Friday, August 17, 2012

One Year

We hit our one year home mark!   Things are going pretty well.  Life is busy and five kids in a variety of activities keep me busy, but it was surreal to hit the one year mark.

We had a doctors visit in Seattle a couple of days before the exact one year to the date.  One year ago we were there for the same testing and overview, but where last year I fell asleep on the bed during Emery's echocardiogram since we came straight from the airport after clearing customs from China, this time I was able to enjoy watching her four chambered heart and correct valves.  Last year I nodded and took in that her diagnosis was correct, this year I enjoyed seeing the successful surgery.  Last year I carried Emery in, this year she skips in to show Dr. Matt that she got her ears pierced(she thought that was why we went to the doctor's appointment because of course he would want to see her new earrings!).

Last year she did NOT want to be with me, this year it was a pretty nice girls trip and we got our regular pizza and frozen yogurt together with not one meltdown or fit,  it was so lovely.  A year ago I really didn't know where our path with Emery would lead, I felt peace, but I didn't know if there would be a successful outcome with a fully fixed heart.  Now she has no restrictions and even caught a slight cold this week and I didn't go into a panic.  She runs down the airport tarmacs, I don't need to juggle bags and carry her because she does not turn blue and struggle to breathe.  If she gets tired of running, it is her legs that are tired, not her heart and lungs struggling.

We have had an interesting year full of changes and ups and downs.  She still struggles to figure out her place in this world.  When she thinks about or remembers China it is rough at home and she rejects me.  It might always be that way.  Her English has come a long way and she can communicate well, we still have shut downs at times for little to no reasons, but not anything like one year ago, and we work on expressing feelings and answering questions.

It was fun to have Emery with us on the fourth of July and think that we were so close to meeting her last year.  It was amazing to celebrate her birthday with her, not us having cake and singing to her across the world.  Things are not perfect, but we have come such a long, long way from a year ago that it is a gift to look back and see the progress.  She is moving forward in school, starting piano and dance and continuing swimming in addition to just playing and being a girl.  She is growing out her hair like Rapunzel and Mom and has even gotten her brothers to play princesses with her(they are either the prince or the horse).  She is figuring out relationships with friends but is able to interact and communicate with other kids outside of the family and loves having friends that are girls.  She LOVES skyping her friends from China who have been adopted also.

 We have been so very blessed and especially since the surgery, have been able to really move forward with relationships and interactions with family and friends since we aren't going to medical appointments out of town at least every month.  It has been fabulous.

So, we come to not totally the end of our adoption journey since it will be a part of our lives forever, but an end to this part of our story.  Thank you to all who have supported and prayed for us.  So many prayers have been answered regarding this precious girl who has charmed just about everyone she meets and has survived and thrived when the odds were so very stacked against her.  What a great gift her life is.  I am grateful to be part of it.