September 14, 2008

6 Month Josie Anniversary

As of September 16th, we've been a family of four for 6 WHOLE months! In honor of our special day, I had Josie put on the original outfit that she wore on the day she was brought to our hotel room in Nanchang so that I could take some comparison pictures.

Please note that my husband is the author behind this post. It's brilliant and so heart-felt.

It’s funny how time fixes things, changes perspectives, shapes our beliefs, and eases pain. What seems like days was the last six months of our lives with you Josie. It hardly makes sense that Emma can love you, that Mommy can love you, and that I can love you so madly in such a short bit of time, but we do. We had been blessed for 10 wonderful years with your big sister Emma. You know all about Emma by now. Her contagious laugh, her beautiful smile and piercing green eyes, her goofy wit, her towns and villages strewn across every flat surface in our house, her fierce loyalty of you, and her lasting warm hugs. Yep, she loves you. She is happy to have you here; happy to have someone to boss around a bit, to complain about a bit, to get irritated by a bit, to try and keep out of her bedroom a bit, to love only like a big sister can. Yep, she’s happy, adjusting, but happy.

In so many ways, you are not the girl we met six months ago in our hotel room. Your language acquisition has been nothing short of amazing. Emma has truly been a gift in helping you along this path. Watching Emma teach you letters and numbers on our chalk board while you sit in your highchair has been a great delight. You are so eager to please and practice and laugh with her. I simply melt watching you both behave in ways that sisters do. You’ve warmed to all of us, feel safe with all of us, love all of us. That scared little peanut in China, especially around Daddy, is no more.

You navigate our house with poise and precision. You tactfully dismantle the child safety lock on the food cupboard and delve into your favorite snacks like a seasoned burglar. Fearless, you chase Kitty around the house, attempting to pull her tail while throwing fake mice at her, Mommy close behind hoping Kitty doesn’t get you first. You are always on Emma’s heels just waiting for instructions for the next adventure. You are here and behave in ways like you have always been here. And maybe in some ways you have. For two years we waited to find you, to see you, to meet you, and to love you. Check, check, check, and CHECK!

Early on, I wondered about your heart and being able to fix you and all the stress everyone would endure to make that a reality. And then I worried about the stigma of an extra thumb and what that could mean. Would it get in the way of dressing you, of you eating, of playing with other kids, of anything? Nope. Six months later and I don’t even see your extra thumb. I barely even notice the scar on your chest. All I see is you radiating from morning wakeup till “nigh nigh” on your “pillbow”. You are simply and unequivocally our little girl and sister who in so many ways has been here for a long, long time.

Welcome home Josie…


Crazy Mama said...

OMG!! Tears, tears, and more tears!! I know I am not supposed to say that she is a lucky little girl, but she is. Any child that is loved and adored as Josie and Emma are indeed LUCKY!
God has truly blessed the Kenward family!
I can't believe what a difference 6 months can make. Look at Josie's beautiful face!! Happy, very happy 6 months forever family day!
Love you guys!

Tammy said...

What a beautiful, touching post. The difference in Josie's photos is amazing! A very happy 6 month anniversary to all of you!


Oatsvall Team said...

well the light in her eyes now is obvious ... it is the love of family, it is the love of a sibling, it is the love that only Christ can give your heart when you know you are home! ... Happy 6 months Josie !!!

Steffie B. said...

Oh how I have tears in my eyes as I remember how much you struggled to find your precious girl and here she is....her outfit in China was stunning....this is a beautiful heartfelt post know that I am so happy for all of you....she is your special gift form afar....a gift from God....chosen just for you! ;)

Nikki said...

How beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
The pictures are amazing! In 6 months she's grown SO MUCH!! Wow.
Congratulations Kenwards.

Nicole said...

Beautifully written... it's just so amazing how quickly these precious children change. What a blessing you all are to each other!

much love,

The Young's said...

What an absolutely beautiful post!!Wow...Chris did amazing! Did Josie remember the clothes when you brought them out? I've often wondered if Sadie would or not. We've kept hers put away. Before you know's going to be a whole year. It is so hard to believe so much time has passed, isn't it? It's hard to even imagine life without them!!! Josie has just grown and blossomed into a joyful...radiant little girl!! You can tell she is so very happy!!! I'm thrilled for you guys!!!! Thanks for sharing that wonderful post!!!
Love you guys.

Kay Bratt said...

That is such a great post! I love to see when Daddies contribute....

You all are so lucky to have Josie and she is blessed to have you!


Caroline said...

What sweet and wonderful words! What a blessed and beautiful family. Thanks be to God for bringing you all together. It is so touching to connect with the love you give each other. Happy Six Month, Josie! With love, The Schaefer Family

Angela said...

Beautiful. It is awesome to see the bond that has formed and the health progress made. But it is truely amazing to see the personalities emerge, and blossom. Cheers to many more six months going forward.

Cindy said...

WOW! Six months already. The struggle is all too worth it.
I can't believe that Josie's outfit from China fits her. They must run big:)
Happy 6 months to your forever family.

Special K said...

Congratulations on reaching the 6 month mark. I have tears in my eyes reading your post. The feelings of love are so incredible for this little person you only met 6 months ago. Can you imagine the love you'll feel in 6 years?

Mike and Barb said...

Oh, wow, I have read this but not commented yet - must be my jetlag fog that is especially thick today *yuck*
Anyway, congratulations, Kenward family! You are one special family, that's for sure!! No wonder your daughters grow and blossom so much in your house!
Love, Barb

redmaryjanes said...

Congratulations on 6 wonderful months together. Your Josie is beautiful and I am so happy for you all. Thank you for your e-mail. I appreciate it more than I can say. I am always in awe of how people reach out to help and encourage each other.

Sherri & Todd said...

I just viewed your Gotta Day video and put me in tears. What a beautiful day that was, thanks so much for sharing. Josie is just beautiful in every way.
LID 08-08-06

Jill said...

Happy 6 month gotcha day! Josie looks amazing!!

Blessed Mom of Four, Now Five said...

Oh my Goodness, How Beautiful!