Seven Years

Yesterday, we celebrated seven years with Li.

Yesterday, we celebrated seven years with Li. Seven years…

Sort of a mind-boggling figure in some ways.

Part of that celebration was looking back at what led up to that day in Nanchang, and the days and weeks immediately after, both through the lenses of our collective memories and through what I captured here (which was a great reminder to me of why I occasionally scribble something here and a strong encouragement for me to continue doing so).

Celebrating New Life

We spent Easter in China last year; celebrating in a more traditional manner this year, I am reminded of the parallels between Li’s adoption and our own.

Li is pretty excited about getting to wear her new Easter dress to church (04/2009)
Li is pretty excited about getting to wear her new Easter dress to church (04/2009)

We spent Easter last year in Guangzhou, China as we were in the midst of our adoption journey to make Li part of our family and to bring her to a new life here with us. Although we didn’t attend worship on that Easter Sunday last year, we were definitely thinking about the parallels between what she was going through and our own adoption into God’s family.

Again this year, as we celebrate Easter — admittedly in a more traditional way — and talked this morning in Bible study about why this day means so much to us, I am reminded of the parallels… and I am reminded how profoundly these simple acts of love have changed us in untold ways.

Gotcha Day + 1.001

A year ago yesterday, we were handed a little girl, bundled up in about 5 layers of clothes. We were already in love with her; it took her a little longer…

A year ago yesterday, we were handed a little girl, bundled up in about 5 layers of clothes. We were already in love with her; it took her a little longer… within a matter of seconds, she started screaming and didn’t stop for several hours until, exhausted, she fell asleep on my chest in our hotel room in China. Our lives haven’t been the same since.

Deb and Li enjoy a new book on Gotcha Day + 1
Deb and Li enjoy a new book on Gotcha Day + 1

What a difference a year makes. Those first few days were tough for all of us (and probably tough for the people in the hotel rooms near ours!), but bolstered by the prayers of friends and family, we all survived. She is still a very “spirited” young lady, and there are many aspects of that strong will and personality that we started getting to know a year ago that show through every day. She has grown in every aspect of her development, and that growth has been matched only by the growth of our love for her.

We celebrated “Gotcha Day” with my parents this past weekend; we celebrate this incredible gift we have been given every single day.

Planes

One year ago today, we boarded a plane…

One year ago today, Deb and Ian and I boarded a plane that took us to a plane that took us to a plane that took us to a plane that brought us to Li so that we could bring her home. Tomorrow morning, I will board a plane that will take me to a plane that will take me to a plane that will bring me home… to Deb and Ian and Li.

I have a hard time believing that we are closing in on the end of our first full year together. I’ve been in DC this week, heading for home early tomorrow morning, and it has been harder than usual to be away from family this week.