I wanted to post this yesterday, but blogger has been having issues. Posts and comments are still missing, but I think they’re getting things sorted out.
Last year we spent Hailee’s birthday rushing around Kiev finalizing the last of the paperwork for her and Harper’s adoption. We had an early flight to catch the next morning. It was such a crazy day. Hailee had been out of the orphanage for just a few days and she was SO out of it. The withdrawal effects from coming off the strong tranquilizing drug she had been on for five years was horrendous.
She struggled desperately to adjust to life outside of her cage (sorry, I mean crib).
And scratched the backs of her ears until they bled.
And pounded her head on anything hard that she could find.
And rocked back and forth to console herself.
And threw anything that she could get her hands on halfway across the room.
And bit her fingers until they were red and swollen and caloused.
Those were hard days. I remember them like they were yesterday.
My lifeless angel who did nothing but fuss all day long–for weeks and weeks.
That was then.
But just LOOK what God has done!
Her transformation truly does take my breath away. This birthday has been so, so different.
It is so hard to believe that this is the same little girl who was literally wasting away in a crib a year ago. There was no life in her. Nothing.
God has done such an incredible thing in her life.
Hailee is a new creation in every sense of the word. Yesterday, on her birthday, I looked at her and I remembered. I remembered the journey we have been on and the miracles that have unfolded before our eyes. I looked at my beautiful little girl and could not stop thanking God for His miracle-working power in her life.
There was a time when I wondered if Hailee would ever find her legs and experience the joy of walking freedom.
But she has.
There was a time when I wondered if we would ever hear the joy of laughter coming from her sweet little mouth.
But we do.
When this little lovie bursts out her infectious cackle, it is the sweetest thing ever. We cannot help but laugh with her. She brings us SUCH joy.
Redemption is such a beautiful thing. God’s hand of healing and restoration is amazing, powerful, tangible, and awe-inspiring.
Does that mean it is always easy? No. Not at all. We still have days when things are tough and Hailee struggles with sensory overload or some other issue. But those days are getting fewer and fewer. We have just learned to keep things as calm as possible and not overwhelm her with too much stimulation. For the most part she is very adaptable and goes with us wherever we go.
A few weeks ago when I posted asking you if anyone had any questions that you would like me to answer, someone wrote and asked me why I only advocate for children who are harder to place in homes? Why not typical, healthy children? The reason is because God has used Hailee in such a profound way in my life. Through her life, her story, and the miracles that we see daily, I have come to have a deep understanding about something….
There is hope for every child!
There is hope even for those who, like our daughter, are confined to cribs and are literally wasting away. There is hope for children who are sentenced to “laying rooms.” There is such hope for the children who are overlooked so many times because their “condition” seems too difficult or too poor. Like sweet Julia who is thriving in a family now. There is hope for every child in a family. I am convinced of that. I believe with all my heart that Hailee would have died had she not been adopted. She weighed fifteen pounds at five years of age. That is the sad reality of many, many orphans. They perish because they cannot survive long term in those awful conditions.
I have learned so much from being Hailee’s mommy. She teaches me new things daily. I am so proud of her. She is such a courageous little girl–a fighter for sure. In her I see the strength and the courage that lies within all children who are like her–those who lie confined to the four walls of a crib day in and day out…
And it makes me want to continue fighting for the “Hailees” of the world!
Because there is HOPE for every child…and it is not in an orphange.
We love you, little one. You inspire us to fight for those left behind with everything that we have.
Happy sixth birthday, beautiful daughter. May you continue to grow, and blossom, and become ALL that God has created you to be in this life. We’ll be there to cheer you on every step of the way.
You are amazing.