On Monday, July 4, we celebrated 18 months with this sweet girl.
I know I say it all the time, but it’s really hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that we’ve only had her 18 months. I feel like she’s been ours forever. And…if I stop and really think about it, it breaks my heart. How did my precious baby live alone in an orphanage for 2.5 years? Now that I know her…know her so well…I just can’t fathom her not being a part of a family. Friends, this girl needed to be a part of a family and I am so blessed God called us to do it.
I took this picture after a doctor visit last week. Health wise, Ashby is doing okay. We’re about to start a series of procedures later this month…and of course I’m nervous about it. Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome is so rare and each case so different that a lot of what we do/have done/will do is trial and error. Rarely does Ashby complain (and by rarely, I mean never hardly at all!) about her physical limitations but lately, there have been moments and it breaks my heart. The other day, we were walking and I reached down to hold her hand and she said “not my big hand”. It took everything in me not to cry right then and there. It was the first time she has ever commented on it being big. I’m a crying mess right here at my desk typing this because as a mama you just want your kids to feel happy and I know that there is so much pain in her future. The doctors always tell us that the hardest days are in front of us and that’s not what a mama wants to hear. I love this little girl so much.
Last month, we celebrated sweet Ashby London turning four! Just last week in speech therapy, the therapist asked her how old she was and she said eight. So…there’s that ;).
Over the last three months, I would say that Ashby’s language has blossomed the most and that she now talks non stop. And by non stop, I mean she like never, ever, ever, EVER stops talking to us. The other day at lunch, the three kids and I were sitting at the bar and I was on one end with Ashby next to me and Smith and Kensington on the other side of her. Well, Ashby was in the middle of telling me something when I heard Kensington look over at Smith and say, “How does she do that without taking a breath?”. Ha! Friends, Ashby has a lot to say!
Kensington and Ashby have slept together every single night since October. For some reason one night last fall, Kensington got into bed with Ashby and never left. Ashby adores Kensington. Everything Kensington says/does/wears/watches/plays with is what Ashby wants to be doing. If Kensington wants to ride bikes, Ashby does. If Kensington wants to wear shorts, Ashby does. Sisters.
Ashby is so funny, so full of personality, so sweet, so cute, so witty and such her own little person. That being said, she had her first little sassy moment the other day at the mall. My mom and I were shopping in Williams-Sonoma and Ashby was touching the martini glasses. I told her to stop and she whispered something in her cute little voice. I said “what?” thinking how precious she is and was probably saying something so sweet. She repeated her whisper but I still couldn’t hear her, so I squatted down to her level and said “what did you say sweet pea?” and she said, “I can touch whatever I want.” Um, yeah. No. Love the fact that she can now say big English sentences like that…but no to the sass little lady. #fouryearolds
Ashby LOVES her friends! Griffin and Bowen are two of her very favorites but she does have other little friends who she talks about frequently. She misses school this summer and asks daily when she gets to go back. I love raising girls who love their friends.
Speaking of school, here is the comparison between her first day of preschool last September and her last day this past May. She’s grown so much both physically and emotionally. What a blessing this year has been.
Things we’re looking forward to between now and her 21 month post-adoption update:
1. Starting preschool again (she loves going to school two days a week!)
2. Starting dance lessons! She cannot wait to take dance this fall (ballet and tap).
3. Getting ready for Halloween. She’s already talking about her costume. Hello Cinderella ;).
4. Learning how to ride a bigger bike with training wheels.
So, 18 months in and she is more of a joy than I ever could have imagined. I know there are some of you who have thought about adopting or fostering and I sincerely ask you to pray about it. There are so many children just like Ashby in orphanages and foster homes across the world that need homes. Sweet, loving, affectionate kiddos that need a place to call home. Adoption is hard, it’s complicated, it’s expensive, it’s full of unknowns…but oh my goodness, it is AMAZING. Adoption is absolutely amazing.
To see more about our journey to adopt Ashby, see below: