What Kate Emerson has taught me

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"It's Christmas time again and now you're home. Your family is here so you will never be alone." Third Day

This post may be hard for waiting Moms to read. I apologize if it is. I debated about posting it but I really want to have this as a keepsake for Kate.

Today it is 8 months since Kate Emerson came home. I remember this time exactly a year ago and how sad I was. Of course I was happy about some things but overall it was a tough month. My step father (who I loved very much) died last December 18th. We still miss him terrribly. I would listen to this song by Third Day and cry and wonder why I had to send out Christmas cards for the third time in a row without a photo of our daughter. Again, I had to explain to people why it was taking SO long!

What a difference a year makes! Now, I listen to the Christmas music with such joy! As I recently said to someone, this year my heart is BURSTING with love. I walk around the shops with Kate and everyone looks at her (and then with confusion at her blond Mommy?). People smile at us wherever we go. They comment on how beautiful she is. I beam with pride as I thank them. My daughter is finally home. I treasure each day that I have her. But right now as I address those first Christmas cards with all three of my children and she helps me decorate the tree, I find myself with tears in my eyes again. Only this time, they are tears of happiness. My heart is absoltuely full this year with joy.

I am so incredibly grateful that we waited for you-Katie Ru! You are a jewel. So, to those who feel that longing that I felt last year... Please know that I am praying for your children and I hope they are with you soon. I know your pain and believe me you will soon know joy.

This month I want to reflect on the things Kate and our journey to her have taught me:

~God's plan is not always your plan. We did not have fertility issues (as many who adopt do) but God had a plan for us to have Kate. There were so many little curves in the road that led us to adoption. Now that Kate is here, I know God planned her to be in our family all along.

~ There is no one "right" way to parent. God humbles us too. I honestly thought that I had this parenting thing down pat. I knew babies needed routine. I knew they needed very consistent napping and bedtime rituals. I knew it was crucial to teach them independence and not to spoil them. Along came Kate! She did not fit into the box of parenting tricks I used the first two times around. She has taught me incredible sacrifice and endurance and patience and love. She has taught me not to question how others parent because different things work for different children and different families. Having said that...there are things that don't work for anyone (spoiling, over scheduling and so on).

~Katie Ru, you have taught me how to do household tasks while carrying a 25 lb baby (and the chiropractor LOVES you for that)!

~You have taught me that a heart feels love immediately even if a body did not carry that child. One always wonders if they will love an adopted child the same as a biological child (you are lying if you never wondered). Kate, you have taught me that love does not know the difference. My love for you is every bit as strong as if I gave birth to you. In some ways, our bond is even stronger because you needed me more at this age than the boys did.

~You have taught me that I can function (albeit, not well) on very little sleep. You have taught me that a Mommy will do whatever she has to do to make sure her daughter feels safe.

I love you Kate. You are a dream come true.

Here are some photos of the things you are doing now at 18 months old:


You love climbing up on your chair...
and jumping off of it!

Then, getting up and doing it all over again!

You climb all of the furniture.


It makes me CRAZY nervous and I call you "monkey."


Sometimes, you go to time out. You are such a good girl and you sit there. Then when I tell you to get up, you give Mommy a big hug! Isn't that a pretty picure? LOL


You love to wrestle with Daddy, the boys and Scout. 


You know what "pile on" means:)


You climb up to the table when you are hungry (even though you eat in the high chair;) By the way... that is not a sharp knife she is holding. It is one Harry uses and we were watching her carefully.



You love to "talk" on the phone.
 You say hi and bye to people on the phone and you even said Mimi's name on the phone to her last week.

And...your favorite book right now is "Is your Mama a Llama?"
Do I look like a llama?


