Ava Day!

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I can’t even believe this is the same girl we met a year ago. She’s so full of life, and giggles, and affection, and charm. And while celebrating our Ava Day on August 22nd, there were some things I didn’t want to forget- the feeling of the slight fuzz on her head rubbing on my cheek, the way she felt like a long limp noodle when her nanny handed her to me, the breaking down of the wall that had been building around my heart during our long and painful wait, the time we gave Ava guava juice in China and thought she was experiencing some sort of sugar high but it was really just her true personality poking through her fear, her huge brown eyes round as the moon, the way our family finally felt complete.

Of course there are some things I’ll never forget that will always be a bit painful- seeing how dirty Ava was with a huge lump and bruise on her forehead the day we met her, realizing she was very small for a two year and she didn’t have enough strength to walk, her unending screaming in the middle of the night, watching many of the other kids happily playing games with their new parents a few days after meeting while Ava sat motionless in our laps sucking her thumb, the way Nathan felt when Ava only wanted me for 2 weeks, the sadness I felt for Ava that she was leaving her beautiful country, realizing the incredible amount of loss my daughter had already experienced, wishing I could have been with Ava sooner.

Every year on this day we will celebrate- becoming a family in such a beautiful place, the new ‘family’ we met in China (the people who were with us in China for this most important day), all of our extended family who loved Ava immediately and who continue to treat her like royalty, all of our friends who supported us and listened to us throughout our wait, Ava’s Chinese heritage, the love her birth parents must have had for her to allow her to come to us, and our love for each other.

While in China, we bought several gifts in order to give Ava one each year on this anniversary. This year she got a puzzle with pictures of all the animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar. We went out for Chinese food, took a few pictures, and told Ava over and over how happy we are that she’s our daughter. I’ll forever be amazed at how perfect we are for each other. I don’t know what goes on in that matching room in China, but I’m convinced it’s something magical and divine.

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6 Responses to Ava Day!

  1. Beverly says:

    Happy Family Day!

    Beverly

  2. Joyce Mina (Corey AND Christian's mom) says:

    Happy Family Day to all of you! I KNOW how the rush of emotions from a year ago must have affected all of you as you enjoyed the first of many Family Day celebrations together. It’s amazing to see how Ava has transformed from the shell shocked little face that greeted you on the first day into a beautiful, happy, and well adjusted little girl. What a great job you’re all doing to nurture her in a wonderful and loving home. Congratulations to all of you. As a fellow adoptive parent, I also believe that there is a higher power who magically matches our children to their families!

  3. Lisa & Clara says:

    I am honored and thrilled over the fact that our families will share this anniversary forever. What beautiful words. I’ve been feeling nostalgic for China this past week (maybe it is the humidity here?) and wishing we were only a few Guangzhou blocks away from each other. Hugs to all. And a highlight of the trip will always be Ava’s Guava juice experience. Actually, she was adorable but it was yours and Nate’s reactions “we’ve gotten our child high” that still makes me laugh so hard I almost wet myself!

  4. Sabrina & Karen says:

    She just looks like a totally different kid!!! She’s SO cute and just blossomed. I LOVE, LOVE seeing her and you guys and how great Ava is growing.

  5. Wenguo says:

    Happy Ava Day! Ava is thriving. She is such a sweet heart. We are so happy to get to know you and see Ava growing up in such a loving, happy home.

  6. Courtney says:

    I am tearing up … really. I can not believe it has been a year. And I can not believe the growth I see in the blogs and pictures on your site. Thanks for sharing. And how lucky Ava is to have you two, how lucky you are to have her. I suppose that is what all families strive for, to feel lucky!

    Ed and I send our love,
    Courtney

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