Yes, I realized that my last post was in January. We have a lot going on here...all good things though!
So the last two weeks have been a time of reflecting back on our journey over the last year. On Saturday, September 1st, was Hayley's anniversary of one year home, and August 21st, was the one year anniversary of her "Gotcha Day".
It is amazing to see how far she has come. For the first six months or more, she was quite angry at times, she was ripped away from her whole life...everything that she has ever know. It makes sense, but so heart-breaking to watch her go through these difficult times. At bedtime, for the first few month, Hayley would scream and kick and pull her hair out, but now we read books and sing songs. She now lays down and gives me a big squeeze and a kiss. And says "bye, have a good night, see you in the morning, bye, see-ya" every night...in that order. Until about 6 weeks ago, Hayley would cry, sometimes scream, every time she would wake up in the morning or from her nap. Now, she calls "Mommy". For the first 11 months, often times Hayley would push Daddy and her big brother away, if they tried to give her a hug or a kiss. Now she gives them hugs and kisses and you can see that she truly loves them. She is finally letting her guard down. She is finally starting to feel safe. She is finally believing that we LOVE her, we will NEVER LEAVE her, she is OURS. We now see a sense of security in her that we hadn't seen until a little over a month ago.
Hayley started school this past week...just preschool 2 mornings per week. I thought we would see how it went. Usually, up until recently, in any new situation, she would cling to me. She has always had very high anxiety in new situations. She was really looking forward to school, and we talked about it often over the summer. Hayley walked right in, and said goodbye. It was hard to leave her, but at the same time such a good feeling that she felt so secure. She knew that I was coming back to get her. The first time that I really saw how secure she feels with me, with our family.
I cannot even begin to describe how much I love her. To brag on her brothers for a minute...they have so far exceeded my expectations. She has been quite difficult with both of them at times, but yet they are so patient with her. They are so proud of her and feel the need to care for her and protect her. They are incredible big brothers. I melt when she jumps into her daddy's arms, and see the relationship with the two of them turn into something beautiful. He is a proud papa.
We have been asked often, especially lately, if we will adopt again. Yes, we both believe we will, but have no idea what that timing looks like. It could be next year, or it could be five years from now. We are waiting to see what God has in store for us. But in the meantime, God definitely placed something in our path. We started a new business that is supporting adoptive families. We started a company called "Promotional Hope". When companies purchase products, like shirts, hats, mugs, key chains, USB drives, ect...these items can all be customized with their company's logo and information. We, then, give proceeds to families that are struggling with the costs involved with adoption. We cannot wait to see where God takes us with this business!
So this has definitely been a year of change, but all of these changes have grown our family in positive ways. I cannot imagine life without our spunky, funny, sweet Hayley girl. Thank you God!