Lily has an unbreakable spirit. If you think about living in an institution without a sole nurturer and comforter for 9 years, and then being able to come into our family and respond so well, it amazes me. She has such JOY in her spirit. It appears like she has separated herself from her past so much so already that she does not even want to think or talk about it.
Today I noticed someone had completely messed up my new and newly organized bookshelves. Books were out of the shelves in stacks and piles everywhere. I had worked for hours to get them organized the way I wanted them. Books for Rob here. Books for Lily here. And so on. I was so frustrated when I saw it and then I found out Lily did it. I calmly told her to put them all back the way they were and that it meant a lot to me to have them the way I wanted them. As I was examining her work once she was done I was explaining things that were still out of order. She could barely hide her little grin.
Lily has this little grin she gets. It comes when she knows she should clearly NOT be grinning or happy but she cannot contain it. For example, one day she had told a lie twice and we were really trying to instill in her early on that we DO NOT tolerate lies. She had been telling and teasing Daniel so much that she wanted a spanking. She had seen us spank other kids when they required disciplining, and she was SO curious. So when this came up, Daniel thought it was a perfect time to grant her wish of getting a spanking! We thought that she was really joking, but no, she really did want Daniel to spank her. So Daniel and I calmly explained to her about lying and truth and how she was going to get a spanking just as one of our biological kids would for this. Then she grinned. She was thrilled! She couldn't stand the anticipation. Needless to say after the spanking she realized how foolish it was to beg for a spanking, and she has not since!
Well this grin she's got that is somewhat or extremely annoying because you are trying to get down into her soul so that she learns a lesson but she is grinning. And you know what it shows me? She is fearless. She is probably thinking, sure, go ahead, give it your best shot trying to break me and make me feel guilt for doing something wrong! It's fun for Lily to get in trouble, because she is getting special attention. (Let me insert in here that Lily is out most obedient child, by the way!) She is unbreakable. She is not going to let me telling her she messed up my little bookshelf make her feel bad about herself and ruin her glorious life out of the orphanage. And I love that.
Lily doesn't have a self-esteem problem. She thinks she is smart and pretty just as we tell her everyday. She doesn't enter a room with timidity and wonder what people will think of her and then act accordingly. She bounces right in between whoever she wants and demands attention.
This is partly a symptom of attachment disorder. And for those of you familiar with adoption and attachment, you are probably saying most of the things she does is a result of that. But you know what, I believe that God did a great work in Lily the day she was transferred into our care. I describe it as two separate people. It is hard for me to believe she is the same child. She seems to be...new.
And I love the fact that Lily can put her past in the past and not look back and move forward. And you cannot tell me that she doesn't have the capability to be sentimental and hang on to moments because in the 7 months we've had her she is very sentimental about things in her past few months. She looks at photos and videos on my phone and relives things all the time.
I just love Lily. I think that she's a fighter and a survivor and if I think that I can parent her by making her feel guilty about doing wrong then I am foolish. She is not motivated by guilt. She is motivated by life and love!
So many of us live our lives motivated by guilt. We do things because someone tries to make us feel guilty if we don't, then we do it and then we resent THEM because WE said yes to it. Lily teaches me so much about God everyday. She teaches me about life. Maybe you might need to learn something from Lily right now. Maybe you need to get over yourself, get over past, and start loving freely and being grateful you aren't bound by sin and going to hell. Isn't that reason enough to get over ourselves!
I picture myself going to Heaven and standing before God when I leave this earth. I know He will accept me with open arms because I am confident in my salvation. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. But I also have this haunting feeling in my gut that my life will be laid out before me and God Almighty for review. I do not want to be ashamed of my life. I do not want God to lovingly tell me how much time I spent worrying about my insecurities, my failures and my intimidations while the world around me is in need. I do not want HIm to show me I spent thousands of hours watching mindless TV and movies and playing cash cow on Webkinz while I could have been seeking His heart and being used by Him to make a difference in someone else's life! I'm tired of living for myself and my gain! I want to live for others!
Lily is teaching me how.