I know this post is long overdue, but here it is. Just a little blush at being late.
February is a big month for us around here. Nah, it has nothing to do with Valentine's Day, but everything to do with love.
On February 13, we celebrated Lily's adoption three years ago. Three years! That means that we first saw her picture and fell in love with a chubby toddler across the world nearly four years ago! That was such a defining time of our lives. We still talk about it and relive the experience in our hearts and share excitedly with others about this miracle of adoption, the miracle that is Lily.
You can read about her adoption here. But that's only the travel journal, and it doesn't fully chronicle the journey our hearts took, are still taking.
No one who meets Lily leaves untouched. She is a remarkable child with a strong yet gentle heart; fiercely independent, yet trusting; longs to be nurtured, yet quick to nurture those around her. I love this child with my whole heart.
We celebrated Lily's adoption with a trip to a Chinese restaurant, new to us. Bamboo Gardens. Very yummy, but much to the kids' dismay, not a buffet. "I like it when I can pick out my own food," Gabe sighed. But the food was superb. Rob and I may have to go back sans children.
Then we presented Lily with some gifts we had picked out for her. A new silk dress and hair tie purchased three years ago in China. (I only have one left! We'll just have to go back and get some more for subsequent Gotcha Days!) A pearl bracelet with real freshwater pearls from China. A renewed promise to love and cherish this child was gifted to us forever and ever.
My prayer for our sweet daughter:
Lord, thank-you for bringing Lily to our family. Only you could graft her into our family so beautifully, the same way that you graft us, your adopted children, into your family. If I love her this much, I can only imagine how much you love me. Wow. Please keep her safe. Protect her heart from disappointment, doubt and despair. Remove from her heart any loneliness or empty longing. May she always feel the love of her family and extended family. And I pray that she will especially feel the sweet embrace of your love for her. I pray that she will grow up knowing and trusting Jesus and that she will find him to be wholly satisfying. Use her life Lord and reveal to her your purpose for her life. And, Father, please be very near to the millions of children around the world who do not know the love of a family. Dear God, make yourself known them as their Father, and raise up people who will seek them out and bring them into loving homes. In precious name of Jesus, Amen.
Happy Gotcha Day, Baby.