Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just another day.

To most people that saw Claire today, it seemed like it was just another day in her life. She got up this morning and I got her dressed for the day. Nothing special. She had physical therapy with Ms. Denise. It was fun...but regular. Then we went to the hospital for some tests. All part of life for this three year old. I counted them today. She's had 36 medical appointments since last June. That's if I didn't miss one when I looked back at the calendars. Just another day. We came home, took Isabel to dance class and then swim team for Isabel and Parker. Just another day.

But if you'd seen her a year ago today

You would know that today was not just another day.

A year ago today, she was a scared and confused little girl.

Taking peeks at her new parents, strangers trying to get her attention.

A year ago today, after traveling several hours from a village outside of town, she was taken from the lap of her foster mother of two years and unceremoniously, dropped in mine. We spent just enough time in the orphanage to sign some paperwork giving us temporary custody of her and then went to our hotel. Many of you remember the post I made that day. If not, feel free to look back here. I remember that day very well. I remember that she moved her legs, ever-so-slightly, when she was sitting in my lap and I knew she wasn't paralyzed! I remember that she seemed like she was almost in shock and that she wouldn't have anything to do with Paul.

She played. She ate. She played some more. And then some where along the way....

She realized that something wasn't right. She was not in familiar territory anymore. And, she suddenly did not want to have anything to do with either one of us.

But, she tried to be brave.

When she fell asleep, I was able to take her socks off and get a first look at the her feet. They were beautiful, but we knew she wouldn't be able to walk this way. We suspected that she had club feet, now we had our confirmation.

These little shoes were on those feet. I still have them. They appeared to be handmade....probably by her foster mother.

That night she fell into a fitful sleep. She didn't understand that we loved her. She didn't understand that she was going to have a forever home. Brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and grandparents. All she understood was that this was not just another day.

Today that scared little girl has come into her own. The child that wouldn't make a sound for three weeks, never stops talking now. Never. She's still talking when I walk out of her room at bedtime! The child that behaved like a feral cat when we tried to bathe her, splashed in the sprinkler just a few weeks ago. The child that China said would never walk, can't be stopped!

Today she is happy and confident. And, we are blessed. Today is the anniversary of her "Gotcha" day and it may have seemed like just another day, but it was not. Unfortunately, her urologist had plans for us today.

So, Claire and I spent this anniversary at the hospital. Claire was not thrilled with this idea, but we have good news. One year after they told us her ureters were ruined and she would need surgery for kidney reflux, this new test proved that God is good! Claire's bladder did not reflux into her kidney's until it was full of 260 cc of fluid, as opposed to 50 cc last year. She will not need surgery, just a little medication for night time. And, her kidneys look wonderful!

So, it wasn't the traditional way to celebrate this milestone, but the good news made up for it! We went home and ordered Chinese take-out for dinner. She got to use her chopsticks......though she doesn't really care for Chinese food much! Go figure!


anna said...

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness-Thanks be to God for healing of those ureters!!!!! What a sweet strange day. Looking at that sweetie's confused little face reminded me of sitting across from y'all at Lucy's-had she switched to all-Paul-all-the-time by then? and wondering how anyone had made it so far. I cried looking at the photo of those sweet little feet, overwhelmed with God's love for your princess. Talk, baby girl, you've got lots to tell!
Congratulations all over again on your first year as Claire's Mommy!

Christine said...

Praise GOd! So doe sthat mean she will no longer need a catheter?

The Source said...

Her smile says it all, Mom!! Looking back at how far she's come this year had me in tears. The picture of her wiping her little nose...oh, that one tugs at my heart! I'm so glad we've gotten to follow along as you all became a family. And what wonderful news about her bladder and kidneys! God is so good.

Brianna said...

Thanks for the update. I was wating to hear something from down there.
Why is Noah not swimming this year? Did you already say? I don't remember that.

Brianna said...

Ya know, two or three summers ago, we were at the boys' baseball game and someone had a China-baby. I remember you saying that you were going to get one.... but I had no idea (firstly, that you were serious, and secondly,) that God had all of this planned for your future. It's amazing how far you've all come. :)

Mama S said...

This is wonderful news! GOD has truly blessed Claire and her family and I am certain he will continue to hold us in the palm of his hands. What a great Mother's Day present - Love to you all.

wingepr said...

God is so good!!!! He has blessed these kids and us as well. Your post put tears in my eyes. I have enjoyed watching her grown, and I feel like I have to check in several times a week just to see her how and the other kids are doing.

Your family is truly blessed, thank you for always sharing.

Michelle said...

yeah for good news for claire! & happy gotcha day!

Chris and Tammy Stubblefield said...

Happy Anniversary!!!!! It is so amazing to see how God continues to work in Claire's life. We all know God had a plan for Claire's life from the beginning and He continues to bless and see her through. Keep praying that we see Ava SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sally- That Girl! said...

Praise God for Claire! I just love this sweet girl! She captured my heart almost a year ago and I love seeing her thriving at home where she belongs!!!