Friday, November 22, 2013

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Contrast

One of the first few days with Junu in Nepal (December 2010)...the first time around.

Just recently, at home, in her cozy jammies. (August 2011)

Contrast.  It's been significant.  I am astounded at what has transpired within the last 12 months and often I need to catch my breath.  Half way around the world, different language, different foods, alone and now together.  We made it through.  Now as we have had a chance to get "more settled" in, I use "more settled" loosely,  I see what has been consistent throughout this past year...contrast.  The greatest happiness coupled with the greatest sadness, total desperation and complete faith, a peace that passes all understanding and a fear that wakes me up at night, total order and complete disarray.  Sometimes I feel smooth and together, other days like a Picasso figure.  This year has held the greatest financial challenges I have ever experienced and well, continue to experience, but then I am rich beyond measure.  It has brought me closer to my family, made me see what is truly important and helped me slow down to be present, both for Junu and for myself.  There will always be unknowns, there will always be challenges, some of which will bring you to your knees...I think I hit that today.  I realize for the first time, truly, I need to surrender.  Surrender my need to do it on my own, to be so fiercely independent, to not ask for help, to not reach out when I need to.  Have you ever had situations in your life that just keep getting more and more complex, intense, convoluted and  just when you think it will end then wham, something else?  If you were to take an aerial photo of me right now, you'd probably see something akin to a whirlwind...okay I'm being kind here, really more what feels like a hurricane.  The one stabilizing force (and we all know what a force she is) is Junu.  She makes me smile when I want to cry, gives me strength when I want to pull the covers over my head and reminds me to be patient as all comes in the right time.  For 3 years she had no mother to hold her at night, to cuddle her, to wipe her hair out of her eyes or to kiss her booboos.  There were no comforts of a true home. When I feel the pressure of any particular situation right now, I am reminding myself to look back and see how far we have come.  It only takes a moment to realize how truly special and precious life is and how blessed I am to travel this journey with Junu. 

As I believe, God is at the center of everything, so all that has happened and continues to happen is part of the greater plan.  Seeing through the problem to the answer is a moment by moment practice.  So while there are still many unknowns and many challenges, I rest in the knowing that Junu and I were set on this path together and along this journey many beautiful people have joined us.  Both of our lives are fuller and richer because of one another....and all the other spinning out of control stuff, well it just has to take a back seat now.  I really am trusting, even on the darkest of days, even when I've been brought to my knees, it is often here that I truly listen.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baby Junu

http://www.flickr.com/photos/drwhimsy/2796729564/in/dateposted/
 
I was gifted a great treasure, a baby picture of Junu.  Through this blog a very kind person shared this picture of Junu.  She was quite certain I was speaking of the same Junu as friends of hers adopted their child from the same orphanage.  In a round-about way, Junu's baby picture made it to me.  Thank you for your kindness in sharing.  I can tell you that the photographer's take on Junu is absolutely spot on, "impishness" was the word I believe.  She is full of it and I will be a very busy mother as a result.  I wouldn't have it any other way as she is absolutely perfect for me.  I love her spunk, her joy of life and her interest in people.  She wants to know everything, constantly asking "What's this?" or "Who's this?".  She is stifled a bit in her verbal expressive language skills as her comprehension is so great and cognitively she seems she could tell me about more than I even know, but her ability to facilitate her language with gestures, facial expressions, etc. is, shall I say, extraordinary to me.  She may be the most expressive child I've known.  I am fascinated by it all and once again finding myself so grateful for this most precious child.  How was I the one chosen to be her mother?  I am so very blessed and thank God for her.  I thank God for all the kind people in our lives, there are so many.  I feel that both of our lives have expanded in ways we could never imagine.  I am very fortunate and remain ever grateful to all of our old friends and now our new friends.  Truly, life is constantly expanding...we shall see where we go next.
Thank you again.
Sharlyn

Friday, April 15, 2011

Home!

Junu and her Buwa.  So happy to be together again!

Getting ready to go visit her new school.

Eating eggs at school!



