Four Fabulous Years~Oh my!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Last night as I was in the shower I was thinking about the incredible day I had.  As I mentioned here, I am facilitating a group at my church through a study/book for Catholic Moms.  This week, one of our chapters was on adoption.  In my humble opinion, Catholics are not big adopters. I might be wrong (and I hope I am) but that is my perception. They have lots of kids but I do not know a lot of Catholics who adopt.  Not like my Protestant friends anyway!  Also, our church does not have an adoption ministry.  I have never in my whole life as a Catholic heard adoption talked about in a sermon.  And we don't recognize Orphan Sunday at our church.  So, I sometimes feel called to spread the word, plant the seed and try to get my fellow Catholics to consider the blessing of adoption.  Since it was one of our topics today, I was able to share our story and speak from my heart.  It felt great to give my testimony and I think the Holy Spirit spoke to a few women in the group.

So, I was in the shower praying that maybe someone in the group would feel called (or a few people) and I realized that it was an important day in our adoption story.  Yesterday, was Kate's 4 year referral anniversary!!! It was four years to the day that we saw who God chose to be in our family.  I almost forgot. Kate was asleep so I could not do my traditional photo shoot with her but did it today instead.   

I know that sounds awful (that I almost forgot) but you know she is so much a part of our family that it just seems like she has always been here. I remember my friend, Michelle telling me that after a while "how" Kate came to our family would become less important because she just IS our family.  And I guess that is true to a certain extent.  I am not saying that Kate's history is not important because it is.  It is just that she is woven into the fabric of our family so tightly now that the ups and downs of how she got here seem a lifetime away.   It is kind of how the ups and downs of pregnancy, labor and delivery melt away after a while too.

I don't know what I could say on this anniversary that I have not said before.  Kate is my love.  She is my heart.  And all my children are my heart and my love.  However, Kate has stretched me in ways that nothing else has.  She has brought me closer to God.  She has changed me deeply.  She has changed our family.  She is a gift from God.  She is truly a blessing.  I think if you have read this blog at all, you know that:)

Kate Emerson 6 Months

The first glimpse we ever got of our Kate Emerson Ru! 
February 1, 2007

She was sick here and I bribed her with that M & M in her mouth:)

February 1, 2008

February 1, 2009

Referral Day

Who is this?

February 1, 2010

and today...February 20011





I must admit that Kate acted a little silly and really did not want to do this this year.
She cooperated but thought it was kind of silly.  Maybe this will be our last year of this photo tradition:)


  1. She may think it's silly now, but wouldn't that be a great gift when she's 18? A book of all those pictures put together?!! I know you don't know me from Adam! LOL But please keep taking the pictures each year!

  2. Awww, I HOPE it's not the last year you do this! I think it's a very special way to see ALL the amazing changes taking place in your beautiful Kate :)
    P.S. Gorgeous pictures this year! You can see how your photography has evolved as well :)
    Happy Kate Day!!

  3. Just say it was February 1st and no one will ever know the difference! Our referral day anniversary is a big day in our house, too. It's so fun thinking back on that day when you finally get to see that little face you've been waiting such a long time to see. I also have biological children and I perfectly understand what you mean when you say Kate has "stretched" you. I love all my children, but there's just something about my little Abby; I always say she's the icing on my cake. Happy day!

  4. I normally just lurk as I love reading about your family and house style but I just had to comment on this post. Being a Catholic AND an adoptive mother I have to disagree with your preception about catholic adoptions. As I am "tuned in" to this topic (as you are) I can easily rattle off 20+ catholics couples and familes that I am aware of that have adopted children both domestically and abroad over the past 14 years, in the various states we have lived. My own two sons were adopted with the help of Catholic Charities in two different states! I think we Catholics yearn (just as those of other faiths) to build their familes through adoption. I think its great that you are advocating for adoption through your church just don't paint us all with such a broad brush!

