I have started this post over many times... not exactly sure how to put my thoughts into words. This week marked an important anniversary in our lives and an especially important day for our daughter. Mandy joined our family on July 30th of last year. I remember the day vivdly. After leaving our hotel, we climbed into a van that was sweltering. Its air conditioner was trying its best to keep up with the heat and humidity of Nanning China. Hot wasn't the word for it! We met another family who would be meeting their daughter at the same time that we would be meeting ours. I remember all of us nervously chatting and wondering how ours daughters would react to us. Brad and I pictured many different scenarios as to how our seven year old would respond to us ...would she hate us or love us, would she pitch a fit, would she run away from us?. As in all things, God had control. He had prepared this precious girls heart and mind for all that awaited her, and He gave her a wonderful,adventureous spirit. We were anticipating that we would go to the civil affairs room and then she would be brought to us; however, that plan went out the window(or should I say sliding door). As we climbed out of the van, we heard the sliding door open and were greeted with a beautiful smile and beautiful words "Hello mother,Hello father"(her only knowledge of the English language). All of our lives would be forever changed from that moment on. I wish I could report that this past year went smoothly and without problems, but that would be a lie. This past year has been one full of many challenges, many fears, many doubts,many ups and downs, many emotions, and many joys. God is so faithful and so good! He has answered many prayers, and changed many hearts... mostly mine. I must say that I have learned a lot this year. I have learned about LOVE. Not love as we know it but a love so wonderful, so beyond anything we could imagine that it fills my heart and overflows tears from my eyes as I type this. You see I have learned to Love as Jesus Loves Us. I have learned to love someone who spent many months hating me, whose greatest wish is that I would disappear or change into the mother she had pictured in her mind. For many months I was the object of her fear,worry, and pain. Our struggles took many turns, and I experienced many different emotions(many as feelings of grief, guilt and not liking the person I had become). In spite of the stabbing pain that I felt in my heart, I knew that God had a plan for me and for my daughter. I relied on God's strength to see us through. As the last few months have passed, we have seen many changes, but most of all our relationship and love has grown strong. What an amazing little girl God had planned for our family!!
Happy Forever Family Day ...our sweet,lovely Amanda Margaret (Wei Da Na)!