On Sabbath I went to church for the first time since we got home from Taiwan. I was so happy to finally attend! It felt like a breath of fresh air.
On Friday afternoon, I printed a schedule for the weekend that includes church listed as an activity on Sabbath morning. When I put it on the fridge, DoubleShot immediately came to read it. When she saw the word church in Chinese, she let out a huge, “no! I no like!” I tried to figure out what she didn’t like it and if she’s even been to church before. I didn’t learn anything.
She kept following me around the house. “You go. I go here.” I had to clarify… “I go and you stay here?” “Yes! You go and I stay here. No like.” My husband and I had agreed that if she refuses to go, one of us will stay home with her and the other will attend church. We decided that I will go in hopes that she will want to be with me instead of stuck at home with baba. No offense to baba, just that mama is the preferred parent these days…
On Sabbath morning, she tried a different tactic. “No! Why?? You stay here!” She held on to me tightly and pouted. I told her that I’m going and that I will definitely come back. I’ll be gone for two hours. “What?? Hen jiu!!” (Long time!)
We made several intentional decisions about church to help her want to go, hopefully soon. I wore jeans to church, first time ever. My church is on the more casual side and I fit right in but it felt so wrong! I made this decision because my daughter hates anything that looks girly. Skirts and dresses are a complete joke to her. If I wore a skirt to church like usual, she would think that she has to dress up to attend and that would put a roadblock in front of her.
I also decided that I would be back home exactly at the two hour mark so that she would feel reassured that I keep my word. This meant I might have to leave early, but thankfully this week church was finished on time.
While at church, I took a photo with a couple who had come over to our house for hotpot. I wanted to show DoubleShot that there are familiar faces at church! I also talked to the pastor about getting a video clip of our music service to show that church is fun, not stodgy.
When I arrived home, my daughter came tearing out of the house, yanked the car door open, and dove onto my lap. I saw a huge grin on her face as she came running at me and it felt good to be wanted. She told me that I was gone for a long time!! I showed her the time and reminded her that I promised I would be back in two hours and here I was.
My husband said that while I was gone, she took a long bath. She tends to do this as a regulation tool so I’m glad that she was able to keep herself calm. Toward the end of my absence, I sent a text message that I was on my way home. Jeff said she kept jumping up to check the front window, even as he was telling her that it will be another 20 minutes until I get home.
I don’t know how long it will take before she will agree to come to church with me. I will continue to go and invite her to come with me. She sees me read my Bible and pray so hopefully she understands that I mean my faith. And hopefully someday soon all three of us will be at church together.
Now this is an aspect I had not considered in adopting an older child. New roads to navigate!
I’m glad she wants to be with you.
I hope in time she will want to go to church. Jason and I would alternate going to church when we had foster kids unless they wanted to come and the parents were ok with it (btw no one said no).