child, whom we had loved through pictures and prayers...
came to life and came into our lives and ultimately...
changed our lives forever.
I will never forget walking into that orphanage after having Lizzie for only about 4 days and the heart breaking reaction she had when any of the nannies tried to take her from me.
She clung to me, her momma for sure, but a person she had known for 4 days - 4 days!
She was terrified that we were going to leave her there.
I will never forget walking into that orphanage and being struck by the hospital like, sterile environment our sweet child had lived in the first 2 years of her life, seeing the rows of cribs, metal cribs, metal cribs with wooden boards and the precious ones in those cribs who still waited.
There were 18 babies in Lizzie's room - and - one - nanny.
They did the best they could but that leaves little time for affection and attention.
As we left that day, the reaction Lizzie had as we got back on the bus will forever be seared into my heart.
Up to that point, she had been non-verbal, smiling and laughing some but not saying much at all.
Until the bus...
As soon as we sat down, I told Lizzie to say bye bye to the orphanage, not really expecting anything from her but just as something that you say.
However, she shocked all of us when she stood up on my lap, smiled the biggest smile, waved her hands and said - BYE BYE!
I knew at that moment, we were going to be ok, that Lizzie got it and...
that we would be back.
Sweet Lizzie May, as I look back over the last 5 years, and think about where you were...
and where you are now...
my heart just fills with love and admiration and thankfulness.
Our journey was not always easy and we are still learning but the joy you have brought to this family, your family cannot be measured my love.
The Lord has used you in a mighty way my tiny one.
Your sweet journey has taught us so much about what is important, about our faith and about what blessings come by boldly following the Lord's path...
and your journey my love has only just begun.
I have had people tell me how wonderful it was that we "saved" you and what I tell them is this...
We didn't save you, the Lord used you and your journey to save us.
This year as every year, I leave you with Lizzie's one year home video.
Happy Family Day sweet Lizzie May.
Your forever family loves you like crazy!