I really want to highlight each one of my sweet kiddos so I can look back and remember what was going on in life at their ages right now...and so my mom can keep up with us. :)
Since it's sweet Candie's birthday TODAY, she gets to be first! (and I do have another sweet big girl's birthday in August that I will highlight NEXT....you are not forgotten, my dear!)
Happy Birthday Candie! You are ELEVEN! You have been waiting for this day for oh so long. When you count down the days, you get this HUGE grin on your face and you gasp for air and say "I so 'cited!" Then you giggle and giggle.
Oh how you have GROWN! I looked back at my prayer journals and how desperately I prayed that God would help you grow...and He has answered that prayer! You are still a tiny mite, but you have grown taller centimeter by centimeter! I'm so thankful that we chose not to do the growth hormone shots for you, sweetie. You have grown at your own pace, and you have made your own little growth chart, and you're doing FINE!
Candie, you have also grown in grace. I can see more and more of your sweet spirit shining through. You have an amazing sense of responsibility...way beyond your years. You remember things and with your keen eyes you make sure that we have everything we need at all times...you're always canvasing the landscape to see what else you can do to help out. Your momma appreciates that more than you know! You look out for your little siblings, and now you are READING to them! You go girl! You still don't understand everything you are reading, but you're gaining progress! Sometimes, you take care of your younger brothers and sister a little too much. Bossing and leading are sometimes hard to balance, but you're learning!
You are not going to the hearing impaired school any longer as you have 'outgrown' it! So momma is homeschooling you full time and we are getting into a groove. We have good days and bad days don't we? But what does momma always tell you? Nobody is perfect except Jesus, we're ALL gonna mess up, and so we just put our big girl panties on and keep on trying again and again! You are a WHIZ at math, honey child! And you're even learning about the presidents. You loved getting to see the White House when we went to Washington D.C. Like I mentioned before, you are READING! Oh how I love to hear you read! We are working on comprehension, and even though it is slow and tedious, it will be worth it in the end, I promise!
We tell you the gospel story over and over. You are beginning to show glimmers of understanding. You are very open and eager to hear about how Jesus died for our sins and how he rose on the third day and how we who trust Him as Savior will have a home in Heaven with Him. Those are hard concepts for you, but you know what sin is (usually when I ask you, you answer "Sin is bossing." :) You know Jesus died on the cross. You know He rose again most assuredly on the third day. You are still trying to grasp Heaven and death...and that's okay. I think we will all try to grasp that until we are called home. Candie, we pray FERVENTLY for you to understand how much Jesus loves you. We cannot wait for that day when you come to complete understanding and you are ready to commit your way to Him. You are learning simple Bible verses, you have memorized the pledge to the Bible, and you can sing the B.I.B.L.E. like nobody's business! I am so proud of how hard you have worked on learning these, day in and day out!
Your hearing aid gives you so much freedom to HEAR in life! We are so thankful that you desire to wear your hearing aid, and you take really good care of it and your anchor screw behind your ear. In so many ways, you are every bit eleven years old...and then in others, you're just a little girl who has only been hearing 2.5 years and is plodding along in 2nd grade. We love you just the way you are. And we continue to find ways to motivate you to keep learning and persevering. The going gets tough, that's for sure. But you're learning to get tough too. Inch by inch, you're courage and confidence are growing.
Some of your favorite things are Barbies, baby dolls, Nintendo ds, webkinz, and pretty clothes. :) You are ALL GIRL! Some of your favorite people besides us :) are Mrs. Shalita, your awesome dance teacher,
and Jay Jay her daughter. You also really like Mrs. Paula because she spoils you completely. You love Sarah Grace in China, your LePing buddy.
You also love your pen pal Darcy M. And you adore your other red headed adopted sister Kylie. And you love to be with your grandparents on both sides...and everyone likes to be around you, Candie, because you smile ALL THE TIME and you are SO considerate!
You tell us some things about China some times. It breaks our hearts, not because you were mistreated or anything like that. I guess it's when you tell us, very matter of fact, that you never had a bath in all your 8 years in China. You showed us how your foster mom just washed your feet in a big bowl. There is a story in the Bible that we have told you about Jesus washing His disciples' feet. There is a reason that one of your memories from China is foot washing. God has allowed everything, every memory in your life for a reason, Candie. Your foster mom served you humbly and graciously for 8 years. We pray for her everyday.
You don't talk too much about her. I wish you would tell us more. Maybe one day. I wish she could see you now. She wouldn't recognize you, I bet. No, actually, I bet she would. You still have the same beautiful face, though now it is without the heart shaped birthmark that covered your cheek. Your hair has grown so much! You want it to get longer and longer, but lately you've been talking about getting it cut into a bob. (You say, "I get my hair cut short!") Either way, you are beautiful! You have exquisite features, Candie. You really do! I don't tell you that enough.
I am so thankful God gave us you! You have taught your momma so much that I needed to learn. Some of those lessons were hard in the coming. And I'm still learning, Candie. And you are oh so patient as I learn! God has used you in a mighty way in my life. It was YOUR adoption that really opened your daddy's and my eyes to God's heart in China. We are forever changed, and our hearts forever knitted with your birth country. That bumpy, curvy, dusty dirt road to your village paved the way in our hearts for God to bring us His passion for the poor, needy, widowed, and orphan.
We are SO BLESSED to be able to call you our beloved daughter.
Happy 11th Birthday, Candace Lexiaohao Ferrill! We love you!