Sunday, March 6, 2005

Musings from the Mommy

We have taken a 2 day break from posting here from China - partly because the activity level for the adults has slowed down, but mainly because we're getting a little stir crazy waiting for Sydney's passport to be processed so we can get on to Guangzhou. It's taken me this long to process my thoughts and emotions and reactions to this transition to motherhood. Reason? This little girl absolutely floods your emotions and overwhelms your heart.

Considering the fact that Rollin and I are pretty much homebodies, the Lord has obviously got a radical change planned for us. As Rollin has said already to other parents in our group, Sydney will be the one wearing the lampshade at the party. Smiles? She loves them. Laughing? She laughs right with you. Forays into the crowded streets of Nanchang? She says, "Bring it on!" Whenever we gather together for a group dinner or tour, you can bet the quiet Bredenbergs will be carrying the girl who squeals and waves and grins at everyone in the lobby. She reaches for the room door each morning, itching to get out and see what people are walking by and who is available to greet. I prepared myself for a whole host of things with Sydney - runny nose, coughing, skin diseases, crying for hours, bonding to Rollin first, irregular sleep, difficulty feeding, trouble finding the right nipple that works, delayed development, irritability, you name it. What did we find on Gotcha Day? She LOVES her daddy - and she is just as healthy as can be and SOOOOO easy for an 11 month old (which she turned yesterday :)) She sleeps 10-12 hours at night; she takes a 2 hour nap; she's a dream to feed; she is gaining new ground by the hour as she wants to stand, cruise with help, uses both hands with better dexterity; and, bonus, she is starting to really cuddle.

What I hadn't prepared myself for - Mom would even say I'm intimidated by - is the vibrant, gregarious, extroverted, thrives-on-people little girl we named Sydney Grace. She is just such a unique PERSON already - I guess I still thought our babies would be fairly generic, waiting to blossom. Let me tell you, this little girl has already blossomed and is a sweet fragrance in our lives. At first I found myself competing with Rollin and Mom for Sydney's attention (they were graced by her smiles and squeals from the first), and I had to keep praying for wisdom and patience through the day to day progress of bonding. Mom provided a steady source of encouragement - she was so totally in love with Sydney from the beginning, and she just knew that her lovey/affectionate daughter would win this little strong-willed girl. Here we are on day 5, and I can say with great contentment that Sydney is my daughter and I am her mother - with all the fantastic meaning those names imply (I get teary just typing that.) We snuggled this morning when she woke up, a particularly special milestone for me as all mommies adore getting cozy with their babies when they are first waking up. She plays with my face, looks at me from across the room for moments, watches me move in the room, settles peacefully to drink from a bottle, loves taking things held in my mouth and putting them back with a grin, and has graduated from needing me to sit behind her to liking to sit face to face with toys to share and games to play. We particularly love blowing bubbles at each other, practicing new sounds, and spending time in front of the mirror watching each other talk and smile and giggle.

This adoption has been a sanctification, and our great Lord is continuing to work in our hearts to cause us to glorify Him through this little girl. She started coughing and sneezing yesterday, so we pray for her to heal from this little cold as the Lord wills. Most of the other babies in the group have colds and fevers of varying sorts, and I have checked them out and prescribed various medicines as needed. I have been amazed at the maternal instinct of worry about this little cough with my own daughter - ah, the transformation from doctor to mom has already begun.

Sydney 3
Sydney 4
Sydney 5

Sydney 2


Rosemary Raley said...

Dear precious Amy, how beautifully you have shared your heart. That wonderful willingess of yours to do that is so compelling and surely it is obvious that you have won Sydney's heart. I'm embracing you all with my own heart and love to have these glimpses into what is so personal and really intimate for you as a family. You glorify God with your every breath.
Love, mom

Lisa S said...

Mom and Dad..has a nice ring to it! What a beautiful family you've become over there half a world away. Thank you for sharing the pictures and stories. They're keeping us inspired as we wait to follow your footsteps.
Lisa and Jim

Amanda said...

Amazing, isn't it? I can't wait to meet her, Amy! Our prayers are with you all!

Tiana said...

Sounds like she's JUST PERFECT for you both! LOVE the silhouette picture with the Chinese flag flying high behind you also. Wouldn't it be cool if you could do a similar picture with the American flag in the background and put them side by side in her baby book? I 'm already anticipating her and Taylor playing the sprinklers, mud and sandbox in the backyard. Love, Tiana

Julie Tally said...

We anxiously await your return to meet precious Sydney and to see your transformation in person! I cry every time I read an update and see the pictures. My girls are now saying "Are you crying again, Mom?!". They love the pictures, too. Thanks for sharing them and for sharing "the process". Children truly are a gift of the Lord, regardless of how they come into your family. Your story is such a wonderful reminder of how God has adopted us into His family and calls us His own.

Don Smith said...

Dear Rollin, Amy & Debbie,
It is times like these in which we get a brief glimse of God's incredible love for us - when we see how much we love our babies, immediately and unconditionally! The matchless joy that we find in cuddling them helps keep our eyes on the prize - resting in His love forever. His mercy and grace abounds to us all, as is clearly demonstrated in what He has done to make Sydney, Beth, Josh and Keylee His covenant children, and in doing so, to strenghten our faith. May His peace and joy continue to surround all of you. Don
PS: Katy sends her prayers to you from Florence - Mr. Mom has 14 more days to go!

Nicki Malosh said...

What a blessing, what a complete blessing and answer to prayers. I look at your postings daily and get teary eyed each time I see that beautiful face of Sydney smiling back at the camera. I can only imagine what joy it brings to your heart each time she smiles back at you or looks at you with eyes of love. I pray God continues to bless your new family. Be blessed-

Joan said...

Amy- I read your update through tears. You know I'm not supposed to be able to make them, so you can see how powerful your note was. Your overwhelming joy, so beautifully phrased, fills my heart. I just LOVE the pictures. Can't wait to see the three of you!-Joan

Mona Leo said...

Tonya gave me this website yesterday, and I have been joyously enjoying your journey to meet and bond with your new daughter. Sydney Grace is so beautiful! What an answered prayer she is. God is so abundantly good! You two look so natural with her, just as parents should. Sydney's personality shines through her photographs. I can't wait to meet her. I'm praying for your safe return and recovery to full health. It won't be long now before the Bredenberg family is home and settled. God bless the 3 of you and everyone in your group!

With love, Mona Leo