Friday, August 7, 2015

Celebrating Twelve!


  I cannot believe we have a 12 year old!  She was only ten when we met her, turned 11 a couple weeks later, and now is already 12...crazy!  We've gone through so many stages in these past (almost) eleven months home together that it truly feels like years rather than months.  She has grown up so very much in so many ways, and we are so proud of her.  I think I was equally as excited as she was about this birthday....so eager to give her the special day of her dreams.  


She was the first one up that day....I wonder why ; )  When I came downstairs, she kept trying to help....make breakfast....do the dishes...and I kept stopping her.  Nope, no working...I'm serving you today.  She'd just beam at me.  She finally found a way around it and held her crying sister, putting her to sleep soon after.  When everyone was finally awake, we gave her her presents...she carefully opened each one and read the cards purposefully...savoring everything.  


                                  And she wasted no time in trying out one of her gifts!


                                     And of course then helped her little brother give it a try...


           Since it was so hot, we took the kids for a swim - one of Keira's all time favorite things to do.  And to her surprise there were flippers waiting for her to try...so fun!  We enjoyed some family time together, watching each of their tricks and new found capabilities.....

       
                        All decked out in her birthday shirt, admiring some of her gifts  :)


          It just so happened that some of her favorite people arrived on her birthday to visit...so we all went to the mall together to get her ears pierced (something we'd talked about doing on her 12th birthday from early on) and the dinner of her choice....



And a ride on the carousel...why not?!


            It was a fun day....I think one that she will remember forever.  She reveled in the special attention, surprises and events of the day.  And though she was sad to see it end, she knew there was one more special day to come.....

   
    Her birthday was during the week, so we had her party the following Saturday.  We rented a field at a local park along with a bouncy house to make it extra special....a first birthday party at age 12 requires special treatment :)  And in case you have somehow not been told, her favorite color is yellow, and she loves elephants...hence the yellow everything with some elephants thrown in here and there!


It was such a whirlwind, I didn't have the opportunity to take any great photos...but I don't doubt that the memories will be etched in our minds forever...there are some things you just can't forget....


So many friends and family came....showering her with love, attention, cards and gifts....reminders of how special she is...how loved.....


She pretty much beamed like this the entire time.....


I'd say it was a success :)  I just kept thinking of the many conversations we'd had about friends....the hardest change for her was leaving her closest friends who meant everything to her.  And she struggled with not having those close relationships here....and seemed to doubt that she ever would.  Time, I'd remind her...it takes time.....but here we are only ten months later, and she already has some wonderful close friends.  Friends who came and showed her that she is loved and cared for.....that those relationships are possible again.....


               And as the day came to a close, we headed home and she tried out her new gifts....sad to see it all end, but so overflowing from the love showered on her.


Thank you so much to everyone who made this day so special....we couldn't have done it without all of you!


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Twelve year photos by the water.....











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      I posted just recently about Keira's best friend in Ukraine....who we have been praying for daily..that a family would adopt her.  It's been on my heart to advocate for her more intensely, to fundraise and to see her home.  Some have inquired about her and in the meantime we received some information.  She is currently in a foster home in Ukraine, which makes her ineligible for adoption.  While I really cannot judge this situation, our prayer will continue to be for a forever family.  I know it seems impossible right now, but I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that with God anything is possible and that he loves that little girl more than we could possibly fathom.  And so, if you would...I would ask that you pray with us.....that she is safe and loved and that she would have a forever family however that may look and wherever it may be.  

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