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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
4 Years Ago...
On this day , four years ago, a very scared but courageous little girl's life was changed forever! She had a family to call her own...a forever family! It is sometimes hard to believe that it has only been four years, and at other times it feels like it was only yesterday. Our sweet Mandy girl greeted us at the door of the civil affairs office(she slipped away from the director) with a beautiful smile and the only English words she knew, "Hello Mother, hello Father!" She was super excited and very scared all at the same time ( I can assure you that we were having almost the exact same emotions). When we left China, she never once looked back. She was ready to tackle her new world and her new life. It was then that we realized that Mandy had a mind of her own and a determination that no one could change. She has grown physically (a lot), emotionally (which we still have struggles with) and spiritually (which brings tears to our eyes). Adopting her at an older age has been down right hard! The hardest parenting we have ever done, but we were assured in our hearts and minds of one thing. God told us to trust him, to win another precious soul for Jesus. We knew that He had/has HUGE plans for this precious child! He never promised us easy, but He knew the plans He had for her and for US. As the years pass, Mandy is learning to trust more, to love harder, and to turn to Jesus for her strength. She has been trying harder and having more success at being a part of our family. She shares with us that she had always desired a family, but there have been many times that we knew she wasn't prepared for what having a family meant. She is letting go of her past (the harder, uglier things) and moving forward slowly with the new life God has given her. Throughout all these struggles, God has been working on her heart and ours. We have learned so much more of what "to love someone" means... to love as Jesus loved. She has learned to accept love and continues to learn what it means to be loved unconditionally. Tenacious, brave, courageous, ambitious are just a few words to describe our Mandy-girl. She loves dance with an amzing talent for ballet. She has a gorgeous smile that brightens a room. She is something of a perfectionist about things, but she is learning that she can't be "perfect" (that she doesn't have to be). She has a very tender heart especially for toddler children. She desires to be a preschool dance instructor some day. That desire fits her perfectly. We are so proud of the young lady she is becoming. We are honored to be able to call her our daughter. Happy Forever Family Day Mandy girl!