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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Kendell

I can't believe my baby girl is 9 years old today!! Where in the world does the time go? It seems like just yesterday she was 15 months old in the orphanage, then 18ths old and home, and now, WOW-she is 9, just like that

I really do have a hard time watching my children grow up-I know that is what we raise them for, I know that is

God's plan for them-to grow, mature, come to love the Lord, eventually move out, but boy, for this Momma, that is hard to get a handle on. I waited SOOOOO long to be a Mommy, and it was so much fun bringing her home, getting to know her, and now, it seems like the time is just flying by!

Kendell was born on April 10, 1999 in a region in Khazakstan.
She was taken to a baby hospital in Novatroisk, Orenburg Region,

Russia, at only a few days old by her birthmother's mother.

I can only imagine how hard that must have been for her to

leave her there. Kendell was named Valeriya, which we kept for her middle name. She never got outside to play, as it was a very small facility, with only a few workers, and it

was really a baby hospital-most of the children there never left, they were so critically ill.

We will never forget the night we arrived in Orenburg-middle of the night, not sure where we were, and we were met by our interpreter who took us to this rundown place without much lighting, up a few flights of dark steps to a very dingy room, and sat us down with this very somber look on her face. She was very careful to tell us about the children they refer, and wanted us to know they really loved this little girl, and could not believe she had been passed up by so many already. Her big problem, apparently, was that she was part Asian-and Chuck and I just rejoiced inside, as Korea had been one of our choices all along! This was not a huge problem for us at all.

Our first glimpse of our baby girl, after a 4 hour car ride at about 100 mph on roads you could only imagine being called "roads" was heart-stopping for both of us. After only an hour of playing with her, feeding her, and falling in love already, we headed out of the room, depositing her back into her crib, and with breaking hearts, because we knew we had NO IDEA when we would return, we headed back to our home to await the court hearing.

Leaving her room that day will always be etched into my memory-I think I cried a lot of the way back to Orenburg-after all these years, here she was, my precious baby, and we had to leave her and WAIT some more.

Thankfully, the region was moving adoptive families through the courts very quickly. We were there in July for our visit, in September, we went back and brought Kendell home with us.

She has been a priceless princess from the beginning. Worshipped by Mom and Dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, she could easily have been quite spoiled from all the attention, but she loves sharing the limelight, and really blossomed when we brought her big brother home a year later.

She is very bright, reads voraciously, loves taking care of babies, both live and dolls, loves farm life and chores, makes friends quickly, has many big friends she looks up to, loves going to church, and loves Jesus.

I do have my work cut out for me though, as she needs a bit of work in the "quiet and gentle" department, and she likes to boss her brothers around, but I do think she comes by that naturally-both Mom and Grandma are a bit bossy too!

Right now, she tells us she is NEVER leaving home, and would not even consider getting married and having her own babies-absolutely no way that will ever happen.

We just smile and nod our heads, and think, "we will just enjoy this while it lasts!' She has been a happy, cheerful girl since we first saw her, and she continues to grow in strength of character, moral convictions, and for the baby we thought was going to be petite-she is really growing physically as well. At over 4 ft tall and about 58 pounds, she still likes to be held, loves snuggling, and LOVES to be with her family.

I am a proud Momma, but humbled and thankful that God has entrusted her to us, letting us try to raise her in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. While it is easy to become sad by our childrens' growing up, we need to focus on the joy they bring into our lives, focus on the things we want to train them up to be, and the plans God has for their lives, and keep our eyes fixed on both Jesus and eternity.

Blessings to you Kendell, on your special day!!

In Him,

Mommy and Daddy


Katie said...

Oh happy birthday Kendall! Hope you have a wonderful day and all your dreams come true! Although I hope your dreams about becomming a mom change one day because 1) you will be GREAT at it 2) I'm sure your mommy wants to be a grandma!!

Leo says happy birthday too!

Beth said...

Happy Birthday Kendall!!! It sounds like you've made your mom and dad very proud so far and I'm sure you'll continue to amaze them as you grow up. Hopefully I'll have the chance to meet you if our little group has a get together!!!

Karrie said...

We are all SO happy here in Florida to wish Kendell a very happy birthday celebration that lasts well into May! What a precious daughter and sister you are Kendell. You are such a treasure to your whole family. Congratulations to everyone on Tyler's triuphant homecomming! Absolutely Miraculous! We pray that Tyler's sleep patterns will settle in soon and Mamma can get the rest she needs.
Love and Prayers,
Karrie Rudd and Family

Joe and Jane said...

What a sweet remembrance! (Jia used to fall asleep in her high chair like that too! Wish I had taken a photo!)

Happy birthday Kendell!

Jenny, Steve, & Jade said...

Happy Birthday Kendall!

What a blessing you are to your family :) God is so good ~

Stefanie said...

Happy 9th Birthday Kendall! Look at how much you have grown! Loved looking at all the pictures and reading about what a wonderful person you are and continue to become.

Sarah k said...

Happy Birthday Beautiful girl! I hope you had a wonderful Birthday and will have many more wonderful Birthdays ahead of you, especially now that you have your new brother to play with!

Lori said...

Happy Birthday Kendell - you are such a beautiful young lady! I love the recap of your adoption story - what a blessing for your mom and dad and what a wonderful journey - thank you for sharing your photos also - absolutely amazing. (Wyatt loves the cow picture as he is fascinated by all farm animals right now! :) :) ).