Thursday, February 6, 2014

Charlotte is ONE!

Charlotte ~ Joy to the Lord

Always be joyful.  Always keep on praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful.  For this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.   2 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Charlotte is a sweet, joyful little girl.  She wasn't always this way; having acid reflux as an infant she actually cried alot.  Now that she has outgrown her discomfort, we enjoy all her moments of joy.  If it were up to Charlotte, she would be permanently attached to my hip at all times of the day.  This girl loves to be close.   Even if I'm just sitting on the floor watching her play, she is content.  Some of my recent, most special moments with Charlotte have been in the evening when I'm putting her to bed.  We get her soft blanky, she lays on my chest and we rock.  Most times she doesn't even fall asleep.  She just lays there staring at me. And this will go on as long as I am willing to sit there with her.  Another favorite is going into her room in the morning.  She is always standing up waiting for the door to open.  And once it does, she smiles at me with pink rosy cheeks and paces back and forth laughing.  These are the moments I never want to forget.

Charlotte has taught me to slow down and enjoy little things.  Many times I get frustrated that she always wants to be held or interacted with, but I am repeatedly reminding myself that she will not always want me to hold her.  Her big grin and little squeal of a giggle make my day.  This past year has been filled with getting to know this sweet girl and her charming personality.  And she is most definitely a charmer!  I am beyond grateful for the blessing God has given us in Charlotte.  What a beautiful gift!

This beautiful video of Charlotte's first year was made with lots of love and many hours by Karl.  Enjoy!

Charlotte's first year standard size from Karl on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Why are we doing this?"

Today was a special day for our family and especially for Harmony.  For the past 18 months we have been trying to get together with her birth father, Tyler.  After a couple meetings falling through we began to wonder if it would ever actually happen.  Recently Tyler has made many positive changes in his life and has started reaching out to our family more.   Today that meeting with him finally happened!

We started convincing ourselves that maybe it didn't really matter if we/she ever had a relationship with him. But after meeting with him today we felt that God was renewing our original conviction of needing to be His light to Tyler.  God brought us an amazing gift in Harmony but we believe it is not only for our sake and hers that we are together, but also for the rest of the family involved.  Going into our meeting today, we were worried about it feeling awkward, intimidating and uncomfortable.  But it was incredibly special to see how much Tyler loves this little girl.  He held her, chased her, went down the slide and followed her everywhere with a grin from ear to ear.  Watching the tears roll down his face as he wept saying goodbye to her reminded us of not only how special this gift is but also how important an open adoption can be.  Not only for Harmony to know her birth father but for Tyler to be able to heal through seeing her and knowing she is loved.

Frequently we forget that Harmony is even adopted. She is an Anderson and part of us.  But that's not the whole story. She has other people in her life that care deeply for her and she should know that.  We had to ask ourselves today, "Why are we doing this?"  It's so Harmony can see the love her birth father has for her.  She was never abandoned or unwanted.  She was cherished and still is.  Even if today is the only time she has with him, we will be able to tell her about the new things we learned about her biological family and it will be very obvious through the photos taken, how much he loves her.

Little sis had fun too. :)