Our first ever Birthday with Hannah!
We missed her birthday by 10 days last year. I almost couldn't stand the thought last year--but now I can look back and see that God orchestrated everyday of this child's life for his purpose. For whatever reason that He has--he arranged for this year--her 9th--to be the first one for us to rejoice over and to spend together.
I love that this girl loves life and is full of energy. She is curious and loves to laugh. Her personality is cheerful and she is one big question waiting to be answered.
AND . . . deep inside, in her secret place is some unfinished grief. She is the child that you learn about in the adoption classes that you take before you can complete an adoption. The child that grieves with every life milestone. You never know exactly what it's going to look like, but at some point it shows up and you realize--Oh, She's grieving for what was.
I'm trying to be REAL here. For those future parents of older adopted children, this may just be a part of your child's life. Hannah was out of sorts for part of the day on Saturday. She was irritable, and grumpy. That by itself is not necessarily a grieving symptom, but then she started telling me that she wanted to go back to China and be with her Foster mom. A light bulb went off and I realized- she is missing her life in China and that's why she had been so moody.
For some of you, you might be thinking, doesn't that hurt your feelings, or how could you take her away from her China Mom?
As her mother, I realize that these are real feelings, and they are healthy because she had a healthy attachment with her foster family. The second question is harder to answer. Unfortunately, we don't know what her future would have been like had she remained in China, but we do know that the foster family she was with could not have ever adopted her and she eventually would have been placed back in the orphanage. I also know that even though her birth parents were not able to parent her, that God took a situation and turned it into a wonderful plan. A plan for her to join our family. To become our daughter--loved forever.
And so, on her first ever birthday with us--we kept it all in the family. Small and full of celebration. We had 2 small parties--one in Georgia and one in Alabama. She had 2 cakes and lots of ice cream. Chinese food made by Sara in Georgia and a lot of good food in Alabama. Presents in both--I think she made up for missing last year!
|Choosing her earrings|
|I think this was good . . .|
|Happy with Nana and Papa|
|Yummy Chinese Food!|
|And the gifts begin|
|2nd Yummy Cake!|
|Loving time with Bum Bum and Granny Bum|
|Hardest balloons to blow up!|
To my youngest daughter Hannah--I thank God for you and the blessing you are to our family. Your smile lights up a room and my heart. I love you to the moon and back!