Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Little Girl is Turning 5!

Tomorrow Emma Leigh will turn five years old. Five years ago tonight Bryan and I were sitting in a hospital enjoying the time we had with Em's birth family. We would not trade that time for ANYTHING. Twenty-four hours later, we--well, me because Bryan had to suddenly leave the room--got to watch as our first baby girl entered the world. We heard her cry before we ever saw her, and the moment I laid eyes on her I knew my life would never be the same. The nurse carried her to the warmer, did the first APGAR, and then asked if I wanted to carry her to the nursery. What an amazing moment to be the first one to hold her. Tears streamed down my face as I walked from the operating room to the nursery of that small hospital. I stood in amazement as the nurse weighed her and measured her length. Six pounds, five ounces and already she'd made her home in my heart.

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year and it's mostly because of what God did during those five days we spent at the hospital before, during, and after Emma Leigh's birth. Check out last year's blog for more on that.

This year, as I was wrapping her birthday presents and writing in her card, I was overwhelmed with the beauty and talent God has blessed this little girl with. She has strikingly dark eyes that sparkle when she smiles, and her smile...it's so full of life and innocence. She can laugh and giggle until she is out of breath, and God has given her an amazing artistic ability. Our pediatrician even thinks she's "gifted" in this area--his words not mine. She can see things that I can't begin to. She is a wonderful big sister and has loved Lily Ana from the moment she laid eyes on her. She has many nicknames for her baby sister including Cupcake, Lillers, and Silly Ana. Emma Leigh is full of adoring affection for Lily Ana.

And despite the fact that her DNA contains none of my DNA she is incredibly like me! She makes facial expressions that I do; she says things that sound just like me; and she asks some of the same questions that I remember asking as a little girl. She wants to know how and why and when and where. But most of all, she sounds like me when she prays. What a humbling experience to hear your child pray and know that she is emulating what she hears!

My prayer for her is this..."Lord, grow her into a godly young lady who loves and fears you. Help her to make choices that are pleasing to you, and use her for your service."

I love you Emma Leigh! Happy 5th Birthday!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Power of Intercession

WHEW! Whoever said going from one child to two children was like going from one to ten was wrong! It's like having 20! I haven't posted in a while, and the aforementioned twenty children would be the cause.

We have really struggled. Lily Ana has reflux, so we've spent many evenings holding a screaming baby; we've had many sleepless nights; and we're feeding cereal to a two month old so that she'll get all of the Prevacid ready-tab she's taking twice each day. We've wondered what happened to the baby we prayed for who coos and smiles and sleeps all night. We've wondered if she knows us; if she realizes we're her family. She tends to be very solemn most of the time, and at her two-month check up the nurse said, "O.K. So she's smiling and cooing now...?" And I had to say sadly, "No..." Dr. Mac reminded me that she was a preemie and that the reflux probably is causing a lot of discomfort. He said if she isn't smiling and cooing by four months, he'll want her to see a specialist to check for any delays. (GIANT SIGH) As if I don't have enough to worry about as a Mom!

My mom is so wonderful to call and check up on her granddaughters. One evening about three weeks ago when she called, Lily Ana was screaming. She was inconsolable. Nothing calmed her. She had a full tummy, dry diaper, calming lotion, and warm socks! Knowing that I couldn't talk on the phone, Mom quickly told me she loved me and reminded me that she and Dad pray for us every day. It felt so good to be reminded that my parents take the time to pray for my family. After we hung up I began thinking about my own quiet times with God. They have become so brief, and honestly, there have been days that I am so tired and so discouraged that I have not been able to pray.

Then last week I talked with one of the case workers at our wonderful adoption agency. Sara has been our case worker with both of our girls' adoptions, and she is a matter-of-fact, down-to-earth lady. I had called her a few days before to set up our three-month meeting with her at New Life, and she was returning my call. It had been an especially rough day, and I was feeling very low. She asked how I was, and I began pouring out my heart to her. She was so understanding and her words so comforting to me. Before we hung up I asked her to please pray for me, and she assured me that she would.

The very next day I began to feel such peace. Lily Ana had begun smiling little smiles and making soft little sounds, but in the last week she has begun smiling so much. And I love the quiet moments where she makes tiny little sounds that I know are her way of communicating love to me. Her little personality is really beginning to develop, and I'm soaking it all up. I have yet to get a GOOD picture of it, but I've gotten a little glimpse to share.

Over the weekend, we got to get away for a few days. We all four went to San Antonio and to Sea World. As we traveled, I thought about the prayers that had been lifted up for my family and me. I felt like I really understood intercession. People who cared about me had prayed on my behalf. They had prayed for my needs at a time when I couldn't. What a blessing to be loved so dearly by family and friends, but what a bigger blessing to be loved by the Creator God!