And today.... it's hard to imagine there ever was a time she wasn't ours!
There seem to be no words and yet thousands of words to somehow conclude what the last year has been like with Sarah home. I've spent the last week being very nostalgic and emotional as I've thought endlessly about just one year ago.
So much has happened since then... everything's changed so much and yet so much has not.
We went to the Embassy one year ago today to legally commit to caring and providing for Sarah. I would have died for her I loved her so much. The crazy part is we loved her and didn't even know her.
I'm sure that sounds very sweet and romantic... and very true.
However, for all our commitment, our agape love, and romantic notions... you come home with a child from another country that you have pretty much NO relationship with. And day after day, week after week, month after month from that day on you learn about each other. We learned about her and she learned about us. Sometimes it was pure joy... other times it was confusing and hard. And that went for both Sarah and us : )
The relationship is what has changed.
Our relationship with Sarah has changed from committed, agape love with all kinds of romantic fantasies to a relationship based on that same love with the addition of knowledge. That SWEET, FAMILIAR knowledge. Knowledge like where the perfect spot on her belly is that makes her squeal with giggles, or that knowledge that when I pick her up from the nursery, she's going to run to me, nestle her face into my shoulder and take deep breaths, smelling me like I was a flower. That knowledge that when I turn my back, she's going to take a bite out of her sister's arm : ) Or that knowledge when I ask her for a kiss, she'll lean forward with the most adorable puckered lips you've ever seen.
Our relationship with God is what hasn't changed.
He's still there. When things were unfamiliar for all of us, He was familiar. When things seemed confusing and unsettling, He was the same. When fears clouded our hearts, He was perfect peace. He is what stayed constant from that 1st relationship we had with Sarah via pictures on email to the real relationship we had with Sarah as we came to know her in the flesh. (Although I must say how much joy I've found going back through pictures from the orphanage and seeing Sarah's expressions and with confidence being able to say, ah, I finally recognize that expression... looking at them and knowing which pictures showed her sad face, her overwhelmed face, her content face, her scared face...)
Sarah has changed and so have we.
Sarah is exceedingly more confident, happy, physically developed, bold, expressive and loving than 1 year ago. She absolutely loves her daddy, mommy, brothers and sister fiercely and has grown by leaps and bounds in her ability to trust. Until our recent travelling, she hadn't had sleep issues since April, which has been a huge blessing and a tell tale sign of her great adjustment in bonding and attachment.
We are exceedingly more attached and bonded to Sarah as our precious daughter than 1 year ago. I simply cannot fathom life without my Sarah and am daily filled with joy by her sweet, adorable little person. I thank God for completing my love for Sarah with such fond and consuming affection that every mother feels for her children!
So many changes and yet so much the same. Thank you Lord!!
If you'd like to take a peek back in history, click on the link below to see our Adoption video in tribute to our FIRST Forever Family Day!!