Monday, October 20, 2014

One year ago....

I think I've been writing this post in my head for at least a month now.  I have so many thoughts and emotions swirling around right now, and I'm honestly still in shock that our sweet girl has been with us for a year!!  When we met her in the hotel lobby, it was awkward, and I truly didn't know whether to cry, smile, pass out, or what!!  She was more than overwhelmed and just kind of zoned.
She really just didn't know what to do.  She wasn't unhappy, she didn't cry like many other kids did, but I think she was just trying to shut it all out.  We would get smiles, but I can look back now and know they weren't real smiles.  Luckily we know what those real smiles look like now.  She started giving us these cute little shoulder shrugs with the smiles, and I think that she likely did that in the orphanage to be super cute and get what she wanted!!  Cute, but not genuine yet....
Things over this past year have been full of ups and downs, and Lainey has adjusted amazingly well.  It's truly been incredible to watch her come out of her "zone" and really become the little girl that was in there.  Her smiles are real, her laughter is beautiful, and she loves like crazy!!!  She is such a happy little girl, and we are so blessed to have her join our family.

Before dedication on 10/19
Just looking at her, you can see the light in her eyes, the shine in her hair, and the fact that she has grown 4 inches since coming home last year.  So much of this can be attributed to eating well and getting good care.  But, the smiles and hugs and happiness I can only attribute to her knowing EVERY day that her family loves her, and that she has us EVERY day to hug her and take care of her. 
Crazy love for her big brothers!! 

There is truly something miraculous that happens when a child joins their family.  A child that was untrusting, and likely assumed that everyone would leave them learns to trust, learns to love, learns that she is safe, learns that she is loved, learns what a family means.

We were able to dedicate her at church yesterday, the day before her year anniversary of joining our family, and that was very overwhelming for me.  I will admit and say that right now our family does have some challenges that we are going through, and we have some problems for sure.  But, one thing is for sure, all three of our children are such an amazing blessing to us.  We know that we were chosen to be parents to these kids, no matter how they came to us, and we don't take that lightly.  It's such a huge responsibility to raise these little (or not so little anymore!) people and many days it overwhelms you, and most days I wonder if I'm doing the right things, saying the right things, and spending my time working on the right things. 

Saying we have been blessed truly doesn't seem to cover it.  Our entire family has changed.  This little girl who was essentially alone now has a mama, dada, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends.  She has been welcomed with open arms, and we are very thankful for that.  There has been so much support for us, and couldn't have gotten here without that!!!

Happy Gotcha Day to our sweet Lainey!!!  Can't wait to celebrate this day every year, and celebrate the day that our lives changed again!!

We had a great dedication day/gotcha day cookout with family and friends!  And Minnie Mouse cake makes everything better!