Monday, March 17, 2014

She is Not Like Me

You see this girl?

She's Ashley, my middle daughter. She turns sixteen in a few months. I think she's wonderful.

Wonderfully different.

In the beginning I thought making her like me was my goal. Poor girl.

I guess this is one of those lessons I didn't learn as I traveled my first adoption road. I learned it the second time around. I'm thankful because I'm so busy learning new stuff with my third, I wouldn't have had the time to fit that lesson in.

Hannah, my oldest girl, is a lot like me. We have similar personalities, similar likes, similar faults. It's just how God designed her. It's how she came. Let's just say being like me has its pros and cons.

When Ashley came she was different. Believe it or not I thought it was my job to make her like me.

Just to be clear, that wasn't my job.

My job was to help Ashley become who God designed her to be.  He didn't design her to be like me. He designed her to be like Ashley.

And in many ways, that's better than me.

So how does a high strung mom raise a laid-back kid?

I have no idea.

But it's happening here every single day.

Ashley takes things in stride. She is content wherever she is and with whatever she's doing. She's a lot like Pollyanna.

Every meal is the best one she's ever had. Every book is her favorite. Every present is exactly what she'd been wanting.

That's just a part of who she is.

Almost six years with Ashley has made me a little more like that too. I'm thankful.

In the beginning when Ashley's personality was hidden under a mountain of hurt, these things were hard to see. I just assumed I needed to help her be more like me. She needed to act like I act and talk like I talk and think like I think.

That plan didn't quite work out for me. Again, I'm thankful.

God designed Ashley to dream big, look for ways to give, and encourage others along the way. It's who she is.

He did not make her a detail person or somebody who likes to lead and determine the next step. She'd rather leave that to someone else.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

Every day I notice little ways Ashley has become like me, the way she files her school work or some of the expressions she uses or gestures she makes. I love that.

But I'm thankful that God designed her with a personality that gets to be all her own. I wouldn't want to change that.

If you have a little one who sees your black-and-white world in color, embrace her rather than try to change her. Watch her dream, help her with the details and go along for the ride. She'll add some of her color to your world and you'll be better for it.

I know, because I am.

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