Monday, September 9, 2013

11 months....1 more month to "gotcha day"!

Joy has been home with us for 11 months now and it has been an incredible journey so far. I have to say these past several weeks have been the most rewarding. Joy has just blossomed and she is so happy these days. She seems to have found her place in our family and be very settled. One of the ladies at church told me on Sunday that she was amazed at the changes in Joy. She told me it made her smile how Joy just "glows" with happiness now. She is not the same scared little girl we brought home almost a year ago and she is living up to her name! Joy is still struggling with school and learning how to read and do math, but I am confident we will be able to help her in these areas with time.

One of the things I love about Joy is her sense of humor. She constantly has us laughing and the whole family likes to quote her funny sayings! The more she learns to say things, the more her sense of humor comes out.  At night when I tuck Joy in, I often encourage her to do her best at school the next day.  Last night after our prayers, she took my chin in her hand and turned my face to her and said, "Look at me, Mom! Now you do your very best at work tomorrow!"  She also had a very funny prayer last night. She prayed that she would get shampoo and make up for her birthday!

I can hardly believe she has been home almost a whole year! In just a couple weeks we will celebrate Joy's first birthday with us as a family.  She will turn 8. Last year at this time, we were anxiously awaiting to receive word of our travel approval and we were so disappointed to have missed her birthday. I think God knew that she needed one more birthday with her "family" at the orphanage who loved and cared for her so much. They had a birthday party for her on her birthday every year. I am so thankful Joy was in a wonderful orphanage where she was so loved. It truly has helped her become the amazing little girl she is today and we are so blessed God put her in our family!

Those of you wondering if you can adopt an older child, I want to encourage you. It is not always easy. There can be many challenges; however, there are so many blessings! If God is speaking to you about adopting an older child or a child who is waiting and longing for a home, please listen to His voice. You will be so glad you did! I don't want to sugarcoat things. There will be difficulties. There will be days you will wonder what you are doing.  There may be days you want to quit. Following Christ isn't always easy, but there are always great rewards when you obey the voice of the Father. I am so glad we took the step of faith to adopt our little girl. I cannot imagine our family without her!

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