And so it hits me

We were able to visit the Mutianyu portion of the Great Wall today.  It was cooler there (we still sweat buckets!).  The sky was overcast and the mountains were shrouded in haze.  I truly love those mountains and today i got to see a side of them that I’d only seen in photos.  Absolutely majestic.

Samuel walked much of the way from the gondola to the slideway.  He truly impressed Stephen and I.  We are so fortunate to see his strength each day and then days like today show us how much farther he can push himself.  It honestly inspires us as much as all the other folks who stop and salute him with their praise. God has made him with an inner determination that will prove him so well.

Isaiah was honestly quite amazing too!  He is not yet two and yet he braves new situations really well.  Tucking into us rather than fawning for others attention. IT’s been so hot and we’ve been on the move so much and it really amazes us that he has chosen (yes – chosen, at his age) to make us his new trusted people.  He will learn to love us with time but for now this is so big.  Trust is so valuable and he has let us in.

Here’s where it hit me.

Without betraying the trust of others in the story.  We had the friend of a friend guide us at the wall today.  Our friend had asked this woman to take us in spite of the fact that her English is quite rusty and she doesn’t get out much anymore.  You see, she had lost her daughter awhile back and we were told that it had sent her into depression.  When we met her, she was pleasant but quiet.  As we arrived at the wall, she was unsure, but pushed through to help us and we really appreciated it.  She was obviously drawn to Isaiah and he was happily smiling and chirping at her from my arms.  And then she asked to hold him.  I held her off for a time, but he was happy and I wondered if it would help her heart a little, and so I broke our one cardinal rule.  We never, never hand off our new kids to others outside our family trust circle for many, many months until the attachment bond has begun to take root.  That rule has been firm from Garnet, to Grace, to Samuel.  It was even something we held fairly fast to with James and Faith as babies.

But it felt right and when we took a break he continued to sit on her lap while I fed him snacks.  I held his hand and played peek a boo with him as we walked.  And then I took him back into the baby carrier and slid down the mountain on the bobsled ride.  He was quiet and seemed pretty happy afterwards. Stephen and I had a couple items that we knew we wanted to buy from the vendors while we were there and so with my parents helping Samuel farther up the hill and both our hands full, I handed Isaiah back to the woman. We carried on our shopping and she was with us to help.  Finished, we started towards the van. Stephen and I were chatting and she was right next to me.  I turned away for what felt like a second and then looked back and she was gone.

Like GONE gone.

I called out his name in the sing-songy voice we’d been using all week and no response.  I whirled around and started dodging around vehicles looking, looking for them.  No sign. I could feel the panic rising and I called out to Stephen that he was gone.  He started looking.  He ran ahead.  No sign.  My parents and Samuel came up behind us and asked.  No sign.  I ran back to the vendors and from the panicked look on my face and my voice as I loudly called and called out Isaiah’s name in that sing-songy voice, they came out of their booths calling to each other in Chinese, “Where is her baby?  Where is her baby?”  I ran back to the parking lot and Stephen called down from the vehicle in the upper lot, she’s not here… oh wait!  There she is!  Behind you and to your left!  I looked and looked and finally I saw them.  I ran to her and grabbed my baby out of her arms.  Oh my heart!

And then it hits me.  I love him.  Like REALLY, REALLY love him!  I am Mama Bear.  And nothing will get in my way.

Did she intend harm?  No.  But in her own way she did as she wanted and wandered off with my son.

MY son.

I know I hurt her.  And it was never my intent to do so.  In fact, my intent had been so good towards her, I had reached out to her, breaking our family rule.

And all afternoon I was so close to tears.  I was really aware that something had changed in me.

I had bonded to Isaiah.


{The photo today is not the one I thought I’d be posting today, but it is one Stephen took from the upper parking lot just after I had reclaimed Isaiah and started the walk back to the vehicle.  Maybe I can catch up on the other part of our day at the wall, tomorrow.}


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