Elyana Leigh YiXuan Sparks. 2 years old (6 months with us!)
6 months ago when we walked into that tiny Chinese government room that held 3 amazing treasures, we would’ve never imagined the joys and sorrows awaiting…….
We could’ve never imagined our hearts would ache so much in saying goodbye to Elyana and Eli’s orphanage buddy Kya, or feel such joy unspeakable…in His love that has settled into the empty places of our hearts through these children.
Each of our families were forever changed. Ryan (our oldest) said recently “Our trip to China was a once in a lifetime trip. I’ll never forget it.” It’s my prayer that it will stay, forever engrained, in our hearts, and that our children will change the world with compassion, then action for the burdens of our Father’s heart.
One thing I’ve learned is that God most often gravitates towards the lowly and humble. It’s in the least elevated that His greatest glory shines most. And in the hearts of “the least of these” that His love and purpose is seen most clearly. I”m so thankful for all He has taught us through Elyana, Eli, Kya & Chloe too 🙂 Each life, an immeasurable treasure in the kingdom of heaven.
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40
Where 6 months finds us
I sat down to do our 6 month post placement report for China, and just marveled at all the changes in our sweet girl. She has grown 4″ and has learned to walk! Her heart is now woven with ours and she knows what it feels like to be wrapped up and squeezed tight by a Daddy, and sung to by a Mommy. Her laughter fills our home and her always thankful heart fills me with such awe. How a girl only 2 years old can have such a grateful spirit is a wonder. I went to the store last night to get jello (because today she could only have clear liquids up until 2 hours before her MRI) and came home in time to kiss and tuck her in bed. The kids had told her I was going to get her jello, so as I said goodnight to her, she throws her arm around my neck and says “taaa tuuu (thank you) jello Mommy!” It’s like this with everything. She’s always sure to show how glad and thankful she is.
We have been careful not to throw to much “NEW” at her at one time though. It’s been allot to process for her over the past 6 months, going from spending her days in the same orphanage play room, to a big wide world full of new experience! But slowly, she has become able to handle more and more in little bursts. She used to have terrible night terrors after an over stimulating day but those have decreased. She still wakes on occasion with heart wrenching cries, but no longer the fists flailing through the air. The peace of God has truly covered her heart and mind. That has been the prayer most breathed over this little girl!
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7
Since our first meeting, Elyana has had a very even temper and for the majority of the day is extremely easy-going. The fits and uncontrollable tears have decreased, and joy has increased as she understands more and more our routine and what is or is not acceptable. God is teaching me, as a mom, SO much through her. I’m grateful God knows just the children that will fit into our hearts like a puzzle piece, and who will rub the rough edges off of us too!
Elyana now loves ice cream, balloons, boat rides, riding bikes, swimming, swinging, and spending time with her cousins, Aunts/Uncles, and Mimi and PopPop.
Medically we have been VERY blessed to have been referred by our friends the Rickle’s who have 6 children (4 from China) to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Elyana’s first appointment/assessment there was a little over a month ago on May 19th. John and I took her up on a Sunday night to stay in a hotel, since her VERY LONG day would begin early.
We met with the nuerologist for over an hour, met with a urologist, orthopedic, nutritionist, had urodynamics testing and a renal ultrasound, and saw so many other specialists that by the time the urologist came in for the follow-up apt. Elyana says “ohhhh no, no more doctor!” We laughed so hard. The Urodynamics testing was the most invasive, and she just screamed and cried during it, so afterwards it took some time to reassure her doctors were nice.
Thank you Mimi that you recommended taking bubbles, because the urology dept. couldn’t let her take their toys/bubbles! It was a big tear stopper!
After a long day Elyana was covered with sticker from every appointment!
She had no nap so completely passed out on the ride home!
The next two days following our intense day, were hard. She cried/fussed/ threw big fits more and needed lots of extra cuddles. It’s just allot for her to process when she doesn’t understand. I couldn’t help but think we’ve been through so little compaired to what so many face – and what Kya and her family faced. But God is so faithful, and meets us right where we are at.
I’m amazed at the fight/strength of God I’ve seen in my little girl, in Eli, and Kya and her family. I see Elyana get up time after time after time of falling, yet it doesn’t seem to phase her. She has a determination and strength straight from heaven. She has joy in the midst of challenge. Maybe because no one has ever told her she has a challenge. To her, it’s normal to just push through. I can learn so much from her spirit.
It is so true that in our weakness He IS strength! As we travel to Cincinnati today for Elyanas MRI my thoughts are with Tracy (Kya’s Mom), with my Aunt Chris (who said goodbye to the love of her life), and each of these beautiful children. Through hardship these individuals have taken one step after another in faith and determination to let HIM shine in the midst of sorrow and challenges.
Please continue to pray for Kya’s family and we would ask you surround Elyana with prayers today. We are asking God to cover with His wings. For in His wings we abide safely. Thank you Susannah for praying Ps. 91 over our girl!
What an amazing blessing you all have been! Thank you for being with us on this amazing journey!
This song is for all the fighters in my life….including our sweet Elyana.