You know that moment when you realize you can't train kids to do certain things? I mean, you can discipline and encourage, but you know when you see something that you kiddo does that is a trait they will very well have for the rest of their life? Their little personality blooming right in front of you?
That's what it's been like ever since Zoey was born. She's always been this little girl full of sweetness. She has her sass and spunk, but she is a lover at her core and has lived well up to her name, Zoey, which means life in Greek. I knew as soon as we decided to name her Zoey that she would bring joy and laughter and life into our little fam. The same way I knew when we named Jack that we would have a Hero, fun-loving, curious boy. (he also lives up to his name, by the way)
Lately Zoey's speech has blossomed. She's a little delayed according to the books, but right when we wonder if we should intervene she (and Jesus) surprises us and off she goes.
It started with little phrases like,
"I know DAT" (said with much sass and talking back. Not cool. But hilariously cute.)
"Just a ittle-ittle bit?" She'd ask with a tiny squeaky high voice and her fingers pinched together. Most often asking for a treat of some kind.
"Cuque puppy!" referred to her "cute puppy" see in the picture below. He goes everywhere with her, except the tub, and is so well loved.
And lately, her speech has just taken off. At the beginning of this month I was certain that we would start speech therapy in January and I was okay with that. But then, she came full circle and not only really embraced imaginative play and using voices for her toys, but also expressing her needs and wants with us.
My new favorite phrase that she uses is.
"I like you." Simple, and not her most complex sentence, but I love how she uses it.
Not to be mistaken with I love you, she says that too, but she says this often right before she's about to get in trouble for something. She'll hold her tiny hands out and be like "but I like you!" or "you like me?" Gets me every time. My favorite is right before she falls asleep and I lean over to kiss her cheek and she cups my face with her hands and says, "I like you, Mama."
Are there sweeter words?
Zoey is also a lover of all things pink and sparkly. Not something she has inherited from me as I have very little of either. She is all girl and notices the tiny accessory that I don't (often) wear and asks to wear it.
She loves putting on my makeup and getting her nails painted and getting her hair done.
I'm not making this stuff up. I wish I was because a part of me has no idea how to go along with this, but it's in there. I'm finding it.
I pray I can always encourage her to love life, to live it fully and to love herself in it. I pray that she cares little what others think of her or her passion for life, besides inspiring others to love life the way she does. I pray she embraces every opportunity and has the confidence to conquer it. Just like in her small delays in walking and talking, she goes at her own speed, but she catches up and doesn't ever wonder where the others in the race are.
So very thankful for her sass and zest for life.
So thankful that I get to be her mommy.
As we continue our international adoption I can't help but wrestle with all that we are missing in the little one's life that God has for us. It's a reality of most adoptions. We'll never be able to replace the life that has been lived, but I pray we can add to it. I'm thankful for these early days with Zoey and that I am able to look on and watch as she grows and develops.