In 2007, when we first announced we would adopt from China, an online friend sent me a First gift for our daughter. They were these adorable shoes:
I stored them in a box with a few other special adoption presents. They were priceless to me. They came to symbolize the child we dreamed of having.
Later, when we withdrew our Dossier from China, an incredibly painful and difficult time in our adoption story, I mailed the shoes away to another friend having a daughter. I couldn't have them in my house. They made me too sad.
Then in 2011, I announced that we were expecting a little girl. Being pregnant again felt surreal. Having a daughter: unimaginable. And that friend had kept the shoes! She mailed them to me and I wrote about it here: First gift for Abigail. She mailed them back to me, and our little Abigail got to wear the shoes. I wrote about getting to see her in them here: Shoes for Abigail.
And then, last week, I put Hannah in the same shoes.
It is hard to believe that in 2007, we were childless and planning an adoption from China. By 2008 we had adopted a son. By 2009 we had two sons and decided not to move forward with the China adoption. And now, in 2014, we have four children -- two of them girls. Incredible!
To these precious friends who gave me these gifts ... bless you. They will remain a treasured part of our story forever.