Monday, July 18, 2011

Update on Evangeline

I haven't given a Marchenko family update on Pocket Lint in quite a while. So, here goes!

I will take a day to cover each kid; or else this post will be longer than Santa's Christmas list of who is naughty or nice. I think I'll go youngest to oldest.

Let's start with Evangeline: four years old.
First: The Business...

We've recently completed her yearly specialty appointments: vision, hearing, dermatologist, general pediatric. What else? Oh, we still need to get her in for a spine x-ray because she has a small, but stable gap between two vertebrae that deserves a yearly check up.

Everything looks good. Evie doesn't require glasses. She hears well. She's healthy. We're thankful.

Evie is non verbal. She does not use sign language, but did start to wave bye consistently. When she is hungry, she goes to her chair and climbs in. She gets her coat and brings it to us when she wants to go outside. Sergei noticed she keeps eye contact more often and for longer amounts of time. She smiles a lot. Her laughter is high pitched and sweet. We are encouraged.

Evie completed four weeks of summer school and now has a break until preschool resumes in September. She is out of her crib and into a big girl toddler bed in the room she shares with Polly. She likes musical toys and hand over hand activity to sing songs and she absolutely loves swinging at the park and at home in her therapy swing.

Seond: The Bonding...

It's still hit or miss with our bonding. Honestly, I am sad about it. Some days I think, we got this!, she loves me and I love her and all is right in the world and other days she's the nonchalant love interest and I'm the brooding teenage crush. I crave her attention. She blows me off.

Our mother-daughter dance is memorized; two steps forward and one step back. She is learning how to be a daughter. And I am learning how to be her mother.

Overall, Evangeline is comfortable in our family. She loves to play with her sisters and has a precious relationship with Sergei. She brightens when he comes into the room. If he is sitting reading or watching a show, she climbs up into his lap for a hug.

My relationship with Evie reminds me of what it must be like for God to have me as his child. I often ignore his loving attention. He has all this goodness to share but I am too suspicious to let him in. All God really wants me to do is come quietly and climb up into his lap. And yet, most of the time, I choose to sit off to the side alone.

Of course, the comparison doesn't pan out. I am so not God, and God is not the type to sulk when I ignore him. And Evie is not the problem child. She is just a little girl learning to love.

I am an impatient mother who wanted love at first site, but got real life instead.

Evie has been home two years and I am still frustrated with our relationship several times a week. I want us to be farther along by now. I look around at other adoptive moms and assume they are better at this than me. I so want to be passed the dating stage with my daughter.

But sometimes I look at her, and she is smiling or laughing or thoughtful, and I am blown away that I get to be in her life. I learn from her. She is the mirror God knew I desperately needed to realize hard truths I choose not to look at about myself.

She could be sitting in an orphanage alone somewhere. She could be sick, or sad or even dead. Instead, she just went to the grocery store with Sergei and will go for a walk with the rest of the family later today. She is here, with us.

She is right where God wants her to be.

And for that, I am glad.

(Interested in special needs adoption? Go to Reece's Rainbow to learn more)


  1. Wheeeeewwwwwww! That is an amazing post, friend. Wow. Much to chew on there. Thank you for the food for thought, the encouragement to let our frustrations with our relationships with our kids be a mirror into our own childish responses to God. And thank you for loving and adopting Evie so she doesn't have to be sitting in a lonely orphanage somewhere. . . I really can't wait to read your book. -Christine

  2. What a beautiful and honest post. You are so honest with your struggles, yet you still choose to see the beauty and the good. Hugs to you and Evie!

  3. Hi Gillian,
    I hope it is okay to comment. My name is Susan and I am a friend of Christine Pinalto's, she posted your blog on FB.

    As an adoptive mom of 3 young children (one of which was 3 years old when he came to us via the fostercare system with a substance abusive, severe mental health and behavioral concerns), I completely empathize with your thoughts on bonding. What a wonderful description of the relationships with our children being a mirror into our own child like behaviors. Thank you so much for your encouragement and I will be praying for you and your family.

    God Bless from one adoptive mom to another- Susan

  4. Gillian, what an amazing post...and you are an amazing mom too!! hugs!

  5. Thanks for this beautiful post. Your family and your writing make me happy. There is so much honesty and inspiration in real life.

  6. Thanks. I'm struggling with this bonding thing with my 16 y/o daughter these days.

    I love [and hate] this, it's so true: "She is the mirror God knew I desperately needed to realize hard truths I choose not to look at about myself."

    Gillian, you're an example to me of a good mom. Bless you.


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