"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rising from the ashes....

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

- I Thessalonians 5:18

::tapping on monitor screen:: Hello? Is anyone still out there that reads this?

I know it's been way too long. A few times, I've opened up to this page and have started to blog, but alas, I can't seem to find the desire to put the words together. So much has happened in the past year with our lives.

Today, I'm committed to writing. This has by no means been an easy blog post to write. It's not one of those full of happy-go-lucky-we're-doing-great kinda posts. It is full of reality. It is full of life. But most of all, it is full of HOPE!

It's something I am ashamed of. I am embarrassed to share and I am being told by the master of deceit that it is no one's business. But indeed, it is and I refuse to harbor those feelings any longer.

I'll tell you why.

Many of you know how I feel about the present administration and about the fact that this country has been going in a downward spiral since he took office in 2008. Sweet hubby's job started tightening the reins. There are now no benefits for employees, because they just can't afford it. The quality of the medical insurance (that they do not pay for) is so bad, and the cost is so outrageously expensive that we don't have medical insurance, with the exception of Kai, who desperately needs it. It's been a few months that we've been in this situation and we've decided we need to do something fast. So, after much prayer and lots and lots of thinking, we've decided to move out of state where Scott could find a job doing what he is prepared to do and where we could have insurance for the entire family.

We started looking and looking. Lo and behold, Scott applied for a position with a large international company that bought out the company he used to work for. He knew all the ins and outs of the position. Within days, we were sent an email stating that he was one of the final candidates, followed by a FedEx envelope full of forms required for new employment and blood orders for a drug screening test. Boy! God was showing himself in a big way. After many months, this was the answer to our prayers! He was going to get a nice pay increase and more importantly, we were getting great medical insurance for the entire family for what seemed like peanuts compared to the cost in Florida.

We praised and thanked Him every time the wonderful thought came into our heads, which was about a hundred times a day. The icing on the cake was that the job was in Tennessee. A placed that I've loved since I could remember and have been to many times. The last was with sweet hubby celebrating a weekend together before we picked up our Anna Grace.

Then, as many of you know, the tax credit that we'd had sitting at the IR*S for the past 4 years had been changed to a refund! Oh, yes! Life certainly was changing for our family in a huge way.

You see, last year the economy got so bad, so quickly, that we were forced to do what sadly many Americans have had to. We had to file for bankruptcy. The home that we had so proudly purchased 7 years before, was surrendered in the process. I felt ashamed that we had lost our house, our credit and were left sitting with nothing.

But, God remained faithful. He was pulling us out of the trenches. A new job was almost at our reach and we were receiving almost $40,000. that had been sitting as credit with the government. It was a new beginning for us! Yes! We were going to fix our old, now falling apart van, and use those funds to move the family to Tennessee, finally have medical insurance and start a new life.

So, that's the story of rising from the ashes. Okay, it's not.

As we waited to hear from the powers that be that sweet hubby had gotten the job and a received a starting date, days turned into weeks. Nothing. We checked in a couple of times and were told that they had to divert their attention from that position to another, but to hang in there a few more weeks and we'd have the answer. It all looked good.

We sighed, but trusted and continued to praise.

We also waited for that big check to come in. There were delays because they were doing a 'review', as most everyone I know who is waiting for their big refund, has been told. Several weeks later. We receive the letter from that infamous agency saying that everything was approved and that our check was on its way! Again, more praising. We just had to learn patience. That's it. God was teaching us patience.

In the meantime, bills continue to pile up. We are looking at another surgery for Kai in the next few weeks and praying daily that no one gets sick or injured while we wait. But, it's all good. Patience is a virtue and God was certainly showing us that.

Fast forward to last week. The email from the new job came in. The company decided to go with the other candidate because he was local. "An easier choice." We felt crushed. How could that happen? Sweet hubby had already done his background checks, drug screening, salary was agreed upon, and he knew everything about the position. It was just figuring out the logistics. Well, it wasn't meant to be. Many tears and many questions to God went up from me. So, what did we do?


