One year ago today we officially embarked on this beautiful, miraculous, life-changing, and sometimes challenging journey of adoption. A calling, to stand in the gap for orphans, led us down a road that has challenged our faith, tested our patience, stretched our endurance, and been one of the most joy-filled, rewarding experiences of our lives. And no, we have never had regrets. Doubts and fears? Yes. But we signed up for this as a team and we trusted our God would provide for us. He has abundantly supplied for all of our needs, and strengthened our love for each other, and Him, through the process. People warned us that it would be hard, as if we hadn't thought of that. We really did expect it to be hard. I personally went into it scared. Determined, but scared. We have watched some friends go through really really rough stuff with adopted kids. We hoped and prayed it wouldn't be that difficult, but we knew it might be. Just as we did with our biological kids, we opened our hearts to the unknown and knew God would be there through it all. His grace has been sufficient, and He has confirmed over and over again that He planned for little Ivy in our family.
Where are we today? We have worked through and resolved a lot of conflict. We have done a truckload of child training. We have strategized and re-strategized. We have cuddled, rocked, and sung lots of songs. We have prayed a ton. We have played and laughed . We have cried. (Some of us more than others) We have slept not enough. Each family member has bonded in their own time and grown to dearly love Ivy Ruth. She is so perfect for our family.
Where is Ivy today? She's a remarkable one who can't wait to face each day full of joy. I wish I had a big dose of her optimism, bravery, resilience, intelligence, forgiving heart, eagerness to learn, and willingness to eat any healthy food presented to her. (I'll take a set of her long, muscle-defined legs too) She is blossoming and maturing more each day. Orphanage behaviors and habits are falling away. Meltdowns are less frequent. She loves her family and her life so much. She's really some girl.
We face another year together with renewed hope and energy, more laughter, less tears, and peace in our hearts. Be certain, it's a sacrifice. Yes, sometimes I daydream about being on a cruise ship at this stage of life. But truly there is no where else I'd rather be. Our lives are rich and full, overwhelming at times, but blessed beyond my wildest dreams. We face another year with more faith, more resolve and more joy.
"Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting through, and adoption is one of them"
And now..off to PF Changs for a celebration!