Goodness, but it's been a while......
Today (now yesterday) we celebrated our precious Elisabeth LiMeng's 1st Forever Family Day! And my, has she blossomed!
In Dec., as we were celebrating the birth of our Savior, it dawned on me in a whole new way that Jesus, the very God of the universe, came down to this earth as a baby, born into a FAMILY. Of course the Christmas story is not new to me, but for whatever reason, it fully hit me THIS Christmas in a new and fresh way, the value that God places on the FAMILY, and I've been pondering this ever since. Of all the ways He could have chosen to come to earth, He came into a FAMILY. It is God's perfect design for children to be born into and raised in the family. A family that includes human parents, who are not perfect. Yet this is how God has planned for things to be.
We have seen the effects on our Ellie of what happens when a child is institutionalized. Ellie's time in China was not easy on her.
We know from a visiting mission team that Ellie spent much of her day sitting by herself. Never smiling. Very afraid of strangers and not wanting to interact. It was the goal of one of the young women on the mission team to "get a smile out of her" before their week ended. At 21 months, Ellie spoke no words in Mandarin. We saw her cry (scream actually) and push her nannies away from her on our orphanage visit, just 3 short days after we had received her. We saw her head droop down and her entire demeanor change when we visited the little room that had been her home for her first 21 months. We saw firsthand the devastating effect that life in an institution had on our daughter, even though she had been there for less than 2 years. And even though her orphanage was a "good" Half the Sky orphanage.
|Gotcha Day~ 2012|
Yet, our God is faithful, and despite this less than desirable start, He has painted a beautiful picture of redemption in the heart of our baby girl during this year. And although it is an ongoing process, we have seen HUGE changes in Ellie this year, for which we give God all praise and glory.
THIS is why God sets the lonely in families. And THIS is why every child NEEDS a family.
Happy 1st Forever Family Day, Elisabeth LiMeng. You are SO very loved.
Please check our travel website to see our final update post there as well.