I remember Jordan asking me what I was so drawn to. I couldn't really give her an exact answer. I was also afraid of committing to an older child and cleft lip issues. I have an aversion to all things oral.
If you have ever read research on adopting older, you'd probably be terrified of the "what ifs". I know that I was. I've even read recommendations of never adopting our of birth order. Some people have even said to never adopt older children if you have young children in the home. So, right there were two strikes against the adoption of Ivy. But, I couldn't bring myself to walk away from this little girl. Multiple times a day, I would pull up her photo and stare into the dark eyes staring back at me, searching her soul. In my heart I had a peace. My mind, though, would tell me other things that I needed to be concerned about. Before bringing Ivy home, I was mostly concerned about her adjustment into our family. But, what I've come to realize is that, for me, I should have been more concerned with how I would adjust to her. I know this isn't the case for everyone, but I had (still do) some selfishness to deal with. I spent more time preparing myself for issues that Ivy could possibly have and not preparing for my own issues. It was definitely an eye opener. God used this sweet child to show me the yuck in my heart. It is a humbling experience.
As for Ivy....she is mostly what my heart told me she was. She is sweet, kind, quiet, and very, very tender-hearted. She has been home almost 5 years. She loves having a family. She loves her mom and dad. She makes cards and leaves notes for us. I found this one on my pillow last month.
She wrote this shortly after she was worried about a situation she was experiencing. She cried with her head on my shoulder while I tried my best to guide and reassure her. It is not easy for Ivy to come to her parents when something is bothering her. I believe that to be a learned orphanage behavior that is difficult to overcome. I know with time, comfort, and a lot of prayers, she will overcome her fears. God is our Healer. Ivy loves her God. She seems to be quite resilient, and doesn't easily give up.
Had I known the joys of adopting older, maybe we wouldn't have waited until we were so old to adopt. But, I can't second guess God's timing His time is the best time. I am so thankful He used our family to change the lives of 3 little orphaned girls.