Monday, March 22, 2010

Six Years Ago Today, I Became a Mother

I remember the excitement and nervous butterflies in my stomach like it was yesterday.
The day had finally come when we could not only visit our daughter, but when she could actually leave with us. Not for just a brief walk outside the orphanage like on our last trip,
but this time... forever.

I remember nervously getting Leila dressed.
It was the first time I had done this with my own child.
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I remember that enormous smile I couldn't wipe off my face.
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I remember adoring everything about her - including the way, at 32-months, she could guard her food and work a very large spoon like nobody's business.
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I remember holding her hand or hugging her tightly and feeling like my heart could burst at any moment.

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I remember walking for miles on the Moscow streets in cold weather, pushing her in her stroller, popping wheelies and hearing her giggles.
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I remember the day Leila first became our daughter.
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Today, we celebrate six-years with Leila and six years as parents.

Back in December, the girls were holding one of their typical fashion shows, only Leila grabbed two unexpected items from her closet. The first photo shows Leila wearing the blue sweater that she first wore the day she left the orphanage. This was a gift given by one of my mom's dear friends and I will never, ever part with it.

Her second outfit change was the snowsuit that she wore all those many miles on the streets of Moscow. I couldn't even believe she could still shimmy herself into this!
And since our weekend consisted of watching her play four games in her first Spring tournament, I had to post a few pics of our soccer girl.
Beautiful Girl
Ya lyublyu tebya, Leila.
We love you so very much!!
We look forward to your special dinner tonight!


Jill said...

Oh Michelle, she still has that same GORGEOUS smile that she had 6 years ago!
Happy Forever Family Day!

Norah said...

I hope you had an awesome dinner together! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us. 6 years, wow!

Faye said...

She's a beautiful girl inside and out. How you have been blessed in the last 6 years,Michelle. Happy 6 years home, Leila.
Love to you all!!!

Jodee Leader said...

Congrats on six happy years together! You are sooo blessed!

Rachel said...

Happy family day! She looks so much like she did 6 years ago!


Gail said...

Happy Forever Family Day! Congrats to you all...
Beautiful post, I feel like I was right there beside you 6 years ago. Dreams do come true! :)

Stefanie said...

What a journey! Those pictures of you all in Russia were SO sweet!!
That smile, oh my!!
And to see how she's blossomed in the years since... precious!!
Happy Forever Family Day :)

Mark said...

Awwwww...I love baby pics :) So beautiful! Love that giggling stroller pic and of course her trying on her clothes (silly girl!!)

Marla said...

Beautiful post Michelle, and what a gorgeous girl Leila is. Happy Family Day to all of you!!!

Tisha said...

A beautiful girl indeed! What a beautiful tribute from a beautiful mom to a beautiful daughter! That's quite a few beautifuls. ;)

I just adore her wearing those outfits six years later. Our Sloan couldn't do that in a million years. ;)

Where do you get your Russian characters to type?

Please extend our congratulations to you, Nolan, Leila and your whole family as you celebrate this most special day!


Missy said...

I'm sitting here during planning period and tears are streaming. She was the most beautiful little toddler and your face was truly beaming, unlike any other.

What a sweet blessing Leila is to you and your family. She is gorgeous on the outside, and I am sure the inside, too.

Happy Family Day!!!

Lori Lynn said...

She's so adorable! I really love that last picture. It has so much personality in it.

Congratulations on celebrating this milestone in your lives!

Ivy said...

What an amazing story on forever family day! Oh I just got chills! She's grown so and whoa what a little athlete you have there!

I think it's beautiful to post the stories from year to year, the details just get more poignant.

Happy six years home sweet Leila!



Anonymous said...

Oh Michelle - I have tears! I can't even imagine how you felt those days and how you still feel, looking at the beauty Miss Leila has become.

I had laughter in my heart looking at her "fashion show pictures", but I must admit the snowsuit look she can pull off and might become a look! It always amazes me to see her playing soccer - she is quite the athlete - I can imagine watching her in person is awesome!

Huge hugs and blessings to you as you celebrate 6 magical years with your "first"!! Much Love, Ashley

JinXiu said...

I have tears in my eyes. what a touching story and the bictures capture my heart
you are both so lucky to have eachother

have 6 years together

Julia said...

She is so beautiful Michelle, congratulations on 6 happy years together!

Joe and Jane said...

Congrats on the big day! That smile persists!

Hannah said...

Happy Anniversary!! She is a beautiful young lady and such a gift to your family.

My son was also adopted from Russia and the picture of your daughter eating the soup and bread with the big spoon took me right back to Russia. Love it.

kerri said...

Happy forever family day, thank you foe sharing!

Sammy said...

Makes me Sad... so many more orphans. She is so sweet. Did it take her long to trust?