Yes, it's all His perfect plan. Maybe that wasn't the job that was meant for us. Maybe it wasn't going to be 'the best', and we know God only wants the best for us. So, we dusted our sandals and decided that there was nothing we could do. We have to move forward and God will show us what door it is that he wants us to walk through.

BUT...we still that have big check coming! Yaaay! Although that's not completely the answer to prayers, we could give a big sigh of relief that at least we were able to start over. We continued to thank and praise.

We waited and waited for the check to arrive. I spent more hours on the phone with said 'agency' that I ever thought I could or would want to. Person after person assured me that it was mailed 'over a month ago'. They reviewed the address. They gave me a check number. The date it was mailed. "It must have gotten lost in the mail", we were told. Finally, we were instructed to file a form to trace the check. We did as they suggested.

Just two days ago, they found the check! Yes, it had been mailed. The only problem was that it was mailed to the trustee of the bankruptcy courts and not us. Their letter was apologetic over the 'confusion and inconvenience this may have caused.' The bottom line was that our almost $40k dollars that we were going to start life over again with was to be given back. We happened to file for bankruptcy the same year that the adoption tax refund went from a credit to a refund. Therefore, we are no longer entitled to that money.

So now, no new job. No money. No insurance. No starting over.

But the most important part of this is that we remain steadfast in our faith.





I won't tell you that I received the news and jumped for joy. Oh no! I cried. A lot. I ranted. I questioned. I was devastated and angry and sad and depressed. I felt hopeless. Every single one of those feelings was the flesh. That was the humanness in me.

Then something wonderful happened. God's grace took over. I was not only picked up by a God-fearing husband who said to me, "God's plan is much bigger than that, much better. We have to trust! We have to stand firm in His word and in the fact He is in control of all of this." I knew immediately. THAT was the voice of truth speaking through him.

We again, dusted our sandals, picked ourselves up. This time, with more love and joy and hope in our hearts than we've felt in a long time, we thanked Him and praised His glorious Name! Why? Because we believe in everything He is and was and will be. He has not changed, nor will He ever change.

If you've still not realized why I am sharing such a very personal story is because there may just be a person or two out there that is going through similar situations. I just want you to know that there is ALWAYS hope. There is hope in our Savior. He will never forsake you. You just need to trust that with all of your being. I know personally, that I can't wait to share with you what bigger and better plans He has for us because I know He does.

In the meantime, we continue to thank, praise and honor the Name above all names! We trust Him more than ever now. How awesome is that? To think that life is back on track, and then you end up with nothing again. But it is really nothing? No. We ended up with the most important thing a person can have when they feel so down and so deep in the pit that they can't see the light shining over them. We ended up with HOPE! And that word encompasses all that Jesus is. It encompasses the reason He died on the cross for you and me. He is HOPE!

Come what may, bring the rain because we remain steadfast in saying,


- Joshua 24:15

I pray these words bless you as they have blessed me.

Our circumstances in life are worldly.

Our God's love for us is eternal.

(I do want to add that during Bible study this morning, we were talking about God's promises and so forth and Kai burst out saying, "Mama, we're going to get to the Promised Land.... Tenneessee!". We learned about the Israelites a couple of weeks ago. That made me smile BIG! Yes, baby, we are gonna get to the Promised Land!!!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'One Born Every Minute'


Leaving the courthouse with our little man on our first Forever Family Day!

I have so much to blog about, but tonight, specifically, my heart wants to share about domestic adoption. I don't know how many of you have watched the show 'One Born Every Minute' on the Lifetime channel and to be honest, tonight was the first time I've watched it myself. My son came running upstairs to tell me it was on and it was about a birthmom placing her twin babies up for adoption. I, of course, immediately flipped the channel to watch. All I can say is, "Wow!" Ironically, the littlest person in this house, our domestic baby, just turned five this week. FIVE!! Rarely is there a day that goes by that I don't think about how God has blessed us. Yet, ironically, the love is so huge that sometimes I forget he wasn't born in my womb. (Actually, that's even happened with my Chinese babies, too! Shhh!!)

