I am so late on sharing 'sweets' 3rd birthday party. I can honestly say that, I now know how 'life just happens and takes over the best laid plans.
Our 'sweets' turned 3 this past August. She remains the joy and delight of our heart and truly a beacon of hope in this dark world. Through her eyes we have found new in the old. We have been awestruck in the mundane things of life. We have learned how to truly 'face time' with each other. We have a home filled with all things pink and blingy not to mention toys that go 'bump' in the night. Currently we are running through the hallway running from 'scary monsters' (aka Lucy, the lazy lab).
She adores her friends at Sunday School and preschool. Her cousins Sari and Unlce Steeb (Sara & Stephen) make her feel like a true celebrity at school. She has mastered dance moves from Sophia and Gay Gay. Red is her favorite color (thanks D!) Every night when we say prayers she always starts with her Gaga, Grammie, Papa D, Grimps, Nana, Pa and all my families. If daddy forgets someone or Papa D's 'animeals- then he asks for forgiveness and prays for them too.
Curious George is obviously the cartoon of choice and has been for almost 6 months now. Rightfully so since our 'sweets' is just as curious. Mac and Cheese is a staple food at our house but not the only one . . . she loves her some bacon! :-)
One of mine and the hubs favorite past times is standing outside of her door and listening to her sing and read stories to all of her friends (stuffed animals and baby dolls). We hear the people that influence her life the most through her imitation of them (thank you Mrs. Page and Mrs. Julie). She has hymns and books memorized, yes I said memorized at 3 years old! In these moments, our hearts are truly full of adoration and love. We are humbled in an instant at the goodness and faithfulness of our Lord for gifting us with such a spectacular daughter!
We are amazed daily at her discovery of life and the way objects work and people behave. We have become more and more intent as parents to de-clutter our schedule and home of 'things' (or time suckers as I like to refer to them) in order to give her our time and attention. We both have about 1,000 + pictures and videos on our smart phones (a year, so you do the math on that one!) trying our absolute best to capture every single moment we can of her.
In three years we have seen the never stopping, never giving up, always and forever LOVE of Jesus in and through her life. Yet, in our sinful human nature we still question and doubt Him at times. There have been struggles and losses in these three short years that we will probably never have answers too this side of Heaven. When we think she is perfect, the Lord quickly reminds us that she is a GIFT from Him, not an idol to be worshipped. She is in desperate need of grace, mercy, forgiveness and patience just like us on a moment to moment basis.
Because of our story, I do have to share there are moments when I see facial expressions of the 'hubs' or she perfectly imitates a family member. Then there are moments when I see a flash of her birthmother's face and I have to be honest, those moments use to be hard for me. Those moments would take me back to a dark place in my memory of the grief of infertility. I would either grieve all over again, I could feel the physical pain of heartbreak from the day she was born. We didn't know whether to celebrate our new parenthood or grieve the loss of the birth mom. But God . . . in His mercy for me has helped me come to a place of rejoicing when I see those birth family traits. Because without them . . . I wouldn't be a mom. The Lord does replace the years that the locust have eaten. (Joel 2:25), He does turn ashes to beauty (Isaiah 61:3) He is faithful to return evil to good (Genesis 50:19-21).
Therefore, since we have a daily reminder that we were ADOPTED into the kingdom of GOD. HE choose us. HE loved us first. We are ALL made in HIS image. We do not focus on the loss. We pray for ourselves and birth families and adopted families everywhere for the Lord to be glorified through the joy and trials of this path in life.
Everyday is a 'birthday' for our household. We still take time and people for granted, but if we and when we take the time to listen intently to our Lord, HE reminds us He is here with us always and forever.
We have been blessed beyond measure. We want to tell of His glories riches! This is part of the reason we share our story. God is ALWAYS faithful, even and especially when we are not.
1 Samuel 1:27 'this is the child we prayed for . . . and the Lord heard our plea'