Saturday, August 24, 2013

2 Years Ago Today: A newborn with a white baby suit

That's all she has left: a tiny white baby suit.  It still smells musty from where the orphanage kept it for 18 months waiting for her new family to take it home as a memory.  When Anna Faith is old enough to ask questions, I will pull it out and likely with tears tell her the story of how she came to us.  Two years ago today a mother (or possibly father) carried her to a tunnel in Southern China leading to an orphanage and placed her there, likely to protect her from the heat of the August sun, leaving with her some formula and diapers, and disappeared forever.  We can only speculate what they were feeling: fear, sorrow, heartbrokenness...  Did they give her one last kiss with tears streaming down their faces?  Do they think about her often?  Do they ever walk by the orphanage and wonder if she is still there?  Did they even chose to remember August 24th, or have they blocked it out of their memory to prevent the pain?  Does she have a younger brother or sister now, and when they look at their second child do they fight painful memories of their firstborn?  The last question that will linger the most with me is: Are they believers in Jesus?  Statistically, they probably aren't.  It is likely they have never even been told how they can have hope, forgiveness and healing in knowing Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.  I can't imagine the hopelessness one feels after saying goodbye forever to a child and not having the peace of knowing they will see them again in heaven one day if both believe in Christ.  Would you pray with me for Anna Faith's birth parents' salvation?  They chose life for her, they compassionately left her in the care of people at an orphanage, and ultimately she was brought into our family.  This was all in God's sovereign plan, but it started with a choice to spare her.  Millions of children are never even given the opportunity to take a breath on this earth.

This day also marks half a year since Anna Faith was placed in our arms.  It is hard to believe since it seems she's always been in our family.  In just 6 months she has won so many hearts, encouraged and inspired countless others, and has brought joy to everyone who has opened their heart to let her into their life.  She has gone through so much in the last couple weeks: surgery to her head, a spot opening on her forehead a week later, and last night (11 days post-op) a fall from a chair resulting in a second place splitting on her forehead and a black eye.  She has been in so much pain and discomfort, yet bounces back and rarely complains.

Sometimes we just gaze into each other's eyes.  She can't express how she feels in words, but when those little dark eyes penetrate mine, I feel so trusted and loved.  We have truly bonded.  Do we look to our Heavenly Father in the same way?  Do we constantly look to Him in adoration when we hurt, feel joy, need help, or just want to show our gratitude and appreciation for all He has done for us?  I have to admit I don't do it nearly enough.  Imagine the joy He feels over those of us who are His adopted children when we do reciprocate the love He pours over us!

Our family has jumped back into living life since surgery #1.  We began homeschool again this past week, now with a second grader, a first grader, a preschooler, and a toddler running around.  I don't know how we managed, but we met all our learning goals this week, managed to get in all our classes into four hours a day, and I came out with not a single migraine headache or hour of sleep lost!

Surgery #2 is scheduled for November 6.  The next section to be worked on will be the large nevus on  her right cheek.  We've been told it will be very involved with tissue rearrangement so we have to anticipate swelling and pain afterwards.  Just going to the pediatrician for a check-up this week made her nervous.  She now equates going to a medical facility with discomfort and feeling sick.  The 30+ stitches on her head come out on September 3rd at the surgeon's office in Nashville, and we know it will not be a pleasant experience.  Pray we will all have peace and show grace to Anna Faith while she is anxious and uncomfortable, and the process will go smoothly.

We also have a minor health issue we're figuring out.  Since coming home in March, she has not adjusted to an American diet.  After running some tests, everything came out normal, so now we are trying to figure out what part of her diet is giving her problems.  It is pointing toward fructose related foods.  We are still early in the process, but she may be sensitive to fruit juice and some fruits.  We've never had a child with food allergies before, so once again we're in uncharted territory.  Pray we may find out the exact cause of her tummy troubles so she can keep gaining weight.  She's only at the 5% on her growth chart, the weight our boys were at half her age.  Kris jokes and says she'll be a diver one day and just bounce off the water like the female Chinese divers do in the Olympics, ha ha!

Here are a few photos of her 2nd birthday, celebrated at home with our family and Kris' parents.  Her birthday reception/Show Hope Fundraiser we held on August 10th is on an earlier post I put up last week.  It was an amazing day!
Family birthday photo

Getting her gift from China (we got one for each birthday): an owl backpack

Playing with new toys

With Grammy while talking on her new phone

Happy to be opening pretty presents

Blowing out the candle over and over again


  1. Precious little gift of God! I love her! You know I love you!

  2. Happy 2nd birthday, Anna Faith!! Love Anna, Blair, Chambre, and Doug Nelssen.