We received a surprise New Years card from Lauren's orphanage in Shanghai with a note that thanked us for "your care and love to the child from Shanghai". It also requested updated pictures if we were willing to share and an email address they could be sent to.
So I put together a couple of collage sets of Lauren over this past year and sent them off with an update on how she's doing and a note of thanks for all their care of her the almost 7 years before she arrived in our lives.
|Lauren arriving on "Gotcha Day"|
|Lauren points to Hannah as she recognizes her from the photo album we'd sent her|
It was 2 years ago this week that we were in Shanghai and Lauren joined our family. It's hard to believe, time has flown by so fast and the changes in Lauren and for our family have been dramatic.
I've mentioned in past posts about the challenges Lauren suffered with her health from the time of her birth, to even a few months before we arrived in China being hospitalized with yet another kidney infection. Since joining our family she's had nothing more severe than two colds and a brief bout with the flu!!! The improvement to her health is truly miraculous given her history.
|Signing all the final paperwork at the Civil Affairs Office|
|It's official she ours!!|
She's had to adjust to a whole new life, language and learning to be a part of a family. These are not easy changes and the process takes time, but the reward of seeing her blossom into her own person and part of this family is tremendous.
In looking over the changes for all of us these past two years makes you really appreciate the importance of family. Adopting an older child has it's challenges, and they are ones we still deal with. However, the rewards for everyone involved are nothing short of incredible. The opportunity to give love and be loved, to see potential and hidden talents nurtured and grow until they bring forth the fruit of real accomplishment - AMAZING!!. Opportunities for a whole new future that didn't exist before, but now are completely in the range of reality truly brings a tear forth.
Lauren's grown literally, from a tiny 36" tall 6 1/2 year old who barely kept her 2 Toddler clothes on, to a now 41 1/2" tall almost 8 year old who can wear size 4 Toddler clothes and fill them out. She's still very tiny for her age, but has grown considerably.
|Lauren and Hannah busy with their schoolwork|
Schoolwise she's gone from not even being able to hold a pencil or make a simple line, to basic writing with quite nice printing skills. She is beginning to learn to read and is doing some 1st grade math. We've had to deal with a lot of challenges in schooling that have included the reality that her ill health and malnutrition that resulted from it have caused some learning delays that require extra time and attention for her to gain and master skill levels. Still, her improvement and progress has been significant.
So in response to the surprise card and request it was a nice chance to review where we've been and are now since Lauren's "Gotcha Day" on January 3. 2011.
And so the journey continues - Lynda