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a new creation

It’s been a blessed weekend.  We are so happy to have Anthony home.  Love, love, love my man. 

Chocolate! He brought me home more chocolate than I could ever dream of eating…Cadbury’s. The best chocolate in the world. Oh my word–I am seriously going to be rolling out of the house. I love chocolate!

Many of you wrote and asked me about Hailee’s development after this post.

If a picture is worth a thousand words…then this one says it all.

And so does this one.

Hailee is doing GREAT!  Amazingly well, actually.  She is a blessing beyond description.

Sure, we still do have things that we are dealing with–mainly institutional behaviors.  But heck, when we consider all things and remind ourselves exactly where she has come from, we are amazed.  In awe of our God who is in the business of restoring lives.

Hailee has astounded us in how far she has come in the last nine months. 

The little girl who did nothing but cry and cry for hours on end is HAPPY.

And joyful.

And content.

And home…where she belongs.

Safe in the arms of her Daddy who adores her.

We still have days when she insists on scratching the back of her ears–it’s a habit that is hard to break after doing it for so long.  Pilot caps work fabulously for those days. 

There are still occasions when she bites on her fingers–but they are no longer calloused.

She still thinks that her head is there to be banged on anything that resembles the wall of a crib–but that’s what five years of confinement to a crib does, I guess. 

We still have random times of crying for no particular reason–but they are getting few and far between.

She eats great, sleeps well, and is mostly such a content little girl.  She loves nothing more than to be played with–so opposite to the child we brought home who hated to be held.  She is slowly but surely gaining weight and she is getting taller too.  She is finally wearing some 18 month old clothes (she will be 6 in May).

Every milestone is a sweet victory.

She has the most infectious little giggle.  When Hailee laughs, so do we.  We can’t help but laugh with her.  She is just so darn cute.

Oh goodness, and I cannot forget to mention that this weekend she took nine steps all on her own.  That is HUGE for Hailee.  There was a time when we wondered if she would ever walk on her own.  She was just so frail and weak, and I did wonder if walking would ever be something she would master.  How wrong we were! 

Many ask me if Hailee has autism in addition to Down syndrome.  Without getting into the long version of it–we don’t think she has clinical autism.  It’s possible, but it is just too soon to really tell accurately.  Hailee spent five years living in such hideous conditions.  Most of the behaviors/tendencies she has are institutional behaviors.  Kids who live in these situations pick up many, many self-soothing habits that very often resemble those of autistic children.  Institutional autism (IA) is very real.  My gut instinct is it’s that, but I could be wrong.  Only time will tell.  Truthfully though, we don’t think about it too much.  If you know me from my blog you will know that we don’t get hung up on what is “wrong” with our kids who have struggles in life.   We just take things one day at a time and accept them just the way they are.  I couldn’t be bothered with the whole ‘labeling’ children thing.  In our eyes Hailee is absolute perfection.

She is a joy and an absolute delight.  God’s masterpiece.

Hailee is a new creation–the old has gone, and the new has come.  She has LIFE–and that more abundant.

And more kisses than any girl could ever need.

We simply cannot imagine our lives without Hailee in it. 

I hope that answers most of the questions.  Ask away if I missed anything and I will be sure to answer them in a later post.

On another note, my heart is overflowing with gratitude that sweet “Guan Wei” is adjusting to his new family so very well.  He is such a sweetheart of a boy.  His family is in China now and they are posting pictures here.  This is their blog.  So thankful to the Lord that he found his family before he became unadoptable. 

So thankful that the great I AM is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

“I AM who I AM”    Exodus 3:14

Be blessed in ALL you do, friends.