Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thankful Thursday - A Year Ago Today

One year ago today, seven families changed. Seven beautiful Asian born children boarded a plane with their mommies and daddies set out to arrive HOME, in every sense of the word. Our daughter was one of them.

I slept in Hannah's bedroom this night last year. I am not so sure I even slept 20 minutes that night. I was anxious, eager, antsy and overjoyed that the daughter we had dreamed of would finally be home with us. That night, a year ago, her room, it was quiet, painfully so. And tonight as I listen to her humming "Jesus Loves Me" as she drifts off into dreamland, I can't help but think, "Oh yes, Hannah, He certainly does." Nothing else, no one else, nothing could ever design anything so perfect as a family, the way Jesus can.

When Emily was born, she joined our life, our family; I thought perhaps I might just burst with joy. So much so, that we looked forward to when three would be four and maybe even more. When we made the choice to adopt Emily's sister, we talked with her about it. She signed the dossier and her little signature was notarized and embossed. She was as much welcoming our baby into our family as we were. Her only request, that the baby not slobber on her things. The same evening Hannah arrived home, she was playing with a toy and of course, straight to the mouth, to which Emily assured me, "It's okay, Mommy - it's okay." It didn't even take one day. They have evolved over this year, but I assure you, they knew they were sisters, meant to be together.

From the tentative child who slapped my face away at every kiss to the tender, warm child Hannah is today, I am so thankful for the ways God has moved us, challenged us, stood by us and been faithful to our family.

Home just three days, Hannah Easter morning

During the first week

I have no eloquent words or particularly poignant message on this very special day for our family. But, I believe the beauty in any circumstance is the way it is lived every single day. And we live out the love that was intended when we care for each other and rejoice in the family we have been blessed with. It would be so hard to present in one post all the emotions, sights, sensations and feelings that encapsulate one of the greatest days in the history of our family. I do recall the look on my husband's face when he came down the ramp to us. Humble in nature and never proud, Rob beamed. A new confidence, a pride that is not prideful but just plain grateful when mommies and daddies are made. I have never loved him more than I did at that very moment.

Thursday, April 4, 2007...the airport was crowded, noisy, cold. I never noticed any of those things, neither did Emily (though others have told us it's true;). Our baby was home for good, our family was made complete, we were in love and that's all that mattered.


sheryl said...

Oh Heather,
Happy Hannah Day!!! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and eloquent post. It truly is the most amazing thing the way our families have been created. But nobody can capture the emotions and the glory the way you do! You never fail to touch my heart and today, well, I need a tissue. :D Have a wonderful, blessed day!

Much Love,

redmaryjanes said...

Well, I guess starting my Friday off in tears is a good thing. I love your post and I just can't stop crying. Beautiful.

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

Dear Heather,

I woke up this morning thinking it is Hannah's Forever Family Day. I like that Lindy and Hannah share that in common...

Heather, I love your honesty and candor. It is beautiful and part of what makes you the amazing person you are in my eyes. I can't even begin to imagine the anticipation you must have had on 4/3 and while you waited on 4/4. The pictures are beautiful and capture the joy and excitement in such an authentic way.

I am so thankful God chose sweet Hannah for your family and all the memories you've created as a family this past year. I look forward to watching another year with your ladybugs.

Love you friend,

Kimber said...

Oh Heather---that is very poignant. You underestimate the elegance and beauty of your heart that seeps into every single post. I love seeing the slideshow (not sure I have seen all fo these before). The joy and emotion in every photograph is so beautiful. Coingratualtions to your family on this most special day. I cannot wait to hug you in person in a week and to your beautfiul family of four!


Kate is not letting me post today...fever, pink goopy eye, cough and non stop clinginess:) Oh well soon. I just had to come congratulate you and Lisa though:)

DiJo said...

Oh, I love traveling back to this blessed day with you!!!!! Your words are so beautiful, just like their author and just like the precious daughter you are rejoicing over! It warms my heart to see how the relationship between Hannah and Emily has grown over time. Thank you for letting me be a part of this memory for you!! And, thanks for the precious messege about the headband!!! Ruby said thanks for the compliment!!:)
Happy Anniversary to your very special family!

Lori said...

Heather, what a beautifully written post about your very special day and my heart is just bursting with emotion~ which all started when I read that "Emily went first"~ that you allowed your daughter to meet her sister before you, knowing that you have waited your whole life for this special moment! Then the look of pure gratitude toward your husband, the pride of Emily holding the beautiful sign for her sister, the sweet angel face of little's all a beautiful, beautiful story and what a beautiful family you are. :)
Congratulations on one year!!

mommy24treasures said...

Heather, You are so gifted in your writings. I just love to come read the words that you so magically write. They are filled with such love and meaning.
Your family is beautiful. Happy forever family day.

Kelley said...

That was so beautiful...I am so happy for you all!!! Happy, happy forever family day! (Emily is such a wonderful big sister; I just love reading about how much she cares for Hannah!)

Anonymous said...


You have me crying like a little child over here! Oh my. Beautiful pictures. Beautful words. Beautiful moments. All from our Beautiful God! So touching. Thanks for posting that and as always your words to my blog. I am thankful for you!

your dtc friend


oh the day our children enter our lives are days etched into our hearts ... what a sweet post and I love the pictures ... i can't wait to read your story and don't worry you have plenty of time (and if you need more than 1000 words go for it) ... thanks sweet friend for sharing ... every story I read changes me in a small way and makes me a better person !!

Sharon Sloan said...

Heather: Your beautiful blog always makes me feel peaceful and joyful! God has given you a gift. Your softness and love is so evident as you write so tenderly about your beautiful family from God. It really is a joy to read about all God has done and is doing in the Beals Family! To His glory!
Squeezes and hugs,

Linette said...

Heather, this is just beautiful. Happy forever family day!! I need a Kleenex now. :)

Jake and Taryn said...

What a beautiful day for your family! I just LOVE seeing all the wonderful pictures of the girls together...those are priceless memories! I also LOVED the slide show! You have such a beautiful family.

Three P's in a Pod said...

Oh Heather...I just found your bog and got chills reading your post and remembering the events of this time last year. What a precious blessing your girls are and what a wonderful family you make! I am so honored to know you and have shared in a tiny bit of your journey.

I hope to keep in touch better now.
Happy Family Day!!


Denise C said...

OH sweet Heather! I am sitting her just weeping with joy for your precious forever family! What a very blessed day....what a very blessed family...What an awesome GOD!
Love to all of you!

Anonymous said...
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prechrswife said...

Another precious post...Thanks for sharing your memories.

Kristy said...

Beautifully said!!!

Angie said...

Oh Heather! I cried last year when I was following your journey on Adoption Voyages and I didn't do any better today even though I already knew what was coming! :)
What a beautiful story about a precious little girl and her forever family. I am so happy that I was able to follow your journey then and relive it now with you. You are truly a blessing to all of us still waiting. Thank you for sharing with us and giving us hope.

Dawn said...


Many Congratulations on your Sweet Hannah Day. I love the picture of you thanking your husband...what a blessing he is. I love every single post...your words always touch my heart.

Leslie said...

Oh what a beautiful Forever Family Day! I love seeing how it all unfolded! Rob looked so proud of his new daughter and happy to be reunited with you and Emily! Thank you for sharing these precious images with us! Sniff, Sniff!! I loved how you let Emily sign the dossier, what a wonderful way to include her!

Danielle said...

LOVE this post! I know I'm a little late here, but congratulations on one year with your sweet Hannah.

Love that Em was ok with Hannah drooling all over her toys. What a wonderful big sister.

Happy one year with Hannah! I wish you all a lifetime of happiness together.




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