common on asians, they look like bruises but are actually birthmarks that fade with age. They were on her back and especially dark at the top of her fanny crack (can't think of a appropriate way to refer to that)..... wanna know who else has a mongolian mark?? Yep, Henry. When he was a little baby, I saw it above his fanny crack and worried that I had somehow unknowingly hurt him leaving a bruise. At the next doctor's checkup he looked and told me it was a mongolian mark and would fade with age..... so i had known about those marks long before we got Mei Sims. The only thing I didn't realize until I was talking to the international doctor a few weeks ago is the chances a white baby will have a mongolian mark.... less than 2 %.... Another neat coincidence?
He is a God of details... I will say it over and over..... And I truly think seeing His hand in the details when life feels good right now provides strength & confidence to trust Him when life feels otherwise.... recognizing Him now provides truth to stand on when perhaps it is harder to see Him at work.... because we all know that those times will come... but we also know that we are loved by a God who does not change. (James 1:17)
A few quick stories before I go:
First, to emphasize how strong the bond is becoming between the two littles, I have to share a new pattern that has emerged.... I tell MS to do something, she laughs. I tell her again, and she looks at henry and says "Hnnnn?" (that's how she says his name) and then Henry replies "obey mommy" and then she obeys. I'm aware this is far from "first time obedience" but by the 4th kid, you go with what works and I think this is a pretty cute path to obedience.
I also want to let you in on a few more of Henry's current antics (unlike Mei Sims, I don't feel the need to draw any lines with what I share in regards to him.... He is just too crazy not to share his life! Rollins comes out with some things that would have you in stitches as well but most of them seem inappropriate to share online.... the latest scene involved him explaining what he thought tampons were to Henry... )
Here are my favorite recent moments with little dumpling as my cousin has so aptly named him and let me add that the following conversations happen multiple times a week:
Henry: Mei sims china?
Me : Yes.
Hen: Daddy china?
Me: No, just Mei Sims. Where are you from?
Hen: I from Christmas land
Me: You are from christmas land?
Hen: (long drawn out with a smile) Yesssssssss
He sits down after school, takes shoes off, takes socks off and then pulls so hard at his feet saying "feet off! Feet off!" Then I say "you can't take your feet off" Henry "ohhhhh, attached my bottom?"
When he gets mad at MS now, he will scream "NO MS!" and then proceed to sing a very violent sounding version of Jesus loves me (mean faces, snarls and all)..... haven't quite figured out that behavior just yet.
and the best this weekend was when I was getting him to put him down for nap and he is flailing & SCREAMING " I WANT COFFEE!!!!!!!" But at least that was better than earlier in the day at the botanical gardens, when he screamed out "I WANT BEERS" as people walked past us. (please note, we do not give him either!)
And I'll end with a moment that really cracked me up. Henry wanted to try the harness on recently and this scene ensued:
Have a happy week!
Sisters. Singing. Serious & Silly.
10 hours ago