Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bringing Hannah Home

Our delivery room was a crowded, noisy airport terminal. It was dark, not nighttime dark...rather, lack of appropriate lighting dark and the cold from outside seeped through the open doorways. For a brief time, Emily hopped on and off the pad that opened the automatic door, playing, waiting. She held up the sign. For a long time, she held it high in the air, putting it down only to inquire if it was time yet.

We looked like any other family awaiting returning members; except, we were waiting to meet our newest member. Rob had already enjoyed her giggles and sweetness for about nine days and I was more than ready to catch up. Emily nervously paced and jumped, she was beyond excited for her daddy to be home and she found herself contemplative about her raven-haired counterpart, whom she would be welcoming.

And then, we saw them, quite a distance away, but close enough for us to lock eyes. My first thought was, "She is so tiny!" And they looked so incredibly great. We mark these anniversaries in celebration. A celebration of the gift God showered on our family. We do not take lightly the fact that Emily was a part of every aspect of the adoption. Her little signature accompanied ours on our Adoption Letter and was notarized and sealed for all time. Her joy and enthusiasm at the airport were contagious and really sweet. Her help with every moment of Hannah's transition was critical.

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Today was a wonderful day. Though the weather was cold for April, it reminds me of the day we brought Hannah home. Cold, damp, but simply perfect:) We went this morning to help dear friends and my parents. They run a mission and their goal this morning was Easter baskets and lots of them! The girls counted out jellybeans and carefully tucked them into eggs. They stuffed grass-filled baskets with toys and the sweet goodness of chocolate crosses. They watched their Nan wrap beautiful ribbons on the baskets knowing full-well their intent was not to receive rather to give back. And I thought about Hannah...our deepest desire to share our lives with yet another child. To give love away...the irony of parenthood. We want so badly to be "enough", to teach them well, to watch them emerge. And yes, that happens but somewhere along the way, we see love in a whole new light through the hearts of our children. And we are changed, forever.

The timid child who was placed in my arms two years ago today is a shadow of the child she has become. With her bossy, commanding presence and her smile bright with dimples (like her daddy), Hannah has rocked our world. She absolutely adores her Dora pillow and a popsicle before bed every night. She dresses herself and loves jewelry. She wants to do all things "Emily" and is convinced that she is one of the big girls:) She lets us know when we are going the wrong way and she offers hugs and kisses when we are hurt or sad. She competes with all of us to get her turn to pray and she tells anyone who will listen that, "She's got Jesus." She has plenty of moments that cause us to wonder if it is just her personality or is that truly a result of the first ten months of her life. Regardless, we don't care about the "whys" nearly as much as we care about the "nows". Now, she will know love, always and unconditionally. Now, she will have boundaries. Now, she will have her own things, but will learn how to give to others. Now, is the time to nurture her, enjoy her and giggle with her. Now, is the time to see the world through her heart.

So, though we choose to remember and to celebrate the specialness of those initial days, we forge ahead joyfully. We rejoice in who she is now, this moment... knowing that when we re-visit this time next year, there will be new things to capture the essence of Hannah.


Joy in The Truth said...

OK, you have me crying here! So beautiful! And the girls told me about wrapping basket with Nan! :)

Hannah, we're so glad you home!

Mistus Swoooaannn
Mista Swoooaannn

Kate said...

How I loved seeing these picutres and reading about these special day!!! I can't imagine the last few minutes of wait and how that must have been. Congratulations to you all!!

Lori said...

Hello Heather-whoo!!
I LOVE these pictures, they gave me goosebumps! I love the genuine smile on your hubby's face as he's heading your way. I love the "I'm gonna lose it" look on your face as you meet your baby girl for the first time. I love the Emily's tenderness as she sits next to her baby sister. :)
Such a beautiful family you have.
Have a blessed Easter!!

MacMui Mom said...

Tears of joy and happiness. Isn't April such a grand month? Next week it is our turn to celebrate our forever family day anniversary and I know I will have more tears. Thanks for your sweet posts! A very happy Easter to all of you. May you feel the Savior's love.

Lisa R

The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh I love this post...I felt like I was right there with you sweet friend. It is Easter weekend and I am reflecting on all that He has done for me and the way He has brought so many families together...amazing....just amazing.

Love you!

Debbie said...

How old was Hannah and how much did she weigh when she came home??

LaLa said...

What an amazing post!! She was beautiful then and now...and soooo LOVED!!

Hey girlie, don't know what is up with my haven't been in bold! Got some catching up to do : )

Beth said...

I remember this time in our lives so clearly! Little 'sassy' Hannah is such a precious blessing. Her smile is a complete reflection of the joy you're living. This was a beautiful post dear friend.

Amy said...

Happy Anniversary! We'll be hitting our 2 years very soon now.


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