I often have people ask me "how is she doing?" I don't think anyone realizes, but that is a LOADED question. Lyla is doing amazing in many areas, she behaves well in school, she cleans up after herself, she takes pride in everything she has, she is a sweetheart (unlike any child I know), she is making friends at school, she loves living here, with us, HOME. She tells me often "I love you mama, me no go back China." It is almost like she isn't 100% sure that she is staying here forever. Breaks.My.Heart... This is why these children need families at a YOUNG age, it is so sad to know that the first 6 1/2 years of her life were in an orphanage. Jeff and I often wonder what she would be like if she had been here earlier, would she struggle in school, would it take her so long to learn things, would she look us in the eyes when we talk to her... Obviously it isn't for us to know, nor does it matter, it is simply our curiosity. On the other hand, the reality is that Lyla has many challenges ahead of her. Most don't know what she deals with every day. She has major speech impediments. It is often hard to understand what she is saying. She has a very short attention span and is very easily distracted, her fine motor skills have improved so much, but she still lacks the coordination and skill that most 7 year olds should have. She is lacking in muscle tone and strength. She has what I consider to be pretty significant sensory issues, she has "super senses". She can't stand cold, but loves to play in the snow; she hates to be hot, but loves to swim and ride her bike. She hates bad smells and will tell you if it smells bad. She always has to have her sunglasses (often times even when it is cloudy) because she hates the brightness of the sun. When I dry her hair she even has me turn on off the lights above the mirror because it is too bright and turn on the light in our shower when I dry her hair. She has to know what our schedule is each and every day. When we put her to bed at night, we have to tell her what we are doing the next day. She does not like change at all. If it was up to her, everyday would be the same: school, colemans, home...repeat.
Adopting Lyla has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, hands down. She has taught me so much about myself and about God's love. God's love is perfect, and it is always there for us even when we don't deserve it. I love Lyla, no matter what she does I will always love her. It is hard to belive that God loves me more than I love my own children. That is crazy & even seems impossible at times! We serve an amazing God!
One major highlight of this past year for me personally has been the time spent with the Poma Family. What a blessing they have been to us. We have been able to get Lily and Lyla together twice since we've been home from China. I so wish we lived closer so we spend more time with them! Lyla often gets sad when she talks about Lily. She misses her so much & asks me all the time if we can "go Lily house today?" I tell her that we will go again, hopefully sooner than later! I pray that she knows we will never keep them apart, and that they will always be able to spend time together, even if it isn't as often as we wish.
Please consider adoption. There are so many kids out there, domestic or international, that need families. Even if you don't want to adopt, there are many ways to help, just ask! Finally, what everyone wants to see, pics from the past year.