We have rounded the four-month mark since arriving home, and every day when new (or sometimes old) challenges arise I have to remind myself of the little victories littering our journeyed road. Lulu clearly understands most everything we say to her in English, and generally shows us so by doing the exact opposite of what she has been told. 🙂 Typical toddler mayhem, with attachment and bonding factors thrown in, make for incredibly stretching days from a parenting standpoint. Every hour I am humbled realizing the expectations I had placed on this process, these children, and how unfair and unrealistic those were. Poet Alexander Pope said, “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” I find this season we are in has pushed and tested my personal journey to live in the present, every minute with gratitude. And with perspective I still count the struggle a gift as it draws me closer to who I truly desire to be, but in the mire of tapped-out patience and child-rearing setbacks, I grow heavy under the weight of simply surviving this present transitional storm. It is in this place of treading water and holding fast to each other until the winds die down, where the small victories are the life-preservers keeping us going. In the days and weeks full of new-sibling challenges, undetermined medical issues, and a mother’s heart desperately waiting to recognize love flicker in the eyes of her beautiful child, it is the smallest of things sent our way keeping us afloat. It is but a tiny whisper of “hi” that can count a day a win. And I suppose that is the beautiful side of expectations – once they are adjusted we can be met with gifts of victories over disappointments of defeat.