This 4th of July is different for our family. We have a new family member who was not born an American and did not know freedom and family at all this time last year.
I have not been blogging much lately. I have to say I have been spending my time getting to know our little blossoming princess and really bonding with her. She makes it so easy to bond with her and to love her. As these first five months have passed we have settled into our new routine and established our new normal as a family of six.
I will admit it took some time and it was not all easy. There are still moments that are stressful, but we had those moments before Gracie was in our family.
Her face lights up when we come into her bedroom in the morning. Her face lights up when we get home from work. Her face lights up when we walk into the room...even though we may have only been away for a few moments. She is a bright and joyful blessing who lights up our days.
As we celebrate the 4th of July, I can't help but think of where Gracie came from. I can't help but think of what she looked like just ten months ago when we first met her. In August 2012 a little girl was brought into an orphanage playroom to meet us. She was a tiny three year old. She had no expression on her face. She had no fat or muscle on her body. She had no voice. She had no family.
Looking back on this picture I remember how terrified I was at the time. I was not sure how we would connect with her. I was afraid that she would always be this way and we would not be able to undo the damage of neglect and malnutrition.
TEN MONTHS LATER...
AFTER FIVE MONTHS AT HOME...
I don't know which pictures make me want to cry the most. I know that I have to fight the urge to cry every time I look at them though. I know that my heart and stomach do a butterfly dance when I look at the change and progression that have taken place in such a short amount of time. I am continually in awe at how God led us to this child who is so perfect and meant to be ours. Continually, I will praise Him.
Gracie now has freedom, family and fun. She has life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. She is no longer bound by the four walls of an orphanage, but surrounded by family and friends. She is an American. She is a treasured daughter.
She's our little FIRECRACKER!! Our bright SPARKLER!!
Happy 4th of July!!!