In one breath, I could say that this year has flown by. Just like that.
In another, I could say that it seems like she has been with us forever.
I remember vividly, those feelings from February 18th of last year.
I nervously packed a bag with puffs, toys, wipes, a bottle, her favorite formula.
At 9:15 we all gathered downstairs in the lobby of our hotel and waited for the bus that would drive us to the Civil Affairs Office.
We boarded the bus and our guide, Rita, began talking to us about what to expect. She gave us the estimated arrival times of the children, told us how to handle their anxiety, fear, tears, and then told us how HAPPY she was that we were making these children OURS. Needless to say, I bawled most of that bus ride.
Our Orphanage was the closest in proximity (2 hrs away), so they told us that Mia would probably be the first baby to arrive. That made me SO nervous! I mean, we were all in this together, and it was going to be US first? Suddenly, I was scared.
We pulled up to the Building. Butterflies.
We walked up the stairs, and were so surprised to see the little Boy that belonged to another one of our travel families. They weren't prepared for him to be there so soon, so we grabbed our camera and started filming and snapping for THEM. Trust me when I tell you that seeing another family receive their child for the first time, is completely overwhelming. Pure joy. We cried for them, and the test of the families, as their children walked thru the door.
Would you believe Mia was last? Their van had encountered traffic, and by then, I was a wreck.
And then I spotted them.
2 ladies hopped out if the van. One carrying Mia and the other holding the hand of a sweet little 6 year old girl. As they walked in, they first delivered the sweet 6 year old to her new family who was anxiously waiting. Well, you'd better know, I was right on their heels. The lady carrying Mia spun around to see me waving.."She's mine!! She's mine!!"
And then..she was in my arms.
Scared, crying and sick....but I had her.
The rest of our time in that office was a blur. They were trying to tell me things about her. Half of me couldn't understand what they were saying, and half of me just wasn't listening. Brian attended to the paperwork, I think somewhere in there, we posed for our official "first photo", I attempted to feed her, and the rest of the time, we just walked around the office; Mia crying while I tried to console her.
We finally boarded the bus back to the hotel. Now, a totally different vibe on that bus. We had our children!!
The next few days, she was pretty inconsolable. She was sick and scared..and so were we.
But....that was a year ago.....and boy have things changed!!!
What an amazing year we have had with this sweet girl. We have been blessed to have gotten to experience so many of her firsts.
She learned to crawl in our hotel room. Started pulling up on furniture about a month after coming home. Took her first steps about a month later.
We've gotten to watch her learn and explore. She is so inquizative and soaks up everything she sees.
She has learned to LOVE and to TRUST. She knows that WE are HERS and that her needs will now always be met.
Oh the things this precious girl has taught ME. She has taught me that taking a step of a Faith, is worth everything in the world. That if you have LOVE, you can overcome any other obstacles. She has restored my belief that HE gave us this power to love. HE created us for THIS. To love those who need us..the Fatherless, the Motherless, the widows......
She has taught our Boys that Families aren't always blood. That Love is what makes a Family, and that love has no boundaries.
It has been an amazing year and I can't wait to see what the future holds for this next year.
And so, through photos...here is our Year in Review!!!