I digress.

What I really wanted to say is that adoption is the most amazing gift you could ever experience. There is nothing in the world that it could be compared to. I have given birth three times in my life. Each and every time it has been a life changing, incredible experience, but it was 'safe'. It was, for the most part, something you prepared for. You knew the outcome, God willing, would be a sweet angel in your arms, after nine months.

With adoption, it's not like that. At. All. Tonight, I am only focusing on our domestic adoption because of the roller coaster of emotions that I was reliving while watching the show.

Your heart soars with every thought that there is this 'chance' that you could bring a baby you've been dreaming about home with you. And a few minutes later, your heart feels like it's going to rip apart because of the fear-filled possibility that the birthmom will change her mind. This cycle happens over and over. A part of you understands, or tries to understand the pain and grieving that she will be going through after that baby enters the world. Yet, the ugly, selfish part of you, the part of you that feels that you could offer that baby everything he or she deserves, doesn't want to have any empathy.

As you wait to hear the news about this little creature's arrival, your mind spins out of control. Between the grandiose dreams of motherhood and the horrible, negative thoughts of being rejected, the spectrum of emotions is so vast that an ocean could run through it.

Then it happens. The moment everyone in this triangle has been waiting for. The baby takes it's first breath of air. He enters the world. I could only imagine the thoughts that go through the birthmom's mind as she hears those first cries. My heart shrivels up thinking about the decision that she will be making.

How can you ever, ever repay anyone for a gift like that? Giving this child life and handing them over for someone else to raise, in my eyes, is the most unselfish act that any woman can ever make. There just aren't enough thank you's in the world that could scratch the surface of how you want to express what it means for you to be given the opportunity to be called "Mama".

While watching tonight, I felt like I was back in that hospital room almost 5 years to the day. Watching the birthmom's pain on the TV set was like watching the pain in our own birthmom's eyes. Watching the anxiety and finally relief as the adoptive Mama held her babies, was like feeling my own anxiety and finally relief as we walked out of the hospital with that baby boy.

If this is just an iota of the love that God feels for us, His adopted children, it's a love that I can't even wrap my brain around. I worship my God. I adore my husband. But the love for my children, all six of them, is an unexplainable, protective love that knows no boundaries. Blood may be thicker than water, but a mother's love for something that has been given to her by God himself is stronger than any human can logically understand.

I am thankful that my heart knows and tells me that these are not my adopted children. These are my children. Period.

I am blessed.

We are blessed.

We are blessed beyond measure.

Thank you, Jesus!

Lord, please, I pray that you abundantly bless our birthmoms that have so unselfishly chosen to say, "Yes" and give life to your most perfect creation, a baby. Our babies. Father God, fill their hearts with your peace knowing that their children are loved and treasured beyond anything imaginable. Amen.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

So, what do you need to make it a perfect St. Patrick's day celebration?

Well, you start the day with making some leprechaun projects.




Then, of course, you need some yummy Irish food like corned beef and cabbage,


some green beer and a frosty green drink to wash it down with,


of course, a couple of "toasts" are a must in order to really make it a celebration,



three really cute kiddos for company,


and a dollar weed 3-leaf clover for luck!


There you have it, Lad. These are it! The makings of a great St. Patty's day celebration.

May St. Patrick guard you wherever you go. - Irish blessing.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Do-Over: Chinese Royalty Visit Local Park

**This post was written for the photography blog, so for those of you folks that have already seen this, my apologies.

Lately, I've been struggling about how to add more hours to my day. Life is so crazy, busy at the Bombardier household between school, work, and play that it's getting tougher and tougher to keep up with my old therapeutic buddy, my blog.

So, I thought I wouldn't keep you waiting any longer and would post a few pics from one of our visits to the park the other day. These two little critters make me smile....A LOT! I'm sure they'll do the same to you.**

After running errands with the Chinese Royalty, they begged to go to the park.

