Sunday, January 19, 2014

A short video from the past...

Winnie set her alarm for 6:30am so we would have plenty of time to look at old pictures before church this morning.  We watched a short video, taken a month or two after she had come home.  It was so hard to believe, I have to post it!

Next is a picture of her taken this month.  A young lady who thoroughly enjoyed getting her hair done, eating Indian food, and playing Uno on this frosty January Gotcha day.

                                               (Photo by Fleur de Leigh photography)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Goal Accomplished.

The past bothered me.  This little girl, holding a ball, wearing a red shirt and a smile, "where did she come from?  how long had she been in the orphanage?  What was her story?"
I couldn't get her off my mind nearly 5 years ago.  She haunted me, following my path to work and around our home.  I prayed for a family that would be her's forever.  I asked God for health and protection as she waited for that perfect family.  I wanted her to find a forever home.

He answered my prayers 4 years ago today.  The three of us walked hand in hand out of her orphanage forever.  Although she was mine, and I was hers, I wondered how time would treat us.   I often looked forward to the time when I could declare that she had been with me longer than any nanny, relative or orphanage.  Wouldn't that be something?  It would feel like permanence.  

Today, my dear Winnie is ours more than ever!  She is somewhat "in charge" at our house!  She loves to organize.  She is learning to play the violin with her daddy.  She's rockin' third grade, just like I had dreamed she would 4 years ago!  Her heart is BIG and kind and  expanding.  She is dressing like Anne Frank for character day next week because she never wants to forget the way that others have been mistreated.  She loves to write in diaries, just like Anne.  Her brother is her biggest fan, wondering if it is possible to marry her some day.  She loves injera and tibs, our Ethiopian community, and her heritage.  Today, we made a cake with a BIG "4 "on it, celebrating our life together these past 4 years.  She shared her "story" of gotcha day with friends this week.  She explained that this time 4 years ago she couldn't wait any longer.  She ditched the other kids in line to see their parents and ran out to her family.  She met us and "walked away, ready to fly on that big plan and find socks and underwear in her new room!"

I look back on our lives thus far, and I am nothing short of amazed.  The little girl with a ball in her hand has been a gift.  She has taught me sacrifice, joy, commitment and hope for the future.  I guess that many who know our story have been changed by this girl too!

Celebrating today!  I couldn't be happier 4 years later!