Wednesday, December 31, 2014

12 months....a whole year home!

On November 4 Sarah had been with a whole year.  In some ways it seems like it can't possibly have been a whole year already and in some ways we hardly remember life without her.  She keeps us on our toes every single day.  She amazes us with her ability to love despite her hard beginnings.  She amazes us when we see those survival instincts kick in.  She is a fighter for sure and she will fight when she feels threatened in any way.  It has been so neat to watch her learn to regulate that and learn when not react that way.  I find myself saying things like, "I am so proud of you for not hitting me!  Thank you!"  We have loved watching her learn to relax, learn to love us, learn that we aren't going anywhere, that there will always be food.  We have marveled at how she has learned to communicate. We marvel at her everyday.  There are days that are so hard, and so busy that life just takes hold and you just get through but there are so many days that she still just takes my breathe away,  Days I still cry over her at night wishing I could take all the hard beginnings and sadness and brokenness from her.  I am so thankful for a God who redeems.  I am so thankful to be a part of Sarah's story and I pray everyday that I can do right by her.  Do the very best for her.

Here's what she was up to this month!

The Fair!  

First Fair ride ever!  She felt that is was fabulous!  The fair was MAJOR sensory overload but she really handled it well.  

Daddy's are so awesome!  I'm so glad she has an amazing one!

Big brothers are pretty awesome too and this one takes the cake.  These too have the sweetest relationship.  And by sweet I mean they make a lot of noise together and she really likes it when he throws her on the couch!

She ate the big pretzel at Sam's.

And topped it off with a big drink all her own!

She turned 6 years old!  What a great day celebrating the day she was born!  I am sad to not have been there and I hurt for the woman who had to make hard choices and I am so thankful she choose life for Sarah.  

(Just as an aside....a little "Please be careful what you say" if you will.  I've had several people say to me things about how terrible "those" people are.  How could a woman throw her baby away.... I would NEVER....  Here's the honest truth about that...  We have no idea in our comfortable American houses of the struggles woman all over the world face- the terrible choices made for them.   When you say things like that  to an adoptive mother you are talking about a part of her child.  Her birth family.  The woman who made hard choices to bring her into the world.  I don't like rules about what you can and cannot say to people but that's just a little bit about how I feel about that one. )

Halloween was so fun!!!

It was dress up day at school and Sarah went as Doc McStuffins!

We carved pumpkins

Just look at this face will you!  

And for trick or treating she was a panda!
And a mighty cute one at that! 

She's saying "eeeeeee"  which is Sarah for "Cheeeeese"

It took a few houses for her to figure it out but she loved it!

This picture makes me laugh.  It is no secret among the moms of kids from her orphanage that they used suckers A LOT.  She still lights up at the sight of a good sucker!

A HUGE event for Sarah this month was changing schools.  We loved our time at Covenant but with some encouragement from friends we decided to move her to our local public school in their special needs class.

She started Kindergarten and has absolutely loved it.  She is doing so so well and will start therapy there soon.  We are so happy with this decision.  It was so hard for me to let her go but it was the best thing for her!!

When Will and Jenny were babies I made handprint tiles for them every other month until they were one year old.  I couldn't do that for Sarah as a baby but we have been doing it all year for the first year she was home.  

Working on her angel ornament!

I got the tiles all hung and I just love this wall in my pantry!

It has been a great year.  It's actually also been one of the hardest years of our married life.  We are so excited to see what Sarah accomplishes in the next year.  We really think she is going to take off this year! She has so much attachment work behind her, so many initial assessments and setting up of things done.  She is secure and safe and I believe she is finally relaxing and realizing how loved she is.  It's still two steps forward one step back some days but we are getting there everyday.  

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