Four months ago today, a tiny, frightened baby girl in an oversized orange and yellow outfit was placed into my arms.
We've traveled a long way since that chaotic first meeting, and not just because of the long airplane trip that brought Rachel Shu-Ting to her new home.
The baby that had only thin wisps of fuzz now has a full head of hair. Those two cute bottom teeth no longer stand alone -- she has a mouthful (12 teeth, compared to 5 when we met her). The child that didn't seem to even know how to crawl is now running around our house at top speed.
She has gained 4 pounds and grown a couple of inches. And she has filled our hearts with joy and laughter.
I never knew I could love someone so much.
Now sometimes when I rock her at night, I look around her room and remember how I would sit in that same chair with empty arms and yearn to feel the weight of her. When she asks me to read her the same book for a third time in one sitting, I flip back to the first page with joy. When I walk into a room and she lights up, my chest actually aches with love for her.
It took two years, hours of paperwork and every ounce of patience I could muster to make it to the point when I would look into her eyes for the first time. We traveled halfway around the world to hold her. Now, at an age when many of my peers are nearing the end of years of child-rearing, I'm just getting started.
I thank God for that every day.
Happy anniversary, Rachel Shu-Ting.