The Ayres family brought their daughter home a year ago this week and celebrated her gotcha day as well as her child dedication at church last Sunday. They were kind enough to share the following photos and words for the America World blog today.
3 ½ years. This is how long we waited to be matched with our daughter who lived halfway around the world. During these long years of waiting, I often wondered how much longer God was going to make us wait. But God had a purpose in the wait, just like He has a purpose for every life experience we are faced with. He had a plan and by September 19, 2016, we were seeing this plan unfold before our very eyes.
September 19, 2016, was our Gotcha Day. I remember sitting in a small conference room in China with a few other families with AWAA who were also waiting for their child to arrive. Words cannot describe the rush of emotions I was feeling at that very moment. The room was really quiet. We were all waiting as patiently as possible for our child to arrive. In fact, it was so quiet, that I was able to hear our daughter’s foster mom check in at the front desk just outside of our conference room. The moment I heard our daughter’s Chinese name, I turned to my husband and said: “she’s here.”
Our baby girl was the first to arrive. I remember eagerly watching the door, waiting for her to walk through. It was as if time was standing still as I counted down the seconds. And before we knew it, there she was. Beautiful and perfect in every way. I looked at my husband the moment she walked through that door to see his expression. So much joy, love, and excitement were written all over his face. This was the moment we had waited 3 ½ years for. Friends, let me tell you right now, she was worth the wait.
Lets fast forward one year to September 2017. The weekend before our daughter’s “Gotcha Day”, we were preparing not only to celebrate the day we brought our little girl into our family, but we were also preparing for another celebration. On September 17, 2017, we stood before our family and friends, at Crosspointe Christian Church in Indiana and had our precious daughter dedicated to the Lord. Two amazing moments in time, all wrapped up in one month, but spaced a year apart!
It is absolutely incredible to see how much has changed over this past year. She has grown so much!! We are so proud of her for the courage she has shown and the strength she has displayed over this past year. She truly is a remarkable, strong and loving child of God. It is so funny to look back now, a year later, and think about the waiting period. It seemed like the wait had taken an eternity, but now that we have her home, time seems to fly by!!
There is not a day that goes by that we do not thank the Lord above for Him choosing US to be her parents. God had a perfect plan in store for Emma and we are so grateful we get to be a part of it!! God is so good!!!
For more information about the China program visit our website.