Hannah Claire Shi Lin

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Been a Year!

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted on here!  Things have been crazy for us since December, to say the least. We moved into a new house on January 15, then began remodeling our old house to rent it out.  Miles started a new school and Hannah continued in Mother’s Day Out, which she LOVED.  Chip was struggling with his job and desperately searched for months for a new one, which he did find, and will start in about a week and a half.  But before he found it, he was depressed and it affected all of us.  I also was still depressed, but miraculously came out of it, after about 10 months (thank you, God).  Yes, I am finally out of that dark time that began last year, and it is wonderful! My brother’s wife had their baby last Thursday, and are temporarily staying with us. They’re going to rent our old house from us after we’re done working on it.  So anyway, we have been busy, busy, busy!
We celebrated the one year anniversary of Gotcha Day in May.  It’s so hard to believe it’s been
a year already!  I was looking back the other day at some pictures of Hannah from last year, and she seemed so much smaller.  Her language is improving, but she’s going to need some speech therapy. We went to see a specialist for her microtia a few months ago, and will be going back in about 3 more months to get things started for her reconstruction surgery. 
Things are so much easier with Hannah after a year.  She is still very energetic and loud, but she’s
not quite as destructive, and she’s learning to be polite and respectful.  She loves Miles so much, and looks up to him.  She wants to do everything he does, and gets excited about things because he is. Right now, Miles is into Bey Blades, so I had to get Hannah one too.  They are getting along so well.
Hannah loves having my brother’s baby staying with us.  She asks to see her a lot, and to hold her.  She’s just fascinated by her.  Having that baby around has been bittersweet for me.  It brings feelings and thoughts to me that surround the fact that I didn’t get to have Hannah with me as a newborn, and that makes me sad.  I wonder what things were like for her when she was so little like my niece, realizing there probably wasn’t anyone to hold her and talk sweetly to her all day, and no one to take their time with her while she slowly drank a bottle while going in and out of sleep.  But it has also been good for me, almost like therapy.  I kept the baby with me for two nights to give my brother and his wife a break, and I ended up LOVING it!  It’s almost as if since I missed out on caring for Hannah as a newborn, I now have a chance to experience just a little bit of what it might have been like.  Sometimes when I was holding her, I imagined what Hannah would have looked like at that age. I know she was just as precious and sweet.  And I do take a little comfort in knowing that even if there was no one there to do all those things a mother does for her baby, God was there with my little girl, comforting and protecting her.  He had to have been there, because Hannah is so well-adjusted and loving and happy, in spite of her past.  I’m so thankful for that.
It has been a truly amazing year—full of sadness and despair, but also joy and thanksgiving, and life-changing in the best of ways.  I am so thankful God chose me for this adoption journey.  I look at Hannah every day and think what a miracle it is that I, of all people, went all the way to China to bring back a little girl to be my daughter.  I never would have done it on my own, but did it because God told me to do it.  He really does know best.  I look forward to
all the future blessings he has in store for us with our daughter.