Sunday, April 22, 2012

What a difference a year makes...

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Ummm...can you hear me now??? For the three people who may have been waiting for updates (Hi Mom, Dad and Gram!!! :-))...we are here. Very happily so...but crazy busy. Jillian continues to fit in like she's always been here...keeping us hopping and laughing a good deal of the time. Although she puts her backpack on every morning when we walk Lia to the bus and insists, "Ying Ying SCHOOL", she won't officially start pre-school until next fall when she will attend the same Montessori school that Lia did. Luckily she seems content with her weekly music and gymnastic classes where she generally holds court and regularly brings a tear to my eyes with her tenacity and can-do attitude. While we all might be slightly more worn out at the end of each day...and have had to re-discover the skill of multi-MULTI-tasking...we can't imagine life without our Jillian. She's going places I tell you...and lucky LUCKY for us...we get to come along for the ride.

This week (April 25th)one year ago, we received our referral call and saw Jillian's face for the first time. We tried to do the "right things" before assembling our paperwork to commit to adopt her...had her file reviewed by an International Adoption Clinic , talked to other families who have children with limb differences, researched treatment options...but...she truly had us at hello. We received the call at about 10:20 pm...just as we were getting ready to head to bed. We quickly looked at her file and contemplated a Special Need we had not specifically checked off on our agency's checklist...and then we got to her photos. Jim kind of chuckled when he saw her for the first time...the same reaction he always has when he likes a photo I have taken of Lia...and when I heard that...I knew. I knew she was the ONE we had been waiting for. She was the REASON we had waited. We sent our Letter of Intent in that week...and traveled to bring her home last November.

So...this is our version of a Sunday Snapshot...just call it "What a difference a year makes..."

Our first snapshot of Yu Ying...this was taken when she had just turned two years old...

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Our first update...in June, 2011...she was 2 1/2 and had been moved to foster care...

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A surprise (and much needed!) update in August, 2011...when we learned Jillian had a foster sister (see her arm in the photo???)!

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We missed Jillian's 3rd birthday by mere weeks...a tough blow to this mom who did everything to be in China for the big day...but we sent a cake...and were thrilled to receive 50(!) photos of the party! (10/24/11)

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FINALLY...our first REAL glimpse of our girl...look how brave and trusting she was (November 14, 2011)

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An impromptu photo shoot about a month ago...a day where everything I did struck her funny!

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And of course...the first photo at the top of this post...taken today...you understand why I had to lead with THAT one, right??? We're in the throes of a massive rainstorm in our parts...and we let the girls run a bit in the rain. They got some new rain boots for Easter...and, well, it seemed the perfect day to give them a great test run. Jillian wasn't sure at first...but before long she got the hang of it and had a great time. It is her expression in the top photo that makes me love it so. It's the same one she has when she is checking with me to make sure she understands my directions...or whether she should use a fork or spoon...or if it is REALLY okay to run in the rain...so so sweet and eager to please. And really...I just want her to know she had me at hello...

{Photo taken with Canon 50d. ISO 200, focal length 50mm, f/1.8, Shutter speed 1/200}. Edited with actions from the Florabella Collection.

To join in the "Sunday Snapshot" fun...head on over to Ni Hao Y'all...

Ni Hao Yall

20 comments:

Roxanne Reinhart said...

I love her rain outfit - so cute!! I love her face in the last photo - love it. Is there anything more precious than laughter from a child?

Yvette said...

Love the sweet sassiness of the first photo!

Jodee said...

Jillian is absolutely adorable! You are sooo blessed to be her Mom!

Sophi Belle said...

She is absolutely adorable! I love her outfit in the first pic.

Laurie said...

Nope, not just the parental units waiting for an update. LOVED all the pictures and reliving the story a bit with you. She is simply... precious! :)

Courtney said...

What a difference a year makes. I can't wait to see how much she has changed this time next year. Glad to hear everyone is doing well.

Kylee said...

Found your blog through Ni Hao Y'all. What an absolutely BEAUTIFUL little girl you have! I agree with the others, her outfit in that first pictures is adorable. I love rompers!

Have a blessed week!

-Kylee

Kristi said...

How insanely cute is that outfit she's sporting in her 2.5 year old picture? Makes you want to just grab her and not let go!

Your beautiful girl looks like she's flourishing. What a difference a year makes for sure!

scooping it up said...

She is ADORABLE! What a great ensemble. thanks for sharing. What an amazing girl. (came hopping from the Sunday Snapshot link up :)

Kristy Oberts said...

She is so precious and beautiful. Love, love, love, her little rain attire. So cute! I cherished reading your story.

Jboo said...

So sweet!! Brought tears to my eyes this morning!! Perfect girl with the perfect family! Enjoy every minute --I know you are!

janet

Mireille said...

Her bubbly personality sparks from the picture, she is so precious!! Love both of your girls, you are a blessed mommy!

Erin said...

She is just so adorable. Her little smile is precious! Oh my goodness Kate. Can you believe this has all happened to you??? Amazing!

Stefanie said...

Goodness, she is precious!

Jewels of My Heart said...

Thank You Jesus for this precious, delightful, adorable, oh, so beautiful little miracle....
Happy Jillian Day!

Ivy Shaffer said...

Hi Kate,
Thanks so much to coming over. I don't have time for FB, so appreciate my faithful and few blogger followers.

I can't believe Miss Jillian is three and right where she should be, with your wonderful family. I love her beautiful face and she appears to be full of personality.

You must be so proud of how far she has come and as the saying goes "and oh the places she'll go"!

BTW your photography is rockin. Best to you this summer!

PS as you can tell there was no rain here lol. Just kidding, I took the pics in between down pours.

Have a wonderful weekend and keep posting since I'm not a fan of FB.

Tera said...

Wow! Can't believe it has been a year since her referral! She is just so precious! The wait doesn't seem as bad when we see what God had planned, does it?!

Jen said...

She is so beautiful and looks so much like my Leah. Your pictures are amazing. She is blooming!

lori carolina said...

She is just precious, what a beauty!!! And what a difference a year makes indeed, I love the one of her standing in her little bloomers in front of the stone, so sweet!!!! Congratulations and thanks again for stopping by and commenting!:)

Lucy said...

How in the world did I miss this amazing news that you have another beautiful daughter?! What a wonderful story. I'm so very late in a huge congratulations!!! Jillian is simply precious and I adore her romper in the first photograph. :)