gotcha girl {1 year anniversary)

i can still feel the weight of her small 13lbs. frame. i can see her sweet and solemn expression. it's a day that is forever etched into my memory. after 3 years of longing and hoping and praying... i was speechless. literally. those first moments are indescribable. i studied every single centimeter of her face. her eyes. her lips her nose. staring and memorizing so hard, i could feel my eyes needing to blink, but i just couldn't take my eyes off of her for even a moment. i was so in awe of her, i couldn't even think of anything to say. when i tried, i just kept gasping for air. as if she was so incredible, it was hard to breath. finally i whispered, through tears, "i love you! i love you! i love you! i love you!" over and over and over. i get choked up even thinking of those first precious moments. seeing her in person for the first time was unlike anything i've ever experienced. it was mesmerizing and breathtaking and truly a day that changed me, deep into my soul.

so much has happened since gotcha.

more than this little blog can ever say.
there is so much that happens in real life that will never get posted. it just can't be translated.

if you've read this blog for any amount of time, or you know us in real life, you know i've shared a few of the challenges. a lot of those won't ever make the blog either...because they sound crazy. trauma and grief and healing are often unpredictable. how and when they happen can't be predicted and the behavior that results during those moments is unique to each child and family. at times, it's a long road.

but i can't ever describe the joy that this little girl has brought to our family. we marvel at her...at everything about her. the long road doesn't feel long when this little lady is bopping through the house. she dances and sings and mimics everything. she puts on makeup and puts away dishes. she sweeps the floor and organizes family tea parties. she feeds the puppy and soothes her brothers when they get hurt. she draws lovely pictures and carries a purse everywhere she goes. she stands on a stool an helps me make every meal. she has faced enormous challenges but never gives up. i just can't believe i get to be her mom. God created her with such awesomeness in mind.
she is so incredibly smart and kind and thoughtful and silly. strong and feisty and determined. patient and gentle and able to comprehend things that we've never told her. she is remarkable.

in honor of her first year home, i've been collecting a few photos from each month, including the only baby pictures we have. enjoy :)

may 26th, 2010 (her birthday) - july 25th, 2012

1st birthday, May 26, 2011 with the doll we sent her.

Gotcha Day!!! July 25, 2011 

HOME!!! August 3, 2011 

1st day together at home

learning to sit up

September 26, 2011: cleft palate surgery

December 28th, 2011: cleft lip and nose reconstruction
these pictures make me all teary. such a bittersweet day.

july 25, 2012: Gotcha Day Anniversary Party!!

(there are lots of past posts found here...read only if you have a few hours to spare :) i'm realllly wordy :)


  1. you sure do know how to make a girl cry!! happy gotcha day!!!

  2. tears are flowing....Oh Ang, what an incredible year of seeing GOD's miracles right before your eyes in sweet Emery. So amazing!! Happy Gotcha day, so blessed to know you and witness your family's journey! love you!!!

  3. Oh I love it! Emery in pictures! Such a beauty...just like her mama! Love u girl!

  4. Beautiful post! You will always amaze me!!

  5. You are such an amazing mama!! What a beautiful post! She's such a beautiful girl, inside & out - you bring that out in your pictures & words. Congratulations on Emery's 1st year anniversary!!

    PS- I love that each of your boys has worn that Star Wars shirt over the past year - shows how much they've each grown!! & I love the shirt!! :)

  6. Thank you so much for sharing Emery! She is beautiful and it is such a blessing to see pictures of her and your family and your journey. I've been following your blog since the adoption process days and laughed and cried along with you. God is so so good!

  7. OH Angie, I loved every little bit of this post! What a blessed family you are to have her! She just melts my heart. So happy that I've had the amazing privilege of meeting you guys (except for your man). Love you all and so happy for you!

  8. I've loved following your journey for the last 1+ year and seeing all the beautiful pictures of Emery!! Congratulations on 1 year together!!

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  10. What a beautiful recap. I love each one of you more and more. And more. :) xo

  11. Tears for the beautiful gift of Emery Lin! I've never met her, but through your blog, love her already! HAPPY GOTCHA DAY!!!! We had our initial appointment went to Living Hope Adoption Agency yesterday.... SUPER exciting for both of us! I'll have to catch up with you!



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