Knowing that they could definitely use the release of some energy, I obliged. Not to mention the fact that I, of course, had my camera with me and what a better opportunity to take pictures than at a park with two of my babes.

So, they jumped,


and they swung,


and they slid,


and they climbed.


They played games,


and they giggled.


They took a candy break.



and like all siblings, had to compare whose tongue was greener and whose lollipop was licked the most.



Then they tried to decipher graffiti ancient Hieroglyphic writings.


It was an afternoon filled with fun...


and love.


What a perfect way to spend the day!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


As a tribute to our troops, I am honored and proud to offer a free photo family session to any active duty or disabled military families in SW Florida.

If you are one of these families, or know of one, please EMAIL ME privately.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear God, Let's Talk!

As I was laying in bed tonight, I began thinking about all the things I start and never complete. I thought about all the times I pray to God for desires of my heart (not referring to material things) and after a while of not getting an immediate response, I just stop asking. I figure it's not in His will and it ain't happening. So, I don't bother with it.

Isn't that what our kids do when they really want something? They ask and ask and ask again. After hearing a few, "We'll see", "Maybe" or the occasional, "I don't know.", they just stop asking.

Before the holidays, I began feeling this strong nudge from God saying to me, "Draw yourself closer to me. Drown yourself in My Word. Let me lead and guide your life and you will see the changes that you ask for and think I don't hear."

So, I thought I'd once again fail at attempt to read the Bible in one year. I did that, for about 3 weeks. Then I got so far behind in my daily readings that it soon began to be chapters instead of verses. I think that was the third or fourth time I've attempted to do that. Don't get me wrong. I love the Bible. I have bible study with the kids every morning. We read, learn scriptures, and break apart and digest His word with a deep hunger. So, why I can't do it alone? I don't know.

Then, I tried praying at length daily. I tried finding that quiet time. I feel God's presence with me all the time. I talk to him 100 times a day. I pray while I drive, shower and even walk outside to get the mail. I see His miracles working in my life daily. The fact that I don't have time to sit and be still, is a cop-out. A poor excuse. If I can find the time to edit pictures, chat on Facebook, and peruse the Internet, I certainly have the time to give to God.

I want to feel Him. I want to give Him all that I have. Why is the humanness in me making it so darn difficult?

That all leads me to tonight.

Tonight, I realized, really realized, that God hears every word I say. I just don't give Him the time to respond. Or better yet, I don't give myself the time to see His response.

Tonight, I believe I've come up with the solution to this.

As a little girl, I loved keeping a diary. It was my secret place where I could write my most intimate thoughts and ideas. A safe place where I knew I wouldn't be laughed at or judged for pouring my heart out. But, besides being able to write down those thoughts, my favorite part was months later, being able to look back at that part of my life and seeing how those moments in my life had morphed into something else.

Some of you may think, "This is your brainstorm? A diary?" Well....yes.

A prayer journal of sorts. A diary to God. Writing in it daily, if I can. I'm excited about it because I love writing. Writing by hand. I love reading. And most importantly, I passionately love God! I want to please him.

How cool is that? I feel like I can talk and talk and talk. I know He's listening. Whether it's me speaking out loud or pouring my heart out through writing. He hears my heart. But you know what I am most looking forward to? Just what I looked forward to over 35 years ago, looking back at my writings, months later, and seeing what He's done with me. The thought fills me with a mixture of joy and thrill.


I think I get it now. I am your disciple, Thomas.

But I think it's okay. I think you know that it's not that I doubt you, Father. It's not that I don't believe for one instant, that you can't move mountains or that you don't love me with a passion that is inconceivable, but I am a slow learner. It's just that I respond well to visuals.

I teach my babies every single day to be on the lookout for your miracles. We see them every day, Lord. Whether it's in a baby bird sitting in a nest or a little one with a skinned-knee that was healed with a prayer and kissy, or a beautiful sunset where we announce that you are painting with watercolors, You are there. I have no doubt in you. Whatsoever. But I learn so much easier by seeing.

