A year ago today, I saw my daughter's face for the very first time.
She was about fifteen months old then.
I remember worrying about the day I'd see her face.
Maybe worrying isn't quite the right word,
but there was the tiniest drop of fear in my head
when I thought about how I'd feel when I first saw her.
Would I know she was mine?
Would there be an instant connection?
Would seeing her face only confirm that we were right where God wants us?
All of those.
I saw her little face and looked into her big brown eyes, and I knew.
I knew every day for three months before we were actually able to legally accept her referral
that she was mine.
I didn't need a piece of paper or a ruling from a judge.
I just knew.
It's been a long year.
My family won't be complete until our girl is home.
There will always be something missing until she's here, in her bed, in her room, with her family.
I've cried for her.
I longed for her.
My arms have physically ached for her.
And I feel like I've been pregnant....for seventeen and a half months.
We still have several steps to complete before Emily is home with us.
And it just breaks my heart-- all the time that she is spending without her family.
I'm sad for me, I'm sad for us, but most of all, I'm sad for her.
It's not that we are anything special.
We'd loud....really, really loud.
Sometimes we eat corndogs for dinner.
But we ARE a family, and my girl, she needs one of those.
I knew adoption would be hard.
I wasn't blinded by gotcha day videos or unrealistic in terms of our unknown timeline.
But I never had a clue just what this waiting would do to my heart.
But God is good.
He knows when I'm at my breaking point, and He chooses these exact moments to send good news and updates and new pictures of the most precious little chocolate face our way.
The picture we got last week?
She's so big.
She looks so good.
And she's smiling.
That's the first smile we've seen.
She's so beautiful.
And she looks so much like mine....because she is.
My prayer today?
Where do I even begin?
I pray that God will protect her.
That she'll know just how much we love her and how we can't wait to have her home with us.
I pray for her foster parents, the ones filling in for us.
I pray for days to seem like minutes until we're together.
And I pray again and again for not another year to pass before she's here.
It's been a whole year, and my heart has felt every minute of every hour without my Emily.