Monday, July 20, 2009

1 year!

A little bit of our first year with William... many of these have never been posted on my blog.









We first met William Michael exactly 1 year ago in a meeting room in the Lakeside Hotel in Fuzhou City, Fujian province. To be perfectly honest I don't think anything I had read or learned prior about adopting a toddler could have possibly prepared me for the last year. It's been quite a roller coaster and sometimes a difficult road. I've sometimes wondered...why us? Why were we chosen to be his parents? I don't ask myself that now, for I believe we were always supposed to be his Mommy and Daddy. We have always kept in mind the events that have made William who he is...his short life has been traumatic at times: abandonment, surgeries and different sets of parents. Our son's strong 'will' is a part of his personality and has helped him to survive the changes and will someday help to make him a determined young man. William has grown to trust and love us and we love him dearly. I can say assuredly that he's now an integral part of our family. His beautiful smile, engaging and sweet personality and infectious laugh light up a room instantly. He gives enormous hugs that come from his heart. The secret to our marriage (ours will hit 20 years soon) has been a dogged determination to never give up, to make it work even when it's hard, love unconditionally, to compromise and sacrifice as needed, and have a deep faith in God. We use these same principles with all 3 of our children. We don't really know what the future holds for us....whether we'll be called to adopt again or not. What I do know is that we're forever changed by our children, and the events and country that brought them to us...we hope to continue to give back by being mentors to adoptive parents or assisting in some financial way to those who would like to adopt. My very favorite quote is Gandhi's, " You must be the change you wish to see in the world." There are millions of orphans in our world that need families and each of us can make a difference, one child at a time. We feel very blessed to be a part of our children's lives and for that we are forever grateful!

2 years ago I started this blog as a way to help with the long wait to adopt our second child from China. I could have never imagined the impact it has made on me as support and making friends, quite a few of them lifelong ones. I've recently considered shutting down my blog now that our little son has been home a year, but just don't have that in my heart to do. I'm not going anywhere, for you have given me so much....there are so many waiting for their children and I'll be right alongside watching and supporting you when your children arrive.

With much love and heartfelt thanks for all your support, prayers and good wishes this past year,

Gail

20 kind words:

Marla said...

Awesome post Gail! Happy Forever Family Day to your precious boy. And thank you for not shutting down your blog, we'd miss you too much! :)

Kim said...

Gail,
Congratulations on your "1 year" together as a forever family! Will's happiness shines through in all his pictures. Your love and patience shine through him.

You wrote a wonderful post. I know the adjustment period can be difficult at times but worth every once of energy we give to our children. I too have wondered, where do I go from here? I pray we have planted seeds for other families seeking adoption. There are so many children who need loving families. I pray they too will step out in faith and hope and never give up on these children.

What a beautiful family you have! Glad you'll be keeping your blog open. I love checking in.

The Morris Family said...

...Amazing how quickly time passes, but more amazing are the miracles happening daily in our lives as we witness our children growing and changing! Congratulations on your 1 year together!

Hope you all enjoyed your trip together!

Gavin's Family said...

Gail, Will and Grace are beautiful, well adjusted kids. Congrts on your one year anniversary with Will, what a milestone. I started to cry when you said you were not going anywhere with your blog. I had never been blogging before and I can't remember how I ended up on yours but you were the first one I followed. I appreciate your staying in the trenches with us who are still trying to bring our kids home. Thank You for your wisdom and support.

Kayce said...

Congratulations on your one year family anniversary. Your post is a wonderful example to everyone that hard work and faith is the cornerstone in family. I'm so glad to have met you along the way in our adoption road and I'm so thankful you're not going anywhere!

Missy said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt post, Gail! Happy One Year to your sweet Will and family! He is such a precious little boy who will continue to bless you in ways that you could not imagine.
I, for one, am thrilled your not closing down shop! You guys are a blessing : )

Courtney said...

Wow, looking at those pictures is incredible. He has grown so much over the past year! Here is to many more years together!

Laura L. said...

Congratulations on 1 year with your adorable little man. I bet it's hard to believe a year has already passed.

A very nice post. Enjoy your celebration!

Story of our Life said...

(((HUGS))

Gail
Thanks so much for sharing the last year w/us, actually the last 2 years.

Your post is so eloquently wrote!! On a day - when I really needed it. As we prepare for 'our' little one to return tonight the gentle reminder that you put in your post " the surgeriers, the trauma, the abandoment, ect ect" helps me to remember to be a bit more patient as this young lady has been in out of the ringer...

:) Thanks again Gail...

Love, Gala

ps..we need to talk when u get home.

Jboo said...

Gail -- what an incredibly sweet post. You have such a big heart and beautiful family -- thanks for sharing it. Best wishes to you and yours.

Janet

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

Happy 1 year... I am crying over here.. this is an amazing post.. and amazing photos..
I am sooo glad that you will not shut down.. I am honored to have met you in bloggerville and hope to meet you in person one day...
I need you now as a friend.. and will really need you to help me when it is my turn to share such amazing joy..
Love ya girly..

Heather said...

Need.Kleenex.Now! Gail, such a beautiful tribute to your baby boy! He is gorgeous and amazing and I am so happy fo ryour family to have this precious brother and son. Enjoy celebrating one year with Will! I feel like it was yesterday :)

Thank you for sharing your heart!

Love,
Heather

a Tonggu Momma said...

Gail ~ It's been amazing getting to know you through your blog and e-mails these past few months. Congrats on one year together as a family. I've loved watching it!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Happy One Year!! You are blessed with an amazing little guy......I loved looking through these pics.....precious moments for sure!! What an incredible post......I am so glad you did not decide to shut down. I don't even remember how we found one another, but I am so glad that we did. I have learned so much from you and others that have already traveled to bring their little ones home. I hope you are by my side and there for me when my day comes.......I will be leaning on my BTDT friends for advice:)
Hugs.....I missed you last week!!

Lisa

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

Gail,

I admire how you have handled the ups and downs of you your first year with William with unconditional love. He is a lucky, lucky, boy to have such family.

I am thrilled for you as you celebrate this milestone.

Lea
xo

Ashley said...

Congratulations on Will's 1 year home! Your post was beautiful and thoughtful and I thank you for sharing so much of you and your family in your blog. Please don't shut it down.....your words and your photos are really touching and offer strength to me as I wait. Your encouraging words and your wisdom are truly a gift.
You are a beautiful person and a dear friend!

redmaryjanes said...

I love your post. Will is a beautiful child and I send a big Congratulations and much love to you on your first anniversary together as a forever family.
I believe that each child finds their perfect family. That is just way too important for God to leave to chance.
You are an amazing and inspiring friend.

Shawnstribe said...

What a beautiful heartfelt post.
I so hear your heart, blogging has been a lifeline in sooo many ways
xxx
s

suzanne said...

Wow the transformation over the last 12 months has been incredible and so nice to follow.

Hugs and congratulations to you all

Dita said...

Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary, Gail! I am so happy for all of you.

I know the road has not been easy but you have, indeed, taken the road less traveled and your beautiful son has grown in the glow of your incredible love.

Big hugs to all of you and a big smooch to that amazingly gorgeous bundle of energy you call William!

 
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