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Persistent Love

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We visited the children today with hopes of winning a tiny piece of Emma’s confidence in us. The weather was chilly, but not freezing, so we asked if we could bundle the kids up and take them outside with the help of one of the nurses that Emma seemed to trust quite a bit.  Upon entering the orphanage, Aiden spotted us and came running, but Emma retreated again.  We communicated with the nurses with the help of our translator (via the phone), and then decide an outing might be in order.  With the kids bundled up like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” we headed outside.  Emma refused to hold our hand or acknowledge us, but she did walk along, as we walked with Aiden, and held the hand of her nurse. We walked to the rear of the orphan  age where the “orphanage dog” had just had what looked to be just one puppy. The kids watched through the cracks, and Emma allowed me to at least talk to her and be near her without reacting. We then approached one of the rear buildings on the grounds. The nurse went in to get a clean wash rag to wipe the kids faces- they were dirty from peering through the wooden slats of the dogs kennel.  She left Emma with us when she went in. Emma was alright for a moment, but then started whimpering a bit and rocking back and forth until she saw the nurse reappear.  

This out building appeared to be where the laundry was done. A woman came to the door, and Aiden went up  to greet her, friendly little guy that he is. He took the initiative of following her inside. John went after him. I took the lead, thinking Emma might be curious as well about the insides of this building, and offered my hand to her (which she took) and led her in behind John and Aiden. The nurse nodded her approval with a smile and kept her distance.  We wandered in to find three woman in what was now obviously the laundry room with one room full of laundered, freshly pressed white gowns, one room with an enormous ironing machine that could have easily had bed sheets fed into it for pressing, and another room with folded children’s clothes and sewing machines. (I assume the room we didn’t see was where the washing machines were). The three women watched as we showed the children the building and then left. Emma held my hand the whole time, and was intrigued by the new adventure, but upon leaving and seeing her nurse she ran to her and would not continue contact with me.  

John went in to get the two bananas that were in my bag and came back out. Emma allowed me to feed her and forgot about her nurse for a few moments.  The nurse was great. She backed up and around a corner, smiling at me, obviously pleased that Emma was taking the treat from me.

We walked some more, and then spotted some cats climbing and playing and the nurse encouraged me to show the cats to Emma and again slowly backed out of the scene. Emma allowed me to talk to her, touch her, take her picture, and take pictures of the cats to show her on my camera. The nurse kindly went inside as she saw that Emma was handling it well.  We then led the kids back inside by the hand, and in attempts to gain her trust, and not push to hard, I gave her to the nurse and allowed the nurse to undress her from her coat while I tended to Aiden (who was very sad to be taking his coat off!)  

The nurse was incredible. Even with the language barrier, I was able to distinguish that she has been like a Mamma to Emma. She communicated to Emma that we were Mamma and Pappa and pointed to herself as “Babushka” (grandmother). I felt like she was kindly and gently trying to help Emma make the transition to seeing me as her Mamma. We are hoping tomorrow to have our facilitator with us to meet with this nurse and talk to her about her history with Emma, about Emma’s recent behavior, and get her advice on continuing to work through this with Emma. 

In all honestly, I have to put myself in this little girl’s shoes. She has been here for nearly three years (since birth). Her birthday is July 9th, and she will be three.  This is the only world she has known. No matter how much we see it as “less than”, and no matter how much we know there is so much more waiting for Emma, more than she can ever imagine, more love, more provision, more healing….. this is what she knows, this is what is safe and secure to her. As hard as it may be for our minds to wrap around, Emma will grieve what she is leaving behind. Aiden will grieve at some point too. I know of many other adoption stories woven with grief. I think of a friend whose newly adopted 2 year old lay between his new mamma and pappa on a warm comfy bed, a momma and a pappa who had chosen to love him well, as he wept, grieving the wooden crate and blanket he had been sleeping on in the small, dirty apartment that had been the only “home” he had known.  Many other reminders of those before me, loving their children through grief remind me that love will win. 

