Thursday, November 22, 2012

How do you measure a year in the life?

One year ago today I Audrey was attending her first Thanksgiving feast with our family. One year ago. One Year. What the???
365 days, 525, 600 minutes, 31,557,600 seconds. One year.
 I think I've only slept, like, 20 of those minutes.
 What a year. Two surgeries, physical therapy, walking, talking, temper tantrums, doctors visits, potty training that is NOT happening, testing limits, growing out of clothes that used to fit, finaly sleeping most of the night. if we forget where we put that panda one more time, sleepless nights...having a two year old...This has been the hardest year, the funnest year, the most maddening year, the helpless year, the year of learning. This year has been full of giggles, hugs, kissing boo boo's, bows, hair cuts, clothes, It took a year but Audrey and I have finally found our groove.
As I think about how drastically both of our lives have changed over the past 365 days, I stand in awe of how well it has gone. Don't get me wrong, This has been hard. Last week I was about ready to call in the parents and run far away after Audrey's second day in a row of major defiance. The medical costs alone have almost sent me to the poor house quite a few times. And we all remember when Audrey was sleeping only 3 to 4 hours a night...well I remember those nights anyway. But to find our place, our comfort zone 12 months into this journey, has been a blessing.
As I have said before, Audrey is the most resilient child I have ever met. She bounces back from adversity quickly and does so with a giggle and a smile on her face. Though she says, "I don't yike the boo boo docta," she immediately wants to hug him or her after a procedure. She still falls alot, but gets right back up and keeps on moving. She is very sensitive and wants to make up quickly after discipline so she can get back to having fun. I am so blessed to be her mom.
I've learned so much these 365 days. I've learned that I am NOT tollerant of bad behavior, that my idea of what a clean house is has changed, that just when I think my heart could not over flow more with love, it does it again. I also have learned that I still need a forgiving savior. As many times as I have been selfless and have loved my daughter through her fears and behavior, I have been selfish and have not handled her issues properly. I have learned to ask for her forgiveness as I have failed her many times. Mom guilt? Yes. But also a realization/reminder that I still need the God who brought my daughter from the other side of the world to handle the small details of our daily life. As He rescued her from the dying room, I need Him to rescue me each day. (thanks Ashley Ivester for the post to remind me of this)
I need to go wake my daughter up and celebrate this Thanksgiving Day. Wake my daugher DAUGHTER... for THIS I am Thankful.
 Gotcha Day 2012
Gotcha Day 2011

Monday, May 7, 2012

6 Months Yesterday....No Body Told Me....

I was thinking that I might want to make a post since I had not posted since our return. The I realized Audrey had been home for 6 months. WOW. I look back at my posts and laugh at how naive I was to this whole thing - not that I am wise now by any means. How certain I was then that God would take care of us on this journey...and He has. My adopted/adoptive friends already know this - but Audrey is the perfect match to me and my family/ She couldn't be more perfect for me even if I would have birthed her, and this is no coincidence. It has been so fun to watch her bloom and grow, learn, and become herself within our family. I look back at those photos of Gotcha Day and just stand in awe. She has changed physically of course - atleast one inch in height, 3 pounds, and has leaned out. But also in her confidence. That scared little girl that sat on my lap and cried for two hours straight is now a confident little pistol whose favorite activity is yelling, "Come on girl" to her Momma and trying to take off walking. The little girl who sat quietly and played with her stacking cups now enjoys screaming at the singers on Idol and dancing around to the music. The not-so-picky-eater has started to hate everything but mac and cheese, hot dogs, and cheese. The weak, shakey baby that first pulled up on a stool in our hotel room is now taking her first steps and wollering her mother each night. It has been a transformation I have been priviledged to watch.
    Funny how I was so scared of those doctors appointments. Audrey is the bravest little girl I know. She charms everyone in the offices and is greeted by name by most of the nurses in the MRI/CAT scan area at Cardinal Glennon. She was won the heart of her surgeon - and I think the crush is mutual. She has exceeded his expectations of her progress with physical therapy and will only need a small amount of the testing he originally thought she would need. Dr. Elbabee is confident that the hole in her skull will close and that her Chiari malformation is not ever going to be a big deal. He is also confident that she will walk independently. None of this would be possible without the loving care she recieved at the Starfish Foster Home. While in China I got to visit the home where Audrey was saved. What a wonderful place and I can't wait to go back with her.
Gotcha Day scared baby first time on my lap

in GZ barely standing with nelp

Easter Sunday standing alone, just leaning on fence

Easter Sunday wanting to get down and play

     Six months has flown by. I hope to post more about our trip like I said I would, and hope to post more about how God has worked through this whole life changing event..... I think I am still trying to digest and process the whole thing. No one told me it would be like this, or if they did I didn't have the ablilty to understand, nor do I feel now that I have the words to adequately describe my experience to another. All I can say is that my little girl is asleep in her room about 6 feet from me. I waited almost 5 years to say that. She is the love of my life...and when I think I can't love her more, I do!