  5. Kate seems to have grown so much in the last 12 months. In this year's photo she looks so confident!

  6. WOW, look at that BEAUTIFUL smile today, she just lights up this world!!
    I still remember seeing that first photo of your sweet baby girl ~ and knew that if she was special enough to stop traffic, that she was one VERY special little girl and just perfect for your family!! :D
    Happy Day!!!

  7. So sweet! I especially like the pictures where Kate is looking at the photo of herself. Wonder what she is thinking? Keep up the tradition... you will be glad to have those pictures.

  8. Beautiful Kate! Congrats!
    By the way today is the 1 year anniversary that my cousins met Miss Chloe. She is such a blessing to her Mommy and Daddy and extended family!

  9. I also think you should carry on the tradition of the picture every year....Kate will appreciate it when she's an adult. (just my opinion)...

  10. I also think you should carry on the tradition of the picture every year....Kate will appreciate it when she's an adult. (just my opinion)...

  11. Lovely photos :)
    PS- I am a Catholic that just adopted. But I am the only Catholic in my adoption circle so your observation may be right!

  12. Beautifully written! And what a beautiful girl Kate is. Keep taking the yearly pics just for having it documented. She will appreciate it when she is older.

  13. She's so pretty in red! It's ok you almost forgot. Today is Hudson's referral day...and if I had not read your post, I might have forgotten,too. :) I love how you do your traditional pictures. Sweet.

  14. love this tradition kim!! she looks so grown up:)

  15. Your write about Kate so beautifully. I am sure everyone agrees that your family wouldn't be the same if she wasn't part of it. Always makes me wonder what we are missing...

  16. Love these photos each year. They are so special.

    Happy family day! We celebrated the same for Emma yesterday...and it is also the anniversary of the day we met and adopted Hannah. A happy day in both our homes!

  17. Happy 4 years with your beautiful Kate!! I love how you wrote so eloquently how she just IS a part of your family that you almost forget how she came to be in it... I feel the exact same way and sometimes even get puzzled when people ask me if she is adopted. I just plain forget which one of my children was adopted.

    I am Catholic and of course, did adopt. There is a small handful of adoptive parents at my church, but we do not have an adoption ministry either. However, we do have a very large Christian Church that does have a large adoption ministry, so I would have to agree with you that the Catholics do not advocate for adoption like some of the other religions. Kudos to you for possibly planting the seed in somebody's heart and opening up an opportunity for a blessing that will be more than they could ever imagine!

    Love the pictures as the years have gone by... and that Lori said she stopped traffic! Love that!! And I hope that she soon sees the face of her angel soon.

  18. Oh my I can't believe it has been that long - that is when I came across your blog and started following - we too are adopting from China and unfortunately are still waiting :(
    Kate has grown into such a beautiful little lady - I would do it every year if you remember - I think one day Kate will love to look back at these photos. I know I do!!

  19. Kim,
    It is so interesting that you blogged about this today. I was laid off at the end of November. I have been struggling with my next career move. I have actually turned down other sales positions that didn't "feel" right despite the wonderful salary.
    I have been praying for a career that I would be able to do an act of service and glorify God in some way shape or form.
    I have been interviewing like crazy...I have now taken the bull by the horns and started GOING to leave my resume at places (I don't do this "temporary retirement" well).
    I ended up today at a wonderful agency. It was an adoption of the top in the east coast.
    I found myself just showing up with resume in hand and ended up being there "interviewing" for almost 2 hours!
    Adoption has always been in my heart (my dad, cousins, and a few friends have recently adopted).
    I have been thinking..."what is my dream job?" So I decided, "why not?"
    So I am now going to meet with the executive director next week...
    If you could say a quick prayer that all goes well? I would love to be their outreach person, and help them get Hague accredited!
    Thanks so much, Kim!

  20. I am so struck by how much she is changing.

    You are a gem Kim. This was a lovely post.