  1. Kim,

    This is one of my favorite posts you have ever written - it is beautiful - like you and Kate - by the way - please check out this website - it was on NPR and very legit - a wonderful site and as Nicolas would say - what better to give then rice!
    Please Check This Out


    Free Rice is a website set up to donate 20 free grains of rice to
    charitable causes for every vocabulary word you get right. I even checked
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    vocabulary and donate to charity while you're at it.
    lots of love,

  2. I have tears on my keyboard- I really do- I think the music pushed me over the edge of no return on the tears- this is what life is all about- I wish I could hug all of you-

    God bless all of our children, those parents who raise them and those waiting with hearts of gold to love them-

  3. Thanks Kim for that beautiful post. As hard as it is to read, it brings the same amount of joy and hope to see the dreams that have come true. Your jubilation should not go unnoticed. We celebrate with you. I shed many tears last year to that same Third Day song and will no doubt, do the same all over again this year. Waiting is hard, but the reward keeps us all going forward.

    Keep on celebrating!

  4. What a sweet post! The waiting is hard, but that all melts away. I too agree that an adopted child is loved just as much as a bio child. We too, didn't have fertility issues, but were led by God to adopt. Not our idea, but we are over the moon in love with our Sophia. God is good.

  5. Wow! What a wonderful post! I am so, so happy for your family this holiday season. Kate was the perfect addition to your family. You are so blessed!

  6. P.S. "Is your Mama a Llama?" is one of our favorite books too!

  7. Oh Kim, I have tears here too. Many, many painful tears. I do thank you for writing this though. It is so hard to see past this waiting, as I am sure you can remember. This post gives me hope that there is hope. There is. The song playing in the background was what put me over the edge. I am off to have a good cry. Enjoy your precious, precious children.

  8. Kim,
    I love this post, it brought tears to my eyes as I was reading. I'm a Mommy in waiting and soon my husband and I will have our little girl. Our LID is 12/20/05. We can't wait! The road has been long but I know that soon we will get our little girl.

    I look forward to reading you're blog as it always lifts me up. I love the pictures of the family. I so related to the Christmas cards. I will again have to explain why the wait is so long. It seems like each year we say "Next Christmas you won't have to just get a present for our dog."

  9. My sweet hubby was playing with our tiny dog, asked me a question, and said "are you crying again?" This was a hard read for this waiting mom. You got every emotion I am feeling right on the nose. I have wondered if I'll feel love for her right away or if it'll be like a weird babysitting sort of thing? That even sounds awful as I write it, but that is how I feel. I dread having to explain to John's family why the wait is still so long, during our Christmas holiday to Alabama. Please keep us in your prayers as this will be a trying time for both of us, and our dog!!!

  10. Kim
    First - you should never feel bad about posting your joy. Honestly, seeing your family complete helps me, as a waiting mom, know that the end will be worth every tear shed. We also do not have fertility issues but have been put on this road way before we knew what God had in store for us as parents. I wrote my xmas cards today and remember last year writing, this should be the year we bring Miranda home - well obviously things have changed. I debated writing cards this year and then realized, all if this waiting is part of the plan - maybe not our plan. Thanks for sharing your family with us. Merry, merry Christmas to all of you!

  11. What a beautiful, eloquent and loving post. I echo so much of what you said and know that my heart does not know the difference either. Kate is beautiful, as are your boys and your family is so incredibly blessed this Christmas as a complete family.

    Sarah and Sophie~Bug

  12. What a beautiful post Kim!! I have always loved this Third Day song too! It does hit hard during this long wait, however, we were certainly blessed 3 years ago now when we were in China celebrating Sophie's adoption and the Christmas season....truly a Christmas that we will never forgot as long as we live! I am so glad you get to celebrate the season with your entire family this year Kim! We celebrate with you too! Kate Emerson....have a wonderful Christmas season...you are home!

  13. I couldn't have said it better myself. I also have been very guarded as to what I post because I feel everyone's pain out there. but, like you, our little Maddy has brought us so much joy. Never in a million years would I have thought I could have taken care of a child with a major heart condition and yet, here we are. God has brought this beautiful child into our lives and we love her as if she was born to us!

    Merry Christmas to all of you. God has surely given you (and us) so many blessings to be thankful for this year.

  14. I think we need to get Kate and Daniel together. I think they would make a lovely pair! ;)

    Beautiful post Kim.....I can just about say "ditto here"! ;)

  15. Beautiful post! Katie Ru will cherish this one day!

  16. Wow - what sweet words! I just can't even imagine what Christmas morning is going to be like for your family - how amazing it will be! I can't wait to see pics!

