Yesterday marked nine months since we met Clementine. We didn’t celebrate with a cake or a photo session. Our girl is still deep in the recovery stages of open heart and slide tracheoplasy surgery. I’ve shared a lot of the last few weeks on Instagram and I’m not sure yet if I’ll sit down and blog about it because it was so very hard, y’all. I walked through an open heart surgery with Isabelle shortly after she came home, and thought I had an inkling of what it might be like. I was wrong.
I just thank the Lord He went before, beside and behind us, in a mighty way. I am thankful for each of you that prayed on behalf of Clementine as she struggled so badly with pain and anxiety. And I am thankful to be on the tail end of a long and hard road that began in late January – the day we found out Clementine had complete tracheal rings – thankful to be done with the surgery that will give our girl every chance at a long and healthy life.
So here I go again, now nine months home, back to posting my favorites from our China trip. And oh, this day was such a sweet day. You’ve probably already heard me say it a million times before but Shamian Island is my favorite. And these pictures, from one of the few days we spent there with Clementine, are some of my all-time favorites, too.
But she wasn’t completely sure about him (or that beard) at the beginning.
Nine months later and he is one of her favorite people on the planet. When she was hospitalized, one of the only things that would make her smile during the long and often painful days was Face-timing with her daddy.
And boy, did he make her smile. And squeal. And make smooch-faces.
This day was also a joy for our bigger girl, Sophie. To take her back to a place we had visited when I was in China bringing her home over nine years ago felt like giving her another piece of the puzzle as she matures and processes the realities of what it means to be not only adopted, but adopted from another country.
And I didn’t have to ask twice if she was up for eating an ice cream cone in the very same spot (and at the same age) as her brothers when they were on the island.
It was such a joy-filled day. I smile just going through these pictures.
But I am also struck that on this day, we had absolutely no idea that Clementine was so very fragile or her trachea so painfully tiny. God, in His wisdom, kept this special need from us until it was time for us to know.
He is Faithful and True.
Happy nine months together, little brave one. The best is yet to come.