Six precious years ago...

Friday, February 1, 2013
we saw the cutest chubby cheeks looking at us from a computer screen...

Kate Emerson 6 Months

We waited a long, long three years to see who God had planned for our family and I will never forget the moment we saw this sweet face.  I loved that button nose right away and I could not believe how long her fingers were. But really, I could not get over how big she was! I had seen a lot of skinny, little babies being referred from China. So to see this plump, little dumpling who was this big at just 6 months old blew me away.

As I have said before, I spent weeks carrying this photo around showing store clerks and anyone else who would look or listen that THIS was my daughter.  I was so proud of her and I did not even know her yet.  I also spent those weeks wondering what she would be like.  I wondered what traits God gave her.

I never really imagined that six years later I would be blogging about what a talented gymnast and graceful dancer she is.  I never could have imagined she would win two art contests at school this year.  Kate could barely pick up a cheerio at 10 months old!! I am not kidding. Kate came home to us a VERY happy, funny, sweet and JOYFUL little girl but she was also very, very clumsy.  I only tell you this to say that we just never know what plans God has for us.  You never know what talents lie deep within you. These talents MUST have been in her all along but we sure did not see any signs of them early on.  She was far from graceful or coordinated early on and my friends who knew her then would whole heartedly agree with that.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Our life changed that day six years ago when we got this photo.  Even though we did not even begin to know the beautiful person Kate would bloom to be...we all started to fall in love with her.  From the moment we all saw this photo...she was our family!  And I cannot imagine our family without her.

She is loving and generous and funny.  She is gracious and tough.  She is SO strong (she almost beat me in arm wrestling and she can climb to the top of the rope and ring the bell at the gym!))  She has a huge sweet tooth and does not like her veggies.  She tries really hard at things and that determination will get her far.  She loves her brothers so much and is a great friend.  She is the greatest blessing and we are so grateful that God brought her to our family.

As you might know, I take a photo of Kate every year with her referral photo. Here are the photos from today




She always laughs about that fact that they have her in the street!!



But today she was also laughing about her hair.

She said, "It looked like Daddy's hair!  How did you know I was a girl?!"



To read the story of how I made the call to find out who Kate was, you can read here.  And here is how we announced her on the blog (I truly could not even think straight to post that day!) And to scroll through the past referral day photos (it is fun to see how she has changed) here and scroll back.

We love you SO much Katie Ru!!!!


  1. This is the sweetest post. Kate is a gorgeous girl and the story of how God brought her into your family is amazing. I just love this blog. Thank you so much for sharing your life with all of us.

  2. I love looking every year at her holding her referal picture! I also love what you wrote about not knowing what talents lie deep beneath you. Such truth! And yes, I think it's funny too that they have her in the street, in front of a parked car...was there no room on the sidewalk? :)

  3. This post brings back such happy memories!!!! I loved stalking RQ with my friend Kimber!!!!! I can't believe that was six years ago!!!! God blessed you with one very special little girl!!!

    Happy Anniversary!

  4. Happy referral day!! She is such a doll :) I can relate to every word - the love you have from a picture may sound strange to some; but it is so real!!

  5. She is precious! After some of the things I saw with my own eyes in China last summer, I wish I could do the same. Maybe some day!

  6. What a blessing! That first picture is the cutest ever......if that can't draw you in what could! She is too cute for words.....glad you are enjoying every wonderful moment since she was brought into your life.......enjoy your weekend!

  7. Adorable baby ... beautiful girl. You are so lucky!

  8. Happy referral day anniversary. It's hard to believe how quickly the time passes. Kate has grown I to a beautiful girl but same sweet face from her referral pic. I hope that Kate loves being on team at the gym, my Maisie is starting her 4th competitive season and spends more hours at the gym than I'd care to admit and at just 7 years old it's crazy, but it's her passion and its wonderful to see our children live what they love. Can't wait to follow along with Kate's gymnastics and all the happenings you post.

  9. kim!! i love her comment about how did ya'll know she was a girl and that her hair looks like dave! crack me up!!
    so good to chat with you the other day!
    love you friend
    so loved watching your story unfold over the last few years

  10. always so precious to see and remember. her leg is all well now...?

    thank you so much for opening your heart and family to us. donna

  11. I always love reading this story every year and seeing kate as she grows older. Continued blessing to you and your family!

  12. Happy six years!! Kate is truly a special little girl and all your stories and pictures show how she perfectly came to her forever family - how we can't plan the best of things in our life!!


  13. Happy Kate Ru day! She is so very beautiful... she just glows with all the love you've poured into her, Kim :)

  14. I remember when you received Kate's referral, I was following along because we were also waiting for our referral for Clara Beth! So hard to believe that six years have passed since that day. What a joy I know she is, adoption is truly a blessing for all!


  15. We love this post! Grace, reading over my shoulder, asked why Kate was in the street. I love sharing adoption stories with my sweet girl. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  16. Darling girl..what a joy! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Brings tears to my eyes. I believe that God led you to her and her to you! She's no longer a plump little baby, but a beautiful little lady!!

  18. What a sweet post. Kate's referral photo always makes me smile. "Dumpling" indeed and such an absolute cutie! She is such a beautiful little lady now with talent and an obvious heart of gold. And it is so true that God sometimes has plans for us and gifts that might not be at all obvious from the start. It just shows us that we cannot underestimate anyone!

    Gin =)

  19. She exudes such a sweet spirit!! Happy Kate day!!

  20. I love your blog! I've been through those feelings and emotions 3 times. One at 15 when my parents adopted through Korea and twice with both of our children, also from Korea. Falling in love with the sight of a picture. It takes your breath away. Even as a sibling. We celebrate 3 gotcha days in our family! Thank you for your post!

  21. Thank you for the beautiful words of emotion of your referral. I've been through 3 myself. One as a 15 yr. old sibling and also with our two children. All through Korea. It's amazing how you fall in love with a picture, even as a sibling. Thank you for this blog!

  22. Happy six years with Miss Katie Ru!! I love the picture of her looking lovingly at her baby picture, she's so sweet. So funny about daddy's hair too, love that! And the street picture would make me so curious! lol


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