Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Elizabeth turns 16!

Today is Elizabeth's birthday! Her first at home! Lizzie continues to have many firsts and I have to remember this fact often. I hear the phrase, "Oh, I've never done that before" every now and then. Just yesterday, I was explaining to her the American holiday of Thanksgiving and that it was not just a reason for a week off from school.

For Lizzie's friends, we had her birthday party this past Sunday. I put up a post from this blog from 2008 on our TV. It was her 13th birthday and I remembered (and she acknowledged) that it was her first "real" celebration ever of her birthday. This was her first birthday of many to come, in America and with her forever family.

It wasn't lost on me that this birthday was significant for another reason, especially after reading that post from November 2008. At the time, Lizzie (then named Zina) was not registered for adoption, her mother had never been relieved of her parental rights, lots of court work that still needed to take place stood before us, and an uncooperative orphanage staff was hindering the process. We had only three years to get all of that done at that momentin time, including the mandatory one year wait after registration, the adoption process itself, and numerous threats to stop international adoption by the Ukrainian government. At 16, Lizzie would not be adoptable according to US law.

The fact that all this did happen, that Lizzie has been with us since February 2011, was nothing less than a miracle from God. I tell Lizzie all the time that she still had God's work to do there, even though she didn't know it and none of us understood why it was taking so long. God's perfect timing. Lizzie continues to do God's work here even though she doesn't realize it. Her friend Julia (another adopted Ukrainian girl) needs her and Lizzie ministers to her as only she can. Another example of God's perfect timing, as Julia arrived right after Lizzie got home.

I wrote at the end of that post that Lizzie made a wish and kept it secret, knowing that wishes made secret come true. I posed the question, "What do you think she wished for?" I got a lot of responses. She did the same at the birthday party on Sunday. I bet she said "Thank you"! I know I have a million times, every time I hug or hold her close. "Thank you dear Lord for setting this child free and giving her to us and us to her."

I often tell Lizzie that she is our "Miracle Baby". Happy Birthday, sweetie!

~ Daddy ~


Milena said...

Lizzie's and Rimma's story always make me cry. It's a true Cinderella story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us who read!

Kari said...

I was just reading through old emails this week and came across one from when we were in Ukraine adopting Ashley and Josh. Ashley was wavering, and Karen Springs was able to get her connected with Lizzie who was in the US. Lizzie offered Ashley her advice on being adopted. Then Karen said Lizzie hung up the phone and started crying. While she was happy for Ashley, she was sad that it was taking so long for her to get home. Lizzie is a great encourager and has been a blessing to so many other kids.

Conethia and Jim Bob said...

Wonderful expression!! Happy Birthday!!

Heidi and Felix said...

Thank you all for your kind words. Kari, thank you for your story. I knew that Lizzie had that conversation with Ashley because Heidi's sister got involved in the phone patching.

What I didn't know was Lizzie's response after she had hung up the phone. I thank God everyday that she finally got her turn!


The McEacherns said...

Happy Birthday, Lizzie!

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.