    P.S. You're killing me with these clothes. :) I'm in love with the top with the button!

  17. This is a beautiful post - a testament to perserverance and faithfulness. What a treasure for Kate to read when she is old enough - and I am so glad you will all have a Merry Christmas!

  18. What a lovely post. I know all too well the heartache of waiting and waiting to bring your daughter home. We waited a long time for a baby girl from Russia, and now we are waiting again for our daughter from China. We are approaching our 9 mo. LID. Such a long wait ahead. But it is so worth the wait. I admit I was one of those who secretly wondered if you could love an adopted child as much as a bio...and I can honestly say that from the minute I held her in my arms I was totally in love. And it only grew with each passing minute. I know I couldn't love a child any more than I do her, bio or not. You said it so well that the bond often feels greater because of adoption. That is so hard to put into words and explain to people. I guess you just have to live it. Lovely picture by the way.

  19. What a sweet post for your beautiful girl : )

  20. Hi, I'm Amy and I've been reading your blog for sometime now....I just love all your posts! You have a great talent with blogging! :) Stop by my blog anytime!!!

  21. Precious darlin! I am inspired and endeared by your family images and stories. Happy Holiday season to you. May this year find you incredibly blessed, even more so than the last.

  22. Oh what a beautiful post, the tears are falling!! From a waiting Mom, Thank you, for the glimpse into my future!!

  23. What a sweet post. I am so happy that your family is complete this Christmas. It just gives the rest of us something to look forward to. Those pictures are adorable. All of her little outfits are too cute.

    My favorite book is "Is Your Mama a Lama"!! I love it!

  24. I actually cried out loud reading this post, as it will be our first with our Mia home. I still cannot believe she is here with us - I still look over at her and thank God that she is here - I still cannot believe where the "broken road" has lead me... Now I look back at the heartache and heart break and I know it was all leading us to our Mia.

    We all needed to read this, those waiting, those who are home ~ thank you :)

  25. definately my favorite post. i am so thrilled for you. i am so thrilled for kate. & i am thrilled to watch such a blessed beautiful family relying on the lord.
    may you continue to be a light.
    hugs sweet friend

  26. What a beautiful writer you are. Kate will have a wonderful piece of you someday in the gift of the beautiful things you write about her. She will cherish it forever.

  27. Love Third Day!

    Cute photo, Kim! Ella just received a llama fisher price Little People toy---you have to get one for Kate, they are adorable!


  28. We all have our own journeys to navigate and you do not have to apologize for memorializing yours for your family; what you write helps all of those who will one day walk in a path parallel to that which you now travel.

    While I yearn for the chance to feel this unconditional love of which you speak, I am at peace knowing I am learning a powerful lesson in patience, which I know I will need in years to come.

    Thank you for giving us a window to your soul.

  29. Kim,
    What a beautiful post~to be able to look back at the difference from last year to this year and to celebrate the joy of your daughter finally home with your family! This will be so wonderful for her to look back on and it's what us waiting families need to hear and be reminded of!!
    All of you, and especially little "Monkey" look SO happy!!

  30. You brought tears to my eyes.... so many of your words reflect what my heart cries out. We are blessed among the blessed! Kate is so beautiful. The Lord is so amazing.... He blesses us beyond our heart's desire.
    Merry Christmas sweet friend.... enjoy your family.

  31. I love this post Kim. It still amazes me how so much sorrow can be washed away when a child enters into our lives. Enjoy this season with your family, you have waited a long time for this!

  32. Forgot to tell you I love this song too. We were "supposed" to be getting Myah at Christmas time, I had already bought warm clothes to take to China, she had gifts under the tree and we were ready. China had other plans for us and we were caught in the beginning of this very long wait, we didn't get her until June! I remember being so sad at Christmas, we opened her gifts eventually, we never dreamed it would have been 6 months later, so close but yet so far. This song brings it all back to me! Sniff sniff!