We know this. We will love them. We have chosen to love them. We will love them through even when love is not welcomed. We will love. Don’t think us to be heroes. This is a battle of the heart, choosing to love. Our hearts have tossed and turned over this. I have cried, feeling rejected. With my weak human heart wanting something in return, I have been selfish in love. Holding back. We have not arrived. We walk one day at a time and offer love willing to be rejected.   This is not a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. This is reality. 

Thank you so much for your incredible words of encouragement, prayers and the love that echoes through your comments as we read them and cry!  Thank you for walking this journey with us and learning with us even more about the love of our Father. He is using this to teach us all so much about His love. 

We returned this afternoon for our 2nd visit of the day and had a tiny bit of connection. More bananas and a short walk. We brought a gift that was not accepted. We persist in love and know that HE who is so able, He who knew Emma before time began, who spoke her very life into existence and who has an incredible perfect plan for her life, IS ABLE to do far more than we could even begin to imagine in her life!

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19 thoughts on “Persistent Love

  1. I love you guys!! Wish I could be with you. We will be in Kansas City when the two of you return with Aiden and EMMA!!

    When you stop to think about it, the journey will never end, This is an eternal walk with the Lord. These moments will soon be looked back on with marvel as to how the Lord has reigned and will reign forever.

    Love, Dad

  2. Wow! Our ladies Bible study is going through Hosea right now. Although it’s not the same circumstances, this is still a picture of rejection of a God whose love is perfect. You are mirroring the love of our God who pursues us when all we can think to go after is the little wooden crates and orphanages of this world. They may be all we’ve known, but He offers us so much more than our imagination can handle. Thanks for portraying that love for us and not giving up when it’s heartbreaking! We’re praying…

    Love,
    Megan

  3. What size clothes are they wearing? I want to send a few things with Mom and Dad, but now I’m wondering if they’ll be too big.

    Megan

  4. Oh, Tracie, little Emma is so blessed! I can only imagine how she will feel years from now to know how hard you and John fought for her! You are truly about your Father’s business in redeeming this little one. Our prayers continue…

  5. Its just the way the Father is. And He is making you more like Him. We have eternity before us, and LOVE will PREVAIL!!! Hang in there, I know its soooo totally hard. We have had moments like that with Hope, and I thought I was going to crack. Just when its the hardest, God always breaks through, and changes things.
    Love,
    Kim Phillips

  6. Sis you can do it! I know those bananas and your loves will win those kids over, I know it! Woke up early and was praying for you.

    Let me know if John needs me to send him some shampoo. Any guarantee it will get there?

  7. I never even knew my birth parents and I still spent years grieving. I remember sitting on my bed in my room when I was like 7 and singing the song Maybe from Annie and crying and crying. So weird, being that I was so young when I was adopted. The fact that my parents loved me through this hard time is such a testimony of unconditional love for me now though. I remember screaming at my mom and telling her you are not my real mom, when I was a teenager. And she would still hold me and tell me that she loved me. I may not have shown it but in retrospect, I heard her. And that love is the thing that eventually brought me to the other side. Now my mom is one of my best friends. I think and pray for you guys often during the day. What an adventure you are on!

  8. 1 Cor. 13 – tweaked a bit

    4. LOVE . . . bears pains or trials calmly without complaining; love constantly acts benevolently on behalf of others . . .
    5. LOVE is not rude or overbearing, it is not selfish or self-centered or self-focused (tends to put the good of others before the good of itself), is not easily irritated, does not keep a mental record of the injuries inflicted upon it, 6. LOVE does not take pleasure in any deviation from the standard of right, but instead takes pleasure together with its friends and neighbors in the truth (that which conforms to reality, as defined by scripture), 7. LOVE quietly puts up with anything for the sake of the gospel; believes and trusts faithfully in God and His goodness and His sovereignty in all circumstances, delights in anticipating what God is going to accomplish (even in the darkest of circumstances); continues to love faithfully through all trials (does not run from the trials, but remains in the trial and loves through it). 8. LOVE never, not even once, fails.

    Be of good cheer guys…you are in the Father’s will.
    John 15:9-17

  9. This morning I was walking the floor of my prayer room crying out for a breakthrough with Emma. God is GOOD and He will win the day (even if it takes a few bananas!)

