Tears. I have seen them at least once every day since we have been home. Most often they are Honeybee’s but to be perfectly honest, there have been several times when my voice has caught in my throat and I’ve been near tears myself.
I try to imagine what Honeybee is feeling. Does she feel scared? I’m sure she does. Does she feel fortunate or blessed? Maybe sometimes, but probably not too often. Is she angry? Definitely, at times. Can she tell me any of this? Not really. Once the tears start, whether due to sadness, anger, or disappointment, all logic and language skills seem to disappear. I give her space and let her cry, or I try to hold her. Sometimes during a crying episode, I try one, and then the other, and in the end I often feel helpless. I whisper in her ear, I pray for her, I try to keep my frustration at bay.
The tears seem to well up as the sun goes down. I have experienced that myself during dark times in my life; I could hold myself together all day, but as darkness came I felt myself sinking down into anxiety or sorrow. Now I see my new daughter, who is happy and busy most of the day, begin to get grumpy, then resistant, and finally angry enough or sad enough that the tears start to flow. If they were quiet sad tears it would be easy to comfort her, but sometimes they are hot, angry tears accompanied by yelling and pushing all efforts of mothering away. Those are hard moments for all of us.
One night earlier this week, the crying became so extreme that the other children couldn’t sleep. We made many efforts to help Honeybee and finally in desperation, I carried her to my bed, and climbed in with her. It was 8:45 and I had projects planned for that evening, but I remembered many nights comforting crying babies, nursing them for hours, walking the floors with them and I realized that my work would have to wait while my new baby was comforted. The moment I laid down next to her, she wrapped her arms tightly around me and put her head on my chest. She stayed like that nearly all night, reaching out to find me when I shifted my position.
Do I think Honeybee is adjusting well? Yes, I think she is amazing and that she is doing something that is harder than nearly anything I have ever done. Is the adjustment easy? No, it isn’t. Russ and I are working harder than we ever have in our lives and we are weary, but we cannot let ourselves be downhearted because we are fulfilling the Lord’s calling on our lives and He is faithfully carrying us through this time. All is well, all is well, and I hope that tomorrow will be even better.