Happy Birthday, Elli

Category: , By Christian

Today is Elli's first birthday. For the last month people have been asking us what kind of party we are having. Honestly? This child does not need more parties. In the two months since we got home with her, she has been welcomed publicly, graciously and exorbadantly. We are humbled that her story has touched so many people, and that everyone has been so gracious in showing their love for her. It's been great, but at this point we felt that we were a little partied out.

That being said, this morning I had a chance to celebrate my daughter. We went through our normal routine of playing, eating, bathing, etc. this morning. But for some reason, this morning was special. It was like I was hit with how different her life was a year ago, and how far God has brought her in such a short time. I celebrated by soaking in her presense and then praying for her when she went down for her morning nap.

It's hard to believe that 365 days ago, Elli weighed 2.2 pounds. It's hard to believe that if you took bets on her life, it would be difficult to convince anyone that in one short year she would be thriving and loving life. God gave her the strength to fight hard while she was in what is probably the only hospital in Ho Chi Minh City that could keep her alive. God gave her strength to perservere in an orphanage, and was gracious enough to provide her with everything her little body needed even though the $16/month that the government gave her orphanage for her care was about half of what was needed. God kept her safe until we could make it to Vietnam to swoop her up and love her. God was good, and I thank God for everything that led to our family being brought together. Today as I prayed in celebration of Elli's life, I prayed for:

*All of the people who worked on our behalf both stateside and abroad.
*Elli's birth mom. I really hope that God gives her a sense of peace today, and that she could know that her little girl is ok and loved.
*Elli herself. She has grown so much since we got her, but she has a lot of life ahead of her. It's great to see what can happen to a child when they are given love and nurture and space to live. Our greatest prayer is that as she has all of those things, she will fall more in love with God everyday and recognize how amazing God has been in her journey.

So, happy birthday to my little girl. You won't remember it, but know that I celebrated you today. I enjoyed our morning together, and I even threw on my official Vientnam National Team Soccer jersey. Just so when people ask about it today, I can tell them how amazing you are.

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