Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1 Year Gotcha Day Anniversary!!

January 2011

Wow! What a year! On one hand, I can't believe it's already been a year since we were in China to meet this sweet girl for the first time. On the other hand, I can't believe we've only known her for 1 year! What a difference a year can make. Of course, more than the time...it's the love of a family that has made the real difference. Wesleigh has become a happy, well adjusted, confident, caring, funny, active and loving toddler. She is the life of this house. I can't even imagine how bored we must have been without her ;-)

When I think back on this past year, I am flooded with images of China. Of a family who had anticipated this day for years with such joy and of a scared little girl who was going through an extremely traumatic time in her life...again! For the second time in her short little life, she was separated from everything that was comfortable to her. I understand that this day is associated with pain, in some way. I pray that when Wesleigh is older, she will look at this day as a celebration of family. That God turned "what was meant for evil, into good" on this day. And that it was He who brought us together....as a family.

I think of a little girl, who had to be taught what a mommy and daddy were. That there were two people in this world who would make sure her needs were met, who would kiss her boo boo's and love her forever. A little girl who had to learn that a Daddy is lots of fun and good to have around.


I think of a little girl who learned that having 3 big brothers is way cool! And this mom got to experience seeing her boys open their hearts to a timid little girl and truly fall in love with her.

I think of all the firsts Wesleigh experienced with us, like the beach...
tea parties...
piggy tails...
new life long friends...
belly laughs...
endless photo shoots...

lazy mornings...

a haircut that did not include clippers!...
Christmas cookies...

and a visit from Santa.

What an amazing year. I want to share my latest photo shoot with Miss W!! I took these especially to celebrate this day!!




And my absolute favorites...

I love this child. I love all of my children, but Wesleigh is my heart. My heart that aches for all the children left behind. She represents the blessings that God bestows when a person is faithful to the call that has been placed on their life. I am so thankful that we listened...


Number 6 and no more counting! said...

That Halloween picture is so darn cute. Well they all are. Wonderful that you have hit this milestone.


PS. "I am so thankful that we listened". This spoke to me as we struggle with our decision.

DiJo said...

Last year on this special day I could not sleep. I had a very important job. It was to scribe for my very special friend Jennifer on a life changing miraculous day! I raced to the computer to see if she finally had the "Tea Cup!" You see when a dear friend adopts, it is like you too are there. You too are on your knees praying for the heart of your friend and the heart of the precious child who will say good bye to all they know, and hello to the life God has planned for them all along! When you have been fortunate enough to also experience this you know this day will bless your dear friend beyond measure. You celebrate as if you were outside in the waiting room!

It has been an enormous blessing to watch WJ blossom in your loving and amazing family!!!! She has gone to a timid little thing, to a child that demands attention when she is in the room. Attention because her adorable personality is contagious!! I will never forget being in the walk-in-closet as I packed at the beach when the door opened. In walked the "Tea Cup!" Her plan was to "borrow" a few things to stash away in her purse (or Ruby's purse.) She had the funniest smirk on her face when she had to change her plan!

Jennifer, I have been deeply blessed by the things we have shared this year. You have such a gift to give all of your kids. The gift of joy and hope!

My only regret, you are not close enough!

It has been a privilege to share Tea Cup's first year, and I am so excited to travel to China with you again as God reveals the next little girl that has been hand picked just for you!

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him." 1Samuel 1:27

Happy Anniversary of this very special day!!!!

Love ya,

Leah Mei said...

Jennifer, what a beautiful post. Although I have never met your beautiful family in person, looking back through your pictures, Wesleigh's face and expressions speak loudly how much she has changed. Congratulations on this anniversary.


carolinagirl said...

Jennifer, this is such a beautiful post and tribute to Miss W! The photos are amazing, and I love how you documented all of her firsts. She is such a cutie pie! You guys are so lucky that she is yours, and she is so lucky that you are hers!

Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

She is so beautiful.
You have such a lovely family!
Congrats on the anniversary

Melinda said...

What a beautiful heartfelt post! It is hard to believe it has been a year since Miss Wesleigh has joined your wonderful family! It felt like the year Mia first joined our family was one of the fastest years of my life! Maybe it was all of the changes that we witnessed with her but it was such a life changing year!

The statement about "Wesleigh is my heart" brought tears to my eyes thinking of all the children left behind waiting. Waiting for their chance to be part of a forever family. It is heartbreaking.