    That woman in the photo looks like the nurse from the James Bond films!

    Love ya

    Marc and Sallie

  10. Shared this latest prayer need with the teachers and elementary students at N.C.A. Their hearts and prayers are very tuned in to your needs and the needs of the children. It blesses me to watch them gather around the pics that I keep posted in the hall by my classroom door! If these children were adults, the orphanage would soon be emptied!!

    I love the pics you posted today!! Can’t wait to get them printed and hung up at school!!

    Lots and lots of love! You know I’m praying! Mom

  11. John & Tracie,
    I have been reading through the notes from others, and wondering what would I even say if I wrote you. My heart goes out to you both. But as I am writing I am reminded of the Love of the Father. He keeps on loving and loving. As humans, the Love of the Father is there, but so often we turn it away and look to other things or people. But eventually we realize that Love and run to it. In the mean time Father God just continues to Love.
    I am sure it often breaks Father God’s heart when He sees us running in the opposite direction, but He continues to Love. I sense this is what you are going through right now.
    But BELIEVE…God chose Emma for the Loux family and she will come to realize the love you have for her is real and sincere. Just as we reaize how much we need the Lord and His love for us, little Emma will come to relealize how much love you have for her and she will in return love you both very much.
    Think of you often and am praying for you.

    Love
    Debbie in Japan

  12. Hi Tracie,

    I am praying that each day gets easier for Emma. This is all so new to her. She is not used to a Mommy and Daddy’s love yet, but she will learn. You are doing a great job and I am so Happy to hear that today was better than yesterday. Remember that we are all here praying for you and thinking of you all the time. Thank you for sharing your journey with us to bring these two little precious children home.
    Amy

  13. Tracie,

    …what an incredible time for your family and the kids you are about to bring back here…

    I think that nurse might be a key person for Emma for this time of transition, I think it’s great that she is so kind and trying to help little Emma, and you in the process.

    I am thinking of you every day, few times a day, and sending prayers on your behalf.

    It’s a great post.
    Love will conquer fear of the unknown.

  14. Beautiful! I see you preaching about this some day and it will translate into hearts in a new way, hearts that are needing to be able to see their heavenly Abba in this way. It will break the chains that bind on some. It will set captives free. Because it’s real, it will translate in a way that is different and it will bring honor and glory to the Father.

  15. Tracie,
    I was moved especially by fairbaby’s comment. All of this is perfectly normal with adoption, as you know. One of my favorite adoption books is 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, which explains a lot of the rejection and abandonment kids can feel even at a young age and how adoptive parents can help their children work through these issues. Hang in there. You guys are doing a great job. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. SHE is worth it.
    Charissa

  16. lisaqshay summed it up well in “1 Cor. 13 – tweaked a bit”.

    Hang in there! You’re doing a great job!

    Remember:
    James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial;

    James 5:16 The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

    Romans 12: Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. . . Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

    Loux family, we are all rejoicing with you, weeping with you, and praying with you. Your words are beautiful – “we know HE who is so able, He who knew Emma before time began, who spoke her very life into existence and who has an incredible perfect plan for her life, IS ABLE to do far more than we could even begin to imagine in her life!” What peace & comfort is contained in those words!
    God bless you all!
    Much love & prayers,
    Tiffany, Steve, Noah, Grace, Elijah, & Chloe

  17. Guys, you are truly amazing. Being prepared and knowledgeable about what to expect and what your child has lived through is key to getting through these difficult times. And this is another reason why even with the long travel times which are often inconvenient for families, it allows the child to begin a transition to their new life without being ripped from the old one overnight.

    God bless you ALL!!!!

    Andrea Roberts
    Reece’s Rainbow

  18. Hi Guys!
    I am praying for all of you! In this fallen world sometimes we are so resistant to the changes God offers us even though the change will be of endless benefit. We wrongly believe ourselves ok where we are, comfortable with the familiar. I know cause Im that way about many new things the Lord brings my way. Man, am I relating to Emma here! I am praying for an open heart for Emma and courage to dream of something else, an awesome family who knows her Creator and whos ready to love her without reservation. The Lord Bless you!
    Julie (your Georgia cousin) 🙂

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