On July 13 2008 at 4:48pm in Nanchang, China, a sweaty screaming child was placed in my arms. It was nothing like I had dreamed so many times leading up to this very special day.
With Shannon videotaping and taking pictures, these first few moments as a family were unexplainable. Scared, terrified, unsure... these all come to mind for me and I am sure if she could tell you how she felt back then it would have been much the same. But in the months and years to come she has blossomed into this creature that does not share our DNA but is most assuredly our daughter. She is a spit-fire for sure but in the snap of a finger she can morph into this nurturing soul that is wise beyond her years. There is a story in her eyes. A story of new beginnings, a story of brokeness and healing, a story of trust and love. She is her daddy's little girl for sure. She has him so tightly wrapped around her finger yet leads him gently to where he must go. She is her brother's keeper without a doubt. They can argue and raise the roof like the best of them. More that one time I have had to pull her off of him. But at the end of the day you better be sure they are on the same team and ready to conquer all that wish to seperate. They are best friends and I have seen a rowdy stinky sweaty 8 year old become a gentle giant.
She has turned this mother's heart into a ball of emotions. Oh, how I prayed for this child when she was not with us. How I pleaded with God to please take care of her until we could get her. She means so much to me, that little girl. I am reminded daily as she splashes in the "tubby" with her bubbles and barbies and toys that I did not give birth to her. It's the bellybutton. The connection to her birthmother that is a gentle reminder each time I scrub her from head to toe. I cannot help but think of that woman today as I remember our first moments with Norah. I wonder if her mother knew, if she felt in her heart that her daughter was gone. That she had another mother holding her so tight and kissing her face.
I am so thankful for Norah. For what she brought to our family and for the laughter she provides. She is a funny girl with a sweet sweet smile.
Happy Family Day, T. We love you to the moon and back. You will always be our princess.
Mani-Pedi courtesy of... Elias :)