Father, I hope you understand my enthusiasm when I think that I can empty my heart and soul out to you on paper and then months later, go back and see how your miracles unfolded in my life. To be able to remind myself of those miracles any time I want, just by opening a book, makes me giddy with excitement!

I can't wait to read in awe and wonder about your works and how you transformed me, how you transformed my life. Being able to relive the exact feelings during both the moments of trials and the moments of answered prayers, because they are right there, in detail, in front of my face, is a huge gift. Being able to see how you took my prayers, my pleas, my hopes, my dreams, my sorrows, my fears and molded each and every one of them into Your perfect will, is just icing on the many blessings that you've poured upon me.

Oh, Lord! I wish I had thought of this before. But, with each passing day, like all fathers do, you teach how me to grow and I understand that takes time. I am so thankful for your patience and unconditional love.

I think this was my first journal entry. It turned out to be a public one. Not what I wanted, but that's how it turned out, and you know it came from my deepest part of my heart. I love you so much, Jesus!

Looking forward to talking to you soon, Father. Very soon.

With all my love,

your daughter....

Saturday, January 29, 2011


If so, head on over to my photography blog,

Ohilda Bombardier Photography,

The prize is uber cool! Yup, I said, UBER cool!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Affectionate + Adorable + Adroit = A.J.

Those are just a few words that come to mind when I think about the youngest piece of my heart.

He is all boy, even when he's playing construction worker and stops off for a quick tea party with his sister.


I think one of the many things I adore about this boy is his loud, boisterous, impetuous laugh! He laughs with his whole body and soul and you can hear the roar building up from the deepest parts of his lungs before it spills out.


He can turn on the charm and enchantment likes he's flicking on a light switch. I try and fight it. Really. I do. But when I look into those big, twinkly, hazel eyes, it's so darn hard not to get tangled up in that string he holds around his little finger.


Beneath all the charisma and allurement, lurks a mischievous, playful and coy little boy. One who loves his Mama with all his heart and truly tries to please, but sometimes it's just a losing battle, for both of us.

Oh yes, he gets into everything. Every. Thing.

His direction following is as good as when you release an air filled balloon that hasn't been tied. You never know which direction it's going to take.

I especially love it (well, not really "love") when he breaks something or goes into someone else's things. He usually comes running with a look of pure horror on his face, all the while exclaiming, "I don't know who did it. But "...."'s whatever is broken and I just happened to find it that way. Right now. Really. It wasn't me."

Oh yes, the entire family then knows that it was A.J. who did it. No further investigation is needed. And when he finally 'fesses up, he's been heard saying (on the way to the time-out chair that now has a built-in imprint of his bottom since he's in it so much), "For crying out loud! I did it again!" Hehehehe.

The boy is a hoot. But, honestly, that makes him who he is. Although, he challenges me to the core at times, I wouldn't change a thing about him. Well, maybe just a little.

Truly, the Lord blessed us immensely when he called us to be AJ's Mama and Daddy and it's been absolutely nothing but an honor and pure joy!


Right after this picture (above) was taken, he hopped off of Santa's lap and came running to me with complete excitement in his voice. He said, "Mama! Guess what? I have it all under control! Santa asked if I was a good boy and before I could tell him that it was the old me doing stuff, he started asking what I wanted for Christmas! Mama, he didn't care!"

The raw emotion in his voice believing not only that this was really Santa, but that Santa didn't care about his not-so-great behavior made me almost tear up.

Oh, how could I have burst that bubble? So, I didn't. I shared in his joy and told him Santa was a really good man to overlook the "old" AJ! :)

My feisty little guy is also doing great in school. His favorite subject is bible study. His little face becomes very serious as he grasps each word I read to them during our bible stories. He's inquisitive and tries to make sense of why God does what He does. He loves God with all his heart and says the sweetest prayers at bedtime. I love when he's had an exceptionally tough day behaving but makes sure he asks God to help Anna Grace and Kai be good for Mama and Daddy. Of course, not mentioning himself at all. We gently remind him to not worry about others' behaviors and to ask God to help him be a good boy. Then, with eyes still tightly shut and little hands folded, he includes, "And Jesus, please help me behave a little better." So cute!

