I was reading back on some of my old posts from Sofia's adoption and I had to laugh :) I think one of the very early on posts I titled "Live Wire".....and I was definitely right on with that description!! But, clearly you can see she was much more reserved for our initial meeting ;) She promptly fell right to sleep in her Daddy's safe arms!
Looking back on these pictures, a year later now she seems like a completely different child....both on the outside and inside. She looks so pale in these pictures with dark circles under her eyes and dry skin and lips. Her eyes in these pictures look so much emptier than the eyes we see today! She has so much life behind her eyes today. Emotionally, a year later, she's learned to be loved....which sounds really easy, but for such an independent spirit has been a somewhat difficult road! She's learned she needs a mama and daddy to love her and tickle her, sing her to sleep, and scoop her up and coddle her when she gets a boo boo. Even this far into the journey, we're still seeing positive changes. She's been seeking us out much more for no other reason than to just be picked up and held. She requests "more" (one of her only words so far) when my first round of her special song "You are My Sunshine" ends. She's a big Daddy's girl and loves snuggling with him, wrestling with him, and following him around the house like a little shadow!
Her "firey-ness" is part of her personality and we'd never want to change that, but it's pretty awesome to see the softer side of her coming out as well. It's a beautiful thing to watch a child figure out that they NEED and WANT to be loved and taken care of. I was pretty sure that was an inborn characteristic of all children, but it's certainly taken Sofia a little longer to be able to completely surrender her control and feel safe and peaceful trusting us to take care of her. A year home, she finally BELIEVES she is loved and wanted! For being such an independent, seemingly confident little girl, some major insecurities were uncovered on our journey over the past year. She never should have HAD to have been so independent at such a young age. She never should have learned to guard her heart by 15 months old, but she did and that breaks my heart. She is so resilient, though, and I know she'll continue to heal with love! I'm hoping that our second year home will bring more healing and a continuation of trust-building! Sofia's joy and sense of humor keep us laughing every single day! She takes some of the most serious moments and turns the mood to a much lighter one. Her sass, dirty looks, and antics often make us turn our heads to laugh (so she doesn't see us!) She is so much trouble and so much joy wrapped into one adorable little bundle! She's taken several years off my life already with her stunts and attitude, but the joy and laughter she brings must give me a few extra years, so I think it's all balanced out!
A couple pictures taken a year ago today:
There were many more happy/excited pictures I took a year ago today, and those are the ones I've always looked at/posted. Looking at these two pictures today I can see now what I should have seen then-emptiness and loneliness.....a look of an empty tank needing to be filled up....a child lacking confidence and self worth. The second picture, I can almost hear her saying, "I want to be loved so badly but I'm not sure I deserve it." Maybe that sounds a little crazy, but I can see it in her eyes in these pictures. And now, after knowing her and loving her for a year it's even more clear to me. Her fragile spirit, once overshadowed with a boisterous personality, has been uncovered and is beginning to mend.
Watching a broken heart heal never gets old. Being a part of that story....well I certainly feel unworthy, but I'm so thankful I get to be the one helping to mend her sweet heart and soul!
I love this girl something fierce, even if it's taken me a little longer to figure out how to be the mama she needs!
And I thought I'd end on a funny note with this video of Sofia! One of my absolute favorite things about her is her ability to laugh at herself and find humor and joy in so many little moments throughout the day. One of Sofia's gifts from the Lord is definitely spreading joy and laughter!
In this video, Shawn was feeding Sofia some cheeseburger pie....he snuck in a tiny spoonful of just ketchup. She LIKES ketchup, usually just mixed in with her food hahah....this was the first time she ever tasted JUST ketchup, and you can see it threw her for a loop and she wasn't sure what to think at first, then she thought it was absolutely hilarious that he tricked her! We have hardly found any foods Sofia does NOT like! Oh that laugh.....I watch this video on repeat on bad days and it always leaves me feeling happy!
On my next "Sofia Update Post" (probably 1 year home), I'll update more about her development, likes and dislikes, so if you have any Sofia-specific questions, let me know!