Love is

I didn't give you the gift of life, But in my heart I know. The love I feel is deep and real, As if it had been so.

For us to have each other Is like a dream come true! No, I didn't give you The gift of life, Life gave me the gift of you. --- Unknown

Friday, March 6, 2015

Elijah and Eva... and one crazy amazing year

Elijah Miles
This is a copy of my Facebook post from two days ago (March 4).

"Exactly one year ago, we waited anxiously in a room at the social welfare institute in Hangzhou China. We had seen his face and prayed countless prayers for him, but hadn't yet been blessed to touch him, or hold him in our arms. I will never forget how it felt when he walked into the room. He was scared and curious, but had no idea of how his life was about to be changed. I remember how it felt to touch his sweaty little head, and how hard it was to give him space to adjust, because I wanted to grab him up into my arms right away. Elijah Miles our family would not be complete without you, you are sweet and helpful, so kind to your siblings (most of the time lol, you are so gentle and loving with the baby, you are Ariana's best friend and your Mommas sweet boy. You are stubborn and silly and the world is amazing to you, you love to explore new things and your joy for life is contagious. I love you so baby boy. Thank you Father for allowing me to be this little mans Mother, I don't deserve the honor." 

It has been a great year,  we had to work hard to bond to a little man that from the beginning thought he was in charge :).  He bonded so quickly with his big sister and looked to her for anything.  He still tell her when he has a problem before us sometimes, but that is changing.  I love the random hugs and squishy kisses I get from him.  I love this boys heart and joy for life, it challenges me to see the beauty all around me. Elijah sees the wonder in everything and he isn't quiet about it.  He doesn't meet a stranger and we have had to work hard to teach him not to give affection to them.  We didn't know we needed another little man in our life when his face captured us, But...I cannot imagine a life that doesn't include his joyful little laugh.  He is a blessing.   

Eva Meili
I am struggling with how to capture the past year into one short post.  I could never have imagined the changes that would take place in this precious little girl.  She was a dream to us, a name without a face, the beginning of a domino effect that before the year was up would bring four more kids into our family.  Yes I said four, in a year, and no we didn't plan it that way, are you crazy? So anyway, back to Eva.  She was handed to me exactly one year ago today in Guangzhou, China. it was late morning, because she had to travel to the city from Goazhou.  Holding her as she struggled to process what was happening was like holding your tiny sweet smelling new born.  Only she smelled like the train she had come in one and nervous sweat.  She had barely spent any time outside her tiny little crib.  It was her world, her safe place, and it was gone.  Replaced by loud sounds she didn't know and too many scary strange faces. She was tiny and thin and terrified of everything.  She let me comfort her right away and latched onto my neck in her koala hold and didn't let go for weeks. Then even for months hiding on my shoulder with her face buried was her safe place. The place she would go if we went some where new, or a new person came around, where she would go when she thought mommy was leaving her.  A place she still goes even after a year if mommy goes somewhere without her. She could not walk yet,  she hadn't had any solid foods.  She was like an infant, a very fast growing infant.  She loved food and put on weight quickly and began to explore her world and building muscle and more importantly trust.  It wasn't long before she was running around the house with her siblings.  She came to us silent, except for her ear piercing cry, but she soon began to speak.  She now speaks in two and three word sentences and repeats everything we say. Eva has microtia/atresia... basically tiny misshaped ears, and no visible ear canal.  Those tiny little nubbies, where typical ears would form, are why she was given up, and I love those ears with every fiber of my being.  I love them because they rest on the sides of one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen,  I love them because of the sweetest giggle I hear when I "chew" on them,  I love them because they are Eva's ears, and they are beautiful and perfect,  but most of all I love them because they are the reason the precious joyful little baby girl is mine.  She is getting closer to three years old but isn't quite there yet with speech and development, but she is still gaining ground quickly. It wont be long before she heads off to Kindergarden, with her sister.  Eva keeps us laughing, and discipline is so difficult with the cuteness that oozes out of her. I cannot imagine not kissing her sweet cheeks every morning, or seeing her face light up with a smile that could melt the hardest of hearts. Being her mommy is a joy.

I wish that I could talk to their China mommies,  I wish that I could tell them their babies are safe and loved beyond measure.  I wish I could say thank you for two of the greatest gifts of my life.  I cant,  but I can love the babies they gave life to fiercely and try to give them my best everyday. 

To all 7 of my babies, you all came from different places, but each of you are precious priceless gifts.  I am forever grateful that God gave each of you to us to raise.... even if we do screw it up far more than we get it right.  I love you all more than you know.