It's hard to remember that he shouldn't even be in kindergarten until September, yet he knows all his alphabet, can count to 20, knows all his sounds and is starting on sight words and basic math. He's smart as a whip and has an excellent memory. He can remember things you've told him once, from the previous year, and has an amazing sense of direction. Sometimes to the point that it's scary what he can remember.


What I think I love most about my sweet, baby boy is just that. He's sweeter than sugar and treasures his family. He's definitely a 100% Mama's boy, which of course, makes my heart mush.

I think my favorite part of the day with AJ is first thing in the morning. He wakes up bright and early and drags his sleepy, little body, with tousled hair and crumpled pj's to my bed. Then, he stands on the edge just staring at me. No words spoken. No attempts to wake me. He just stands there. Waiting. I'm not sure what for. But, waiting.

Oh, many, many a times I have woken up and jumped out of my skin because he's just standing there staring at me. Then with the cutest, most sheepish grin he could muster, he climbs onto my side of the bed, wiggles himself onto most of my pillow, pulls the comforter over himself and snuggles in next to me. He always whispers a barefly audible, "I love you, Mama." and within seconds, he's fast asleep. I love those mornings!

I love kissing those sweet cheeks and seeing that impish little face!

He's a great swimmer and has enough energy to put the sun to shame.

Nothing in the world makes him beam brighter than when he is praised for his achievements.

He loves being the tallest of the trio and is strong, lean and muscular.

He is confident, determined, brave and persistent. He makes a great case for himself when caught in the act and he is dauntless. He can go from being rough and tough to being a tender hearted, warm spirited, gentle, soul.


He has an imagination that is unrivaled and can go on for hours extending the story about how this happened and then that happened.


He loves being called Mama's Silly Goose and loves being held like a baby and rocked. I know that in a few years, that will wear off. So, I treasure each time he asks me to "rock him like a baby".


I often tease him when I'm carrying him (all 41 pounds!) by pretending to cry and saying, "AJ! Please! Please stop growing!" He giggles playfully and says, "Mama, I can't! Every time you feed me, I grow."

Oh, this little boy, who I can't believe is going to be five years old in just a couple of months and was literally dropped from heaven into our family, owns a huge piece of my heart. I am so very proud to be his Mama! And the best part is he darn well knows it. ::sigh::

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snapshot Sunday: It's all about Anna Grace!

Ni Hao Y'all

I haven't had much time to blog with the holidays and all the craziness, but today as I was editing pictures, I decided to join Stefanie's Sunday Snapshot and include a picture that I absolutely love, of Anna Grace. Well, of course, this Mama's heart can't always settle on just one picture when it comes to her kiddos, so I decided to give you all a much anticipated update on our girl. (Don't fret...I will do the same for each of the other kiddos also!)

So, today, it's All About Anna Grace!


Be still my heart....


Little elf helping put up the Christmas decorations. Oh, and the blue lips and mouth? That was courtesy of the ring pops Daddy has gotten into the habit of bringing home. :)


Helping Mama bake yummy Christmas cookies!

surgery ag1

On January 4, my darling girl had another hand surgery done. We are praying for positive results, which shall be known on Thursday, Jan. 13, when we return to Shriners.

cast ag

She wanted to make sure that I took a bottle of pink nail polish to the hospital to paint her piggies the same color as her cast. Of course, Mama obliged. Here she is with perfectly polished toesies, just 3 hours after surgery.

toothless anna grace

Her first set of baby teeth that were loose had to be pulled by the dentist a few days before surgery because they were afraid they'd snap off when they intubated her. The tooth fairy paid double for this. ;)

curlers ag1

Of course, all Princesses need beautiful, curly hair, so we decided to go all out and get spongey curlers to achieve the perfect look. As you can see in the first picture, voila....Princess hair!


Having breakfast on some very cool plates Santa brought!


