Yesterday she had spotted this new box on the dresser and asked what it was. I had told her it held a special gift to celebrate her being in our family for one year and that she could open it tomorrow. Like most kids, she didn't forget the gift. Inside the box was a hardcover book entitled, Li Lin's Adoption from China, containing all the blog posts and pictures of our trip to China. We also included copies of her referral pictures, a copy of the letter we sent to her while she was still in China, and some other pictures marking "firsts": Christmas, Valentine's Day, birthday, Chinese New Year, etc. It is so awesome to have this all in a book form. This book will likely be something she will treasure in the years to come.
In the afternoon, I took some casual pictures of Li Lin enjoying the flowers and just generally relaxing. When I looked at the pictures in her memory book I am struck by how understandably serious and stressed she appears in many of the photos. Today's pictures capture a much happier and more relaxed little girl.
Next, she put her arm around me and said, "Mommy, you are the best mommy in the world!"
After returning home I decided to do an impromptu photo session with the four kids. It is not often that we get all of them together for a picture. Shortly thereafter, once the kids were in bed I took a moment to reflect on the past year. To sum it all up in one word... THANKFUL! God has blessed me with a fantastic husband, four amazing kids, and a wonderful circle of family and friends. I also want to shout out a big thank you to all of you who have prayed for us especially during the first few hours, days, weeks and months after Li Lin's adoption. We are grateful for all the love and prayers sent on our behalf. We know it made a difference.