Junu and I have been home now for nearly 2 weeks.  Re-entry has been challenging.  There are so many mixed up emotions, but I will save them for a later post...perhaps.  Junu is doing great overall.  When I sit down and really take in all she has been through, all the changes, I am amazed at her resilience and ability to adapt.  She is curious and interested in everything and everyone.  She trusts me and all that we have been through together has only made our bond stronger.  I realize now, despite this most difficult challenge, that the way it unfolded was absolutely perfect.  This is where trusting in God's plan comes into play.  If Junu's adoption had gone as I had planned and hoped for, I would have spent 2 weeks in Nepal and then she would have come back to the U.S. with me.  I would have had perhaps only 2 weeks at home with her before I would need to go back to work.  There would have been so much we missed, which now seems invaluable.  Invaluable to our relationship and to our future.

The blessings have been plentiful.  I am constantly humble by this experience and I believe it will continue to shape the direction of my life.  With this challenge I received the blessing of having nearly 3 months to bond and attach with Junu and she to me.  I experienced her culture, her language and the many beautiful people who we now consider family.  I slowly have learned some Nepali and she has quickly learned much English.  We were able to spend 2 major chunks of time with 3 dear friends in Nepal who will now also know and understand Junu's first home.  We developed relationships with other American families who will be life long friends.  We learned to really trust and love each other in Nepal.  How could this be wrong?  I have learned, once again, no matter what lies before you, if you trust and keep your mind in this place of trusting, there often will be more blessings than you can imagine.  Blessings that only God could configure.  Truly.

We now are adjusting to another set of challenges since returning to the U.S., but I am not fretting, I am not worrying, I am trusting.  All the energy I put into worry is wasted energy.  I choose to focus on goodness, endurance, patience, trust, fun and joy.  I'm not being airy fairy, really I'm not, I just know deeper that negative talk and negative thoughts have a great impact on my furture.  Why not hope and believe the best can happen despite the appearances?  Why not visualize your perfect life and know that all the difficulties that arise may just be the path to that perfect life?  There are always treasures and I now further understand that the greater the treasure is often the greater the challenge.  Patience, perseverance, and faith!!!

Much gratitude to all,

Sharlyn


Monday, April 4, 2011

CL

Claudia and Junu

All Hail the Toothache God.  Really, a shrine for the Toothache God, behind my girls. 

Monkey Temple

Claudia and Junu were very happy to be the same!  Yellow girls. 

Namaste at the Botanical Gardens

An Irish Pub in Nepal????  Why yes!  Happy St. Patrick's Day
I realize that during my second stay here in Nepal I have barely written on the blog.  Writing has been a way for me to stay connected and to continue to express the various experiences and emotions that have come my way.  I suppose adjusting my time with a very busy active minded 3 year old is part of the reason.  While Junu and I are now home in the U.S.  I still want to share these pictures and stories.  Thank you for reading all.


Claudia and I have been friends for 9 years.  Our friendship was  instantaneous.  In these past 9 years we both have been through many changes/challenges and have been supportive to one another along the way.   True friends.   She has always known how much I have wanted to become a mother and has watched me from the beginning make the commitment towards motherhood.  She was there to  give encouragement and a listening ear when  I chose to give up aspects of my life which I really didn't want to give up ...but I did.  All the delays, the frustration, the confusion and the tears...all the excitement, the  hope and the challenges.  Finally the dream became real and Claudia was there to jump up and down, which we did, when she saw the picture of Junu for the first time.  Thank you cl for always being there to make me laugh, let me cry and help me hold the vision when I was unsure if I could.   

Claudia was planning on joining me when I left for Nepal on January 26th, but due to unforeseen circumstances, she was unable to come.  So I went alone.  She kept telling me, "This is just a delay....I am still coming."  She is a woman of her word.  I am so thankful and moved by the fact that she was willing to take the time to be with Junu and I all the way on the other side of the world.  She and Junu were bff's in less than 1 minute.  I felt my whole body relax knowing she was here with us.  She helped us stay busy and stay positive.  She was here when I recieved my approval phone call and accompanied us to the embassy for our interview.  She made us the most delicious of dinners, which helped Junu expand her repertoire.  Most of all she showed total acceptance, love and endearment towards Junu.  She helped me through all the rough spots with Junu this week (i.e. hitting, biting, pinching, etc.) and continued to help Junu process and understand.  We laughed often and enjoyed the simple blessing a child brings.  Perfect in every way. 

My heart is so full and I am so thankful for Claudia's love and friendship.  I look forward to many summers of fun in LI, trips to NYC with Junu (especially during the  holiday season) and most of all just sharing in each others' live and seeing our beautiful children interact and grow up together.  Thank you CL,  little Junu loves her Claudi.