This is it. The day she turns 18. The day I marked nine years ago as my day of freedom.
I looked forward to this day every minute for almost two years. But then I stopped.
She's no longer the ten-year-old with a chip on her shoulder. She's no longer the screaming tantrum thrower. She's no longer unpleasant or awkward or shady.
And because of that, this isn't the day I thought it would be.
Because this girl makes me laugh everyday...
She is more generous with her time and money than anyone I have ever met and she loves Jesus more than anything else.
She's so easy to love and I can't imagine a day without her.
Yes, I just said that.
For those of you in the trenches, living at the starting line of your adoption journey, know that I am there too. But I'm nearing the finish line at the same time. I have one that just moved in and has brought all the emotions and turmoil that comes with the beginning. And I have another that feels so natural I forget we don't share the same bloodline.
Do you know what that gives me everyday? Hope.
When the days are long and her rough edges cut deep, I see the one that came first.
When she's loud and rude and I'm certain she is never going to understand, I see the one that came first.
When I'm tired and frustrated and want to give up, I see the one that came first.
She's beautiful, this 18-year-old of mine. In all ways. Absolutely beautiful.
So this morning I let her sleep in and then celebrated who she is all day long. Because who she is is more than I could ever have imagined. God is faithful. I see that faithfulness everyday as she emerges from under her covers to greet another morning.
In the beginning I couldn't imagine it would ever be this amazing. Now, I can't imagine it any other way.
Yes, the new one is a challenge, but that's okay, because I've seen how it all can end.
She's mine. She's lovely. And today she turns 18.
Happy Birthday sweet Hannah.