Thursday, February 7, 2013

One Year Later~

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.  
And just look at her now!!!!!!

Isn't she beautiful?
And so full of JOY????
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.



Catherine said...

Oh Pam! I love what God showed you at Christmas! I've never thought of that and now your words have blessed my heart too!

What a beautiful, joyful little girl your Ellie is!! I had to take a 2nd look at the first pic of her in front of the piano as she reminds me so much of Anna Claire at that age!

Families are such a blessing and you have been blessed over and over again by your 8 amazing kiddos!

Hannah and I still pray every single night for Ellie.

God is so good!

Happy 1 year family day!!

Wendy said...

Oh my...Elisabeth is simply beautiful and that outfit...just adorable and so happy!!! Congratulations!!!

Liesl said...

Ellie looks SO much like AC around that age! She is adorably beautiful and I am so happy for you and your family. God is good ALL the time. Amen!
Blessings on all of you,

Jean said...

She is so beautiful AND our GOD is so amazing!!

Praising HIM with you!!

Love your family and love your heart for the orphans!

Leslie said...

I think she and AC really favor too. You must wonder? But anyway, I can so understand what you mean about the effects of institutionalization. Two of ours have needed much healing from that same beginning, especially our big girl. It really affected her deeply.

I am so thankful Ellie is your daughter, and yes, she is beautiful!

Can you believe really it has been a year? I took pics of our girl, posted some to the blog, and linked back to the day we met her ... she looks so much bigger (and she is), but I just can't believe how fast the time has gone!

Kinda makes me sad, but thankful at the same time!

Happy 1 Year!!!

jeanette said...

Happy Family Day!
praising God with you for the work He is doing in Ellie's heart and life.

thank you for sharing what He revealed to you at Christmas ~a beautiful way to see the Christmas story in a new way.

Wolfes Home said...

She is indeed beautiful, and I think has one of the best smiles ever! Happy Gotcha Day. Wonderful post, Pam.

Kristi said...

The change. Oh the change...
Yes, He sets the lonely in families!
Happy one year to your sweet Ellie!