Happy one year anniversary to your beautiful family! Continued blessings to all of you!

Leslie said...

I am just sitting here crying my eyes out. This is so precious. It encourages me in our wait. We logged in to China in June 2009, and our agency just placed May 2006. Our wait is long, but I know it is worth it. I love your blog and Wesleigh just blesses my life as does your sweet family. I am so glad the Lord placed that call on your life and I can't wait to see what this next year will bring. Blessings to you and your precious family. I hope this is a wonderful day!

Amy said...

Happy one year Gotcha Day!! Full of emotions.

My heart aches so much for the children left behind. I pray daily that my husband will come around to another China baby or big kid.

You have such a beautiful family.


Sammons said...

Jennifer this post is absolutely beautiful! My heart aches for all of the children without families each and every day. I am so glad God made Wesleigh for you, and you for her!!! I know his plan is bigger than we could have ever imagined and I am so happy that you have allowed him to take you places you never dreamed you'd go! Happy Wesleigh day!! Mary

snekcip said...

Oh what a year it has been!! I first "found" your family through "First a Pearl and Two Rubies" and from the first day I read about your family I was hooked! I have enjoyed every beautiful picture captured of this precious child. I also would like to THANK YOU for allowing so many of us to journey along. I look forward to journey with your family as you bring your other precious daughter home for China. We celebrate with you, we shout praises with you and most of all we THANK GOD for Wesleigh with you.

Ruby's Fairy Godmother said...

Just beautiful...what a blessing she is to your family and your family is to her. It has been a blessing watching your family this last year!

Sharon Ankerich said...

Happy Gotcha Day to a very sweet girl!!! Wesleigh is such a beautiful little doll! How can it be a year already? LOVE every single photo you shared! God has blessed your family so much and MORE to come!!!
Blessings and Joy!

Mei Mei s and Mayhem said...


What a wonderful post, made my eyes tear up!! She is such a doll. It really makes all the men in our house think a little different!! Every house full of boys needs a sister or two to love on and soften their hearts! :-)

Cant wait to follow the next journey!

TanyaLea said...

Beautifully done, Jennifer! What a wonderful tribute to your 1st Anniversary as a family of SIX!! And I'm SO glad you listened to the calling that God placed on your heart, too... what a wonderful and rewarding blessing Sweet Wesleigh has been to your family. I cannot believe it has been a year already, since I was anxiously waiting for Di to put up the next post, and then the next and the next...!!! Wesleigh has absolutely BLOSSOMED over the past year, and her sweet smile just lights up the room! It is SO wonderful what the love and stability of a family can do! God is good!! <><

Happy Anniversary and God bless! I can't wait to see what the next year brings for your little Tea Cup!!


redmaryjanes said...

Your last words say it all. Yes, I am so grateful that we listened too. The blessing was so much more than we could have ever imagined.
Congratulations on the first of many magical years together :)

Martha said...

oh! Soooo Sweet!

Anonymous said...

I loved watching her blossom and grow with the love you have given to her. What a wonderful transformation in her life, and all of yours. I can't wait to see the next chapter. Thanks for sharing.
Lynette in La.

The Payne Family Blog said...

Beautiful post, Jennifer! Congratulations on your one year anniversary of Forever Famliness!!!


Football and Fried Rice said...

Gorgeous photos to commemorate a full year with the girl who has stolen many hearts!

I know what you mean about loving that child of your heart - it's just different ;) something about stepping out of your comfort zone to be the ONE who ends up blessed..it's really crazy! Crazy that we should have the honor..

It will be super fun to see Wesleigh Jane with a sister! Can't wait!


Cindy said...

Your photos speak volumes; of love.
Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to see what else HE has in store for your family.

Aaron and Erica said...

Happy 1 year Family Day WJ!!! You are such a blessing to your family!

Thanks for letting us watch her grow and blossom this year.


Grace said...


Lindy said...

I love scrolling through the year-in-pictures and remembering all her different hair styles, poses, and discoveries. She looks gorgeous in the new photos with her aqua and pink outfit. Is that pose in the bottom photos her own idea? She is beautiful! Can't wait to see her with a sister. Happy Gotcha Day!


She has just blossomed so much Jen. I don't see an ounce of fear in her little eyes. God Bless! I miss you guys. Keep me posted on your next endeavor. Love ya!

Kim said...

Happy 1 year.. Love all the photos..
Wesleigh is the cutest..
Love you ..