Is that the cutest little Indian ever? The boys were Pilgrims on Thanksgiving and she wanted to be the female version of "Squanto", since we had learned about him at school.

So, where do I start? I think of the little ones, Anna Grace is the one that has changed the most over the past six to eight months. She has continued to grow like a weed (she is 75 percentile in height on the AMERICAN CHARTS!!) but this Cuban Mama thinks she looks like a beanpole she is so thin. I took her to the doctor and the doctor reassured me that she is fine and that the reason she looks so thin is because she is so tall. Thankfully, I have a latin doctor who agreed to appease me and prescribed an appetite increaser. She's now eating us out of house and home. Heh.

Not only is she growing physically, but she has matured by leaps and bounds.

She had 2 adult teeth grow in right behind her baby teeth on the bottom. This occurred just weeks before her scheduled hand surgery at Shriners. When the doctors up at Shriner's saw that the baby teeth were beginning to loosen up, they recommended having them pulled so that they wouldn't break off during intubation. So, off we went to the dentist. My girl was so brave! They gave her a small bit of laughing gas and did their job. She didn't budge. Her courageousness was well rewarded by the tooth fairy that night and she woke up a very happy camper!

In school, she's been storming through her workbooks. She's actually doing mostly first grade work and while she is reading well, her strong area is definitely math. So much so that during our timed math tests, she surpasses Kai, completing approximately 30 problems in 2 minutes! She can count by 2's and by 5's and count forward and backwards from 100. I am so very proud of her! She now can write sentences and point out nouns and plural nouns in sentences, too! She recites scripture better than the boys and can remember not only the scripture, but the book and the verse, too. She is competitive by nature and while not very verbal about it, you can see the fire in her eyes. Then, she sits back and waits for the accolades to rain down beefore hamming it up! Pretty funny.

As to her attachment issues, we continue to make strides. Sometimes it's 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, but we are moving along. Like last time, the surgery helped reassure her that Mama was here to stay. We went up to Tampa, just she, Daddy and I. She was very insistent on sleeping with me the night before surgery and asked many, many times if I would be there when she woke up. I, of course, said yes to all of her requests and was the first face she saw when she opened her eyes in the recovery room. She then slept in our bed the first few days after surgery, until I was comfortable that she was no longer in pain. Then, I moved her back to her bed, saving me from receiving quite a few middle-of-the-night smacks in the face with a rock hard cast.

We continue lifting her up in prayer because one of the fingers that they worked on, the surgeon was a bit fearful might not survive, due to lack of blood flow. He told us he was giving it a chance, but if obviously the finger died, or any part of it would turn black, she would need to have it amputated. My heart is heavy for her because I know she was so looking forward to having 5 little fingers, but I also know how resilient and tenacious she is.

God has huge plans for this little girl and we firmly believe that she will achieve them all, for His glory. On the 13th (next Thursday) we return for the cast to be removed so they can see how the healing is progressing. If all is well, a new cast will be put on and we're done. If there is not sufficient blood supply to the finger, then we will schedule another surgery to have it removed. Please, if you are reading this and she comes to mind, would you say a little prayer for her?

Other than that, she's doing great! She is feisty, bossy, stubborn, mischevious, sweet, loving, gentle and caring all rolled up into one! She loves all things girly and is really beginning to learn to nurture her "babies". She understands what a "Mama's role" is and often talks about when she grows up she will live in the house next to Daddy and I, so she can visit us everyday with her babies. Yes, this coming from the same little girl that a year ago would have taken off running with a stranger if things were not going her way. She now looks forward to our Mommy dates and comes back and tells the boys about the special things that only Mamas and daughters could do.

I have been blessed infinitely with this precious treasure and thank God every day for placing her in our lives. I love her so much and am so very proud of how far she's come. God's wisdom is beyond anything I could ever comprehend. How could He possibly know that this little girl would fit seamlessly into our family? Because He's God! And I believe when all is said and done and I am an old lady with an empty nest, Anna Grace's bond with me will be just as strong as each one of my other blessings, if not stronger. That thought, makes me smile BIG!

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