I'm not sure I ever shared on my blog the story of my Anna Clare AiYi Roach. I've been thinking a lot about Anna and how she came to be part of my family. I guess because her birthday is tomorrow. I can't believe that little girl has been part of my life for nearly five years. She started from such small, hopeless beginnings and God has given her a new life! God has given her Hope.
On September 16, 2003 in Yangdong (Guangdong Province) China, a little girl, a princess was born. No one knows her given name, if she was given one. No one truly knows her birthday. What I truly know is that she was born for a reason - to be my daughter - and she is a true blessing.
She was not born into wealth or even anything close to that. She was born and for reasons unknown to any of us, she was left. The reasons for being left can be speculated, however, no one really knows. I'm not going to share where she was left, because that is not important, and quite frankly, it's Anna's story. But, she made it to the Yangdong Police Station adn from there, made it to the Yangdong orphanage.
The workers there guessed that she was just two days old when they took her into the orphanage. I have a picture of Anna from that very time. I know it was from when she was very new, because she still has her little, black-haired, cone-shaped head. I can tell it is her by the shape of her lips and by her bright, big eyes. What a sweetie.
About the same time as she was entering the orphanage, I was getting paperwork ready. I was a single mom, with at the time, a 4 year old little boy. I truly believe a seed was planted in my heart years and years ago, and God grew that seed. Right after I became a Christian, it burst into fruit. He made it so I could go! I got my home study ready and got immigration approval. My dossier went to China and was logged in on Feb. 10, 2009.
It was difficult to wait for my little girl's referral, but compared to the wait now, it was a very miniscule amount of time. On July 30, 2004 I received the referral of Dong Ai Yi. A beautiful 10 month old little girl. When I saw her picture the first time, I cried. She was sweet! She was beautiful!
On October 4th, 2004 I boarded a plane and traveled to China, with my then 5 year old in tow. We met Anna on October 8th, 2004 and had our Forever Family adoption day on October 9th, 2004. We were a family of three.
Anna has changed so much over the course of those years. One thing that has never changed though is her stong will and stubborn personality. Boy did I get the right little girl! She remains a beautiful little girl, both inside and out. She has a sweet spirit and a very generous heart.
Anna has also been blessed with a wonderful dad, and Tim has been blessed by her. She is loved beyond measure.
Since this is my week to make a conscious effort to remember to give thanks, I'll do that here. I thank God for Anna. I thank God for how she came to be part of my family and how He knew she would be mine before she even was. I'm thankful that there was never a time when she was truly alone. She may have been without a mother for a period of time, but she always had a Father - God was always with her. I'm thankful to China for allowing me the opportunity to adopt this little girl. I'm thankful to God for giving me the finances that allowed me to bring her home. I'm thankful for the opportunity to share the gospel with her and raise her and educate her in a Christian environment. One day I hope I have the opportunity to be thankful for the fact that Anna has asked Christ into her heart. I'm thankful for Anna's birthmom - that she chose to allow Anna life, rather than choosing an alternative end.
Happy Early Birthday Baby Girl!
Mom and Dad! (and Cameron too!)