Fifteen years old!

March 23rd, 2017

When I look back in my mind’s eye to her last birthday, the contrast in her demeanor is so obvious.  After a “from bad to worse” 2015-2016 school year followed by a switch to a different classroom, things have turned around dramatically for our Katie.  It’s so good to see!

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Fifteen somehow sounds like such a large number; maybe that’s why I very much wanted to share these photos with you tonight.  She’s now been part of our family for roughly one third of her life.

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Cake is one of the greatest loves of Katie’s life.  Good thing for her we have fifteen birthday parties a year!  For Katie’s benefit, we sang her name in each line of the “Happy birthday” song tonight.  “Happy birthday to Katie…”  Katie’s turn to have a birthday!

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Do you remember how tiny she was in my lap 5 1/2 years ago?  Look at her now!

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Sometimes when she’s very happy, she will spontaneously reach out to give me a hug.  It’s very sweet.  She still has significant attachment issues, but she’s doing much better with it than last year.

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She placed most of the wrapping paper in the trashcan like a big girl.

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When Katie is happy, Katie moves!

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The only practical gift we gave her was an EZ PZ molded bowl and place mat to help her progress in feeding herself.  Everything else we gave her was just to make her smile.  It doesn’t take a lot to make her a very happy girl!

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Instead of their traditional cards, the children each made her a different color of heart with his or her name on it.  I will hang these on her window in her room so I can point to them and remind her, “Look, Katie!  Peter loves Katie, James loves Katie, Josie loves Katie (etc.)!”

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But presents are more interesting.  *wink*  (Yes, I know this is very blurry, but I never discard a photo just because it’s imperfect if it captures something more important.)

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Her expression is so cute here.

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Her first several years home, she paid no attention to stuffed toys.  Now, she will give them a hug.  This puppy vibrates and plays very soft, soothing music.  It’s her new favorite toy!

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Exuberance personified!

Happy 15th birthday, Katie!  You are a gift to our family!

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14 Responses to “Fifteen years old!”

  1. Esther Paris says:

    Exuberance personified!! Yes! So very ‘yes’!
    I sometimes wonder if you a devotion to Mary.
    Your family’s YESes to Tommy, Katie & Josie are so Divinely inspired. You have Mother Mary’s heart, for sure.

    Wish I could have witnessed the Exuberance personified first-hand. Alas, my teleporter is in the shop. I wouldn’t, nay COULDN’T, have taken better photos however.

    God bless all! I will joyously think of Kate often as I spend today in a class called “Person-Centered Planning for Rookies”. Oh! I must tell you about my first ‘yes’ in he realm of job hunting: a Greeter at City Hall! Google the nation’s smallest city and check out the handsome young Mayor who is very enthusiastic about offering a job.

  2. Esther Paris says:

    5th smallest city, by area.

  3. Julie R says:

    Happy Birthday Katie!! How far you’ve come, beautiful girl!!
    Good to “see” you too, Susanna!
    Julie from Illinois

  4. Esther Paris says:

    And it SHOULD be in 4th place in list of population density, with Boston shoved to #5
    http://www.governing.com/blogs/by-the-numbers/most-densely-populated-cities-data-map.html

  5. Julie says:

    Katie is the reason I first stumbled upon your blog, Susanna. To see such a bundle of joy celebrate her 15th birthday is such a blessing! When I see Katie I see miracles. Thank you for sharing this joyous day with us!

  6. sabrina says:

    Oh, my goodness! I agree, 15 sounds like such a big number! Reading here that she is doing better this year than last year… I love that so much. It’s one of the best things in our adoptions stories too…that our children can keep growing, keep learning, that even 4 or 5 years home and they can be in a better place, and from that better place they can reach even better places. Happy Birthday, sweet Katie!

  7. Barb says:

    I’ve been following along since right before Katie came home. Thanks for sharing her birthday with us. Happy Birthday Katie.

  8. MamaV says:

    She looks so good! Happy Birthday Katie!!

  9. Taylor-Tots Mom says:

    Happy, HAPPY Birthday, dear Katie!!

  10. Ruth G says:

    Happy Birthday sweet Katie! I know you don’t know me, but I’m glad you had a good birthday celebration. Tell your mom thanks for sharing it with us! :-) She’s right, you’re getting so big, and it has been fun to watch you grow. :-)

  11. Carol says:

    She’s so beautiful, and the joy that emanates from her is incredible. Thank you for sharing, Susanna!

  12. KMT says:

    Happy Birthday, Katie!

    In some pictures, she actually looks 15! Sometimes when then are tiny and when their behavior doesn’t match their age it’s hard to see it, but it’s definitely showing through now. I sometimes glimpse it in my 18 yr. old now, too.

  13. adriana says:

    Congratulations on your big girls birthday!! So wonderfull to see her blossom and grow.
    Thank you for sharing! I come back to your blog every now and then, and it is always a blessing and a prompt to follow after Christ. Praying blessings over your family and the new minisrty you are involved in.

  14. M Schmittou says:

    Happy Birthday, Katie! You are so big now! You have simply blossomed over the years and are such a beautiful girl. Truly a light in this world! I love birthdays, too.

    I can’t believe how much Katie has grown with the love and support of her family. Not just in physical size, but also in personality, perseverance, understanding, and so, so much more! Such a beautiful heart can be found in a girl who is happy and in a loving family.

    I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to watch you learn and grow from afar – from a tiny, tiny little bird so eager to gain knowledge, to a big, beautiful 15 year old, bright-eyed and exuberant. Never lose your light.

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