  21. Darling pictures! That precious Miss Kate gets cuter and cuter each year (which doesn't even seem possible as she always seem to be at "maximum cuteness").

    Stay warm! We are FREEZING up here in Dallas!

  22. She is so adorable! I'm glad you were able to encourage others about adoption :)

  23. These are so sweet!! What a special day!!

    (I love her hair in the last pics! I think it's so cute on her)

  24. LOVE that first pic of her from today!!!! She is so precious Kim!!! Happy Anniversary. I really can't believe it was four years ago we were in our RQ "small group!" So many great memories of celebrating together!

    I can't wait to hear more about your Bible Study yesterday!! God is using you!!!! YAY


  25. What a beautiful tradition of photos! Kate is darling as always - love that red top!

  26. Adoption is such a beautiful reflection of the way God loves us and welcomes us in to his family. I am sure that sharing your story will touch and inspire many.

    And don't stop taking the pictures. I think it will be an awesome thing to have many, many years from now!

  27. Such beautiful pictures, of a beautiful little girl, who has blessed you and you will forever bless her too
    God bless you ALL

  28. What a sweet post about your sweet girl! I know you always celebrate that Kate is your daughter! I love all the pictures she is too cute! I remember when you received your referral- i was so happy for you and knew that we were one step closer! It has been a joy watching your lovely Kate grow up and become such a sweet little girl! Happy Kate Day!

  29. Oh I love how you document each year! I just saw her "literally grow" before my eyes and I scrolled thru each year! Kate is just simply gorgeous!!!

  30. She is such a cutie! Happy referral day.

  31. Kate has grown into such an amazingly beautiful little girl! I can't believe it's been four years for you already.

  32. She is beautiful! I love looking back at prior years to see how much she has changed. I always forget our referral and family days, I think that is an okay thing though;)

  33. And this referral picture always makes me they rolled her out into the middle of the street? China is funny:)

  34. Beautiful photos of Kate. She is really a doll.
    I too am a Catholic and have always heard of Orphan Sunday. I really hate that you wrote what you wrote and lumped all Catholics into one Parish such as yours. Yes, all Catholics need to be better at talking about our faith to everyone, but we really don't need to turn against ourselves. There are plenty of people out there doing that for us. Just my 2 cents.

  35. NO! Please keep it going! Love that tradition! Even when she's 40, wouldn't that be sweet? Kate is gorgeous and fabulous and I do so love your blog. As a mom of 2 bio and one Asian adoptee, I know what you mean when you say that all your children are your heart and your life. But those emotions and "stretching" brought on by adoption are pretty special, aren't they??

  36. Wow - 4 years...I remember that time and have loved watching Kate become a member of your family. It has been such a privilege to see how God has grown all of your (including D) through this miracle of adoption.

    love to all - and always remember these milestone.

  37. 4 years. Wow! She truly does light up like someone else commented. I am so glad she is such a precious, spunky, beautiful part of your life. Sweetness!

  38. I am loving her with earrings, too! Adorable!


    I loved looking at her through the years....hard to believe how much she has grown and changed even in the last year.

    Her referral picture is one of my favorites. What a seriously looks like she was out there in the middle of the street moving with the flow of traffic.

    I am behind and just catching up on all of your posts..... stay warm and enjoy your smores!! We have more snow heading this way too.

    Happy Chinese New Year~



  40. I love this tradition! This year's photo is beautiful!


  41. Reagan has the same black/white/red dress! Isn't it darling? I love it with leggins!

  42. Love how she has changed so much each year! She is a lovely girl...

  43. I have loved seeing these every year, but it's really not me who matters. But oh, if it were... I'd be clamoring to see the future eye-rolling teen ones. *grin*

  44. keep the tradition! it's adorable & like others have said, it'll be appreciated in the long run... you could even get a cool framed thing done for her or a flip book!

  45. i love, love, loved that bob. She looked so young!!!!!


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