Monday, July 26, 2010

One year home!

I'm a few weeks late posting about our 1 yr anniversary of Gotcha Day and coming home....but it didn't go unnoticed!

We have had an exciting, fun, & busy summer so far. The big kids have done more day camps this year and that has kept things busy. Langley & Mac also did swim team for the first time and the two younger ones got to enjoy each afternoon at the pool. L, M, & Gray have all improved their swimming skills. Elizabeth is completely fearless around the water (good & bad) and loves swimming. She has learned how to swim with floaties and enjoys moving independently around the pool.

We also took a trip to the beach! I was a bit concerned about how this would go for Miss E. This year it was a "family reunion" of sorts. We were sharing a big house with my siblings & parents and the rest of the group was in a 2nd house. There were 28 of us total! I thought E might get overwhelmed by all the people, the new sleeping arrangements, the chaos, etc. But she did GREAT! She interacted with everyone and really seemed very relaxed. She even slept well. Only the first night was a bit bumpy, but even that night was pretty easy. We all had such a fun time...I could spend my entire summer at the beach!

June 28th is a very special day for our family. God gave us both of our daughters on this day. Adoptive families recognize "Gotcha Day" in various ways. Since it is also Langley's birthday I felt it was very important to think through how we celebrate. When we "gotcha" Elizabeth it was June 28 in China but June 27 in the USA. So....we've decided to do a chinese meal on the 27th and retell the stories of that day & our time in China. As E gets older we'll see how she directs this as well. Then we'll have the 28th to focus on Langley's special day. I feel there is a balance to strike in our family. We celebrate everyone's birthdays but not everyone has a gotcha day. But at the same time each child's "story" is important.

Celebrating Langley's 10th birthday!

When I think back on our time in China I have fond feelings and also a grateful heart that we are now home. It really is the "honeymoon" with your new child. Not that everything is "perfect"...far from it. But it is a very special time of getting to know each other. It seems so strange to think back on that day we met Elizabeth and what a stranger she was to us. I now can look at her referral photos and see so much more in her eyes. Even the photos of our time in China I can see things so much clearer now. I think it is such a miracle, amazing transformation that these child go through.

We got 2 kittens in May...Elizabeth loves them!

So to our sweet, beautiful baby girl....Elizabeh Ani. We love you with all that we have and all that we are! You are the PERFECT baby girl for our family. Your brothers and sister adore you and we would be so lost and lonely without you. The joy you bring to each of us is immeasurable. I love your funny laugh, your goofy smile, your sassy spirit, your brilliant mind, your open heart, and above all I LOVE that God gave you to US!!!