Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jan. 17, 2011

Today is Jenna's Gotcha Day. One year with our family.

I woke up this morning with memories that actually made me feel stressed. Makes me wonder about the stress our kids feel for years after being handed over to strangers.

Nothing prepared us for how she transitioned that first night.

We had never experienced such utter anguish...for hours.

She wanted to go back to the orphanage. The only home and "family" she knew.

This was our fourth adoption, and you would have thought we'd have anticipated this.

But those rosy glasses were on again, and boy did they get thrown off in a hurry.

Survival 101 for all of us.

This sweet little face had many smiles in China. But we soon learned that many of those smiles were her way of searching out love...from anyone who would love her and give her what she needed. I think this picture captures what was in her heart and head not only in China, but for quite a while after she came home.

This is our little princess now. Smiling...because she knows she's truly loved (and because she knows she's adorable and has THE most captivating smile). Smiling...because she knows she's one of God's princesses and beautifully made.


It's not all fun and games, and sometimes it's just plain hard.

Thanking God today for the family He gave us, the grace He shows when we goof up, and His love that keeps us all seeking to be more like Him.

Happy 1st Gotcha Day, Mei Mei. We love you!
"Yet those who wait for the Lord

will gain new strength;

They will mount up with wings like eagles,

They will run and not get tired,

They will walk and not become weary."

Isaiah 40:31


Kristin said...

I've learned so much about adoption by reading your blog. Makes me think of the song "Blessings." Happy Gotcha day Jenna!

Michelle said...

Precious, precious! The tears and anguish will seem like just a night compared to the lifetime of joy and love she has ahead of her.

barbara said...

Happy Gotcha Day Jenna!

Wow! that's a lot of food for just a family of 7 celebrating. Oh! yeah! I forgot how much food your children can consume in one sitting!!!!

Karin said...

Happy Gotcha Day!!!! I so remember that sad little face when you guys were in China. So glad there is a big smile in place nowadays!

Sally-Girl! said...

Happy Gotcha Day Jenna!!

I hope life settles in now that your family is in it's new home!!

ahusted said...

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and experiences. You will never know how much it impacts other peoples lives. Congratulations to all of you for all the accomplishments that this year has brought you. Blessings to you all!!!

Jay and Chandra and Penny Regan said...

I really cannot believe that it's been a whole year! I'm so glad to hear that she is adjusting and smiling more and more now that she knows that she is loved as part of your family. Our beginning was rough, too. And there are sometimes moments of regression. But, more and more layers of the onion are being peeled off and revealing the beautiful woman that God created our daughter to be. Won't it be exciting to see them as their lives unfold?

Deanna Ervin said...

Wow, it's hard to believe it has been a full year already. I remember reading your blog every day while you were getting Jenna. I remember that same picture of her that you posted then. She is so happy and content being in your family now. How awesome! Happy Gotcha Day, Jenna and family! Love and miss you guys!