  33. So touching! She is absolutely precious and obviously has touched all of your lives and in so many ways. You are so fortunate to have so much love in your family.

  34. Kim,
    I love this post! It will truly be a "keepsake" for Kate...and for you. What a joy to finally have your baby girl in your arms and home with your family! I am so glad that this Christmas you are feeling joy and you are sharing it with your WHOLE family! :) Blessings on your family and especially sweet Kate! Now you can really celebrate...and what a joy to be able to celebrate your whole family forever!

  35. Beautiful testament to your daughter.


  36. My Step-Dad also passed away last Dec, on the 16th at age 57. :( And we also brought home a child this year. :) Our third little one, this time a boy for us.

    Your daughter is just adorable and I can see that you are enjoying all the moments and firsts with her. :) What a special Christmas this will be for your family!

  37. Kim,

    We were in the same place last Christmas. I was dreading another Christmas without my MIa but trying to smile through the pain. It was a really hard Christmas and I cried MANY times hearing this Third Day song. This year our dream has been realized with the homecomming of Mia. Now I hear this song and cry tears of joy rather than sorrow becuase of my little girl is home-- our familiy is Complete!!! Now the phrase you quoted "It's Chrsitmas time again and now your home. YOur family is here and you will never be alone" means so much and every time I hear it I smile. It is so powerful. It is amazing that our dreams can be realized through a little girl from China-- AMAZING!!!

  38. I love your blog, but have never posted before. I'm a waiting mom, and when I'm feeling blue, your blog always lifts my spirits. You post was beautiful. I made it about halfway through before the tears came. Thank you for sharing what your heart is filled with. You have such a beautiful family. I have three boys (a bit older then your two handsome guys!) and I dream about the day their baby sister will be home. My heart is filled with love and gratitude for my blessings, but there is always that ache for my daughter. I know one day, I'll be able to write about the joy you have so beautifully written about.

  39. Kim,
    Wow, no I didn't get through this post or song without the tears falling either. ALthough my circle of "waiting moms" includes those battling infertility and multiple pregnancy loss, the emotions ring so true. I pray for all the "waiting moms" out there often, and especially this time of year. I remember all too well so many holidays of empty arms.
    Prayers of comfort to everyone waiting.

  40. Kim
    Thank you for your kind post and words of encouragement.
    Last year I bought a couple gifts for our daughter. I can't bring myself to do it this year.
    I have however bought her her first Christmas Ornament for our Christmas Tree.

    Please, share the title and artist of the song.

  41. Definitely my favorite post ever - I can relate on so many levels and appreciate that you can put into words some of the things I cannot. I sobbed reading this because it is our story too...I remember posting the lyrics to this song and the picture of our stockings hung on our original webpage for Hannah - it seems so long ago now (people told me that would happen:)

    Kate Emerson is beautiful and most imporatnly a blessing who is loved beyond measure - what a Merry Christmas indeed!


  42. This post has made me cry! It is just beautiful and I just love the way you express you love for your precious little girl. This is such a sweet post...

  43. Goofy ,after such a sweet post but...I just got my Plow and Hearth catalog AGAIN and they have the chocolate hedgehogs on pg30.:)

  44. What a sweet post! I could almost feel the excitment that I will have next year when Olivia is home. Thank you for being an encouragement to those of us still waiting.


  45. Beautiful post. So happy that you have your baby girl home for Christmas. She is just darling and she is a great climber. Morgan is a monkey.

  46. Kim that is the most beautiful post I have ever read! It is such a hard time of year for me, just as it was for you. For the last 9 years I have always said "if we don't have a child by next Christmas I don't know what I will do?" well low and behold another Christmas is upon us and no child. Reading your post has given me strength to look forward and know that she is coming eventually and one day I will too look back at these years and be so thankful that she is finally with us!!

    Thank you Kim for always having the best things to say!!

  47. Kim, I loved your post. As a waiting mom, it is hard...but I do know that God has a plan for us, and Isaac will be home with us when it's time. It is hard at times, but I am strong and will get through it.


