Thursday, May 21, 2009

One Year

We officially started our adoption process July 2005. Unofficially we had begun long before we were married. The idea of providing a home for a child in need of one was something that I had harbored, nurtured for a long time. Of course, perspectives change. I realized that I wouldn't be coming to the aid of a needy child, so much as that child would be a gift of joy for our family. We would be the lucky ones! The summer of 2005 we began our process to bring Kate home and filed an application with Children's Hope International. At the time it should have only taken about 8 months from log in date to referral. Well, we all know that that time frame changed. If we hadn't seen Kate and been selected to review her file (in January 2008) and ultimately decided that she was the one our family needed, we'd still be waiting. I read today that they are matched up to March 14, 2006. Our log in date was March 29, 2006. Close, but still not there.

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Kate's arrival in the States. One year that she has been on US soil. With completely foreign sounds, sights and smells. One year that she has had to deal with the grief of leaving everything familiar. Any hope that she may have had of her biological family finding her, bringing her home. I'd be lying if I said it's been a breeze. There were a few times the first couple of weeks home that I sat in the bathroom crying, incredulous that I had actually wanted to do this.

But then I would consider the fact that no matter how stricken I felt, her anxiety had to be off the charts worse than mine. And unlike us, she only learned about her new family the day before she met us (this she shared with me a few weeks ago). And I think she was pretty much content at her "house in China" (which is what she calls the orpanage).

Today, a year later, she is a happy girl. She loves High School Musical. She loves elephants. She loves pizza, but hates cheese :). She loves dresses, especially pink ones. She loves to ride her bike and hunt for bugs. She loves to draw.

And she loves us. And we love her. And we cannot imagine what it was like without her, just over a year ago.