Sunday, March 22, 2009

5 Years Ago Today... On a Chilly Day in Moscow

Five years ago today we walked into that orphanage in Moscow on our second trip to Russia. This time it was not for a brief visit, like all the others. This time, it was finally the day we could leave the orphanage with our daughter. We were first-time parents of a nearly three-year old, so we were plenty nervous, but most of all, we were excited beyond belief. Oh, I remember those butterflies in my stomach like it was yesterday.

Leila fought leaving the orphanage with all her might. We were taking her away from the only life she had ever known. She cried and cried until she made herself sick, but shortly after arriving at the hotel, she started breaking down that wall she had built between us. Of course, the terrible twos set in by day four, but that's another story. :) March 22, 2004 was the day we became parents. It was everything we had dreamed about... and more.

One of our first moments together as Mother & Daughter - getting ready to leave the orphanage on 3/22

Gotcha Day

To celebrate our fifth anniversary together as a family, we let Leila pick where she wanted to go for dinner last night. She chose Ch*eeseburger In P*aradise, primarily for the balloon artist that they have on Saturday nights. She told me that she didn't want an animal this time, she wanted a crown.

And a crown she would have. (Trust me on this one... it's a crown.) :)

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"Hey, if my big sister wants a crown, I want a crown!"

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My artist and her meticulous coloring.

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"Hey, isn't this the way you wear a crown?"

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Our server put a candle in Leila's dessert for her special day. Leila, I hope that all your wishes come true.

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Mommy & Daddy know that ours already have. We are so blessed to be your parents.

We love you, sweetheart!!
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Have fun golfing with your Daddy this afternoon!

To read more about our journey to Leila, click here for Part I and here for Part II.


Somewhere In The Sun said...

Happy Anniversary! I just LOVE the picture of the two of you. I'm going to read her story...I know it will be so interesting. Love the crown too! :)


Felicia said...

Happy Anniversary. I love the pertty crowns! We don't have that restaurant but I know my kids would love it.

Happy 5 years together. What a blessing :)

Kate said...

Oh yeah, Michelle, those are Definitely crowns!!! :-)

Happy 5 year family anniversary!! Leila was so cute...a beauty even so young! Gosh...when you look back at those arly days, isn't it hard to comprehend how much has changed since then??

Have a wonderful Sunday reliving such happy memories!!

Missy said...

Happy Anniversary! It's amazing how God just knew that you needed Leila and she needed you.

Have a super special day!!!

Tisha said...

Happy Adoption Day!!!!! I'm going to read about your journey to Leila. I haven't read about it before. Thanks for the links.

Leila is a treasure beyond words. I pray that one day she will wear a crown of glory!

Leila, have fun golfing with dad. Try not to beat him too bad. ;)


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your forever family day Leila!!!

How lucky your mommy and daddy are to have you! And how lucky is Mia (and soon Da Xin) to have you as a sister!

With blessings and happiness! Ashley

Kelly Green said...

Happy Gotcha Day!!! Such a wonderful picture of the 2 of you! Here's to another year of beautiful memories, love and fun times.

Amie@WildOlive said...

What a sweet post! Happy Happy Day! Loving' the crown! Enjoy your special day!


Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Happy Five Years!!

What a great day to remember and much has changed in five years!!

The girls look so cute in their crowns....that is some balloon artist:) Hope that you all enjoyed the rest of your weekend....I have missed you:)


Almost the new bloggy look!!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Happy Family Day!!!!! Isn't it amazing to look back and see how much has changed? Not just in our children, but in ourselves???

Jboo said...

Happy family day! Thanks for sharing your story. She is such a beautiful daughter!

Have a great week!


LaLa said...

Oh, love the pic of her as a sweet baby : ) Happy Family Day....glad you had fun celebrating!!

Joe and Jane said...

Oh look at her sweet little face! Congrats on the big day!

mommy24treasures said...

what a sweet post, I just love the pic of when you met, she was such a beautiful little soul:)
cheeseburger paradise, hmm, I don't think we have one but sounds yummy:)