Do you know the rest of this song? If you do, then you know that we've been just a swingin' with our little Emma Hope for going on 11 years. This little girl who is getting ready to turn 11 rocked our world--literally--around Thanksgiving of 2002. We did the usual Melton adoption shuffle of praying and paperchasing and waiting and waiting and waiting. The SARS epidemic held us back. but finally, finally we were matched with a sweet little nugget, Wuo Chao Wei (little dancing bird), in Anhui, China. And we packed our bags and left her big sister in the loving arms of Mimi and Poppy and were on our way to claim her as our own. Oh, we did not know that she would claim us first.
She staked her claim with many, many, much tears. And a binky. That girl must have cried for 2 weeks straight, except when she was in her mama's arms with said binky. She was scared of her daddy (took her a while to figure out he was her best ally), and only mommy would do. The part of our babies' stories that just tears me up is the part about the mommy. There's a wound, a hole, that only God can fill, and thank you Lord for choosing me as your vessel.
This little spitfire made her way into our hearts with wails and laughter. She's a firecracker, full of quickfire love and light and just as quick piss and vinegar (I'm not kidding). She cannot hide her feelings. One look at her lovely face and you know just what she is thinking. She's got a will of steel, which I know will serve her well one day, but Lord help me in the meantime.
She's full of ideas--building Lego skyscrapers and filming epic movies with matchbox cars. She prefers to spend her days in her hand me down camouflage pants from her uncles or dressed to the nines in fancy shoes and skirts. She's the best kind of contradiction.
I try to inspire her to love learning, and she does, but on her own terms. Did I mention Lord help me?
This girl who went from baby to middle in the family constellation this year is rallying. She looks up to her big sister and imitates everything that 14 year old first born does. She plays trains and dinosaurs and tractors with the baby boy and delights in every moment. Her loyalty and spunk inspire me.
Happy birthday to my sweet Emma Hope. You make every day full of adventure. I never know where we are going to end up. You light up my life. I am forever in awe of you, my beautiful, willful girl. I want to be like you when I grow up!
Love you to infinity (I win!), Mommy