from a photograph to my daughter

February 20, 2010.

The day that the girl I had long since dreamed of would go from being a photograph I had studied for 11 months (to the day) to being my youngest daughter.

There are many details in the past week that are fuzzy to me, but I can remember ~ with amazing clarity mind you ~ so much of that day...

Breakfast in the hotel restaurant ~ our last as a family of four ~ we could see the Hangzhou Lake.  February 20th fell during Chinese New Year that year and fireworks were being shot off from multiple locations around the lake at 8 am.  I clearly remember Kylie stating, "Mommy, look!  They are celebrating that we get to meet Darcy today!"

This girl.  Initially hiding her face from us and then fully expressing how very unhappy she was about the strangers that had entered the room.  Wanting more than anything to get down and run away.

My heart breaking as she seemed to be pleading with me to understand what she was trying to say.  Feeling so helpless as neither myself, our guide, or even her orphanage staff could understand her as she spoke the dialect of her foster family and not Mandarin.

The joy of seeing that first smile.  It wasn't even a hesitant one, it came full force...all over the silly music on the Cinderella play phone I had thoughtlessly stuck in my pocket as we headed out of the hotel.

Relieved that the smiles continued after we left the civil affairs office and got settled into our hotel room.  This child simply radiates happiness and contentment.

little did we realize then her smile would remain virtually unchanged over the years
 Joy.  The three little people I loved were finally together in one place.  They were playing silly games together and within hours already seemed to be three peas in a pod.

Darcy Qingyou, your creativity, free spirit and tenderness have added so much to our family.  We may have missed most of your first three years, but oh the gift we have been given to watch the rest of them unfold!  I often wonder what path your life will take you down...Will you be a teacher and share your kindness and love for learning with the next generation?  Will you be a dancer, gracing audiences with the mesmerizing way you "feel" music?  Will you be a writer, sharing your creative stories with readers young and old?  Will you be a NICU nurse, nurturing and caring for tiny, helpless infants?

Whatever profession you choose, I have no doubt it will be one covered in the fingerprints of God...because it was those very fingerprints that led us to you.

I love you my precious girl!  Happy 4th Forever Family day!


Grandma Shultz said...

My precious, DQ. Happy "forever family" day. What a blessing you have been to our entire family. I love you so very much and am so thankful to God for finding you for Mommy and Daddy.

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

All the old photos are sweet! Congratulations!

Peggy said...

I'm feeling happy tears run down my cheeks as I read your beautiful words about DQ stepping into her place in your family. So very special and sweet!

Grandma Shultz said...

Reading this again made me cry again over the picture of her little hands wrapped around you cheeks just pleading to be understood. It is agonizing to see and yet a thrill to see where precious DQ is today.