"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:3-6

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 4, 2014: Gotcha Day- One Year Later.

July 4th is a special holiday for anyone in America.  We celebrate our freedom.  As Christians, we celebrate and reflect on our freedom in Christ.  And as the parents of Elliana, we celebrate her.

July 4 will always have a special meaning for us now. And how cool that we will always have fireworks to celebrate such a special day!! :) 

One year.  Wow!  Happy Gotcha Day, Elliana Genet!

We were able to celebrate with our Frazey family in California this year.  The day was a fun filled day with the beach, hot dogs, corn on the cob, swimming in the pool, fireworks, and a Gotcha Day cake!

Some pictures:

Out on the beach for fireworks:

Every year I'm sure we will reflect on the previous year and stand in awe that God chose us to be Elliana's family.  Last year we were driving home from the airport watching fireworks with a little baby in our backseat and we were no more than a stranger to her.  This year she was cuddling in my lap and never tried to get down as we watched the fireworks together.
Also, she sure loves water bottles! :)
And my two favorite pictures are of us re-creating my favorite photo from the airport at her homecoming.  I think each year until I'm old and gray I will make her do this:) 

Here is the picture I'm referring to:


And I always love looking back to the previous year of special events!


Meeting her sister:)

One year.  So much progress to report.  It was easy to get discouraged in the moments of some many days, but when we look at the big picture of the past 365 days, it is simply amazing how much Elliana has grown.  She has grown physically. She has grown emotionally.  She has grown perfectly into a Frazey.

We can say that we have had a really good experience bringing Elliana into our family.  I know not all adoptive families can say this.  We take no credit for this and give all the glory to our God.  Our sovereign God ordained that Elliana would be our daughter.  He allowed the events in her past to take place and moved in our hearts and opened our eyes to the beauty of adoption.  All in His timing. 

Honestly, many days were overwhelming and some days were so hard for me as I was pregnant, emotional, moving into a new house, training two toddlers, then having a newborn, and all while trying to figure out how to attach to a child that I didn't grow in my womb.  I know one thing that always gave me hope and assurance was that God knew exactly how all this would go.  It is easy in my flesh to doubt and wonder how I could do it.  To wonder how my kids will turn out because I couldn't care for Elliana as I thought in my mind I needed to because I had a newborn to nurse and rock.  Yet I was torn because he maybe didn't get the attention he should because of the demands of my other children. (But let's be real...he's the fourth child!) But God knew it.  God planned it.  God saw fit to place me in the midst of these circumstances and as I can see how much growth God has given me as well as my daughter. It is all from His hand and God is always good.  Even in those hard times, He is on His throne and gave us the grace to keep going.

In saying all that, again, I can say that overall we have not had any major setbacks or hard times.  I have said from the beginning that the hardest part of all of this was dealing with my own sin.  God has used the events of the past year to expose sin and idols of my heart I didn't even know were there.  And that is hard to handle.  Satan was on full attack and where there is a heart to honor God, there is spiritual warfare.  In it all I failed a lot. God was gracious to give me more than I could handle and cause me to turn to Him. And praise be to God that our failures don't determine our child's salvation.  They are yet a way we can point them to Him by seeking their forgiveness.

We know that God blessed our faith in Him and trusting in His Word to raise our children.  Elliana is our child and there is no discrepancy between adopted or biological.  Things may look a tad different at times for certain situations, but for us overall, over the past year of having her home, we sought to raise her in the fear and admonition of the Lord and train her in the way she should go.  That, we believe, has fully supported our attachment and caused her to learn to trust us and love us. 

