The New Stacie
I have been trying to take time out of every day to be still and quiet and to reflect and listen. I feel that it is very important to stay grounded because it is so easy to race from one activity to the next, only to slam my head against the pillow in exhaustion every evening, and then do it all again the next day. I have never wanted to let my life pass me by only to look up 10 years later and ask, “Where did those 10 years go?” I always try to live consciously, to do most everything purposefully, and to be moving toward a target. A great friend sent me a text while we were in China preparing to meet Jian. She said that becoming a mother changes a woman, and she couldn’t wait to meet the new me. I have been reflecting on how true that statement really is. These are some changes I have observed:
- It has softened my heart. Much to my dismay, I can cry at the drop of a hat now. I lived 34 years without Jian, and much of that time was spent building up calluses on my heart. And justifiably so. But much like my magic little sponge that files down the calluses on my hands after a gruelling workout, having Jian has helped file down the calluses on my heart.
- It has caused a shift in priorities. Jian comes first. Period. I find myself setting my alarm and getting up at 5 am even on weekends so that I can have my quiet time, blog, do laundry or housework before she is awake. Because when she wakes up, my time is hers. If she wants me to play a game with her, the last thing I want to do is indicate to her that I can’t because there is something else more important that I could be doing.
- I am truly learning to live in and enjoy the moment. One good thing about my personality is that I am a planner. I like to have goals and be prepared. But with this comes the struggle of not enjoying the present moment due to planning for a future event. Since Jian came home, I have truly started to learn to enjoy the small treasures in life and to enjoy each moment that we spend together, no matter what we are doing.
- I have become even more aware of the words I say, the food that I put into my mouth, the way I spend my time and energy, and the way that I interact with others. She is watching and learning 100% of the time. Everything that I do, she asks, “Why?” She is a seeker and soaks everything up. I am the most influential person to her. At first, this put extreme pressure on me, but I just remind myself to do my best and that I wouldn’t have been asked to do anything that I am not equipped to do.
- I have put even more emphasis on setting and maintaining boundaries. Much of our pre-adoption training centered around the fact that we should not have pre-conceived ideas of what Jian should do or be like. We feel that we are doing a good job allowing her to be her own person and teaching her that it is acceptable and advisable to set boundaries with other people. If she wants to wear jeans every day, that is her choice. If she doesn’t like hair bows, that is her choice. If she doesn’t want to get into a group photo with people she barely knows, that is her choice.
This process is certainly a learning curve, and I’m sure I will learn and change much more over the years. But I am thankful for the things it has already taught me up to this point. May we all strive to learn and grow and to affect those around us in a positive manner.