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a changed heart

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A quick shout-out this morning to our youngest daughter, Ellie.
Last week, while I was in Missouri, my baby girl earned an award that none of her big brothers or sister has ever brought home.
She was named a Super Student for the month of September...for the character of 'Respect.'
While it may sound like your run of the mill award for most elementary kids...for us it is a HUGE deal. Especially when you realize less than four years ago, this little munchkin was living life in an orphanage in eastern Europe.

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Let's just say it wasn't a bastion for character development.
Life was tough. In order to survive you had to be meaner than the next guy. There was a pecking order and if you had any kind of weakness they were exploited by the other kids. Since E~ was born without ears and had a severe hearing loss, she was at a disadvantage...and the other kids knew it.
When we first met her, E~ had learned what it took to survive. She saw every child around her as a potential enemy - a rival for attention, food, toys, clothing, toothpaste...anything. We had a clear demonstration of it within our first few visits. Still, deep down we saw a softer spirit...something undefinable...we just knew in our hearts that everything would be fine.
After we brought her home and she literally wanted nothing to do with the kids for the first few days. It took about six months before she dropped her guard and really started enjoying having siblings.
Today Ellie is a compassionate, loving, generous child...one that looks for the good in people, is in tune with other's feelings and readily shares without prompting.
I want to be absolutely clear here...this turnaround has NOTHING to do with Shad and I and the way we raise this blessing.
It is ALL. GOD. All of it.
Somehow in the midst of her first 47 months, our Heavenly Father reached down, touched her heart and protected her from the attachment damage that some kids go through. And He's healed her hardened heart.
We were just obedient in listening to the voice that told us our family wasn't complete and that we would find our little girl in Ukraine.
In return for that obedience, we received the most amazing gift - Ellie.
Way to go, sweetheart! Daddy and I are so proud of you! :)

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3 salty messages:

Tina in CT October 6, 2011 at 8:09 PM  

What a wonderful award for your daughter! I'm sure she is very proud of it.

MoscowMom October 7, 2011 at 12:12 PM  

Oh, how utterly wonderful!!!! I'm so deeply happy for you all!!!

Bethany October 7, 2011 at 1:45 PM  

Go, Ellie! She is such a sweetie.

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