  48. Lovely post Kim lovely... oh how your words rang a bell with me as I too thought I had the parenting thing down pat before Jacob came along and then Princess Caitlyn! Oh how we have ate some of our words huh? ;)and then the thing is, these characteristics in them are some of the things that make our hearts nearly burst with love for them...Beautiful pictures...May your Christmas be filled with His love!!!!
    Kate is truly a treasure and how blessed you are...

  49. Just discovered your blog. thanks for sharing your blessings.

  50. Kim,
    Kate will treasure these posts (especially this one!) when she is older. What a special gift. It is wonderful to see the joy and happiness Kate has brought into your life!

    Take care :)

  51. Oh Kim, I Love this post!!! I can relate in so many ways!!!! I heard that Third Day song the other day and I just stood at the stove crying thinking about where I was last year. Remember when Kate came home and I wrote down the chorus to "Broken Road?" Every day I give thanks for the broken roads in my life! Blessings to you as you celebrate the joy in your heart! Thanks for sharing it with all of us!


    Beautiful keepsake for your dream-come-true daughter.

    I found myself nodding along with all of the things Kate has taught you...Lily has taught us many of those things too.

    Another coincidence: Lily was 18 months old her first Christmas with us and she had been home 8 months. Crazy, eh?

    Enjoy every moment! I know you will!

  53. Wonderful post...
    I know I will have this Christmas and next without my little girl.. but I know the next one she will be in my arms...
    I so can not wait to see her little face Christmas morning...
    Love Kate Emersons clothes.. she is always the best dressed little girl around..
    Have a Great Week.

  54. Thank you Kim, this post reminds me that the wait is so worth it.

  55. I just found another website you might like www.justbe.com. They have the cutest twirly skirts, perfect for Miss Kate Emerson:)

  56. Kim,
    I commented yesterday on your heartfelt post. I failed to mention how beautiful all of your photos are. Would you mind sharing what kind of camera you have? I've asked for a new one for Christmas, and yours appears to take great photos, inside and outside.

  57. Kim,
    You do such a beautiful job of writing and as a waiting mother I visit your site daily for words of encouragement. YOU ARE THE LIGHT at the end of my tunnel. I know that everyone looks at this wait differenly and we all deal with it differently, but for me, your words of inspriation are what keep my chin up and seeing the wonderful pictures of Kate and the stories you share about her and your family as a whole give me a glimpse of what life will be like when we finally have Darci placed in our arms. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!

  58. What a beautiful, transparent post. Kim, it is so important that you keep writing to your family and to Kate Emerson and let us be just what we are - a very fortunate & blessed audience to get a glimpse of your dream come true! Merry Christmas!

  59. Love the post! Kate is such a doll and I'm so happy to hear how she's blessed your family. As waiting Mom I do find comfort in reading about families home with their children. It truly gives us light at the end of this very long tunnel.

    Happy Holidays!


  60. You express your love so well. Kate is gorgeous and her pictures are delightful. She does love that chair. And shr will love to read this post when she is older. This post makes all the waiting worthwhile for anyone who reads it.

  61. Cole's favorite book when he was about 3 was 'Is Your Mama a LLama?'
    I took him to a llama ranch about 40 miles south of here. They had babies and all different colors. It was a neat experience.

  62. What a beatiful post, Kim! I'm so happy that Kate is home with you and that your heart is so full this Christmas!


    p.s. I just returned your call, so give me a ring when you have a chance! xoxo

  63. I am so happy the little girl you waited to have home with you so long is now lighting up your life with joy and happiness.

    Good things really do come to those who wait. I will reflect on this post for many months as we wait for our next daughter.

    Thanks for sharing your very personal thoughts and feelings.


  64. kim...i just stumbled across your blog. What a beautiful post about your baby girl! We have some dear friends who just got back a few weeks ago with their 2nd little miracle from china! I came across the same Third Day song and thought of them...I thought you might enjoy the video I found on the song too...I blogged about it here...

    May you have a blessed Christmas this year through the eyes of your daughter!

  65. thank you for this post -- such an encouragement to my heart as we wait for our lily. lid 1/26/06
    God bless you!


Thank you for your kindness.