First a recap, then some news.
Lillian had major surgery in the middle of May. She had a bone spur removed from her spine, her spinal cord detethered, and her split spinal cord joined into one. We were at the hospital at 6am on a Monday morning and got home on Thursday night. It was a rough time, especially the first 48 hours after surgery because she had to stay completely flat, but everything went as well as it could and she has recovered beautifully! Her appointments are mostly down to twice a year now with the spina bifida clinic and she is just thriving in every way. Tomorrow will be six months that she has been HOME and I am just in awe of how far she has come and how much she has changed. This little girl is all heart.
We got home from the hospital and it was all the craziness that is "end of the school year". That means Regionals and State for track and soccer around here, and at least one million other events. I should probably tally up the number of concerts, programs, plays, performances, ceremonies, assemblies, promotions, graduations, etc. that we had those couple of weeks, but trust me... it was at least a million. :) It was all fun and I couldn't be prouder of all my kids and all they accomplish, but boy was it busy! I won't post pics from everything but here are two fun ones -
|Marcus in a school play|
|Shane's orchestra concert|
|Ben and his team|
|Shane running fast|
On May 31, Destinee and Ryan graduated high school!! My "twins". I can't even believe it. We couldn't be prouder of the two of them. They both earned scholarship money, are the nicest people you could know, and have big plans for their futures. Ryan will be serving a mission for our church in Brazil for two years and Destinee is headed to college and hopes to go into culinary. I enjoy them SO much and am going to miss them more than I can say. Yes... the two of them started talking about leaving and me cry in Maverick (local convenience store/gas station) the other night. "MOM! Are you crying? In Maverick?" Guilty.
My most wonderful parents came from NY for five days to be here for graduation! Pamma finally got to meet Lillian and Lillian got to reconnect with Papa (who came to China with us). She definitely remembered him! We had so much fun together but of course the time went way too quickly.
|My graduates!! That makes four...|
|Lillian and Papa|
|me and my Daddy|
|Lillian and Pamma|
|The grads with Josh's parents who came to celebrate on graduation day!|
So now it is SUMMER and things have settled down quite a bit which is nice. There is still plenty going on, but fun stuff. And a little being lazy. :)
Josh and I will be celebrating our 20th (TWENTIETH people) anniversary in just a few weeks. 20 years! It went by in the blink of an eye and yet I can't really remember what it felt like not to be with him. I have been with Josh since I was 19! I am not in this pic, but I love this photo of Josh, my Dad and Noah. My heart.
And...last but certainly not least....
I know that to most people this will seem "crazy", but in the past 20 years, it has been the "crazy" decisions Josh and I have made through prayer, love, and faith that have yielded the greatest joys and blessings.
So we introduce to you our precious Katie Mei Lin. She is 20 months old and in Xuchang, China. She has some limb differences caused by a rare genetic syndrome but she has not let that slow her down. Her nannies describe her as smiley, especially smart,and social. We think she is perfect and "fearfully and wonderfully made" like all of us. She desperately needed a family (as do so many other children), and when Josh and I saw her, something whispered to both of our hearts "she is your daughter".
Katie Mei Lin is almost two years younger than Lillian, and with Lillian being the youngest in our family by so much we think she is going to love having a sister close in age to grow up with.
Since the moment we said "yes" (May 27!) things have moved very quickly and many pieces have just fallen into place. We get to reuse some paperwork, approvals, etc. so the process is a bit easier this time around. We should have her home some time this late fall and will have a better idea of when in the next month or two.
For those that ask "don't you have enough kids?" (because so many do ask) I can honestly answer that I have more than enough. I have been blessed more than I deserve to be, and entrusted with more than I ever could have dreamed. But the truth is, sometimes it’s not about what we have or what we need. Yes, we have “enough”, but there are so many, many children who don’t have enough. They don’t have enough love, or parents, or family, or siblings, or medical care, or security, or permanence, or home, or opportunities, or belonging. They don’t have enough of any of the things that matter most in this world.
So do we have enough kids? Sure we do. But we also have enough of lots of other things. We have enough food. We have enough room in our home. We have enough money. We have enough love. We have enough laughter and fun. We have enough desire to parent another child. We have enough faith that it is the right thing for us and for our family.
I used to worry so much about what people thought about our family, and I have finally gotten to the point where the only ones I am trying to impress are Josh, my kids, and God. I love my family so much and each and every one of them belong here. They are my joy and my heart and I know that being mom to this amazing crew is the reason I was put on this earth.
Yes, it's a big leap of faith. But this baby girl is worth the leap.
Here she is in action... she walked for the first time ever on my birthday!!