Thursday, August 16, 2012
Counting Mercies : #13 - #17
13. Spontaneous giggles
14. Smiling through a mouthful of mac&cheese
15. A relatively smooth visit at the doctor's office (this is required for Sophi's visa) - Sophi let us know how she felt about getting checked out by the doctor, but then again, who out there really enjoys a check-up? All things considered, she did great! How scary must it be for her to not understand what is being said and where she was being taken! I'm sure that she had to be fearful that she was being taken back to her old orphanage! When we got back to our hotel room, she seemed much more relaxed...lots of smiles, laughter, and hugs!!!
16. Sleeping all night- All of you parents know what a mercy it is to have your kids sleep through the night, and what a huge blessing from the Lord that Sophi has slept ALL night every night we've had her with us! Last night, she even went down without a single fuss! It's so cute watching her flip through her little pink photo book full of pictures of Momma, Daddy, and Sophi and listening to her babble and make so many new sounds! It's equally heartbreaking to think that this tiny girl has had to soothe herself and put herself to sleep without ever having anyone to rock her or sing to her! I think about my sweet Evie, who, by the way, has been sleeping through the night this week for her MiMi! I think about how many hours we have rocked and loved on her! She has heard her big brother, Web, (and her Daddy) call her beautiful and gorgeous so many times that she starts grinning when she hears those words! How much Sophi has missed in her 6 1/2 years of life! We have a lot of catching up to do... It has been wonderful having Sophi go to sleep so easily. I have prayed so much for her little heart to feel safe and secure and that she would be able to rest peacefully! I know Mercy has heard and answered!
17. Learning to open her mouth when she's ready for another bite of food - Today Sophi has shown continued progress with her eating! She continues to grab her bib whenever she's hungry, and she's also been imitating me and Will as we've been trying to teach her how to chew...She's so cute when she opens her mouth, her way of telling us she has enough room in her mouth for another bite. She's still packing food in the top of her mouth, but she's doing do much better at self-regulating the amount she can handle. I have been much less concerned today about her choking! She's been content to let me and Will feed her instead of grabbing the food, and I know that this is an important part of bonding and attachment...As I watched Sophi open and close her mouth today, the Lord brought 2 different things to my mind today.
The first thing was a reminder of a really cool story that happened to us and the boys about this time last year. It was a Sunday afternoon in late August, and the boys were complaining about having nothing to do. So we decided to go outside and get some fresh air (this is ALWAYS a good option when you have a houseful of little boys!!!). We were heading over to the rope swing in the front yard, when Will noticed a bird's nest that had fallen to the ground. I'm going to let him pick up the story from here...
Nearby we saw a baby bird that had come down with the nest. Immediately the boys and I became bird rescue experts! We scooped the little bird up with a towel (you know, so momma bird won't smell humans on her baby). Quickly, we built a nest in a cardboard box, cleaned some ants off the birdie, and located a dropper and started feeding it water! Wow! Things were going great!
Melanie asked the simple question, "Are you guys sure?" Like lightning my boys deserted me and said, "Yeah Dad, just go to birds.com!" (They think everything is just that simple - "anything" .com!)
Losing a little of my bird rescuing confidence, I headed for the computer. First website we went to pretty much had this in bold at the beginning: (1) NEVER feed water with a dropper due to drowning risk and (2) the scent of humans causing mother to abandon is an old wives tale! OK, plan B.
Reading further, Melanie found the coolest fact: a second nest could be used in place of the first! (I was outside considering CPR on the baby bird that I was about to drown and getting ready to evict it from its cardboard condo I had so proudly created!) Now, the only problem with the 2nd nest idea is that you need a second nest!!!!??!! You guessed it! Melanie and the boys walked out of the house with one. Apparently my family kept me in the dark that we always keep a spare nest around just in case a bird family needs it! We sure don't have any extra beds, but we've got bird hospitality covered!
So far, that's the long version of the short part of the story! Here's the short version of the rest: We successfully relocated the bird to the Blackmon family spare nest and placed it in a bush. The momma was hanging out in the yard and (just like "birds.com" said) she instantly went to the baby and began feeding it like nothing had ever happened. We watched the little birdie get fed for a couple of days before the tragedy happened. We found that the 2nd nest had fallen to the ground, that no bird was to be found, and that our neighbors' cat was sitting nearby! Yikes! At this point, this beautiful picture of the little birdie thriving in its 2nd home had all gone wrong. Our thoughts were simple, "God, what are you trying to teach us with this deal?" We were trying hard to not be discouraged.
Over the next few days the boys and I would wander around the yard in desperate hopes of being wrong about "Jackie" the cat and the horrible end of little birdie. We kept noticing the momma bird flying around the yard with worms in her mouth as if looking for her lost baby. It was pitiful... "God, what ARE you trying to show us!!??" We were getting tired of this disappointment!
Then, one day the thought crossed our mind, "What's she doing with all those worms, anyway?" So, we began watching her!
Sure enough, we followed her to "Jackie's" house next door and found the baby bird under the bushes with feathers starting to sprout and a plump little body! Baby bird was alive! But, there was trouble! "Jackie" was approaching up the driveway. The Blackmon family kicked in to "save the bird" mode as we chased the cat and tried to catch the bird! The best we could do was run the cat away until the almost-able-to-fly baby and momma disappeared in another neighbors yard. "Jackie" sat there watching. What would be the little birdie's fate?
A few days later God did the craziest thing! He placed that little bird on our back patio at eye level just when Melanie was looking out of the kitchen window, just so Melanie could see that everything was OK! She took pictures. It was so cool. She watched it fly away. It had learned to fly! (Sorry, "Jackie" for the confusion.)
This was a crazy story to digest. It was a cool story that God had allowed our family to be a part of. We're still learning from it.
Thank You God that you speak a simple language to us. We need it. Thank You for showing us that You can use a 2nd nest to help a little bird not only survive, but fly! Thank You for teaching us that if we just refuse to let hope disappear, we might just see a miracle! And thank You for being The Great Teller of our stories. Things are so much cooler when You do the writing!
The second thing the Lord showed me as I watched our little baby bird open her mouth for me today came from my favorite theologian, Charles Spurgeon. In this evening's devotional, this is what he said:
"Dear Reader, this evening open your mouth wide, and God will fill it...for He is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we ask or even think."
The God of all mercies knew I needed to be reminded today of this amazing promise! HE IS ABLE! Every time my little Sophi bird opens her mouth, I can remember this truth! Mercy with each mouthful! :)
Pray for us tomorrow. Friday will be our last day in Bulgaria, and we will be preparing for a long journey home!
Melanie & Will