On Thanksgiving 2012, we brought home our newest daughter, Xia (pronounced “Shah”), a 14 year old from Jiangsu, China, who had lived her entire life in an orphanage there. She became our 6th child and our new oldest, our others are two 8 year old girls (Lu and Bug) and boys ages 7, 4 and 2 (Doozer, Bruiser and Squishy). We broke a lot of the “rules” of adopting by adopting out of birth order, adopting a teen when we’ve never parented a teen before, and by adopting a child who would become the oldest. This is the daily of how it’s all played out in our family.

“Dove in the rock” is from a verse in Song of Solomon, where the man speaks of how he must woo his woman, how he must first draw her out gently and win her heart and trust in order to behold her beauty. The phrase was my username when my husband and I were separated during our dating months and we communicated often via internet chat. I have remarked several times how adopting an older child is also quest to win a fiercely-protected heart, it is almost a wooing, and it definitely fits the imagery of trying to earn the trust of a flighty, wounded bird nestled behind a wall of rock for safety.

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