And my oh my, how things have changed.  Brent and I often will look at her in awe and say "remember when....".  That is of course fun to do with any child, but with a child who has made such strides in a short time and who has a traumatic past, it is just extra special.
I remember when we used to force her to stay on our lap.  I remember when we didn't want to lay her down in her bed because she didn't seem to mind she was going there.  I remember when she didn't cry or make noise to get out.  I remember when she cried. and cried. and cried. and cried more and we didn't know why.  I remember when I would have to look on the monitor in her room and if she hadn't fallen asleep after a few minutes of being in her crib I would go get her because we didn't want to just leave her in there.  I remember when she couldn't sit up and didn't roll over much.  I remember when puff snacks made her vomit.  I remember when she used to cry so hard she would vomit. I remember when she started rocking on her knees.  I remember when she pulled herself up on the stairs.  I remember she bear crawled everywhere and wouldn't bend her knees to walk.  I remember when she learned to crawl. and walk. and talk. and sing. and dance. and run.  I remember when she used to turn her face away when we asked for a kiss.  and when we would kiss her cheek or touch her face she would melt down and shriek.  I remember when she started to hold on tight to me and not let go.  when she started to cry as we would walk into her room for naps because she wanted to stay with us. I remember when she puckered her lips to kiss me and say "I wuv woo." and when she learned to say "mama and dada" and know who we are. I remember when she shook her head back and forth to calm and soothe herself.  I remember when she learned to throw trash in the trash can and how every time she finds a diaper she joyfully takes it there without being asked.  I remember when she started standing up in her crib when we would enter the room to get her up and she would throw her paci down in excitement and put her hands up to be held.  I rmember when she wouldn't take a paci.  I remember when she started stealing her brother's paci because she loved them. I remember when the milk used to run out of the bottle down her cheek because that is what she was used to and also when she learned to use a sippy cup.  I remember when we had to hold her hands down as we spoon fed her and cut out all distractions.  I remember we had to open and close her mouth for her sometimes. I remember when she started to pick food up with her fingers and also begin feeding herself with a spoon.  I remember when she would not eat anything and now will eat what is served. I remember when she was bothered by a fly on her face because it wasn't the norm for her anymore.  I remember when she learned her animal noises and sounds.  When she learned to say her brother and sister's names and recognize other family members.  I remember when we would all play and wrestle on the floor we had to ask her to play and bring her over to involve her.  I remember when she started tackling her daddy because she loves wrestling with him.  I remember when she started laying down so we would tickle her. I remember when she would go up to strangers at the park. I remember when she would clench on to me when someone else spoke to her. I remember when she started her obsession with shoes. and sunglasses. and hats. I remember when she started running to the door yelling "car" and go into the garage, hold the door handle until it is opened for her, and then climb in.  I remember when she used to run away from me if I had a bow in my hand and cry before I even touched her hair.  I remember when she started leaning in and bending over when she sees me carrying a squirtbottle and rubberband.  I remember the pain and heartache we felt as we waited.  I remember the joy and overwhelming love we felt when we brought her home. 
I remember when things went from hard to normal and through it all I could never imagine my life with out her. 

This is all over the place, I know. So many things to remember and reflect on.  So much beauty. 

I wish everyone could see and know the Elliana we see at home.  Joy is an understatement.  She is a bit more reserved out in public so her personality doesn't shine through.  She fills our home with laughter and love. There isn't a dull moment with her. She has taught us all to love in new ways. It pains my heart to ever imagine life without her.  She isn't flesh of my flesh and if it weren't through the beautiful redemption of adoption, she wouldn't be my daughter. I am so grateful. Humbled to be a chosen child of the King, and then He humbles me more when given this great responsibility and chose me to be a mother. 

We are attached.  We are bonded.  I'm sure there will be hard days ahead.  And I'm not certain that adoption will have anything to do with it.  I know it won't have everything to do with it though, because raising any child will bring hard days. 

I pray that one day I can look back and remember when I heard Elliana claim Christ as her Savior and Redeemer and that she finds her identity in Him.  That I can say with John that there is no greater joy than seeing my child walk in the truth (3 John 1:4).

To those that have read this--take a moment and consider adoption.  Consider why you haven't considered adoption. 
I cannot imagine not having experienced this entire process and the amazing blessing of calling Elliana my daughter.  Those that know her--can you imagine her not being a Frazey? I know you cannot, because she is so perfect for our family and God has woven our hearts and stories together.
Adoption is the closest picture of earthly redemption.  It is a picture of our spiritual adoption on a horizontal level and God has given us the privilege of being a part of that.  You will be forever changed and you will forever change the life of a child.  


1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post! From start to finish, your adoption story of Elliana shouts praise to God. How beautifully He softened them to adoption, how much Faith He gave you during the process, what love He gave you to show to her before you knew her. What sacrifice you showed to bring 1 of many home knowing the hardships that would come. What complete acceptance you granted her as your own when she came home July 4, 2013. And how perfectly she fits in your family to make it all the more beautiful. All of this and more, may God continue to be glorified and praised through the adoption of Elliana and any others down the road.