that TATTLING was a good thing? These past few days, Katya has become a TATTLER and I’m overjoyed! You see, early on, Katya’s mode of coping when things didn’t go her way was to withdraw, go to a flat affect, and just accept whatever was happening. For me, the saddest incident happened on our way to church that first Sunday. She was desperately trying to get Polly Pocket’s dress on. If you’ve tried to dress Polly, you know that this is hard. Katya tried and tried. Piper offered to help and I offered to help again and again, but I doubted she understood what we were offering. So, gently, I removed Polly from her hands and showed her how to put the dress on. Then I handed her back. But Katya wouldn’t even look at me, wouldn’t take Polly, and just stared out the window.
Then we went through a more tumultuous season which was VERY challenging, but I saw it as a step in the right direction because emotion was coming out. If something didn’t go her way, who ever was IN the way was bit, hit, kicked, spit at, etc. Sometimes it was fairly minor, but nearly all the kids had bite marks at one time or another. Most of the time I was able to get there quickly so the full force of the rage came against me. And, several times it was pretty impressive.
But, we haven’t seen that in over a week now. And I’m not at a constant state of low-level tension. She’s become one of the kids. How nice! Now, when someone does something that she doesn’t like, she comes to ME! “Piper did this.” “Cameron did that.” “Josiah did something else.” Usually it is these three, but the only thing I can usually understand in the midst of the Russian is the name. Often, the offending party hasn’t done anything really wrong, they’ve just wanted a toy back, splashed her with water, or whatever. But, I go with Katya and she shows me what’s bothering her and we talk about it. The kids have been great. Even if there was no intent behind the offense, they say, “Sorry,” give her a hug and go on. They know that I know that it wasn’t a big deal, and they’re okay. And Katya’s okay. She’s found her “Mama” to be one that she can go to with her problems. I’ll listen and do what I can to make it right. She’s coming to trust us.
And I’ve been thinking of how it is for us when we come in to God’s family. At first we don’t know if He’s trustworthy. We’ve seen our need for a Savior and have become convinced that He alone fits the bill. But then, we’ve got to get to know Him – to see Him as more than the one who paid our debt on the cross. We’ve got to spend time with Him and learn what He’s like, learn what it’s like to be His daughter. We’ve got to learn to turn to Him with our struggles, our pain, our frustration and have confidence that He LOVES us. We’ve got to learn what it’s like to climb up in His lap and beat His chest with our fists, cry tears of frustration on His shoulder, and drift off to sleep with the rhythym of His heartbeat in our ear. He loves us unconditionally and unequivocally. I’m still learning this and will continue to grow deeper in my understanding of His pleasure in me, but because of who He is, I’m going to keep pressing into Him and seeking to know Him more.
I’m honored that Katya is finding me trustworthy. But, it’s weighty and I feel the seriousness of her confidence. I’m going to let her down. I’m sure on Monday, she’ll feel that Bill and I are letting her down and I’m prepared (at least intellectually) for her to revert to more ingrained coping mechanisms as we hug good-bye. As much as she may feel it, we’re not letting her down. We’re doing what has to be done. And we’re not sharing all of our hopes and dreams with her because we’re still waiting for God’s plan to unfold. If you feel like God is letting you down or has done so in the past, maybe He just knows more than you. Maybe the temporary pain, as wrenching as it is, is worth it for something that He knows and you don’t. He’s more trustworthy than I’ll EVER be able to be. And He loves it when we come to Him tattling, whining, crying. His lap is big and safe and He can take it.
For Katya, tattling is a GOOD thing!