Monday, February 13, 2012

2 Years Later

Today marks 2 years that our oldest adopted daughter has been home.   I still can’t get over how much has changed in only 2 years time.   I have to say it feels a lot longer than 2 years ago that we first met and I brought her home.   Life has been very full, exciting, challenging, and quite busy.  

I still can’t get over how different we both look!!!  This was our 4th day together in Ethiopia:

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This photo was taken when she just arrived home in Feb 2010…

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This was taken last year on her 1st Gotcha Day…

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The next series of photos were taken yesterday to make sure we didn’t miss her official special day.   She has been counting down to it for weeks.   Which is a blessing on so many levels.   Not only the outside has changed, but from the inside as well – day by day her heart grows to trust, soften, and let her guard down.   To us and the ONE who brought her here, God!   Major praise all around!

Lots of things are new too:   braces off, new glasses, and she has grown another 3”. 

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Adopting an older child has taught me so much about myself.   It has caused me to value the smallest achievements and bonding.   I have learned how to parent in ways I never thought I would be willing to even try.   I have learned that love is so much more than 3 words.  I have learned that God’s grace is more than enough and He will pour it out in abundance when I am about to sink and reach up for His hand.   I have learned that time does heal all wounds.   I have learned that the past DOES NOT define your present or future unless you let it.   I have learned that no matter how hard you think you have it, someone has/had it worse.   I have learned that some things will never change and learning to be OK with that fact, actually changes you being OK with what will remain the same.  I have learned that laughter is the best medicine.   I have learned that taking life one day at a time, is really the best way to live.   Tomorrow will be here soon enough, yesterday is gone, and today is all I got!   I have learned that when I want to give up hope, God will find a way to remind me, it is useless to hope in anything but Him.   I have learned that love truly covers a multitude of sins and casts out all fear.  

Because His love never fails.   God’s love softens the hardest of hearts and is able to change them one step of faith at a time.    I have learned more in two years than I have in almost 40+ years on this earth.    God used all that we endured for His glory and our good.   Not one moment was wasted, nothing escaped His hands, and all of it was perfectly timed, in His perfect ways.   I don’t think I would ever volunteer my heart for this journey knowing what I know now.   But I know now, that I would never be the woman I am if it were not for my willingness to say, “YES, GOD!” even when it made absolutely no sense to anyone around me.   Nor does it make sense today when I try to go over in my mind the road that led me here right now.   But that is the beauty of who our God is – He took me where I never imagined I would go, or agree to, so that I could see even in the darkest of days, His light would never burn out, and He would never give up on me.    That is the God, I have come to know in the last two years.  

It might be worth your while to get to know Him too.   You will be surprised where He leads you…because He has a good plan for your life.   A plan so much greater than yours will ever be.   The question is:

Do you trust God enough, to say, “YES, LORD…lead and I will follow.”?

I am not sure what the weather is like around you, but when we went outside for our very QUICK photo session, it was 22 degrees!!!!   That my friends is what I call “polar bear weather”.  I for one am NOT a polar bear.   Brrrrrrrr!   This is what I looked like going outside.  HA!

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