Mourning into Dancing

March 30, 2010

One of my favorite parts of the day with our little Dima is bath time. He seriously loves it. I have to practically race him to the bath tub as he is peeling off his clothes and wanting to jump in.

I turn the water on and his little hand is right there feeling the temperature with me. He swishes the water around with his hand and then I help him in the tub. Steve then sits by the tub, playing with him and squirting him with his little toys while I am getting his bed room “ready” for night-night.

Dima takes his big plastic cup and just pours water all over his head and chest. He splashes around and just loves being in the tub. Then I come in and we say goodbye to the water and “night night” to all of the toys.

Then we play “baby Dima”, where we swaddle him up in his little towel and cradle him like a baby. We all look in the mirror and say, “aww…baby Dima…” He pretends to make a baby cry sound and we say, “it’s ok baby Dima.” I don’t know how that little tradition started, but he absolutely loves it. Bath time is so fun.

But if you were to have asked me 3 weeks ago the most difficult part of the day with Dima, I would have said bath time.

When we were in Moscow and even the first few days at home, every time Dima would hear the water in the tub turn on, he would scream and cry in fear. He would run away from the bath room. Even in an inch of water, he would just cry and cry.

Bath times were miserable and painful to watch and to be a part of. I don’t know why there was so much fear associated with baths for Dima. I could speculate, but that wouldn’t do anyone any good. All I know is that Dima hated running water.

A few nights ago, I was turning down the sheets and setting out “Goodnight Moon”, when I heard Dima giggling with sheer delight in the bath tub. And this beautiful glimpse of God’s love and will for my life came into my mind…”He will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair.” (Isaiah 61:3).

That phrase just echoed through my mind and my heart as I sat on Dima’s little bed and just listened to his enjoyment over something that just weeks ago brought him so much pain and fear. The reality of the bath did not change. His actions were the same both in the fear and in the joy, but what changed was the fact that he now trusted the one who was giving him the bath.

He trusted that we would give him a comfortable water temperature and that we would sit right there beside him. That we would wipe his eyes when they got soap in them. That we would pick him up when he would slip and fall. That we would take him out of the tub when we knew he couldn’t handle the water anymore.

So now he has the freedom to fully enjoy the bath and the water. And as I sat on his little bed, I thought about my own life. And how God wants to turn my mourning into dancing. My weeping into laughter, even though He doesn’t necessarily change my circumstances.

My desire is to be so close to God’s heart, that even amidst the things that bring me fear or pain, that I would find laughter and joy, trusting that He is going to wipe my eyes when they get soap in them. Trusting that He will pick me up when I slip and fall. Trusting that He will sit beside me through the scary places in life. So that I can enjoy the freedom of being His child. And when I hear the water running, I confidently run towards the One who loves.


  • Dima has successfully transitioned into sleeping in his own bed
  • He is also doing great with the potty
  • we almost made it through 2 days in a row without a bruise or cut on his face 🙂

Prayer Requests:

  • for continual growth in his understanding of English
  • for patience and grace for Steve and I as we do our best to parent him
  • For our friends Sarah and Chad, who just came home from Russia after meeting their little boy for the first time

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve

8 Responses to “Mourning into Dancing”

  1. BJ Melbourne said

    so beautiful baby Dima!:) Katie I love the inspriration you share in your blog.

  2. Madeline said

    Our daughter, who we brought home from Pskov at 2 1/2, also hated the bath at first. You would have thought someone was beating her when we put her in the tub. She screamed the whole time. It didn’t take long for her to love the water. She loves her bath and loves to swim. She asks (even during the winter) to go swimming every time we pass the pool, which is in the neighborhood near our house!!

    I’m so happy to hear that Dima is continuing to adjust to his new home, parents and wonderful new life.

  3. Mom said

    What a beautiful illustration this is for us Katie. Thank you. I will see you soon!
    Love, Mom

  4. Natasha O'Daniel said

    Kate and Steve ~

    I continue to marvel at the blessings of our Lord as I read your blog! His grace is all-sufficient and His mercies are never-ending. I continue to pray for you both and for cute little Dima!


    Natasha 🙂

  5. Debbie Ravine said

    Thank you, Kate, for continuing this blog! You are a gifted writer and blessed by God with amazing thoughts that we all are blessed by, as well! Please continue! Congratulations on “mommy & daddy-hood!” Dima is one lucky little guy!

  6. kirsten said

    we had bath issues too. it scared me, how much one of our little guys hated the water. the fear has gone away, but i never thought of it the way you did. i am so grateful to the Lord for giving you the insight that He did. what a Wonderful Maker! so happy for you guys and proud of you! and i love that you’re still writing here!!

  7. april said

    oh how great that his fear turned into delight for bathtime! I love your little tradition you do with him! so cute!

  8. Victoria said

    Our daughter was so terrified of the bathtub that we just gave her sponge baths for the first few weeks. There was no way I wanted to scare her anymore than we had to. Now she LOVES the bathtub. I think it is really good for us to be reminded, that although their care was good, some things were done without sensitivity. No bio child has ever had to endure what these sweet, sweet adorable orphans have gone through. Thank you for reminding all of us that have walked the journey, that we should never forget what our children have lived through. So glad he is home! He really does look just like Steve! 🙂

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