Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Visit to a Special Place and a Dr. Appointment

How often I dreamed of taking a photo like this!

Last Monday, we went up to our adoption agency as a family. It is located in the south part of Denver. Andy and I have been there lots of times for parenting classes. We wanted to take Moriah there so that the ladies in the office could meet her. It was also a great photo opportunity! We have been very impressed with our agency, CCAI, since we started our adoption way back in 2006. They do a great job! They have a school there, too, where kids can learn Chinese culture, dance and language. They don't have classes on Mondays, but they opened up the little store for us and we had fun shopping. Moriah grabbed a cute Chinese doll with a pacifier that is held in her mouth by a magnet. She is a super cute. We got a couple of books about the Mid-autumn festival, because that is the time of year that Moriah came to us. Kimberly found a necklace she loved that has the Chinese characters for "sisters." After we shopped, we ate our picnic lunch on the playground.

The other part of our day wasn't as much fun. Our real reason for heading up to Denver was to see Moriah's orthopedic surgeon again. We took the kids this time because it seemed like a good idea for them to meet the doctor. The boys didn't seem to care, but Kimberly went back with us and looked at the CT scan and listened to our conversation with him. (And critiqued his fashion sense.) He gave us a few more details about the surgery and we set a date: October 27th. Now the waiting begins. We are convinced that this is the right surgery and that this is the right time, but it doesn't make it any easier. The Lord has been faithful to remind us that He is sovereign and that He is working all things together for our good and His glory. I hate the idea of the pain that she will experience, but we trust that it will make the way for her to have a full and healthy life in the future. We are constantly amazed at the treasure that God has given us in this brave little girl.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One Year

We celebrated the first anniverary of our forever family day a week ago. It is so amazing to reflect on the journey that this past year has been for all of us. A year ago a little girl was delivered to our hotel room door (kind of like a pizza delivery). She was scared. We were happy, but scared, too. Even though we had anticipated that moment for years, it felt surreal. A little, tiny girl in a big jacket, a couple of strange people, a pile of money. Everyone left within a matter of minutes and Andy and I looked at each other feeling amazed that we were now responsible for this little person.

We have reflected in new ways on God's sovereignty. He saw her unformed body in her mother's womb. He brought her into this world. He saw her when she was left that day on the steps of the hospital. He was with her when she went to the police station and then to the orphanage and then to foster care. He saw her when she went back to the orphanage and to another foster care home. And finally, on that day, September 8, 2008, he saw her as she was placed in our arms. And He is sovereignly in control of every day of our lives together. We have understood the wonder of our own Spiritual adoption more clearly. Not every day has been easy, but God has been faithful to us.

We decided to celebrate on Labor Day. We went to see the hot air balloons and to a potluck breakfast at church. Later in the day we went to Andy's parents for some crab legs. We put her gotcha day outfit on her again to see how much she had grown. She thought it was fun because she loves to play dress up. The shoes wouldn't even fit on her feet! We gave her a book wrapped in lady bug paper. We decided this will be our tradition. Each year we will give her an age-appropriate adoption themed book for Gotcha-Day.

We are so thankful for this year that we have shared. We are looking forward to seeing what God has in mind for this little miracle.

It was bit bright! We watched the balloons from
the top of Palmer Park.

Cousins and our kids watching the hot air balloons

Moriah modeling her gotcha day year later.
Note the tiny shoes and short pants. Still plenty of growing room in the jacket, though.

A special book to celebrate the day.

One year ago...first breakfast with us.
In our arms at last! One year ago.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

New School Year Underway!

It is hard to believe that a year ago we were in China getting ready to meet Moriah for the first time. Kimberly and I have been re-reading our journal entries having fun remembering all of the details of that life-changing time. How far we've all come in a year! How much we have to be thankful for!

We have finished our fourth week of homeschool. It is beginning to feel like we are in a good routine. We have slowly added subjects and everyone seems to be doing well. Kimberly is doing an on-line based school this year, which is totally new for us. She is doing great with it and it seems to be the change that we needed. The boys go one day a week to an enrichment program through a classical charter school. It is a blessing to live in a state that is so friendly to homeschoolers. Moriah motors around making a mess most of the time that we are doing school. Her attention span is really improving, though, so it is easier to keep her occupied. We have some baby videos that she likes and she likes to draw or play with her toys while we do school. (And eat snacks and sing little songs to herself.)

Ready to go to in her ride (as she likes to say)!
Kimberly does her school work at her own computer in our bedroom. Not an ideal set up, but it's working.
Josiah's ready for his first day at TCA!
Caleb ready for his first day at TCA!

Moriah is a future scientist!

We are gearing up for another surgery for Moriah in October. They will fuse a section of her spine to correct her kyphosis. It's a pretty major surgery that is necessary to prevent paralysis in the future. She continues to have physical therapy and speech therapy weekly and occupational therapy monthly. It is amazing to reflect on where she was a year ago and see how far she's come. We know the Lord formed her in her mother's womb and all of her physical challenges are being used for her (and our) good and for his glory. We are honored that He chose us to parent this precious child.

Moriah calls almost every round fruit "apple."
She loves peaches!