Five years ago today our life changed forever. December 8, 2004 was the day that we stood in front of a Russian judge and asked that Regina Kupinskya be allowed to become Ana Regina and our second daughter. Looking back it was all quite surreal and it seems as though it were a lifetime ago. I honestly have a hard time remembering daily life before Ana joined our family and as I asked her this morning I think she feels the same way. She told me she knows that she is from Russia but I don't think that she can remember many of the details. Perhaps this is good as her first two and a half years of life were not ideal.
I can't help remembering a little for her our first meeting and the chocolate chip cookie that she inhaled. Or the last day we met with her on our first trip standing in the hallway of the orphanage she had just gotten up from a nap and was so sleepy and just laid her head on my shoulder...I was smitten. I cried so many tears that day when we had to leave her there and I was never so thankful that the time between our trips was only three weeks. Then there was the day we went to get her which was actually the 9th of December. Emma was with us and we were all aware that life was about to change but we were not quite prepared for how. Ana was playing outside when we got to the orphanage and she was not at all happy that they brought her in to us. The look on her face when we took her into the tiny room to get her changed said it all. "Who are you people and why did you interrupt my playtime???" I have seen that same look many times since, she was and continues to be quite a strong willed independant thing. But I think this is probably what allowed her to survive her first two years and I'm grateful that God gave her the spirit that he did.
As we pass this five year mark I thank the Lord that He chose us to parent this child. There have been days and I'm sure there will be many more where I wonder how I will ever be equal to the task, but I trust that He knew what He was doing. I'm grateful for her smile and for her sweet hugs and for her willingness to persevere when things are difficult for her. Happy Adoption Day Sweet Girl we love you so very much!!