We met a sad, scared little boy.
Who would not be swayed by trains.
Or fruit snacks.
But a ball hitting his sister's forehead? Well, that's funny in any language.
Oh, what a smile we'd added to our family! Life would never again be the same.
Our XiXi was an amazing boy before we ever stepped into the picture.
He needed no "fixing", but he did need a family.
And we needed him. This last picture of our family of 6, taken a year ago today as we left the hotel to meet our XiXi, looks so......well.....lacking. Has it really only been a year since XiXi has been with us?
Has it only been a year since our little boy ate only with chopsticks? Has it really only been a year since he spoke only Mandarin? He now speaks only English. I don't say that as some sort of triumph. I wish so much that he could have kept the Mandarin, but it was clear early on that he had no interest in holding onto that tie to China. He truly does not understand it at all anymore. Even the most basic Mandarin is as lost on him as it is to the rest of us. Actually, I think I know more Mandarin than he does.
In the past year, he's shown such courage and strength. He's embraced his new life wholeheartedly and rarely looks back.
He adores his siblings and church and school. He's a boy who is always ready to go, ready to jump into new experiences. He is sweet and loving, smart and funny, and he gives the very best hugs.
Tonight we'll put XiXi back into his Gotcha' Day attire.....the many, many layers, and we'll eat noodles and we'll talk about the great miracle we've seen in our lives over the past 365 days.
And we'll thank Heavenly Father for about the millionth time for pricking our hearts and telling us in no uncertain terms........This little boy belongs in your family.