Sunday, November 7, 2010

National Adoption Month - Grace

Grace reflection 13mos
(Captured that first week we were home).


'If I keep a green bough in my heart,
then the singing bird will come.'
~ Chinese proverb


Grace post


Looking back on those first 2 years with her, it's really kind of a blur.
Thankfully I took many pictures.
 And it's those pictures and a small journal I kept of that first year that have helped me to remember.
Grace transitioned easily into our family life and attached to both Dan and I very well.
She was a happy baby who laughed easily and often.
Shy with strangers, she stuck to me like glue (which was just fine with me).

grace smile walk
(She was walking for the first time here at 14 mos. old...and so proud of herself).


Dan and I were absolutely giddy with joy that first year,
at times it was hard to believe she was ours and finally here.
That year came with challenges as far as many health issues for Grace,
she was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease within the first week of our coming home.
We became 'regulars' at our pediatricians office,
being seen for her chronic ear infections and getting sick from many upper respiratory infections
that settled in her lungs.
By age 2, suddenly it all disappeared.
And Grace was healthy.

Grace post1


So many firsts...first Christmas, Easter, Birthday celebration and milestones.
We got to see her first steps, and she didn't walk for long...she ran!
We had to teach her how to give a kiss.
The first time she spontaneously gave me one...my heart melted.


Grace post2


Grace was diagnosed at age 2 and a half with a profound speech delay.
I had noticed something wasn't quite right and had her screened
by the state's Birth to 3 program.
She started speech therapy immediately
 and still gets speech through our school district now at age 8.

She's about ready to graduate, and the gains she has made are nothing short of spectacular.


mollygrace
(Grace dearly loves our black lab Molly and the feeling is reciprocal).


Grace has been with our family over 7 years.
How do you summarize this little girl from possibly thousands of pictures
 that we have?
I tried to choose ones that showed her personality
and some that have never been on my blog.

The years have literally flown by.

Grace post4


I would describe her as an easy child,
happy, funny, creative, loving and giving.
She's a wonderful big sister to William and loves him dearly.
Grace's teachers have described her as 'delightful.'


Grace post5


Within the China adoption community is something called the 'Red Thread.'
Many times parents notice one when they receive their child's referral.
It is perhaps a date, a name or something that connects the child to you or your family.
I never saw much of a red thread with Grace.
I mean, I fell in love with her the moment I saw those first pictures.
She has the full mouth of my father's family.
But I didn't see a red thread.

We gave Grace her name because it was by the "grace" of God that we got her. 
We chose the name years before we met this little girl.
 As she grew we saw that her name was perfect and completely her. 
A child so peaceful, kind and only sees the good in others.
  A couple of weeks ago my husband started reciting a very old nursery rhyme ..."Mondays child is fair of face, Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe, Thursdays child has far to go,"
and so on.

Out of my own curiosity, I googled her birth date (August 6, 2002)
and looked up the calendar for August 2002.

Grace was born on a Tuesday.
The same day as that nursery rhyme described, "Tuesdays child is full of grace."
You see I'm a believer in fate and destiny.
And I believe that this was our little wink from God validating that she was the child
we were supposed to have.
Sometimes it might take a while to find your red thread.

(Taken this Summer, our sweet Gracie)portrait summer WM

Next I'll write about William. :)

18 kind words:

Debbie said...

Such a heartwarming story and such beautiful pictures, the ones you picked were perfect. Hope you don't mind I shared your link on my facebook page.

Missy said...

I just love looking down memory lane!!! Grace was and is such a beautiful little girl. She has the sweetest smile and disposition. There is no doubt in my mind that God gave you the child that was truly meant to be. Love this post!

Marla said...

Beautiful post Gail! Love seeing all the pics of Grace from when she was tiny, what a cutie pie. Love the red thread story!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What a beautifully written post Gail!! I loved looking at all the photos of Grace through the years. So precious. I look forward to more of your adoption themed posts~

enjoy your weekend~

xoxo,

Lisa

Jill said...

BEAUTIFUL Gail! Just beautiful! I loved looking at the blast from the past. Touching!

Kim said...

LOVE this post..
you are an AMAZING family and I love how you capture the love and grace of the kids..
love you and you know you keep me going ..
hugz...

Ellie said...

What a perfect red thread! I loved reading about your grace and seeing these photos.

I might copy you for this month! Great idea!

Love Letters To China said...

Gail what a wonderful post! I love looking back and seeing Grace as a baby growing into a young girl.

Love the red thread story. Can't wait to read/see your next post on Will.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. This time change really wrecks havoc on us all until we get adjusted. We'll have to chat soon.

Hugs...
Grace

p.s. Love her name too! ;-)

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

It seems that your family and Grace where meant to be. I love your story Gail. It gives me such hope!

Lea
xo

Chasing Dreams Photography said...

What a well written post Gail : ) I love the pictures...so sweet. They grow up so fast and the years go by way way way too fast!!!!!
Happy Anniversary too!

Kayce said...

Beautiful, beautiful post Gail. God blessed you and your husband with His Grace and that is your red thread. :) Thank you for sharing your stories of adoption with all of us!

Jboo said...

What a sweetheart! That brought tears to my eyes! The years are flying by, aren't they! You are so blessed!

Janet

a Tonggu Momma said...

Absolutely beautiful. And I can't wait to see your post about Will.

Dita said...

OH, makes me smile so sweetly to see this beautiful girl as a baby...when she first came home to you.

How miraculous that you could capture so many FIRSTS with your girl. Full of Grace? Oh, yes....her grace shines so brightly even all these miles away!

Beautiful post!

Faith Hope Love Photography said...

She is just gorgeous...I love the history and the lovely writing you added. So glad there are great people out there like you who can spread the wonderful word of adoption!!

Wanda said...

Beautiful post Gail. Such a loving recall of one of the most meaningful stages in your life. I hadn't seen these early pictures of Grace so I so enjoyed that little trip down memory lane.

Love the "Grace" story. So true!!!

Have a great week. Can't wait for Will's turn!!
xoxo

Robin said...

What a beautiful post Gail! Loved the look back and all the pictures of Grace growing up. The red thread story brought tears to my eyes.

Laura L. said...

Such a precious girl, and a wonderful post. She was an adorable baby and still so classically pretty. :) (If that makes sense)
I'm so glad she's yours.

 
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