On Wednesday it will be 6 months since we held Lexa for the first time and welcomed her to our family. When I look back at those first photos and remember what she was like those first days, it is truly amazing to see how far she has come.
The first couple of weeks Lexa was home she was a very scared and grieving little girl. She would be ok during the day, but would cry at night. She did not know the language we spoke and could not communicate her needs. She was very unstable when walking and would fall often. She had very weak muscles and a very weak core. She could not run or jump at all. She could not go up and down steps without sitting down. When I would hold her she just felt like dead weight, never holding on to me.
It is so amazing what the love and care of a family (along with Jesus and many prayers) can do for a child. Lexa now understands most of what we say and is beginning to talk to us. She is walking MUCH better, and has learned to run and jump. Although her running and jumping do not look "normal" yet, she is doing things I never thought possible in only 6 months. She can go up and down the steps and when I hold her she hugs my neck tight. She fits in so well with our family and her smile and laugh are contagious. She is one amazing little girl. She has experienced loss and unimaginable trauma in her life, yet she has opened up her heart to us and I am so thankful for the privilege of being her mom. She loves her sister and brothers so much and I have been so proud of how Jadyn, Nathan, and Noah have loved her. Each one of them has their own special and unique relationship with her.
It has been so fun to experience many "firsts" with Lexa these last 6 months. She is quite adventurous and loves to try new things. She loved swimming at the pool this summer, going to the beach, and jumping on the trampoline. I can't wait to watch her in the snow since she was in the part of China that never got cold it will be an all new experience for her.
Many people have said to us how blessed Lexa is to have us as her family and I understand what they mean. Of course we are a loving family who loves her very much. However, adoption is not easy and there is a lot of loss and tragedy for the child. Lexa did not receive the love of a family for the first 3 years of her life. This is a huge loss and one that will affect her for quite some time. On this Earth, it is likely that Lexa will never have the answers about her birth family and the circumstances around her birth. There is also loss for Lexa's birth mother. We don't know the reasons that led her to leave Lexa as an infant, but I am sure it was a very difficult and emotional decision for her. One that could have been made in love, and that she will carry with her the rest of her life. I wish there was some way for me to tell her that Lexa is doing well and that we love her so much. As her adoptive parents, we feel that we are the ones who are blessed. We have the great calling and responsibility to parent Lexa and we are excited to see what God has in store for her life.