Every year, at least for the past ten, we celebrate something special on November 14th.
That's the date Scott and I walked out of Orphanage #14 in Moscow, Russia holding an orange and pink snow suited bundle of a baby (she was still a baby at 14 months) (that's a lot of 14s isn't it?) and nobody stopped us.
Don't worry, it was all legit and she was ours (!!) through the miracle of international adoption, but after years of infertility failures I kept waiting for something to snag in our adoption.
But it didn't.
Nada, zip, zilch.
No delays or roadblocks--although the international adoption process itself is, um...rather involved.
From the time we turned in our application to the above described exit from the orphanage it took only 8 months (and yes, those 8 months were filled with dossier reports, home surveys, social worker interviews, numerous bureaucratic hoops to jump through, the agonizing (I know, it's all relative) (from early spring to late August) wait for a referral and don't forget, financial matters to attend to).
God's hand was moving through all of it.
That little snow suited bundle now looks like this.
I brought her McDonald's for lunch (I know, I know, gag) to kick off a little Gotcha Day celebrating.
Her teacher said Annelise had stood up in front of the class (willingly) and told them about her adoption and why we celebrate Gotcha Day and answered a few questions. I was so proud of her!
We usually celebrate with dinner out at her pick of the place and a gift or two. This year, I guess because it was the 10th anniversary, we went a little overboard. Along with a new infinity scarf (not pictured, but she loves it) and hoodie she got a new James Avery charm for her bracelet (a Texas with a heart in it, like from Russia to Texas with love) and a silver ring with an anchor, cross and heart intertwined for faith, hope and love. She was over the moon excited!
We went out for dinner at BJs where the dinner part was only meh because she was all about getting her very own Pazookie.
I can understand her excitement.
Ever so often she gets out her baby book, which is a labor of love because that thing is a beast to carry downstairs, and peruses for a while, which warms my heart.
(picture from earlier this year one random afternoon of memory lane walking)
Saturday morning dawned earlier than normal (at least it seemed that way) with her last soccer game of the season at 8:00.
It was crazy cold (for Texas) and windy (felt even colder) and her team fought valiantly and lost but she still had a good time.
(Scott bootlegged this off of someone's FB page. Is that stealing? Oh well.)
(I wish my coffee had lasted longer than the first half.)
The team had a breakfast party afterwards in the least windy corner of the pavilion (as if) to celebrate the season, or maybe just to enjoy doughnuts, whichever.
Loosely Related Sidenote: We were assigned to bring orange juice, so of course I pulled a Holly (wanting to make sure there was enough) so I bought three big jugs not realizing that it would be in the low 40s and only crazy people would want to drink cold OJ. The hot chocolate dispenser was where it was AT. We gave one unopened jug away and still have one and a half jugs cluttering up our fridge. We went to IHOP after the breakfast party for a real breakfast and Scott and Annelise had the nerve to order...wait for it...orange juice. Sigh.