Friday, March 4, 2011

An Anniversary

"A daughter is a miracle that never ceases to be miraculous...full of beauty and forever beautiful...loving and caring and truly amazing."
Dianna Beisser

[9 years old]

Eight years ago, Mr. Tennis and I stood with 10 other families in our travel group anxiously awaiting the arrival of our daughters. It was a warm and rather humid day in Guangzhou -- my hair was a big, curly mess, but not even I cared (except to worry that I might scare the baby!). We thought we would be meeting the girls the next day, but we were surprised with an early arrival from their orphanage -- a 4-hour bus drive away.[Photo we received prior to travel to China. ]

We were the second or third family to receive our daughter. She looked at us carefully with her beautiful dark eyes, stuck two fingers in her mouth and began to suck on those fingers in earnest. She was 14 months old. She didn't cry, but I knew that she was very upset and worried. As we slowly got to know her in China, we discovered she had developed her own way of coping with strange or hard situations. She put her hands up on either side of her face to block out whatever was upsetting her. Elevators and people getting too close meant those hands went right up. Breaks my heart a little that my adorable girl had figured out a way to cope all on her own at such a young age.

[This photo is from a day or two after we got home. She had double ear infections, tummy troubles and rash. She was getting a little more comfortable, so only put one hand up.]

Fast forward eight years -- each one more joyful than the last (if that is even possible). She's grown into a beautiful, sweet and thoughtful nine-year old. She has the best manners and is most definitely a people-pleaser. She loves her family, her dog, her friends, stuffed animals, Mickey Mouse, chips (make hers BBQ please).

Her smile and her unconditional love adds so much joy to our lives and brightens my day and that of Mr. Tennis.

Some of my very favorite things about her - obviously (obviously is a favorite word of hers lately) is that she still willingly and happily holds hands with me when we go somewhere, she loves to shop together and spend time together reading, playing a game or watching tv. She can be a little chatter-box at times. So fun to hear about her day at school and her friends. Her teachers are so special and are, obviously, the very best 3rd grade teachers in the whole city! She adores her brothers, her sister (in-law) and Baby Janie -- not to forget -- her special dog --Muffy. We are so blessed and thank God every single day for our sweet Maddy.


Kim K. said...

Happy Anniversary. I love seeing your history together. We're getting ready to celebrate our 3rd Josie anniversary in a few weeks.


Jodee said...

Congrats on eight happy years together! Maddy is one of the sweetest kids I know. You are so blessed!

I will never forget busting you in the baby aisle at Target and you whipping out your referral picture! I was soooo excited for you!

paige said...

congratulations & blessings on your very special day.
what a beautiful girl that maddy is...& always smiling.
i love your favorite things about her right now part

have a fabulous weekend celebrating your family xoxo

Gail said...

Congrats and happy 8 years together!!!! Maddy is incredibly beautiful on the outside and inside. She's such a special part of your family.

The time goes so fast doesn't it Janet? We'll celebrate 8 years with Grace in 6 months.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Laura L. said...

Happy Anniversary!! Have a wonderful time celebrating with Maddy.
I enjoyed reading your post. What a special blessing she is to all who know and love her.

Karla said...

Oh Happy Anniversary, she is such a blessing...and that is a beautiful picture in the brown sweater. What a sweet smile!

Kristin said...

Happy Anniversary! A very sweet post about a beautiful little girl. =)

Kim said...

Congrats on 8 years with Maddy! I am sure each year gets a little bit sweeter, she is such a sweet girl.

Laurie said...

This was a GREAT post!! I just loved looking back at those sweet baby pictures, and now she's just such a lovely young lady. Wow!!

3 Peanuts said...

Happy Anniversary. It is fun to look back at those special days:)

Lisa said...

Happy anniversary!! Such special memories. I appreciate the comments about the coping. I totally get that. A beautiful family you have Janet!