Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ripple #2: Extended Family

Thoughts from a cousin:

At first I didn’t know what it would be like to have a Chinese cousin. I didn’t know if Mei Sims would fit in with the Waltchacks. Well, now I know. She fits in perfectly with them. She is just as crazy as everyone in her family, maybe even crazier! Mei Sims has gone from being a little girl who cries and screams all the time to laughing and smiling all of the time. I love having Mei Sims. At first I wasn’t sure, but now I wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves everybody and has so much energy. She can make anyone laugh or smile. Mei Sims is such a sweet little girl, and I am glad she is a part of my family.
~ MM (12 years old)

Thoughts from an Aunt:

When I saw the first pictures of Mei Sims sent from the orphanage, honestly I was concerned.  Something did not look right and I was concerned that Mei Sims could have some serious developmental problems even though her file did not indicate this.  I hoped that Rushton and Derek weren't getting in over their heads with already having three children.  However, Rushton and Derek had spent a lot of time in prayer and had a peace that this was their child.  They seemed to feel a strong connection to her without even knowing her.  Obviously that was something that God had put in their hearts.  Not being in their shoes, it was hard for me to understand.  However, the first time I met Mei Sims at the airport, that all changed for me.  I can honestly say that I loved her the moment I saw her.  For a long time she was not happy and cried a lot and wanted to be held by Rushton all the time, which was a natural response to being adopted and to moving to a new country.  As her aunt, it's almost hard to remember those times because she has turned into the most joyful little girl.  Mei Sims is nothing like the pictures sent from the orphanage where she had a blank look in her eyes.  She smiles most of the time and is so full of life.  She is very affectionate, usually running and giving me a hug when she sees me.  Mei Sims is very loved by our family, and we cannot imagine life without her.
~Kat Kat

Thoughts from a Grandfather:

In the beginning, words like “suspicious,” “possessive,” “clingy,” “withdrawn,” and “persistent” described Mei Sims when she joined our family. I wondered how long it would take for her to assimilate into her new environment and to feel like a member of this family. It’s been a real joy to me to see her exponential growth in such a short period of time with love to the Nth power from her siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, and aunt and uncle. In the scheme of things, it was just a “nano second.” It seems like she has always been a part of our family. Here it is a year later, and this two-year-old is so full of personality . . . laughing, full of life and energy, giving love back, and not missing a the beat. Every time I see her, in describing her personality, I think of a little butterfly who flits around all the time.

Thoughts from a Grandmother: 

With Mei Sims, Henry and I have received one of the greatest gifts we’ve ever been given . . . a little granddaughter from the other side of the world. How do you put into words what it means to have God bless us as grandparents to Mei Sims?
The day after Rushton and Derek received their referral, I couldn’t believe how adorable the picture of Me Sims was; and I instantly thought, “Wow! That’s our new granddaughter!” When she came home, it was hard to believe she was real and was ours . . . such a dainty, beautiful little girl. It was love at first sight . . . tears, stomach butterflies, and all. That first night, and for months afterward, she would only let one person other than her parents hold her . . .her “Pops” (Henry). Every time I see her, she still says, “Pops?” if he isn’t with me. If he walks in a room, her face lights up with a huge smile as she runs to him to pick her up. I’m sure that they will always have a special bond.
Henry and I were blessed to have five wonderful grandchildren, and then there were six! People have asked how we feel about Mei Sims in comparison to our other grandchildren. There is absolutely no difference in the love we feel for Mei Sims and the love we feel for the others. She is our grandchild and is a special gift from God . . . a gift we never dreamed of having and one we will never take for granted. We don’t want her to ever feel that she is anything less than special to us, and I pray that she will never know a day in her life when she doesn’t feel loved by her family and loved by God.

Never knowing what Rushton was up to next while growing up, and her marrying someone of the same ilk, we shouldn’t have been surprised that they knew their fourth child was in China. Mei Sims is in for an adventurous life with her parents and sister and brothers. God has placed her in a loving, fun, godly family, where her siblings have her on a pedestal.
Henry and I are blessed to get to see Mei Sims often. What fun! We thought that she would be an introvert, but the “craziness” of her family’s life has rubbed off on her. Now she’s right in the middle of the cutting up, singing, dancing, and playing. She has a smile that lights up a room. (On the other hand, she also has a scream that could shatter the light bulbs in a room. Thankfully, I’ve only had the pleasure of hearing it once!)
It has been amazing to watch a quiet, little 15-month old with no facial expressions blossom into a 25-month old with much animation. She has advanced in the last year in so many ways physically, mentally, and emotionally, at a rate much quicker than expected . . . laughing, running, and talking. One of the highlights of the last few months for me was one day when I babysat. She was in a different room and came in calling over and over, “May May!” Hearing her say my name for the first time made my heart smile . . . in addition to her saying, “I wuv oo” and throwing kisses!
Our family has been given a blessing that not many get to experience, and for that we will be forever grateful. James 1:17 says, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above . . . . “ Mei Sims could not be better or more perfect for our family. Praise God for her little life!
~ MayMay

Comments from Me:  I love seeing that for every member of the family it was also a journey... to see God work in them to overcome fear of the unknown and build in them a love for our daughter... it is an added bonus of adoption for me to see God do this in their hearts...  

1 comment:

Meg said...

These reflections are priceless!