I CAN'T BELIEVE it's been ONE YEAR!!! Today was the day our precious gift, Abby, was placed in our arms! After waiting a year from the first time we saw her pictures, it was surreal to finally see her in person! I just couldn't believe that I finally got to HOLD HER!

Scott and I had an on-going joke about who was going to be the one to have to "rip her away" from her Ayah (caregiver) and potentially be the "bad person". It was so amazing....we were not expecting the CEREMONY that the orphanage staff put on for us. They had children come out and place flowers around our neck and even had a special prayer time (I so wish I knew what he was praying...but I knew it didn't matter...God knew!)! Then the ayahs brought her out and she actually smiled! She had a little bit of a "what in the world is going on look" but she was just so amazing to sit in our laps right away. It really was an answer to prayers. The ayah even said that it was "a miracle...because she has been really fussy the last couple of weeks!"

We have been talking about "one year ago" all day today. We took a family bike ride to Subway to celebrate. :) Looking at pictures, we said we just hardly recognize her! She was only 15 lbs. and wore 3-6 mo. clothes. She actually is just in 24 mo. clothes and weighs 24 lbs. now. She has grown and changed SO MUCH!

When I think back to all she has gone through this past year, I am amazed! So thankful that she is doing so well now and progressed so much. She has speech twice a week and is talking so much better. She is getting some of her explosive sounds, /b/,/d/,/p/, etc. and even said puPPy this week and is starting to put 2 words together. We are praying she will learn to accommodate despite the cleft palate opening through her gum and get the sounds out her mouth and not her nose. She is also learning to blow air out her mouth and not her nose.

I never dreamed that one little one could add so much JOY to our family! She lights up our home! Her daddy and brothers are CRAZY about her and shower her with love and attention all the time. She loves to laugh and is just fine being the center of attention! :)

July 30, 2010
 I'll never forgot seeing the sign that I'd seen in pictures and then the gate opening and seeing the orphanage for the first time! It was just so amazing to finally BE THERE after 2 years of thinking about it!

 The ceremony prayer time. It was actually so hard to keep my eyes closed when I just wanted to SEE ABBY and HOLD HER!!!!
 We loved that they place her in our arms. She sat in daddy's lap first. What a special moment. Really felt just like the time I got to hold my baby boys after giving birth. Heck...she just weighed a few lbs (ok 7 and 8 lbs) more! ;)

 I couldn't get over how tiny she was! 

 Getting to travel with the Leslies was so amazing! Tara and I talked almost daily praying each other through the adoption hurdles! So awesome to share this day with them and their precious Sanjai!
 The day wouldn't be complete without mentioning that while this was one of the BEST days of my life, it was also one of the hardest. See the faces we left behind. These are the faces that drive me to STILL CARE about orphans and DO SOMETHING! While I may not be able to help these kiddos (and THANKFULLY two are in families now), I am able to respond to what the Lord is calling me to do. More on that later!!!
 ONE YEAR LATER!!! A couple pictures that I took on my phone tonight while we attended a benefit for a friend. Yes...she has grown and changed a ton in one year!!!!