We had horrible, monsoon-like weather today and it was pouring rain all day long, so most of the day was spent indoors. (Well, I was at school.) AnnaClaire, Kate, and Mom spent their morning at the mall. In celebration of two years with our sweet AnnaClaire, we continued our tradition of going to PF Changs, watching AnnaClaire's gotcha video, and giving her one of the 18 gotcha presents (this year, she opened a cute little pink panda bag!) that we got in China. On the way to PF Changs, AnnaClaire looked out the window and spotted the moon. She pointed and said, "Sissy, do you see that moon? God made that moon!" I smiled to myself as I answered, "You are right, God DID make that moon!" Later tonight, I was thinking how about 2 years ago today and what an AMAZING day it was. My life changed forever that day, 2 years ago. God made YOU, AnnaClaire! He made YOU 37.5 months ago! He made you and had perfect plans for your life! He knew that you would be brought to Chenzhou SWI in Hunan, China. He knew that our family was waiting, longing, and aching for you. He knew it all and he planned the perfect time for you to become a special part of our family! That day was December 11, 2006. He knew that you would be 13.5 months old when you were placed in the arms of your forever family! It was a day we had been longing for for months and months. We had been praying for you and aching for you and that day was FINALLY here! We woke up that morning and ate our last breakfast without you. We spent most of the day in deep anticipation for our guide, Amy, to pick us up from the hotel at 3:00. I don't know how we lasted that long, but finally Amy came. We got some papers ready and rode through Changsha to the Civil Affairs office there. Amy pointed out the window were we would meet you. We wondered if you were there yet! We walked in and there were lots of babies, but not you! 15ish minutes later, we heard a SCREAMING baby get off of an elevator. Mom and I looked at eachother saying, "I bet it's AnnaClaire!" A nanny walked in holding the most beautiful baby ever. We reconized you right away... those beautiful eyes, that sweet nose... We had to wait a little longer before your nanny finally placed you in the arms of Mommy. You SCREAMED. You cried out, "buuuuuuuuuuu" which means "no" in Chinese. You looked all around, reaching for your nanny and screaming. You were not very happy to be placed in your Mommy's arms. I don't blame you, precious girl. Your life changed FOREVER at that moment in time. You were 13 months old and you were afraid. We all just looked at you and let you cry it out for the longest time. Finally, you calmed down a little and once Dad and Amy were done with paperwork, we headed back to the hotel. It took you a little while to calm down again, but after a bath (which made you a little uncertain), and getting your hair brushed (with that beloved ladybug brush!), you were happy. Around dinner time, you were all smiles. What a smiley baby you were. You just smiled, giggled, and teased us all night long (well until we finally decided it had been a long day and we had been selfish enough keeping you up this long... and you slept all night long!). The day we had longed for had come and you were just as perfect aws we ever could have imagined. I will NEVER forget that day. Watching your "gotcha" video made all of those moments come back to life. I had forgotten how MAD you was coming to us! Yet, I had also forgotten what an extremely happy baby you were that night. You had the best giggle and smile and SQUEAL. You are so much the same as you were on that amazing day. Minus the screaming, you are still such a happy girl. You squeal and have the most beautiful laugh. Your precious face is also exactly the same... just older. So today, as we celebrate your Forever Family Day, I want you to know how much you are LOVED. How we longed and ached for you and how that day finally came on December 11, 2006. I want you to know that you are such a JOY to me and have been since that day, 2 years ago today. I want you to know that you are so incredibly special! I love you more than words can ever explain and I am so thankful for every minute of these two years that you have been a part of our family!
So today we celebrated. We celebrated YOU and what a perfect addition you have been to our family. Today was all abut YOU and how amazing these past two years have been. You were so good posing for lots of pictures for Sissy. You LOVED eating at PF Changs. You ate your rice like a pro with chopsticks and loved slurping your noodles. The highlight of the meal was the Great Wall of Chocolate (and getting to blow our TWO candles, in celebration of TWO years as a forever family!), which you had been anticipating all day! It lived up to it's description, although I had to laugh when you ate every morsal of the fruit that comes with the cake, yet still has some cake left! You loved going to look at the big Christmas tree by the restaurant and posed so nicely for pictures. You loved walking hand in hand with your little sister, talking to her the whole way. You loved coming home and opening a special surprise that was just for you. You loved watching a video all about you, reliving those first precious moments that we spent with you. You were so sweet to Kate and let her hold the new purse that you got. You loved every little moment of your special day. You always do... always love the little things in life and appreciate every little thing. I love that about you! I hope you LOVED celebrating your special day and felt special as we celebrated TWO years with you!
Happy Forever Family Day, precious girl! I love you more than words can even express!