Initial reflection on my new daughter arriving from Africa

I know some of these more personal posts may only be of interest to a few close friends and family members, but they are also here to help me remember – later.

From last Saturday night the day my new daughter arrived:

Absolutely everyone is asleep now. All FOUR children upstairs, and my wife, recovering from severe jetlag. I am here on the couch reading a theological essay. It’s only 9:30 PM, but I feel like collapsing on the couch. I really have no idea what tomorrow holds. I assume that Abi will get up sometime in the middle of the night and will likely not go back to sleep. Not sure what I’m going to do with her – I barely know her! No time like the present to start though. It is certainly strange to have a fully-formed walking talking child “born” into your family. Some people have said that for a while it feels like babysitting. I don’t get that impression at all. All the preparation and meeting her at the orphanage last fall laid the groundwork for me totally and immediately accepting her as my daughter and seeing her as instantly integrated into our family. What that actually looks like day-to-day though is still a big mystery. The hour or so that the children all played together tonight makes things seem very promising though. Remarkably so, especially after a steady diet of terrible stories in books and training material authored by social workers. My expectations had been loosed to be very low indeed. Perhaps needlessly though? The challenges will come, I have no doubt. They come continuously with all three of the other children. Still, so far my only real impression is that she is just like them: fantastic, and very much in need of a father, mother, sisters, and brothers.