Shannon said...

I can't believe it's been a year. I started reading your blog when you guys were in China picking her up. I live for your blog and seeing the latest outfits, hairstyles and smiles of Miss W. It has been such a honor and blessing to follow your journey and seeing this precious child blossom...and to see your boys open their hearts and love their little sister...there aren't enough words to express it all. You have an amazing family and I can't wait to see how Miss W will be as a big sister. She's had plenty of great examples of how to love so she will be awesome! Happy Anniversary Wesleigh and to the erst of your family. I pray continued blessings on your family.

Mission To Macie said...

Happy Wesleigh Day!!!

Love all the photos.....

Can't wait until Feb. 5th!!!

JIll :)

Debbie said...

What a wonderful tribute to her one year anniversary. She is a precious child who has been placed with a precious family and you both have been blessed beyond measure!!! Happy Anniversary Wesleigh and family!!!!

Jessica W Chin said...

When I look at Wesleigh, all I could think of is sweet pure candy. She is just pure sweetness, and she has the softest eyes. How time flies, and how well loved Wesleigh is.
God bless you and your family, and happy one year gotcha anniversary! ^^

Stephanie said...

I adore this post! I'm so happy for you and your family!!!!

Her latest pictures are beautiful!

Deanna said...

What a beautiful post! I hope you guys had a sweet night together. What amazing changes God has executed in her life as well as yours. I can't wait for the second China baby to come along :)

Stacy said...

Yep! You did it!
I have tears running down my face!!
Good thing I don't have my make up on yet.

I love how you posted your anniversary.
It's a good thing I didn't read it yesterday or I might have copied. : )

She is beautiful.
Love you,

3 Peanuts said...

CRYING so I can barely type. These photos are all so gorgeous and so touching. I love seeing Miss WJ blossom in your family's love. it is beautiful. Like Di, a year ago I could not sleep. I prayed diligently for you all. And God answered our prayers. Wesleigh is just the perfect fit for your beautiful family. I so know what you mean that she is your heart...I get it.

The love that your whole family has for her really shines through. I cannot wait to see how the plan unfolds for her sister and to be there right along with you all.

I am so grateful for our friendship. Thank you for yesterday. I am truly sad and embarrassed that on this incredible day for your family....you took the time to hold my hand and pray for us. I hope you celebrated the joy of Wesleigh being in your family!!!


ashia said...

WOW, LOVE this post! those recent photos are beautiful! love what you said at the end. congrats on wesleigh's year at home! GOD IS GOOD!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Oh what a beautiful post Jen! Happy One Year!!! It has been an amazing journey for your family and it has been a joy to watch this little girl that was placed in your arms a year ago blossom into what she is today..... a well adjusted, happy, sweet, and VERY LOVED little girl!!! The sheer joy just emotes from each and every picture that you post of her. She is a beautiful girl inside and out!

I love all the pictures, but there is just something about the picture of the two of you that use as your profile picture...... You are glowing and it's as if she knows she is safe in her mama's arms.....JUST GORGEOUS~



Lori said...

What an absolutely wonderful year Jen, Happy One Year together!
I love the picture of the boys sitting with Wesleigh, they are so handsome! :)

Anonymous said...

I read this post on the day it was originally posted and just could not think of any appropriate words to describe my feelings in which to respond. I am still SPEECHLESS over the whole process and the gift of Wesleigh. I remember this day a year ago that we had 20 MAGNIFICENT MCGOWANS waiting for word that she was in yall's hands. God has blessed us all and we are so glad to be called friends and to be a part of this journey. In His Hands, Lauren McGowan

Ali said...

I can't believe it has been a year already. She sure has changed in the last year. She is just beautiful and so grown up already!

Bridget said...

Happy belated Gotcha Day! You know I have been following along for the year. (although you would never know because I am the worst commentor) Anyway I hope you had a wonderful day with your little beauty! I think this day is a day to celebrate and be happy. Each one is special and I love looking back on the years since we have been home. Wesleigh has grown into such a big girl in the last year. She seems like nothing but a joy. I love reading your posts and with each one I can feel the love you have for your sweet girl! I love seeing her with her loving brothers and her sweet Dad and especially with you! You are an adorable family and I pray that you will soon have another addition from China! How exciting for you all. Thanks for sharing your sweet girl and your lovely family. I look forward to what's to come!

Enjoy your sweet girl today and forever!


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